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This is a compilation of news and 'dev blogs' found on Steam and on the game official website. Usually, the information you can find on both sites overlap. But this is not always true. For example, new builds changelogs do not always appear on the official website. Likewise, some 'dev blogs', especially the early ones cannot be found on the Steam news page.

The information will be presented in a descending order to show the latest entries. The images could be added but the page would be much bigger and harder to load. And the idea is to gather everything in one place.

Dev Blog #102: The Webknecht (31 August 2018)Edit

So far we’ve talked about two new enemies that are part of the upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC and intended to spice up the mid to late game. We want to bring fresh enemies to all stages of the game, so this week we’ll take a look at a new beast aimed to bring variety mostly to the early game. Let’s crawl!

The Webknecht

The Webknecht is a large arachnid that lives in sizable colonies in the dark areas of forests throughout the world of Battle Brothers. It’s there that they spin their webs between trees to trap anything from bird to deer and between. Unlike most other beasts, Webknechts don’t usually roam a lot, preferring instead to sit in their territory and wait until something unfortunate gets itself caught in one of their nets. Still, they’re known to choose the vicinity of settlements for their home on occasion and threaten the lives of villagers and their livestock.

The presence of a large enough number of Webknechts is heralded by extensive webs spanning from brush to tree to rock, uniquely transforming any combat environment in a way that leaves no doubt about who lives there. Worse still, amidst the webbings are nests of eggs, and these eggs hatch during combat. You can seek them out, and destroy them with a single strike before they hatch, but otherwise, as combat goes on, there’s always the danger of more and more eight-legged terrors swaming you until you cut down enough to make it ebb.

Webknechts make use of the ‘Weave Web’ skill to weave around their opponents a sticky web, which prevents anyone trapped inside from moving and reduces their ability to attack with full force or defend themselves effectively. Characters can attempt to free themselves of the web during their turn, and each failed attempt increases the chance of subsequent attempts succeeding, but doing so can quickly become tiring, which only works in the arachnids’ favor.

Webknechts aren’t as frenzied in their attacks as, for example, Direwolves are. Instead, they choose to let their opponents tire themselves out by struggling in their webs, and they wait until an opportunity presents itself and their opponent is distracted before they attempt to bite them a single time per turn. They act as a swarm, and so the more oversized spiders surrounding a target and acting in concert, the more effective they become.

The Webknecht’s bites aren’t terribly dangerous to the armored mercenary, but Webknechts are poisonous, and receiving hitpoint damage will apply it. Unlike the poison employed by Goblins, the Webknecht poison does damage to vital organs over several turns and characters can die from it. The Antidote item already in the game works just as well against this kind of poison, however, and is more important now than ever. In fact, it can now be crafted at will if you have the necessary components – but more on that in next week’s dev blog.

Dev Blog #101: New Weapons (24 August 2018)Edit

We take a break from looking at things that make your life harder, to take a look at things that make your life easier this week. The upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC will add a bouquet of new weapons. Some of them will fill gaps in the progression of existing weapon types, while others are hybrid and niche weapons to create new builds and tactics with. And all of them will add more variety to human opponents, like brigands. Just keep in mind that details may still change depending on how playtesting goes. Let’s take a look!

Filling The Gaps

First off, several of the new weapons are designed to fill gaps in the tiered progression of individual weapon types. The Longsword is a lower tier version of the Greatsword, but no less versatile. It allows us to more gradually introduce two-handed swords with enemies, and it allows you to use a less costly alternative earlier in the game. Similarly, the Two-Handed Wooden Hammer is a lower tier version of the existing Two-Handed Hammer. And while previously the Orc Berserker Chain was the only two-handed Flail in the game, there’s now two tiers of human two-handed Flails as well.

Two-Handed Maces

Maces now come in massive two-handed variants. They excel in single-target damage and crowd control, and like their one-handed cousins, they apply a lot of additional fatigue damage. Receiving a blow from a weapon like this will leave anyone dazed and gasping for air, and this is reflected in the ‘Cudgel’ skill applying the new ‘Dazed’ effect. A dazed character will have their maximum fatigue, initiative and damage output reduced. The other skill of two-handed maces is called ‘Strike Down’ and will stun a target for a whole 2 turns, instead of just 1 turn with one-handed maces. This also plays into a new perk which we’ll explain in another dev blog.

The Polehammer

The new Polehammer is the polearm variant of the Warhammer, a weapon designed to neutralize heavily armored targets. With two tiles of range, a Polehammer can be used from behind the frontline, and outside the range of most other melee weapons, to batter, deform and rip enemy armor. Against unarmored or lightly armored targets, however, other polearms perform better.

The Spetum

Even more defense-oriented than a pike, the two-handed Spetum is used like a cross between pike and spear in the game. It is a specialized polearm that is less damaging than the pike, but can be used to form a more deadly yet more fatiguing ‘Spearwall’ than with a one-handed spear. Particularly useful against beasts.

The Throwing Spear

Throwing weapons also get some love with the new Throwing Spear. Larger than a Javelin, it’s a consumable item similar to the Throwing Net and designed to take out shields from afar.

The Goedendag

A curious hybrid between club and spear, the Goedendag is a two-handed weapon that enjoys popularity with militia and similar non-professional outfits. It comes with the ‘Thrust’ skill of the spear, making it easy to hit with, as well as the ‘Knock Out’ skill of Maces, enabling the user to incapacitate their opponents.

The Three-Headed Flail

The Three-Headed Flail, also called Ochsenherde, is a less common weapon. It works the same as any other one-handed flail in the game, except for one detail: Every attack is split into three separate ones, one for each of the striking heads, and each head can hit or miss, and hit body or head, separately. That’s a good thing if you’re looking for consistent damage and a high chance to hit the enemy at all, for example to apply the Poisoned effect or because you’re fighting a fragile enemy with high defenses. On the other hand, this weapon will split damage between head and body armor even more so than other weapons, making it ill-suited if you’re looking to brute-force your way through enemy armor.

The Fencing Sword

Another uncommon weapon is the Fencing Sword; a light and elegant blade that favors a swift and mobile fighting style. It comes with a skill unique only to this weapon: ‘Lunge’. Using the ‘Lunge’ skill, the user will dash towards a target two tiles away, followed immediately by a precise thrusting attack to catch the target unprepared. Lunge gets a damage bonus scaling with the user’s initiative; the quicker the user, and the less armor weighing them down, the more damage they do. With a fencing sword, a combatant gains a lot of mobility, dancing between enemies to make precise strikes if any opening should present itself.

There’s even more new weapons coming, both legendary ones to be found by exploring the wilds, and craftable ones, but we don’t want to spoil these – you’ll just have to find them for yourself!

Dev Blog #100: The Unhold (17 August 2018)Edit

Last week we took a look at the Hexe, a wily witch that is making its way into the world of Battle Brothers as part of the upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC. This week, we’ll take a look at the Unhold, a more down-to-earth type of enemy that is intended to spice up the mid game with its physical presence. Let’s go!

The Unhold

The Unhold is a lumbering giant, easily the size of three men, and dwarfing even the tallest orc. It eats whole sheep for a snack and empties a pond to wash it down. There’s tales of enraged Unholds leveling remote farms and plucking the limbs off of unlucky farmers like wings from insects, but closer examination will reveal that Unholds aren’t malicious creatures. They’re fiercely territorial, but may often be content to persuade with ear-deafening bellowing and threatening gestures any invaders to run for their lives. The Unhold is a somewhat solitary creature and can be found either alone or in small groups only.

The upcoming DLC will assign to all the beasts distinct habitats around the world, but the Unhold actually has several, because it comes in three regional variants. The most common variant is found in the northern tundra and hills. Another variant is said to be found in swamps and sometimes forests, where they inhabit caves. The fiercest is the northern variant found in the snowy wastes, with white fur that protects equally against cold and steel. Click here for a wallpaper of the artwork below.

The Unhold’s theme in the game is displacement, and all of his skills center around it. To this behemoth, zone of control means little, as he will constantly shuffle the battlefield and demand smart repositioning by the player to protect their weakest characters, and allow the strongest to bring their weapons to bear on the beast. Unholds have little to no armor, depending on the regional variant, but they possess the unique ability of healing wounds slowly over the course of combat. Luckily they can’t heal injuries, like a broken leg, the same way, but the longer combat drags on, the more their regenerative abilities will work in their favor.

The Unhold’s first skill is called ‘Unstoppable Charge’ and works similar to the charge that orcs employ. When charging, the Unhold hurls himself towards his opponents with such force that it can’t be defended against with a spearwall, it stuns or knocks back several people at once, and it also dazes the Unhold himself as he makes impact, so he isn’t able to charge and attack in the same turn.

The second skill is ‘Fling Back’ and allows the Unhold to grab any opponent in his way and fling them back over his shoulder like a plaything, taking their place in the process. Using the ‘Indomitable’ perk will guard against it, but anyone flung like this will receive falling damage. By tossing his opponents around, the Unhold can slowly make his way wherever he wants to go.

Once in melee, the Unhold uses his massive fists to make sweeping strikes that can hit up to three targets at once with so much force that there’s a chance they’ll be knocked back. Because the Unhold will constantly knock targets away from himself, he’s rather bad at focusing down a single target, but he excels at battering down a group of people over time. Individual attacks of the Unhold aren’t the most damaging, especially to armor, but he has the potential to make a real mess out of your plans if you don’t adapt fast enough.

This is a compilation of news and 'dev blogs' found on Steam and on the game official website. Usually, the information you can find on both sites overlap. But this is not always true. For example, new builds changelogs do not always appear on the official website. Likewise, some 'dev blogs', especially the early ones cannot be found on the Steam news page.

The information will be presented in a descending order to show the latest entries. The images may be added later.

Dev Blog #102: The Webknecht (31 August 2018)Edit

So far we’ve talked about two new enemies that are part of the upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC and intended to spice up the mid to late game. We want to bring fresh enemies to all stages of the game, so this week we’ll take a look at a new beast aimed to bring variety mostly to the early game. Let’s crawl!

The Webknecht

The Webknecht is a large arachnid that lives in sizable colonies in the dark areas of forests throughout the world of Battle Brothers. It’s there that they spin their webs between trees to trap anything from bird to deer and between. Unlike most other beasts, Webknechts don’t usually roam a lot, preferring instead to sit in their territory and wait until something unfortunate gets itself caught in one of their nets. Still, they’re known to choose the vicinity of settlements for their home on occasion and threaten the lives of villagers and their livestock.

The presence of a large enough number of Webknechts is heralded by extensive webs spanning from brush to tree to rock, uniquely transforming any combat environment in a way that leaves no doubt about who lives there. Worse still, amidst the webbings are nests of eggs, and these eggs hatch during combat. You can seek them out, and destroy them with a single strike before they hatch, but otherwise, as combat goes on, there’s always the danger of more and more eight-legged terrors swaming you until you cut down enough to make it ebb.

Webknechts make use of the ‘Weave Web’ skill to weave around their opponents a sticky web, which prevents anyone trapped inside from moving and reduces their ability to attack with full force or defend themselves effectively. Characters can attempt to free themselves of the web during their turn, and each failed attempt increases the chance of subsequent attempts succeeding, but doing so can quickly become tiring, which only works in the arachnids’ favor.

Webknechts aren’t as frenzied in their attacks as, for example, Direwolves are. Instead, they choose to let their opponents tire themselves out by struggling in their webs, and they wait until an opportunity presents itself and their opponent is distracted before they attempt to bite them a single time per turn. They act as a swarm, and so the more oversized spiders surrounding a target and acting in concert, the more effective they become.

The Webknecht’s bites aren’t terribly dangerous to the armored mercenary, but Webknechts are poisonous, and receiving hitpoint damage will apply it. Unlike the poison employed by Goblins, the Webknecht poison does damage to vital organs over several turns and characters can die from it. The Antidote item already in the game works just as well against this kind of poison, however, and is more important now than ever. In fact, it can now be crafted at will if you have the necessary components – but more on that in next week’s dev blog.

Dev Blog #101: New Weapons (24 August 2018)Edit

We take a break from looking at things that make your life harder, to take a look at things that make your life easier this week. The upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC will add a bouquet of new weapons. Some of them will fill gaps in the progression of existing weapon types, while others are hybrid and niche weapons to create new builds and tactics with. And all of them will add more variety to human opponents, like brigands. Just keep in mind that details may still change depending on how playtesting goes. Let’s take a look!

Filling The Gaps

First off, several of the new weapons are designed to fill gaps in the tiered progression of individual weapon types. The Longsword is a lower tier version of the Greatsword, but no less versatile. It allows us to more gradually introduce two-handed swords with enemies, and it allows you to use a less costly alternative earlier in the game. Similarly, the Two-Handed Wooden Hammer is a lower tier version of the existing Two-Handed Hammer. And while previously the Orc Berserker Chain was the only two-handed Flail in the game, there’s now two tiers of human two-handed Flails as well.

Two-Handed Maces

Maces now come in massive two-handed variants. They excel in single-target damage and crowd control, and like their one-handed cousins, they apply a lot of additional fatigue damage. Receiving a blow from a weapon like this will leave anyone dazed and gasping for air, and this is reflected in the ‘Cudgel’ skill applying the new ‘Dazed’ effect. A dazed character will have their maximum fatigue, initiative and damage output reduced. The other skill of two-handed maces is called ‘Strike Down’ and will stun a target for a whole 2 turns, instead of just 1 turn with one-handed maces. This also plays into a new perk which we’ll explain in another dev blog.

The Polehammer

The new Polehammer is the polearm variant of the Warhammer, a weapon designed to neutralize heavily armored targets. With two tiles of range, a Polehammer can be used from behind the frontline, and outside the range of most other melee weapons, to batter, deform and rip enemy armor. Against unarmored or lightly armored targets, however, other polearms perform better.

The Spetum

Even more defense-oriented than a pike, the two-handed Spetum is used like a cross between pike and spear in the game. It is a specialized polearm that is less damaging than the pike, but can be used to form a more deadly yet more fatiguing ‘Spearwall’ than with a one-handed spear. Particularly useful against beasts.

The Throwing Spear

Throwing weapons also get some love with the new Throwing Spear. Larger than a Javelin, it’s a consumable item similar to the Throwing Net and designed to take out shields from afar.

The Goedendag

A curious hybrid between club and spear, the Goedendag is a two-handed weapon that enjoys popularity with militia and similar non-professional outfits. It comes with the ‘Thrust’ skill of the spear, making it easy to hit with, as well as the ‘Knock Out’ skill of Maces, enabling the user to incapacitate their opponents.

The Three-Headed Flail

The Three-Headed Flail, also called Ochsenherde, is a less common weapon. It works the same as any other one-handed flail in the game, except for one detail: Every attack is split into three separate ones, one for each of the striking heads, and each head can hit or miss, and hit body or head, separately. That’s a good thing if you’re looking for consistent damage and a high chance to hit the enemy at all, for example to apply the Poisoned effect or because you’re fighting a fragile enemy with high defenses. On the other hand, this weapon will split damage between head and body armor even more so than other weapons, making it ill-suited if you’re looking to brute-force your way through enemy armor.

The Fencing Sword

Another uncommon weapon is the Fencing Sword; a light and elegant blade that favors a swift and mobile fighting style. It comes with a skill unique only to this weapon: ‘Lunge’. Using the ‘Lunge’ skill, the user will dash towards a target two tiles away, followed immediately by a precise thrusting attack to catch the target unprepared. Lunge gets a damage bonus scaling with the user’s initiative; the quicker the user, and the less armor weighing them down, the more damage they do. With a fencing sword, a combatant gains a lot of mobility, dancing between enemies to make precise strikes if any opening should present itself.

There’s even more new weapons coming, both legendary ones to be found by exploring the wilds, and craftable ones, but we don’t want to spoil these – you’ll just have to find them for yourself!

Dev Blog #100: The Unhold (17 August 2018)Edit

Last week we took a look at the Hexe, a wily witch that is making its way into the world of Battle Brothers as part of the upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC. This week, we’ll take a look at the Unhold, a more down-to-earth type of enemy that is intended to spice up the mid game with its physical presence. Let’s go!

The Unhold

The Unhold is a lumbering giant, easily the size of three men, and dwarfing even the tallest orc. It eats whole sheep for a snack and empties a pond to wash it down. There’s tales of enraged Unholds leveling remote farms and plucking the limbs off of unlucky farmers like wings from insects, but closer examination will reveal that Unholds aren’t malicious creatures. They’re fiercely territorial, but may often be content to persuade with ear-deafening bellowing and threatening gestures any invaders to run for their lives. The Unhold is a somewhat solitary creature and can be found either alone or in small groups only.

The upcoming DLC will assign to all the beasts distinct habitats around the world, but the Unhold actually has several, because it comes in three regional variants. The most common variant is found in the northern tundra and hills. Another variant is said to be found in swamps and sometimes forests, where they inhabit caves. The fiercest is the northern variant found in the snowy wastes, with white fur that protects equally against cold and steel. Click here for a wallpaper of the artwork below.

The Unhold’s theme in the game is displacement, and all of his skills center around it. To this behemoth, zone of control means little, as he will constantly shuffle the battlefield and demand smart repositioning by the player to protect their weakest characters, and allow the strongest to bring their weapons to bear on the beast. Unholds have little to no armor, depending on the regional variant, but they possess the unique ability of healing wounds slowly over the course of combat. Luckily they can’t heal injuries, like a broken leg, the same way, but the longer combat drags on, the more their regenerative abilities will work in their favor.

The Unhold’s first skill is called ‘Unstoppable Charge’ and works similar to the charge that orcs employ. When charging, the Unhold hurls himself towards his opponents with such force that it can’t be defended against with a spearwall, it stuns or knocks back several people at once, and it also dazes the Unhold himself as he makes impact, so he isn’t able to charge and attack in the same turn.

The second skill is ‘Fling Back’ and allows the Unhold to grab any opponent in his way and fling them back over his shoulder like a plaything, taking their place in the process. Using the ‘Indomitable’ perk will guard against it, but anyone flung like this will receive falling damage. By tossing his opponents around, the Unhold can slowly make his way wherever he wants to go.

Once in melee, the Unhold uses his massive fists to make sweeping strikes that can hit up to three targets at once with so much force that there’s a chance they’ll be knocked back. Because the Unhold will constantly knock targets away from himself, he’s rather bad at focusing down a single target, but he excels at battering down a group of people over time. Individual attacks of the Unhold aren’t the most damaging, especially to armor, but he has the potential to make a real mess out of your plans if you don’t adapt fast enough.

Dev Blog #99: The Hexe (10 August 2018)Edit

The upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC will add a variety of new beasts and related creatures to the world of Battle Brothers. We’re going to introduce new opponents to cover the early, mid and late game. Some of them will be pretty complex to fight, and others more straight-forward. Some will be magical creatures, and some plain beasts, but all of them will come with their own unique mechanics to challenge you.

To start things off, we’ll be taking a look at the Hexe today. It’s the first of two upcoming spellcaster type opponents we’re adding, and intended for spicing up the mid to late game. Let’s roll!

The Hexe

The Hexe is a witch inspired by Grimm’s fairy tales, a malevolent old crone living in swamps and forests outside of villages alone or in a coven with other Hexen. They’re human, but have long sacrificed their humanity for otherworldly powers. They’re feared, but also worshipped by some. They’re burned at the stake, and yet people seek them out to plead for miracles. They lure and abduct little children to make broth and concoctions out of, they strike terrible pacts with villagers to receive their firstborn, they weave curses and cast hexes. Their huts may or may not be made of candy. With her sorcery, a Hexe can enthrall wild beasts, and even warp the mind of humans, and so will often be found in the company of creatures that serve her.

The Hexe has two skills in combat. The first one is called ‘Charm’ and works like this: From her shriveled lips, the crone blows one of your men a seductive kiss to bewitch their mind. A strong-willed individual can resist with a successful resolve check, but otherwise they’re doomed to have their senses warped and to fall under the spell’s dominion for several turns until the effect wears off. To the ensorcelled, the Hexe no longer appears as an old crone, but a youthful lady with radiant beauty for which they will gladly obey every command. They’ll be eager to shield the witch from arrows with their bodies, and not think twice about hacking their comrades to pieces in order to protect their beloved. Should every last man on the battlefield be mind-controlled by a Hexe, the coven will have them all commit suicide in order to end the battle.

Even though the Hexe is old and fragile, has no melee attack, and in fact no Zone of Control, she isn’t quite defenseless. Her second skill is also a spell; it’s called ‘Hex’ and can be cast on one enemy at a time. Anyone that has a hex cast on them is cursed to feel the same pain and receive the same wounds as the Hexe does. It’s mutually assured destruction when the Hexe defends herself by giving you a choice: Attack her, and risk the health and potentially even life of one of your men, or let the hag live for another round, hoping that she doesn’t do too much damage in the meantime and that you can get her before she casts another hex. Or at least casts it on someone who can take a blow for the team.

Fighting a Hexe is different from fighting most other opponents in the game. For starters, the stronger you are, the stronger the Hexe gets, as you’ll spend a good time dealing with your own men turned hostile. Her two skills also make for a more puzzle-esque battle than usual, but the right approach can turn a seemingly impossible challenge into a manageable one. Maces and nets are useful for disabling your own men while they’re charmed, rushing or taunting the Hexe can be effective, and having solid resolve is always helpful. What tactics can you come up with to beat her?

Join us again next week for a look at a new beast that you’ll soon be able to meet on the field of battle – one that uses brute strength and not trickery of the mind.


‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC Announcement (3 August 2018)Edit

We’re very excited to announce that we’re working on a full-sized DLC for Battle Brothers. Yes, you heard that right – there’s going to be a real and meaty expansion with fresh content coming for that game that you like. The name of the upcoming DLC is going to be ‘Beasts & Exploration’.

That’s a pretty telling name, and as it suggests, the focus of the DLC will be on introducing new beast opponents in order to bring more variety to every stage of the game, and to make exploring the world more interesting and rewarding. But that’s not all!

Here’s the list of major features you can expect:

  • A variety of challenging new beasts populating different parts of the wilds. Each with unique mechanics and loot.

  • A bigger world to explore, full of unique hidden locations throughout that offer new possibilities and rewards to the daring adventurer.

  • Trophies from slain beasts that can be crafted into charms, potions and other items to customize the look of your hardened mercenaries and benefit them in combat.

  • New contracts that have you engage in profitable beast hunting, exploration and more.

  • New weapons, tools, shields, and armor to equip your men with.

  • New paint items that can be used to paint shields and helmets in the colors of your company.

  • Lots of new events.

  • New music tracks.

In addition to these major features, the DLC will also include countless smaller additions. Just like in the past, all the major points and most of the minor ones will be explained in detail in future dev blogs as we go along, so you’ll always know what we’re working on and why. We expect to be working on this for several months and will announce a release date and final feature list once we’re closer to the finish line. We’re also making good progress on our new game, and will continue to work on it in parallel.

Alongside the DLC, which will not be free, the game will also receive a sizable free update. This update will contain a whole bunch of improvements and balancing changes, as well as some minor content additions.

Join us next week for our first dev blog on the new DLC, introducing a terrifying new opponent!

Something Big Approaches (27 July 2018)Edit

Something big is coming to change the world of Battle Brothers, from the frozen north all the way down to the parched steppe.

How big? Read the full announcement next Friday!

“Wolfmother” Short Story Released (20 March 2018)Edit

Casey Hollingshead, the game’s original writer, has released a short story set in the grim medieval world of Battle Brothers as an eBook on Amazon. Its title: “Wolfmother”.

A leader. A kid. A scapegrace. A fighter. A nobleman. A scholar. One agreement. Led by a battle hardened mercenary captain, a group of sellswords trek up a mountainside to complete a contract. If you enjoyed the writing in Battle Brothers and want for more, check out his book here.

Also, it’s anniversary time! One year ago, Battle Brothers graduated from Early Access and was released a full game into the world. To celebrate this occasion, Battle Brothers is on sale with a 50% discount for the next two days. Hurray!

Update 1.1.0.8 (10 January 2018)Edit

A few more minor improvements and fixes.

Changelog

  • Changed a few things to further speed up AI turns with the 'Faster AI Movement' option turned on.

  • Fixed Lindwurm DLC not working properly with Steam Family Sharing.

  • Fixed characters not being content with being in reserve while they're sick.

  • Fixed rare issue with contracts from permanently destroyed settlements.

  • Fixed various minor text issues.

Update 1.1.0.7 (11 December 2017)Edit

Collected minor improvements and bugfixes for issues that you guys reported since the last update.

Changelog

  • Changed name of Fallen Hero without head to 'Headless Fallen Hero' to make it more clear that this is intended behavior.

  • Fixed rare issue with fresh undead becoming untargetable during the Undead Scourge endgame crisis.

  • Fixed initiative penalty due to waiting not being applied correctly.

  • Fixed Necrosavants not dropping Shimmering Ashes.

  • Fixed 'Horrific Scream' of Geists being subject to height level restrictions.

  • Fixed potentially wrong reward amount mentioned in one of the 'Drive Away Bandits' texts.

  • Fixed Black Monolith being selected in one of the 'Find Artifact' twists as the new target.

  • Fixed AI sometimes being confused on swamp terrain.

  • Fixed incorrect tooltip hint for muddy ground and plashy grass on swamp terrain.

  • Fixed 'Split Hand' injury not being affected by 'Hold Out' perk.

  • Fixed news about conquered settlements in the noble war crisis sometimes arriving too late and preventing other events from firing.

  • Fixed various minor issues.

Free DLC Released (19 October 2017)Edit

The Lindwurm DLC has just been released to every current and future owner of Battle Brothers for free. Challenge your mercenary company against a fearsome Lindwurm, an adversary of legend, home to the wild parts of the world and fiercely defending its hoard of treasure!

Read all about the content of this free DLC in the accompanying dev blog here. It’s not necessary to start a new campaign in order for any of the additions to appear in your game.

Alongside the DLC, the game has also been updated to version 1.1.0.5 with a couple of bugfixes that we’ve collected over the past few weeks.

Changelog

  • Fixed game potentially freezing after combat ends under specific conditions.

  • Fixed 'Reset Equipment After Battle' option not working properly for specific combinations of equipment.

  • Fixed damage bonus from eating mushrooms not being displayed properly in some skill tooltips.

  • Fixed tooltip from a necromancer that himself has been raised from the dead not showing properly.

  • Fixed damage inflicted to a Direwolf's natural armor not being displayed in the combat log.

  • Fixed various minor issues.

Dev Blog #98: The Lindwurm (13 October 2017)Edit

What is this sorcery?! Why, it’s a dev blog about the upcoming free Lindwurm DLC for Battle Brothers, of course! We’ve been working on a small thank-you gift for all you passionate fans on the side, and this is it. You’re about to get to face an entirely new opponent, get new armor to wear and items to use, new loot to collect, and a new banner to hoist for your company. Let’s take a closer look!

The Lindwurm

In Germanic mythology, a Lindwurm is a wingless bipedal dragon resembling a large snake. It’s a large and fearsome creature, the adversary in many a legend, and it’s making its way into Battle Brothers. The wild and uncivilized parts of the world are about to become more dangerous, as you’ll soon find a Lindwurm or two roaming thereabout, making an old forest or hillside their territory and fiercely defending their hoard of treasure from any intruder.

You can download a wallpaper version of the artwork above here.

In combat, the Lindwurm is the only opponent that occupies two tiles at once – one for the upper body, and one for the tail. While both are part of a single body, and thus share hitpoints, the Lindwurm can move them and attack with them separately. The Lindwurm’s mouth is armed with long and sharp teeth, which can easily tear a grown man in two. The tail is strong enough to slam against several men at once, stagger them or even knock them across the battlefield.

And if that wasn’t terrifying enough, a Lindwurm’s blood is also highly corrosive to many materials – including those used in armor. Whenever a Lindwurm takes hitpoint damage in melee, the attacker may be sprayed with their acidic blood, which will slowly eat away at any armor for several turns. Attacking with polearms and ranged weapons will prevent you from being sprayed with acid. On the other hand, a Lindwurm’s acidic blood can also be used to your advantage…

But wait, there’s more!

You’re about to get a new Lindwurm-themed set of named armor, helmet and shield, which come with the unique property of being unaffected by the highly corrosive Lindwurm blood. And then, of course, there’s a new Lindwurm-themed banner to choose for your mercenary campaign of fearless lizard hunters.

The acidic blood of a Lindwurm can be collected in flasks, which can then be thrown from the offhand in battle, shattering on impact and corroding over several turns the armor of anyone nearby that is unfortunate enough to be hit – useful against heavily armored opponents such as orcs or the later ancient dead.

When can I play it?

The Lindwurm DLC will be released on October 19th for free to every owner of Battle Brothers. It’s not necessary to start a new campaign in order for any of the additions to appear in your game.

A New Challenger Appears (6 October 2017)Edit

Surprise! We just might have worked on a little thank you on the side for all you guys’ support and passion about the game. We know that many of you have racked up dozens if not hundreds of hours of playtime by now, and it’s time for a new challenge…

Read all about it in next week’s full-blown dev blog!

Update 1.1.0.3 (5 September 2017)Edit

A couple of bugfixes collected over the last weeks.

Changelog

  • Fixed 'Broken Leg' injury not applying the effect listed in its tooltip properly.

  • Fixed remaining fragments of greenskin or undead hordes potentially destroying settlements even after the respective crisis has officially ended.

  • Fixed incorrect movement speed for player party on world map while using the faster speed setting.

  • Fixed 'Siege Fortification' contract failing when it shouldn't.

  • Changed ambitions to destroy orc, goblin or undead locations to only register as succesful and award a trophy item when there is at least one free item slot in the stash.

Update 1.1.0.1 (21 June 2017)Edit

A small update to fix issues newly introduced with last week's 1.1 update.

Changelog

  • Fixed hitpoints not healing when at zero medical supplies, even though those should be used to heal injury status effects only.

  • Fixed wrong battle standards being handed out for new player banners. You may need to re-equip your battle standard once.

  • Fixed issue with 'Imprisoned Wildman' event.

  • Fixed issue with 'Reset Equipment After Battle' option not working under specific circumstances.

The Conclusion: Update 1.1 Released (16 June 2017)Edit

The 1.1 update to Battle Brothers is here and brings a bunch of additions and changes, as well as various bugfixes – see below for the complete changelog. Also, we’re talking about what we’ll be doing next.

The Conclusion

Making Battle Brothers a reality has been a great ride. Back when we still worked our evenings and weekends on the game, we never imagined quite how many and how much people would fall in love with it, and all the support we’d get from you. Playing the game now ourselves, we’re genuinely happy with how things turned out. For all its flaws, Battle Brothers is fun to play, it’s satisfying to see what we achieved with our means, and we’re happy to say that we’ve learned a lot on game development as we created our first game together.

A part of game development is making tough decisions on where to spend your limited time. In creating Battle Brothers we, too, had to make concessions in order to make the game happen. Unfortunately, this now makes things like translations and mod support unfeasible, as much as we’d like to offer them, and expanding the game beyond its initial concept an increasingly unwieldy endeavour.

We’ve thought long and hard about where we want to go from here. After working on the same game for almost five years now, we’ve come to realize that it is time to move on. Creating Battle Brothers has always been about building the game we want to play ourselves, and furthering ourselves as game developers, and we believe that taking all the lessons learned here to create a new game dear to us is the right next step to take.

Development on Battle Brothers is concluded with today’s update – although we’ll of course continue to provide bugfixes, as necessary. We have a very good idea of the game we want to create next, and we’re enthusiastic to get started. It won’t be Battle Brothers 2, but if you enjoyed playing Battle Brothers, chances are good you’ll really enjoy our next game, too. We look forward to tell you all about it in the future. It’ll even have legs!

Changelog

  • Added 18 new illustrated events.

  • Added 3 new player banners.

  • Added 63 colored variants of most common helmets for more customization options.

  • Added more options to customize campaign difficulty by introducing separate settings for 'Economic Difficulty', 'Combat Difficulty' and 'Starting Funds'. See tooltips for more information.

  • Added optional 'Reset Equipment After Battle' setting to automatically place equipment back into the inventory slot it was in before battle, if possible.

  • Added additional ambient sounds for settlements.
  • Changed combat log to show more detailed information, including hit chances, dice rolls for enemies and damage to shields.

  • Changed 'Bags & Belts' perk to also remove the fatigue penalty for carrying items in any bag slot.

  • Changed fatigue cost of ‘Indomitable’ perk active skill to 20, down from 25.

  • Changed various minor things to improve game balance and pacing.
  • Fixed 'Lone Wolf' perk effect sometimes not updating correctly after movement.

  • Fixed potentially wrong healing time displayed in medical supplies tooltip.

  • Fixed specific ambitions not being recorded as fulfilled when engaging two enemy parties in quick succession.

  • Fixed issue with 'Armed Courier' contract during an active late game crisis.

  • Fixed two potential issues with the 'Siege Fortification' contract.

  • Fixed issue when retreating at a specific point during the 'Free Greenskin Prisoners' contract.

  • Fixed game potentially hanging when loading an ambush with a large number of opponents.

  • Fixed auto-loot sometimes granting loot to the player even if not having won the battle.

  • Fixed cultist conversion events also changing daily wages.

  • Fixed situations at settlements sometimes not being resolved correctly.

  • Fixed tavern rumors about famed helmets incorrectly referring to them as weapons.

  • Fixed various minor issues.

Lore & Art Book Released (24 May 2017)Edit

We’re happy to announce that the Digital Lore & Art Book, which is part of the Supporter Edition of Battle Brothers, has been finalized and released. If you own it, it will download automatically to the ‘Extras’ folder of your game installation.

The book documents many of the artistic choices and iterations we made during the development, and our reasoning behind it. As such, it is as much a documentary on the visual aspects of the game as it is an art book to flip through. At the same time, you’ll also find additional lore on the game’s factions, written by the game’s writer, Casey Hollingshead.

This book is dedicated to our brothers-in-arms who supported the development of Battle Brothers above and beyond by getting the Supporter Edition. The game wouldn’t be the same without you – thank you from all of us!


The 1.1 Update

Work is also progressing on the 1.1 update to the game. As announced last time, we are are having our post-release vacations this month, so you can expect the update to be finished and go live later in June, which is also when we’ll announce our future plans. See you then!

What’s Next? (21 April 2017)Edit

It’s been one month now since Battle Brothers graduated from Early Access and was released a finished game into the world. Let’s talk about what’s next!

The Next Step

Development on Battle Brothers will continue as we start working on the 1.1 update. It’s going to be a moderately sized one that adds lots of little things that didn’t quite make it into the release, like some additional events and contracts that were left on the cutting room floor, as well as various quality of life improvements suggested by you. By now, some balancing and pacing issues have also come to light which the update will address. The update will be free and not require you to start a new campaign.

As mentioned previously, all of us are going to take some vacation at different times over the course of the next month or so. For this reason, we can’t give an exact ETA of when the update will hit. We’ll also not resume our weekly dev blogs for this, as there won’t be any new game mechanics to talk about. By the time the update has been finished, we’ll have come to a decision on whether we’ll continue to develop Battle Brothers with a full-sized paid expansion/DLC or move on to develop a new game.

What About Translations?

After careful evaluation and talking with other developers, we’ve come to the conclusion that supporting additional languages for Battle Brothers is not something that we can do. As much as we understand that people want to play the game in their native language, at the end of the day we’ll have to make financially sound decisions if we want to keep developing Battle Brothers, and at some point a new game.

So what’s the issue? You’re probably aware of how we chose the game’s particular art style due to our limitations of having only a single artist on the team (if not, you can read about it here). It’s the same with programming. Battle Brothers is a very ambitious project for so small a team, and with only a single programmer we had to cut a lot of corners in order to ever get it to the finished and stable state you’re now able to play, especially as the game started out as a hobby project alongside our day jobs. Lots of things had to be sacrificed along the way, including any support for localization.

There’s more than 250,000 words now in the game (that’s more than half of what The Witcher 3 has!), and in many places, like character backgrounds, we combine various pieces of text to produce new ones. This works fine with English grammar, but it falls apart quickly as we move to other languages. Supporting other languages would therefore mean not only having vast amounts of texts translated, but changing how texts are used throughout the game. All this would have come with a significant cost both in terms of time and money that we had to weigh carefully against any potential gains, and against how we could otherwise spend those resources (e.g. create new content instead). Many of you offered to help with translations, and we’re very thankful for this. However, as you can see, things aren’t as simple, and technical hurdles make any kind of translation unfeasible.

What About a Mac or Linux Version?

Sadly there will not be a Mac or Linux version of Battle Brothers. Building either would pose a host of new technical challenges and compatibility issues that we’re not prepared to deal with given the small size of our team. Also keep in mind that the game can already be played on Linux using the most recent version of Wine and using vcrun2015 with Winetricks.

The Lore & Art Book

Work on the Lore & Art Book for the kind people who bought the Supporter Edition is progressing well, and you can expect it to arrive in May. See below for a first preview – still subject to change, of course.

Update 1.0.0.5 (11 April 2017)Edit

Today's update brings a minor balancing change and various bugfixes.

If you're using Avast, please note that it may be necessary for you to go through the steps outlined here again in order to play the game.

We'll have a proper juicy dev blog again next week where we'll detail our plans for the future of Battle Brothers. We'll talk about additional content, the possibility of DLC, and translations. All this and more next week!

Changelog

  • Changed payment to be slightly higher for high difficulty contracts in order to encourage taking on higher risks for higher rewards.
  • Fixed game potentially hanging as orcs use the 'Line Breaker' skill in very specific situations.

  • Fixed wrong starting position in combat when escorting a caravan while another caravan nearby gets attacked.

  • Fixed attached locations of settlements sometimes appearing incorrectly in tavern rumors during wartime.

  • Fixed various minor issues.

Update 1.0.0.4 (4 April 2017)Edit

Some additions based on your feedback, as well as bugfixes.

Changelog

  • Added map seed that can be entered upon starting a new campaign, and seen for ongoing campaigns created after this update, for replaying and sharing maps.

  • Added checkbox for 'Permanent Destruction' during late game crises when starting a new campaign. It's checked by default to work how you're used to. Unchecking it will result in settlements getting the 'Razed' situation for a considerable time instead of being permanently destroyed.

  • Added warning prompt for users of Avast due to compatibility issues introduced with one of their latest updates.
  • Changed game to unpause only after autosaving is completed when leaving towns in ironman mode, so no time on the worldmap is wasted.
  • Fixed issue with the game potentially hanging in some cases as characters rise from the dead during the Undead Scourge.

  • Fixed AI not using the 'Footwork' skill properly in some cases.

  • Fixed issue with 'Decisive Battle' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Privateering' contract.

  • Fixed various minor issues.

First Week (31 March 2017)Edit

Battle Brothers finally graduated from Early Access and was released a finished game last Friday, one week ago. It’s been a very busy week for us, but also a satisfying one, as the game was received very favorably and is still performing decently in terms of sales.

Our focus for the next few weeks is finishing the Art & Lore Book for the Supporter Edition, and taking care of any remaining bugs and technical issues that are coming to light now that so many more people are playing the game at once. We’ll all be taking a break from development later in April to recharge our batteries, as working on the game for so long has been taxing for everyone, and really, we could all use a vacation.

And then? Based on how the game has performed so far, and will continue to perform in the coming weeks, we’ll determine if and how we can continue to develop Battle Brothers, both with free updates for everyone, and a potential sizable DLC that would add new content and mechanics. At the same time, we’ll also determine whether adding support for different languages, and some kind of modding, is viable. We’ll keep you updated!

Update 1.0.0.2 (27 March 2017)Edit

Bugfixes for a few issues that popped up over the release weekend.

Changelog

  • Changed battles at night to be brighter.
  • Fixed ranged AI potentially getting stuck in calculations.

  • Fixed cancelled ambitions having a cooldown higher than intended.

  • Fixed a particular event sometimes not working properly and bogging down worldmap performance by spamming error messages.

  • Fixed 'Impatient' trait not working as intended.

  • Fixed issue with 'Last Stand' contract.

  • Fixed various minor issues.

Full Release! (24 March 2017)Edit

It’s here and it’s done! We’re excited to see the finished Battle Brothers graduate from Early Access and be fully released today, on March 24th, 2017.

Creating this game together with you has been a long and rewarding adventure, and we’re very happy with what the game has grown to become. We hope you enjoy playing Battle Brothers as much as we enjoyed developing it – and given a successful launch, this won’t be the end of the road.

With the game’s release, the soundtrack is now also available as a separate DLC. If you’re the owner of the Deluxe or Supporter edition, it’ll be automatically delivered to you via Steam. The Art & Lore book will become available in the coming weeks.

Let’s celebrate this momentous occasion with our new gameplay trailer for launch and final feature list of the Battle Brothers 1.0 release.

Features

  • Manage a medieval mercenary company in a procedurally generated open world.

  • Fight complex turn-based tactical battles with historical equipment and brutal injuries.

  • Permadeath. All characters that die in combat will stay dead – unless they return as the undead.

  • All characters come with their own background stories and traits. Want a stuttering ratcatcher, a greedy witch hunter or a drunkard disowned noble?

  • Character development without a restrictive class-system. Each character gains experience through combat, can level up and acquire powerful perks.

  • Equipment that matters. Different weapons grant unique skills – split shields with axes, stun enemies with maces, form a spearwall with spears or crush armor with a warhammer.

  • Diverse enemy roster. All enemies have unique equipment, skills and AI behavior.

  • A dynamic event system with atmospheric encounters and tough decisions outside of combat.

  • Three late game crises – a war between noble houses, a greenskin invasion and an undead scourge – add a looming threat along with new contracts, enemies and events.

  • Two full hours of orchestral soundtrack.

  • 70 Steam Achievements and Steam Trading Cards

Beta Update 0.9.0.34 (20 March 2017)Edit

Wrapping things up with a last batch of new events before release, as well as some more bugfixes.

Please continue to report any issues in the appropriate forum following the instructions there - do not post them as comments here, they'd only get buried and lost, and may miss important information.

Changelog

  • Added 10 new events.

  • Added status effect showing when a free action due to having the 'Quick Hands' perk is available.

  • Added credits to main menu.
  • Fixed issue with two ranged opponents potentially occupying the same hex in rare cases.

  • Fixed issue with combat potentially getting stuck under specific circumstances.

  • Fixed named items sometimes not dropping as loot when almost destroyed.

  • Fixed issue with 'Privateering' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Marauding Greenskins' contract.

  • Fixed various minor issues.

Beta Update 0.9.0.33 (16 March 2017)Edit

Bugfixes.

Please continue to report any issues in the appropriate forum following the instructions there - do not post them as comments here, they'd only get buried and lost, and may miss important information.

Changelog

  • Changed tiles at the very map border in combat, which allow for a safe retreat without incurring any injury, to set the morale of characters to breaking, as to make things less exploitable.
  • Fixed issue with potential save corruption under rare circumstances.

  • Fixed potential crash on loading combat.

  • Fixed issue with allied AI potentially getting stuck on calculating its turn.

  • Fixed issue with 'Privateering' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Raze Location' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Escort Envoy' contract.

  • Fixed various minor issues.

Beta Update 0.9.0.31 (14 March 2017)Edit

New events and music, balance changes, quality of life improvements, bugfixes.

Please continue to report any issues in the appropriate forum following the instructions there - do not post them as comments here, they'd only get buried and lost, and may miss important information.

Changelog

  • Added 10 new events.

  • Added one new music track.

  • Added option to have no late game crisis occur when starting a new campaign.
  • Changed starting inventory size to 90, up from 81. Requires a new campaign to take effect.

  • Changed fleeing characters to move to the end of the turn order, in order to allow for more counterplay like rallying or rotating them out of danger, before they potentially kill themselves, and to no longer penalize high-initiative characters.

  • Changed Geists to have their previous ranged defense restored in light of the changes above.

  • Changed 'Faster Movement' options to no longer teleport characters across the map, but show a greatly sped up movement animation, so one can better see who's moving where.

  • Changed 'Faster AI Movement' option to also speed up any turn sequence bar animations.
  • Fixed worldgen potentially getting stuck after recent changes.

  • Fixed potential crash when clicking wildly on the map during a rotation move.

  • Fixed a certain legendary item's effect potentially crashing the game under certain circumstances.

  • Fixed characters not dying properly to 'Miasma'.

  • Fixed people's mood suffering from there being no provisions even when escorted caravan would provide it for the duration of the contract.

  • Fixed issue with loot of allies dropping for the player even if it shouldn't.

  • Fixed issue with 'Defend Settlement' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Last Stand' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Siege Fortification' contract.

  • Fixed various minor issues.

Release Date: March 24th, 2017 (10 March 2017)Edit

We’re excited to announce that after almost 2 years in Early Access, Battle Brothers will release in full on March 24, 2017.

Creating this game together with you has been a long and rewarding adventure, and we’re very happy with what the game has grown to become. Enjoy the new trailer and feature list of the upcoming 1.0 release.

Features

  • Manage a medieval mercenary company in a procedurally generated open world.

  • Fight complex turn-based tactical battles with historical equipment and brutal injuries.

  • Permadeath. All characters that die in combat will stay dead – unless they return as the undead.

  • All characters come with their own background stories and traits. Want a stuttering ratcatcher, a greedy witch hunter or a drunkard disowned noble?

  • Character development without a restrictive class-system. Each character gains experience through combat, can level up and acquire powerful perks.

  • Equipment that matters. Different weapons grant unique skills – split shields with axes, stun enemies with maces, form a spearwall with spears or crush armor with a warhammer.

  • Diverse enemy roster. All enemies have unique equipment, skills and AI behavior.

  • A dynamic event system with atmospheric encounters and tough decisions outside of combat.

  • Three late game crises – a war between noble houses, a greenskin invasion and an undead scourge – add a looming threat.

  • Two full hours of orchestral soundtrack.

  • 70 Steam Achievements

With the finished game releasing, the Early Access discount of the last two years will also be lifted. Within the next two weeks, the price of Battle Brothers will be raised to 27.99€, 29.99$ or your local equivalent. If you want to get the game while it’s still discounted, then better grab it now!

Beta Update 0.9.0.29 (10 March 2017)Edit

New events and music, lots of balancing changes and bugfixes.

Please continue to report any issues in the appropriate forum following the instructions there - do not post them as comments here, they'd only get buried and lost, and may miss important information.

Changelog

  • Added 12 new events.

  • Added one new music track.
  • Changed line of fire for ranged attacks to no longer be blocked by allies directly adjacent to the attacker. In effect, ranged weapons can now be used more effectively from the backline and behind a shieldwall.

  • Changed 'Hold Out' perk to be available earlier.

  • Changed 'Rotation' perk to be available earlier.

  • Changed 'Underdog' perk to completely ignore the surrounded penalty again, and to be available later.

  • Changed 'Head Hunter' to give a stacking +15% chance to hit the head, up from +10%, and be available later.

  • Changed 'Dodge' perk to no longer deactivate once hit by an attack.

  • Changed 'Nimble' perk to have new mechanics and provide damage reduction instead of increased defensive attributes. See tooltip for detailed information.

  • Changed 'Rally' skill success chance to scale better with Resolve of the character using the skill.

  • Changed AP cost for 'Rally' skill to 6, down from 7.

  • Changed contract payments to be lower in the very late game.

  • Changed initiative of Ancient Dead to be slightly lower.

  • Changed Geists to have a high ranged defense, but no longer be virtually on-hittable with ranged weapons.

  • Changed combat against caravans to no longer require killing the donkeys at the end.

  • Changed combat against Greenskin Catapults to no longer require destroying the siege engines manually at the end.
  • Fixed potential crash as Greenskin Catapults get destroyed with certain skills.

  • Fixed potential crash with fulfilling contracts.

  • Fixed issue with potentially knocking two enemies onto the same tile with one 'Shatter' attack.

  • Fixed 'Overwhelm' effect being applied even when it shouldn't.

  • Fixed 'Footwork' skill potentially allowing to traverse more than one height level at once.

  • Fixed 'Indomitable' skill not affecting the minimum damage done by hammers.

  • Fixed wrong movement costs in combat under specific circumstances.

  • Fixed alliance between orcs and goblins during the Greenskin Invasion sometimes not working properly, or persisting even after the invasion is defeated. Requires a new campaign to take effect.

  • Fixed issue with AI parties sometimes not despawning as they should.

  • Fixed issue with AI falling back to roaming behavior during combat.

  • Fixed issue with 'Destroy Orc Camp' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Siege Fortification' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Escort Envoy' contract.

  • Fixed brothers potentially appearing in records as 'Most Powerful Opponent Vanquished' when dying to friendly fire.

  • Fixed some minor UI issues.

  • Fixed various other minor issues.

Beta Update 0.9.0.26 (6 March 2017)Edit

Bugfixes.

Please continue to report any issues in the appropriate forum following the instructions there - do not post them as comments here, they'd only get buried and lost, and may miss important information.

Changelog

  • Fixed potential crash on world map.

  • Fixed potential crash on AI killing a character with a throwing weapon.

  • Fixed 'Dodge' perk potentially reducing defenses when at negative initiative.

  • Fixed Direwolves still having the 'Overwhelm' perk sometimes when they shouldn't.

  • Fixed skeletons sometimes being untargetable after being raised again.

  • Fixed skeletons having their heads face the wrong direction after being raised again.

  • Fixed characters wearing the 'Heraldic Hauberk' not raising properly as undead.

  • Fixed issue with attached locations being attackable but resulting in combat not loading properly after being part of a 'Privateering' contract once.

  • Fixed issue with 'Break Siege' contract.

  • Fixed issue with settlements spawning too many militia parties.

  • Fixed Dragon's Hoard achievement not unlocking.

  • Fixed Tough Farewell achievement not unlocking with characters higher than level 11.

  • Fixed some minor AI issues.

  • Fixed various other minor issues.

Beta Update 0.9.0.24 (3 March 2017)Edit

Additions, balance changes and bugfixes for the weekend. Hooray!

Please continue to report any issues in the appropriate forum following the instructions there - do not post them as comments here, they'd only get buried and lost, and may miss important information.

Changelog

  • Added several legendary items with unique effects hidden throughout the world.

  • Added 2 new light head injuries for more variety.

  • Added 5 new events.

  • Added 10 new event illustrations.

  • Added button and hotkey (T) to toggle showing/hiding trees and other large objects in combat, in addition to the existing 'Always Hide Trees' option.

  • Added slime layer for characters that get freed out of a Nachzehrer's belly.
  • Changed 'Horrific Scream' of Geists to trigger four small morale checks instead of one big one, in order to make it less of an all-or-nothing skill.

  • Changed Direwolves to come in two visually distinct variants in order to make things more transparent - the classic Direwolf, without Overwhelm, and the new Frenzied Direwolf, with Overwhelm and slightly higher resolve.

  • Changed balance of noble house party compositions to no longer potentially have a frontline smaller than their backline.

  • Changed 'Rally' skill to make it easier to rally fleeing allies, but no longer boost the morale of men beyond steady.

  • Changed 'Battle Standard' and 'Sergeant' ambitions to come up again if the standard or the sergeant's sash are lost, respectively.

  • Changed footprints on the world map to be better visible against dark terrain.

  • Changed 'Armed Courier' contract payment to scale slightly better with renown.

  • Changed chance of Nachzehrers to drop loot to be higher.
  • Fixed combat not continuing in some cases when a character gets killed with a ranged attack right before their turn would start.

  • Fixed issue with combat not loading properly when too many combatants are involved.

  • Fixed issue with faction relations not updating properly during the noble's war. Does not work retroactively for ongoing campaigns.

  • Fixed 'Fast Adaption' resetting on hitting trees or other objects.

  • Fixed 'Battle Standard' and 'Sergeant' ambitions not granting a reward when the inventory is full already.

  • Fixed issue with 'Marauding Greenskins' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Obtain Item' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Siege Fortification' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Privateering' contract.

  • Fixed donkey being attackable in 'Wolfriders' scenario.

  • Fixed wrong reward amounts stated in contract flavor texts sometimes.

  • Fixed 'Tricked Out' achievement not unlocking.

  • Fixed various other minor issues.

Beta Update 0.9.0.22 (28 February 2017)Edit

More balancing changes and some bugfixes.

Please continue to report any issues in the appropriate forum following the instructions there - do not post them as comments here, they'd only get buried and lost, and may miss important information.

Changelog

  • Changed ambitions so that they no longer come with a time limit, but can be aborted by right-clicking the ambition panel, which, after a confirmation prompt, will trigger the previous failure dialog and penalty to mood.

  • Changed difficulty curve in the mid and late game to be a bit smoother.

  • Changed contract payment to be higher in the mid and late game.

  • Changed leveling speed to be slightly higher.

  • Changed mood to now trend to barely content, as opposed to dissatisfied.

  • Changed mood to differentiate more between a tactical retreat and a lost battle.

  • Changed events to occur slightly more frequently.

  • Changed chance for named item loot in locations to be slightly higher. Requires a new campaign to take effect.

  • Changed large Nachzehrers to take a full turn to devour anyone, as to allow for more counter play after they get in position (knock back, repel, stun, taunt, etc).
  • Fixed AI not ending its turn in some cases.

  • Fixed wrong icon for Heraldic Hauberk.

  • Fixed issue with situations at settlements stacking not as intended, which could result in wrong prices or nothing being sold.

  • Fixed characters devoured by a Nachzehrer not showing up in the company's obituary if the player retreats from battle.

  • Fixed 'Release Falcon' skill not marking any enemies discovered as such.

  • Fixed issue with 'Decisive Battle' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Confront Warlord' contract.

  • Fixed various minor issues.

Beta Update 0.9.0.21 (27 February 2017)Edit

Let's start the week off with another update to the beta branch of Battle Brothers - lots of bugfixes and some balancing changes in this one.

Please continue to report any issues in the appropriate forum following the instructions there - do not post them as comments here, they'd only get buried and lost, and may miss important information.

Changelog for 0.9.0.21

  • Changed hit chance penalty for ranged attacks against targets with a blocked line of fire to 75%, up from 50%. This way, protecting vulnerable characters with good positioning is rewarded more, and a more viable tactic against range-heavy opponents, such as goblins.

  • Changed Bandit Poachers to no longer have the Bullseye perk.

  • Changed wardogs to no longer come with a fatigue penalty for the handler.

  • Changed Nachzehrers that have devoured a character to no longer be able to retreat from combat.

  • Changed payment for 'Escort Envoy' contract to be higher.

  • Changed some time limits for ambitions to give more leeway.
  • Fixed potential crash during combat.

  • Fixed battle sites counting towards the 'Discover Locations' ambition.

  • Fixed dead temporary allies under the player's command showing up in the company's obituary.

  • Fixed ships being attackable when close to the shore.

  • Fixed issue with destroying a necropolis.

  • Fixed rare issue with characters not rising from the dead properly.

  • Fixed issue with locations protected by noble troops in 'Privateering' contract.

  • Fixed settlements not updating relations properly when changing sides in 'Privateering' contract.

  • Fixed issues with 'Named Item' and 'Named Item Set' ambitions.

  • Fixed issues with 'Raze Location' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Confront Warlord' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Marauding Greenskins' contract.

  • Fixed issue with settlement defense contracts when settlements are already close to being destroyed.

  • Fixed issue with game not continuing properly sometimes when characters die right before their turn starts.

  • Fixed 'Drunk' and 'Hangover' status effects sometimes staying for longer than intended.

  • Fixed issue with introductory contract sometimes having too great a distance between towns.

  • Fixed issue with escorted caravans sometimes being destroyed without the player getting a chance to defend them.

  • Fixed Greenskin Catapult being subject to injuries.

  • Fixed characters not showing up in the company's obituary when struck down without being killed, and the player retreats from battle, leaving them to die.

  • Fixed issue with unlocking 'Walking Statue' achievement.

  • Fixed issue with unlocking 'Bling Bling' and 'Tricked Out' achievements.

  • Fixed character background stories missing names in rare cases.

  • Fixed issue with AI that is neutral to the player attacking a caravan escorted by the player.

  • Fixed three-way battles something missing the third party.

  • Fixed retirement after successfully beating the undead scourge not working.

  • Fixed items in bags not counting towards retirement score.

  • Fixed some other minor issues.

Beta Update 0.9.0.20 (24 February 2017)Edit

Here's a first update to the new beta, fixing many of the things you guys have reported, and making some minor balancing adjustments. Please continue to report any issues in the appropriate forum - do not post them as comments here. Have a nice weekend!

Changelog

  • Added Broken Pike as an additional weapon for Ancient Legionnaires.

  • Added information about time left to complete an ambition, if there is any time limit, to tooltip.
  • Changed Ancient Dead to have slightly less initiative.

  • Changed impact of some mood events.

  • Changed a few things about ambitions.
  • Fixed potential issue with saves being corrupted.

  • Fixed potential issue with campaigns not loading properly.

  • Fixed potential crash as settlements get destroyed.

  • Fixed 'Secure Cemetery' contract not starting in some cases.

  • Fixed 'Secure Cemetery' contract sometimes having an objective that is too far away.

  • Fixed player characters dying right before their turn sometimes resulting in the game not continuing properly.

  • Fixed noble house patrols not spawning properly.

  • Fixed ambition success/failure events sometimes not triggering properly.

  • Fixed player not being able to enter settlements while escorting a caravan.

  • Fixed wrong number of days required for healing light wounds shown in combat result overview.

  • Fixed turns not ending automatically sometimes.

  • Fixed some hotkeys working even when they shouldn't.

  • Fixed ironman saves not being deleted after retirement.

  • Fixed issue with worldmap AI sometimes being stuck for a few seconds.

  • Fixed issue with caravan hands AI.

  • Fixed displayed money not being updated when having an item repaired at a shop.

  • Fixed player banner being subject to events where it can be lost or destroyed like other items.

  • Fixed issue with characters that wear surcoats being raised as undead.

  • Fixed various minor issues.

Final Update released to Beta Branch! (22 February 2017)Edit

Here we go – the new and final major update is now live on the beta branch of Battle Brothers!

What’s new?

As this is the final major update, our focus was on general polish, balance and quality of life improvements as much as on the remaining major features. Here’s the shortlist.

  • Three different ‘Greater Evil’ late game crises for you to get involved in – a war between noble houses, a greenskin invasion and an undead invasion. Each comes with their own set of contracts, events and changes to the world.

  • The Ancient Dead – an entire faction with new enemies to fight, new lootable weapons and armor, and unique tactics on the battlefield.

  • A new system for mood and desertion – your men will react to how things are progressing, and it’s your job to keep them content.

  • Ambitions – set goals for your company to pursue on their way to become legendary.

  • Obituary – honor the brave men that have fallen under your command.

  • Retirement – retire from your mercenary company when you’re ready to start a new life, and see how the company and its members fare without you.

  • A complete overhaul of Ghouls into the new and more challenging Nachzehrer.

  • New mechanics for morale to make resolve and initiative more important.

  • 11 new contracts.

  • 54 new illustrated events.

  • 2 new music tracks.

  • 70 Steam Achievements.

  • Lots and lots of smaller improvements, changes and additions.

Steam Trading Cards will be unlocked at a later time.

Note that this update is not compatible with older savegames. You will have to start a new campaign!

What’s still to come?

While this beta version is very close to the final release, there’s still things yet to come over the next few weeks.

  • Bugfixes

  • Balancing

  • More events

  • A few legendary items hidden across the world

  • One more music track

Any saves created with the beta version will be compatible with the release version, but some additions or late changes may require a new campaign in order to take effect. If that’s a problem for you, don’t opt into the beta.

Why put this in a beta branch first?

This update makes changes to many of the game’s core mechanics. Extensive changes like these will inevitably upset the game’s balance and introduce new issues. Participating in the beta is optional for everyone that wants to experience the new content now and doesn’t mind a few hiccups – we’re thankful for your feedback and bug reports! Everyone else may want to wait a few weeks until the game is more balanced and any issues that popped up have been ironed out.

Please report any issues you encounter in the forums following the instructions there. Do not leave random complaints as comments to this news post, they’d only get buried and lost.

How do I access the beta branch?

In order to access the beta branch of Battle Brothers you need to do as follows:

  • Go to your Steam library.

  • Right-click on ‘Battle Brothers’ and select ‘Properties’.

  • Go to the tab labeled ‘BETAS’.

  • Select ‘beta’ from the drop down menu.

Steam should now download the beta branch and once it is finished you can normally run it via your Steam library.

Final Update Hits Beta Next Week (17 February 2017)Edit

Time is about ready for some fresh eyes to take a look at the upcoming final update of Battle Brothers. During the course of next week, the update will hit the beta branch. Do understand that it’ll be in beta for a reason – there’s going to be bugs and balancing issues. We’ll post instructions on how to opt into the beta next week. If you prefer to wait instead until the game is finished, you can just keep on playing and don’t have to worry about any of this.

Until then, here are new episodes of our Let’s Play with a preview of the upcoming update. What new things can you spot this time?

Let’s Play the Final Update (10 February 2017)Edit

This week we start a new Let’s Play series with a preview version of the upcoming final update for Battle Brothers. Watch Jaysen race through the early game and point out new things in these first three episodes.

We’ll be releasing new episodes every few days, so check back to see more new features in action. The update will be released to the beta branch of the game for you to play later this month.

Dev Blog #97: Getting There (3 February 2017)Edit

With all major features now in place, we’re making sure that everything works as it should and is properly balanced for you to play. At the same time, we’re squeezing in a few more quality of life improvements that you’ve been asking for, and our artist is adding some more polish to the game – such as an overhauled appearance of your employers. Let’s discover what more is new with the upcoming update!

The Nobility

Your employers now actually look like they have the money to hire a mercenary company, as they’ve received a bunch of new clothes and hats that make them look sufficiently spoiled and arrogant.

War between noble houses is one of the three upcoming late game crises. Because you’ll be fighting a lot more soldiers of those noble houses now, we’ve overhauled their units for more variety and challenge. They’ve become more specialized with dedicated users of polearms and greatswords, and they also got some new hats to have the individual units stand out more. Lootable, of course.

You may also recall that they got a second and new glorious music track playing when you fight them.

Quality of Life Improvements

We managed to squeeze in a few more quality of life improvements this week. One of those is a feature many of you have been waiting for: the ability to speed up time on the worldmap.

Have you ever escorted a caravan, got attacked by overwhelming enemy hordes and decided that this really isn’t worth dying over? You’re now able to leave that caravan behind, quite possibly to die, directly from the worldmap. No need anymore to tediously move every one of your men to the edges of the combat map first.

Finally, the tooltip for any faction in the relations screen will now show you a log of all recent events, positive and negative, that influenced your relation. Makes it much easier to understand why someone’s hating your guts.


And Next Week…

Our very own Jaysen will start a new Let’s Play series and guided tour through everything that’s new and yours to experience later this February!

Dev Blog #96: Wrapping Things Up (27 January 2017)Edit

We’re beginning to wrap things up this week by finishing the last remaining items on our roadmap of things to make it into the final major update. The obituary is done, the veterans’ hall is now fully working, and we’ve added a whole bunch of smaller features. If all goes according to plan, you can expect the update to hit the beta branch of the game later in February. Let’s take a look at shiny new things!

Training Hall

Formerly known as the Veterans’ Hall, the Training Hall is now working fully in the game. Usually to be found at larger cities and castles, you can pay to have your men trained in various ways here to shape them into hardened mercenaries – especially useful for mercenary companies later in the game that take on new blood.


Obituary

Also known as the memorial wall or graveyard, the obituary is a new screen that lists all of the men that have fallen under your command so you can properly honor their sacrifice. Aside from being reminded of their achievements and time with you, you’ll also get an unnecessarily colorful description of how they died in a column of its own.


Veteran Levels

Old dogs can in fact learn new tricks, as your men are now able to attain levels beyond the 11th character level. Any such level is considered a ‘veteran level’ and, for balance reasons, comes without a perk point and with limited attribute gain, but it does allow anyone living long enough to truly reach their potential, for you to continue to experience the leveling progression also in the very very late game.


Making Enemies

Another new feature is the ability to attack anyone on the worldmap, no matter your relations, when turning your friendly glove mouse cursor into a threatening sword cursor by holding the Ctrl key and left-clicking them. This only works when you’re striking out on your own and are not currently employed, but it does allow you to go the route of banditry and make lots of enemies if you truly want to, without having to first annoy your employers enough to finally declare you hostile. Although there won’t be any new gameplay aspects to support banditry for now, there’s a new deterrent coming: competing mercenary companies that can also get hired by your enemies to hunt you down.


New Contracts & Events

The coming update will add around a dozen new contracts to the game, and several dozen new events. We’re still busy writing more of them – more interaction with your mercenaries, new encounters as one of the late game crises ravage the land, and some hidden stuff to discover. We’re also creating new illustrations to go with these. Have a look!

Dev Blog #95: Contract Changes (20 January 2017)Edit

Time to take a look at some changes on how contracts work this week. Negotiations have changed, and we’re introducing a new minor feature to make contracts and your actions within the world of Battle Brothers have more of an impact: situations. Let’s find out what that’s about!

Situations

With your actions in the world should come consequences. As we’ve mentioned in a previous dev blog, contracts are now based more on what is actually happening around settlements and less on artificially spawning things for you to fight. Lots of greenskin activity in the neighborhood? Then there’s a good chance people want to hire you to take care of them. There’s direwolves roaming nearby? People are likely to want to hire you to hunt them down.

We want to take this a step further. You know how the village burgomeister is telling you of how people are disappearing and that’s why he wants you to hunt down those beasts? It’s no longer just flavor as we’re introducing situations for settlements.

A settlement can find itself in any number of different situations. If there’s something roaming about, such as direwolves, villagers can be disappearing, which influences both the number of recruits available and the prices you get. As you take on the contract and rid the village of this terror, you’ll resolve the situation and the village can prosper again. Depending on your actions and success in fulfilling contracts, settlements can also find themselves in new situations. For example, your action of escorting an important caravan can result in a castle being freshly supplied, which grants you and everyone else a better selection of goods to shop for. On the other hand, if things don’t go as planned, a settlement can find its granaries raided or burned down, which makes food more rare and more expensive.

While just a small feature by itself, introducing these situations contributes to your actions having more of an impact in the world of Battle Brothers, and it makes the economy feel less static as settlements have actual problems to deal with and benefits to gain from hiring you. In addition, having this system in place will allow us to potentially extend it in the future with situations not linked to contracts, such as the outbreak of a disease, for a more dynamic world.

Negotiations

Here’s the thing: Negotiating contracts should be a part of gameplay, but the way it works now, you just ask for more money until the employer denies, and that’s it. It’s automatic, there’s little thought behind it, it’s not an interesting mechanic. So yeah, something needs to change. There’s two ways we could have gone about it: Either turn this into a more complex minigame of negotiating for better pay, or change it into something different. While the idea of creating a complex and fun minigame may be intriguing, it’s also not feasible within a limited timeframe and an already packed roadmap, so we went with the second option.

Contract negotiations are now no longer about how much crowns you are to get, at least not directly, but about when and for what. There’s now a set amount of crowns per contract, depending on the type of contract, its difficulty, your renown and a small random factor. What you’re actually negotiating are payment modalities. What percentage is to be paid in advance? How much per head you return with and how much flat payment? Employers have their own thoughts on the matter, and you can ask them to pay out slices of the contract money in different ways. It’s no longer about getting a few crowns more or less in advance, it’s about whether you get half in advance or not. Sure you may not negotiate as often as before anymore, but if you do, it’ll be a much more deliberate action now.

Dev Blog #94: New Weapons & Tools (13 January 2017)Edit

Work is progressing well on the late game crises – all new contracts and twists are in the game now, and next up is implementing events and some remaining mechanics. So while we’re busy doing that, let’s take a look at some of the new weapons and tools that the upcoming update will bring to the table. Read on!

New Weapons

The upcoming update will bring a total of at least 13 new weapons to the game. While some are unique to the Ancient Dead and come with unique skills, others are there to fill the remaining gaps in progression.

Hooked Blade An agricultural tool adapted for use in battle, the Hooked Blade is a mid-tier variant of the Billhook. We’re handing it out to bandit raiders as we speak, for two purposes: first, to smoothen the difficulty spike experienced when meeting them in the early game, and second, to smoothen the power spike when looting these in the early game. The Billhook is still sometimes wielded by your enemies, of course, but it’s more rare now, and more often found on well-equipped noble troops or other mercenaries.

Rondel Dagger A long, quadrangular spike designed to pierce through weak points in armor, the Rondel Dagger is a high-tier variant of the existing dagger. It’s there to make daggers more viable as niche weapons later on, and it’s what named daggers are now based on in terms of stats. Note that the upcoming update will also bring a minor change to how the Puncture skill works!

Military Pick An evolution of the classic pickaxe, the Military Pick has been adapted for use in combat to puncture the sturdiest of armors. It fills the gap between the low-tier Pickaxe and the high-tier Warhammer, and by being both more affordable and common than the latter, will give you the means to successfully engage heavily armored opponents, such as Orc Warriors, earlier in the game.

Heavy Crossbow The heavy crossbow is the new high tier variant of the crossbow, and is effective even against heavily armored targets. It’s roughly equivalent to the high-tier Warbow, and should make the use of crossbows more viable later on in the game if you favor armor-piercing qualities and ease of use over range and rate of fire. Named crossbows are now also based on the Heavy Crossbow in terms of stats.

New Tools

The update won’t just add new weapons, but also several new tools and accessories. Some of these can be unlocked as rewards for fulfilling ambitions, while others can simply be bought at the right place.

Falcon A trained falcon can be taken into battle similar to wardogs. It doesn’t fight, but can at any time be let loose to lift the fog of war in an area around you for the remainder of the current round. Useful, for example, when you’re ambushed in deep forest, or looking for that necromancer that keeps evading you.

Sergeant’s Sash The Sergeant’s Sash can be earned by fulfilling a specific ambition, and it’s to be worn by your second-in-command in the accessory slot. Not only does it make him visually stand out, it also grants a bonus to the Resolve stat, which in turn synergizes with the ability to rally the men and raise their morale.

Dev Blog #93: Achievements & Trading Cards (6 January 2017)Edit

We return from the holidays with our first dev blog this year. As announced in our roadmap to the finish line, Battle Brothers is about to receive Steam achievements and trading cards. Let’s take a look at both this week while we continue to work hard on the late game crises we’ve talked about last time. Onwards!

Steam Achievements

You may have already spotted some Steam achievements for Battle Brothers popping up over the last few weeks – that’s because we’ve been testing them. There’s currently a total of 70 achievements in the game, although that number may still change slightly in either direction. We wanted the achievements to be a good mix between short and long term challenges, some more serious and some more fun, as well as some rewarding the natural progression as you play the game. Here’s a few examples of different achievements you’ll be able to unlock once the next update is live.

Swingin’ Kill 3 enemies with one AoE attack.

Who Let The Dogs Out? Kill an enemy with a wardog.

How To Berserk Kill an Orc Berserker in melee while high on mushrooms.

Outgunned Kill a Goblin Overseer with a ranged weapon.

King Of The Hill Defeat another mercenary company.

Explorer Uncover 2/3 of the map.

Campaigner Reach day 100 on veteran difficulty or higher.

Never Give Up Lose 10 campaigns in Ironman mode.

Bane Of The Undead Defeat the Undead Scourge at any difficulty level.


Trading Cards

Battle Brothers is also about to receive some Steam trading cards with the upcoming update. Each trading card is for one of the different types of factions currently in the game – the Mercenaries, the Noble Houses, the Bandits, the Ancient Dead, the Undead, the Goblins and the Orcs.

The full-sized trading cards show the faction with their selection of banners and a variety of units with different gear in wallpaper format. Of course, you’ll also be able to unlock badges, profile backgrounds and emoticons.

Dev Blog #92: Late Game Crises (16 December 2016)Edit

Here we go with a dev blog many of you have been waiting for. After ambitions and retirement, late game crises, also known as the ‘Greater Evil’, are the third aspect of adding more purpose and challenge to the game that we’re going to introduce with the upcoming update. Let’s find out what it’s all about!

The Greater Evil

Older players may remember that when Battle Brothers first entered Early Access, enemy factions would keep on growing and eventually overpower the world of man, if not kept in check by the player. For all the many balancing issues this raised, it certainly had a cool thing about it: the world was changing around you, and what you did had a tangible impact on the world. As we’re nearing the point now where all of the game mechanics are done, we’re going to re-introduce the ability of enemy factions to start an invasion and overrun the world. Only this time, it will be part of one of three different late game crises, and it will be supported by unique contracts, events and gameplay mechanics.

So, where to start? A late game crisis happening is not optional, but you do have some options on customizing them for your campaign. As you start a new campaign, you’ll be able to choose between a random late game crisis (the default), a war between noble houses, a greenskin invasion or the undead arising. A random crisis is probably slightly harder, because you can’t prepare for a specific enemy right from the start, but if you prefer fighting any particular enemy, or just want to see them in action, you can determine the flavor of your future challenge here.

As the name implies, a late game crisis only really kicks in until after some time into your campaign, allowing you to build up your company to a respectable level first. Once the crisis starts, it occurs in two phases.

The first phase is the buildup where you’ll encounter warning signs – like events about more greenskin sightings, greenskin camps creeping up closer to settlements, and more contracts that deal with their presence – and can choose to prepare accordingly. Not that long after the first phase, the second phase will start, and this is where the crisis really begins. What happens exactly depends on the type of crisis;

In the event of a greenskin invasion, orcs and goblins will combine forces and no longer fight each other, even sometimes attack in mixed units, which will challenge even experienced companies. They will aggressively expand into human territory with new camps, send raiding parties to pillage any attached locations (e.g. wheat farms, mines, watchtowers) and ultimately burn settlements to the ground. Attached locations act as hitpoints for settlements – only after every single such location has been destroyed, can the settlement itself be destroyed. Burned-down locations will eventually be rebuilt, if you defend a settlement for long enough, but settlements destroyed entirely will remain so permanently. Contracts against greenskins will be more frequent, and there’ll be several new contracts in the game specifically for the greenskin invasion, as well as around a dozen new events.

In the event of the undead arising, the ancient dead will combine forces with necromancers and wiedergängers, which otherwise are independent factions. The air will be filled with dark magic, and there’s a chance that anyone, no matter how they died, will return as a wiedergänger. Like with the greenskin invasion, there’s several new contracts in the game specifically for dealing with the undead, as well as around a dozen new events that focus on them. The undead, too, seek to destroy the world of man and will burn down locations attached to settlements. Unlike greenskins, however, they won’t destroy settlements entirely but rather turn them into an undead necropolis – a heavily fortified base from which the walking dead pour down to sow dread and despair.

In the event of a war between noble houses, regiments will be sent forth from fortifications not to destroy settlements, but to capture them in the name of their lords. Contracts and events will allow you to partake in the assault on fortifications and large battles, but siding with one of the warring factions will make enemies of the other. You’ll more frequently have to face other mercenary companies on the battlefield, and bandits and deserters, too, will thrive. All three late game crises will introduce new mechanics and objectives with their contracts – such as the greenskin siege engine shown below.

The late game crises tie into both ambitions and retirement; you’ll be able to choose the ambition to repel a greenskin invasion, for example, and doing so will make sure that the name of your mercenary company will live on for a long time, unlocking a new step on the retirement ladder. Ending one of the crises is a ‘soft end’ to the game – you’ve basically won and will be asked if you want to retire from the company at this point, but you can also choose to keep on playing if you want. If you do choose to keep on playing with your company, a new and different late game crisis will eventually start, and you’ll be tested in a different way, and so on.

There’s a lot of work going into these late game crises, so we’ll be working for several weeks exclusively on those.

See You Next Year!

With the Christmas holidays rapidly approaching, this has been this year’s last dev blog. We’ll resume our schedule of weekly dev blogs starting with a new one on January 6th, 2017. Take care and see you next year!

Dev Blog #91: Miscellaneous Improvements (9 December 2016)Edit

Work has shifted to the upcoming late game crises, the ‘Greater Evil’. It’s not quite ready yet to present it to you this week, so instead we’re taking you on a tour throughout the numerous smaller improvements we’ve made to the game for the next update – many of them based on your feedback. Let’s go!

Miscellaneous Improvements

Playing Battle Brothers at a high resolution and finding the UI to be too tiny? The next update is about to solve things, with two additional sliders in the game’s video options, allowing you both to scale the size of the UI and the size of the scene (i.e. everything that isn’t the UI) independently.

The worldmap has received a lot of minor improvements over the last couple of weeks. Ever wondered how it is that your company can apparently swim across the water, or what straits can be crossed and what straits can’t? With the next update, any crossings across water now have additional visuals to clearly identify them as such, so that you’ll always know where you can go and where you’ll have to find another way across the water.

Regions controlled by noble houses are now much more coherent, and also often larger than before, which makes patrolling between settlements less of a hassle. What’s also less of a hassle now is pursuing enemy parties – clicking them outside the radius to immediately engage in combat now results in your company automatically following them and trying to get in range, no matter what turns they make to shake you, for as long as they remain in sight. No more frantic clicking all over them in an attempt to catch up!

A common request is for the introduction of a ‘camera lock’ feature – having the map always show your mercenary company at the center of the screen and scroll the map as the company moves. The next update introduces just that as an option you can enable or disable at any time via a button in the top bar or hotkey.

Different settlements offer different services, which is a good thing, because it makes them more unique. Currently, it also means that you, as the player, are required to either memorize or write down what services are on offer in what settlement, however. The next update makes things easier by showing in a settlement’s tooltip every specialized building present in that settlement – all that’s required is that you visit the settlement at least once. Speaking of buildings, every newly generated map is now guaranteed to have at least one of every type of building present.

The tactical combat also has seen some improvements, of course. Of note is that allied units – militia, noble house troops or even wardogs – no longer block movement for your men, and you can hop over them just as you can with your own men, which makes maneuvering in larger battles quite a bit easier.

And finally, hovering over a brother in the roster view will reveal a few combat-related statistics once the next update hits – how many battles the man has seen, how many kills he’s made and the most fearsome opponent he’s slain. If there’s more stats you’d like to see, let us know in the comments below!

Dev Blog #90: Retirement (2 December 2016)Edit

Following up to last week’s dev blog about ambitions, this week we’re taking a look at the second upcoming feature that’s there to give your campaigns more purpose and in this case also closure: retirement. Let’s find out what that’s about!

Retirement

As mentioned last time, different players approach the game differently. For some, the journey is the reward, and the game doesn’t ever have to end. Others want to work towards a goal and then have definite closure to their game. We’re introducing the ability to retire from your company so that you can end your campaign, and have that closure, at any time of your choosing. The game won’t ever just end as you defeat an end game crisis, like the Greenskin Invasion, but it will only end when you choose to end it, or everyone is dead. Depending on the state you leave your company and the world in, and the ambitions you have or have not fulfilled, you’ll be presented with one of five different outcomes to your retirement. If you’ve already played Battle Brothers, you can probably imagine that not all of them are happy ends.

The image above is the illustration for one of those five endings, and it’s accompanied by a short bit of text recounting your exploits and telling you how the company continued to fare without your leadership. Does the company still exist? Who is their new captain? How is the company doing? All these depend on the state you leave your company in as you retire, and the more successful your campaign, the better the ending you get when you finally finish it.

Take a look at the video to see the painting process of the illustration in a time-lapse video of a few minutes, accompanied by an entirely new music track we’ll be adding to the game with the next update. It’s the second track that plays when fighting against a noble house in tactical combat – which may be happening more often now that a feud between nobles can escalate to open war as one of the three late game crises. If you want to listen to more music of Battle Brothers, you can do so on the SoundCloud page of Breakdown Epiphanies here.

Dev Blog #89: Ambitions (25 November 2016)Edit

This week we’re talking ‘ambitions’, a new feature and part of the overarching campaign goals as announced on our roadmap to the finish line. What are ambitions and how do they work? Read on!

Introduction

Battle Brothers is a game about leading a mercenary company. It’s also an open world game that relies heavily on replayability. When it comes to introducing overarching goals to the game, then, a linear story would quickly conflict with replayability, and any story straying from the mercenary narrative would quickly feel artificial and conflict with what the game is supposed to be about. Maybe you care about saving the world or the fate of some princess, maybe you don’t, but it’s for you alone to make that call, and we don’t want to force you into a story that may not align at all with how you want to play a game that should be about your mercenary company. Indeed, the one constant in every campaign, and the one constant for everyone enjoying the game, is building up your own mercenary company, and that’s why this is and will be the overarching goal of the game.

We’ll be introducing 3 different aspects to support this further and give you more sense of purpose, progression and challenge; ambitions, the ability to finish your campaign by retiring from your company, and late game crises. Each of these will be covered in detail in the weeks to come with their very own dev blogs, and we’re starting things off by taking a look at the first of these aspects today: ambitions.

Ambitions

Not surprisingly, players approach the game quite differently. While some easily motivate themselves to build up their company and pick up challenges on their own for dozens of hours, if not more, others crave for being provided with more direction and structure. We’re introducing ambitions as mid-term milestones for you to work towards on the path of forging a legendary company in a way that fits the game’s narrative and lets you earn unique rewards.

After the first few days of a new campaign, you’ll now be prompted to choose the first ambition out of many to come. This is framed as you gathering the men and giving an inspirational speech on what to do next, because the men care about the company succeeding as much as you do. As their commander, however, it falls onto you to choose the path that the company is to take, and we always want to give you multiple options to choose from. The ambitions you can choose from vary with the state of your company, the world, and the ambitions you’ve already fulfilled. The current ambition is then always shown to you on the worldmap, and the tooltip will offer additional information on how to fulfill it and what reward to expect.

In the beginning, ambitions are more small-scale and somewhat tutorial-esque, like getting the company to a strength of a dozen men, or gathering crowns to have a battle standard made. As the game progresses, ambitions transition to more mid-term goals, and eventually things like stopping a greenskin invasion to leave a mark in history. Fulfilling an ambition will raise the mood of the men, raise your renown (which works differently now – more on that in a future dev blog!), and often comes with unique rewards you can’t otherwise attain. For example, the ambition to have a battle standard made will reward you with a unique item based on your company’s banner to take into combat, while another may change your look on the worldmap.

If you fail to fulfill an ambition for a prolonged time, however, the men may lose confidence in your leadership, and their mood will suffer. Being a good mercenary commander also means making good on what you promise to the men.

Dev Blog #88: The Key Visual (18 November 2016)Edit

This week we present to you our final key visual for Battle Brothers and dive a bit into the visual evolution of our game over the last four years. Why did we create a completely new artwork and why does it look the way it does? Find out!

The visual evolution of Battle Brothers

Battle Brothers has come a long way since its conception and has seen some significant changes in development. It started as a hobby into which we invested many an evening on top of our day jobs, and turned into our full time jobs. The original art assets had to be created in short sessions late at night, and as we gained the means to invest more and more time into the game, we eventually redid most of the assets in order to bring them up to a higher standard of quality. As the game design evolved, so did the art style from a light-hearted comic approach to a somewhat more serious and gritty, but still exaggerated one.

The different iterations of both the key visual and ingame assets illustrate the changes over time pretty well.


Why do a new key visual?

The key visual is of some importance for the success of the game, as parts of it are used all over; in the game itself, on Steam, on our website, in social media and as press material. It’s what catches a potential player’s attention first, so it really has to get people interested to learn more. Many of you want the development of Battle Brothers to continue beyond its initial release, and for this to work out, we need the game to be a success, which the key visual plays a part in.

So what’s wrong with the old key visual and why did it need to be redone? There are a couple of points we wanted to address.

Quality – The previous artwork lacks in overall quality. It’s more than two years old already and has been painted over countless short late-night sessions.

Design – The character looks don’t match our ingame assets anymore, raising memories of back when box cover art showed things not even in a game. Some characters also have a certain ‘knightly’ vibe about them, which may lead to wrong expectations for players. Finally, it still looks kind of light-hearted and the enemies are borderline cute, which is more commonly associated with casual mobile games and not a complex and challenging game like Battle Brothers.

Composition – Now we’re getting to the core of what’s wrong with the old artwork. It’s never a good idea to have a center-focused composition in a landscape format picture, especially if you need some space to show your logo. This puts you in a position where your main character and your logo have to compete for space and attention on the canvas.

Guiding the eye is very important in any artwork to help the observer find the focus point and not get lost while exploring the picture. As you can see, we used a variety of elements to emphasize the focus on the main character in our old key visual. Unfortunately, this absolutely excludes the logo from holding any meaningful position in the picture.


The Solution

Here is what we came up with to remedy all the above issues and add a good amount of additional awesomeness on top: the final key visual of Battle Brothers.

As you can see, the rendering quality of the picture is a lot better now. The whole picture features a broader format and an off-center focus, creating a more dynamic and visually pleasing composition. Additionally, a lot of space has been freed up to place the new Battle Brothers lettering where it doesn’t collide with the main characters. Designs are inspired by actual ingame assets, and the characters look more like mercenaries now and less like knights. The whole atmosphere is more serious and less light-hearted, while still retaining an over-the-top heroic battle style.

Another important point is that the landscape setup facilitates easier creation of header graphics and other assets for secondary websites like Steam, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. To complete the visual rework of our assets, the Battle Brothers logo also got an overhaul.

Everything could be improved further, of course, but that’s always the case. We’re quite happy with our new artwork, so it’s time to move on to the next important items on our todo-list. Next week we’ll take a look at a new worldmap mechanic!

Dev Blog #87: Ghoul Rework (11 November 2016)Edit

With the rework of all things skeleton done, we’ve moved on to do the last enemy rework announced in our roadmap to the finish line – that of the ghoul. He’s got new looks, new mechanics, a few lore changes and even a new name. Let’s find out more!

The Nachzehrer

The what now? A Nachzehrer is a creature based on German folklore, and it’s going to take the place of the old ghoul in the world of Battle Brothers.

The peasantry tells stories of men and women coming back to life after the sin of committing suicide as horribly shaped monstrosities, turned into a Nachzehrer. They’re said to resemble grey-skinned devils that dig up graves with their claws and devour fresh corpses, even devour parts of themselves and their funeral shrouds, and to grow in strength as they do so until they inevitably prey on the living. Others may claim that they are but wild beasts, merely scavengers drawn to fresh graves like seagulls to fishing nets. Whatever their true nature, they bring misery and disease upon any village they bedevil.

The old ghoul had a good thing going with its unique mechanic of being able to feast on corpses and thereby growing in size and strength, which in turn had the potential to provide a different experience from fighting other opponents as you defended the fallen from being consumed. We still like it, and we’re keeping it, but we’re doing some changes to put this mechanic more to the center and to give you more incentive to prevent the Nachzehrer from growing.

The creature known as Nachzehrer can grow up to two times as it gorges itself on a corpse, and it’s not shy of cannibalizing its own kind. Each time it does so, it increases in size and strength significantly. At its largest, when it’s become a hulking behemoth of grey flesh, it gains the ability to swallow a man whole. Anyone devoured like this isn’t dead, but in the belly of the beast and removed from the map. Slaying the Nachzehrer will free that character again, albeit covered in goo, but retreating while a character is devoured in this way will spell certain death for him.

A Nachzehrer has long claws that they use to dig through the earth in search of food, and which can tear grievous wounds in combat. The larger the Nachzehrer, the more dangerous the claws become. On the bright side, a Nachzehrer doesn’t have any armor, which favors swords and cleavers, and it gets easier to hit with ranged weapons, the larger and less nimble it becomes.

We want all opponents in Battle Brothers to provide unique challenges and require different tactics to beat reliably. With these changes, each time a Nachzehrer grows should be more impactful, and unless you want to have to fight towering giants that can devour your men whole no matter how fine their armor, actively preventing a flock of Nachzehrers from feasting on corpses has become a much more integral part of fighting them. Additionally, Nachzehrers should now also scale better beyond the initial stages of the game, as later on in your campaign you may meet specimens that have already feasted and grown once or twice.

Dev Blog #86: The Ancient Dead, Part II (4 November 2016)Edit

This week we conclude our presentation of the ancient dead with the reimagined vampire and an entirely new opponent. If you haven’t read the first part yet, it’s recommended you do so here first. Otherwise, read on!

The Necrosavant

As the ancient empire conquered most of the known world, so would foreign and remote lands turn into provinces. What was local custom or cult once, hidden away and not spoken of elsewhere, would suddenly find itself a part of the empire, and sometimes would creep deep into its very heart. From the blistering deserts of the south came a secretive cult that had its followers not worship fertility as they did in the capital, not strength, not humility and not compassion. They worshipped a perversion of death, the promise to transcend mortality, to exist beyond life and death, forever.

When you have nothing but misery, it’s easy to let go, to welcome the warm embrace of the gods that sets you free from all earthly burden and hardships. But it’s those that have everything on this earth, power and wealth, that cling to it at the end of their life, that clutch to it in desperation, that bargain, that curse, that would pay any price to stay. And it is those who would embrace not the gods, for their touch is not salvation for them, but whose touch would tear them away and apart from the earthly things they prize above all, the things that they have chosen to become. It is those who would forsake the gods and turn to the cult of death instead, that would die over and over again, and yet never leave this earth, forever bound to it, forever paying the price.

Whether an ardent cultist once, or a decadent noble seeking eternal life, they have long since become a being that measures time no longer in years but in lifetimes: a Necrosavant. It will wither away and die in time, again and again, but never leave this world as long as it is rejuvenated with the blood of the living.

Mechanically, the Necrosavant is more or less identical to the Withered Vampire it replaces. The new visuals, however, tell a story on their own, and better reflect how this being exists. The less hitpoints a Necrosavant has, the more it will visually wither away, and the more hitpoints it gains again by savouring a victim’s blood, the more it will rejuvenate until its appearance is almost that of a healthy human.

The Necrosavant retains the ability to turn into a flock of bats to quickly position itself on the battlefield, making it perhaps the most mobile opponent in Battle Brothers. However, it doesn’t wear any armor or shield, leaving it vulnerable to being attacked itself, especially if bereft of its major strength by being stunned or immobilized.

The Ancient Priest

The empire had countless religions and cults, and each had priests spreading the word of their gods, performing rites and proclaiming miracles. The ancient priest was one such individual once. Now brought back to unlife, his very existence is making a mockery out of his faith. His work is turned into a perversion of what he once devoted his life to; no longer does he bless acres, he brings foulness and rot, and no longer does he bring comfort, he brings but horrible visions of a world beyond ours.

The ancient priest joins the ranks of the few spellcasters in Battle Brothers, and like all spellcasters fills a support role. He’s of little danger all by himself, but with ancient legionnaires holding the ranks, he can slowly work to rout a whole company. And then, there’s always his ancient honor guard protecting him.

The ancient priest’s first skill is to summon miasma, a thick mist of foulness and rot that is harmful to any living being. Miasma is created in an area of 7 tiles and sticks to these tiles for several rounds. Any living being ending its turn on a tile affected by miasma will lose hitpoints – it’s only a few each round, but no armor does protect against breathing in the foul fog, and it does eventually add up if you don’t move out your men.

The ancient priest’s second skill is called ‘Horror’, and as the name implies, it brings horrific visions to it’s unfortunate victims. It’s an area-of-effect spell, like ‘Miasma’, but targeted at people and not tiles. Anyone affected will have to make a morale check – the higher the resolve, the higher the chance that they won’t be affected at all. If a character fails the morale check, their morale will drop by one level. Additionally, if the character fails critically (meaning with a dice throw higher than 140% of their resolve, subject to change) they’ll be affected by the new ‘Horrified’ status effect for one turn and be unable to act.

While ‘Horror’ can be quite powerful against a company of weak-willed and deserters, it can be countered by investing into the resolve attribute of your men, picking certain perks, and making use of the ‘Rally the Troops’ skill. As mentioned last time, the ancient dead are the missing puzzle piece to make the resolve attribute worth investing into, and together with some general rebalancing, also to make morale management in battle a more interesting and active part of gameplay.

Dev Blog #85: The Ancient Dead, Part I (28 October 2016)Edit

We’ve put to rest the old skeletons only to resurrect them as the ‘ancient dead’. This week we’re taking a tour through their new lore, weapons and armor, fighting style and enemy types. Let’s delve in!

Introduction

The very first opponents in Battle Brothers were the undead. They were a good starting point for testing combat mechanics and developing the AI, but this early in development we didn’t yet put as much thought into their design as we’d do with later opponents. Moving on to develop orcs and goblins, we made sure that those had a certain level of cultural background reflected in their visuals, and in their choice of weapons and armor, and that they had a fighting style of their own, one that challenges players in unique ways and requires different tactics to beat reliably. In contrast, there isn’t really anything unique about how skeletons fight in the game, or about how they look. They’re just your generic fantasy skeletons – until now.

The world wasn’t always like it is now. Ruins dot the map, mass graves, sunken castles. But where did they come from?

Many hundred years ago, in a different era, an empire of man spanned much of the known world. What has fallen into ruin now, what was abandoned to nature and beast, what has long been forgotten, all this was that of man once. An empire, not of petty noble houses, but one of a dozen provinces, from the frozen tundra of the north to the blistering sands of the south, of a dozen peoples under one banner.

So many peoples, so many cultures and ideas under one roof, all vying to pull the empire into a direction of their own. Could those not be reconciled? Did they, in the end, just pull the empire apart? As remote lands became provinces of the empire, so could local cults become religions that swept across its entirety. Was the authority of the emperor lost to religion? Was it the gods that punished man for worshipping spirits that promised to give what they would not?

Does it matter now what brought it down? The ancient dead are rising again, not living and yet not dead. Long lost legions heed the call of their emperor. They march once more, tirelessly and without emotion, to claim again what was once theirs. What brought down the empire in the end, and what is bringing it back to unlife, is for you to piece together based on clues hidden within the world, if you want to learn more.

The Ancient Legions

The bulk of the ancient dead is made up of the ancient legions. They are what conquered most of the known world once, and they may well do so again. Legions that never tire, legionnaires that know no fear, a cold machine that ever marches forward. What could stop them?

The legions fight like they did hundreds of years ago – in tight formation two ranks deep, with shields in front and polearms in the back. They rely quite heavily on the front row providing protection with their shields and locking down the enemy, while the second row uses polearms to inflict heavy damage on their opponents. A formation like this doesn’t charge like undisciplined rabble, but advances slowly and makes heavy use of shields to protect against arrow fire. They don’t possess any ranged weaponry and don’t do flanking maneuvers, preferring to simply walk through any enemy. Because much of their strength is in their formation, they’re at a disadvantage when fighting in difficult terrain, such as forests. They are also the missing piece of the puzzle that makes resolve an important attribute, as fighting them continually puts a test to the morale of the men.

The ancient legions come with a whole lot of unique armor, helmets and weapons. It’s old, it’s brittle and sometimes broken, but it can still be deadly. All of it, except for some cloth rags, is lootable and can be equipped by your Battle Brothers.

Ancient Auxiliary

Recruited from local vassals was the light infantry, the ancient auxiliaries. Because Battle Brothers, at least for now, focuses on a pseudo-germanic region of the world, the equipment of these auxiliary troops is based on the look of ancient germanic and celtic warriors.

An auxiliary is armed with spear, short sword or falx – a new weapon unique to them. They’re lightly armored, often just with the remains of cloaks sporting the pattern of their ancient clans, and sometimes helmets passed down through the family. Time has taken a toll on both weapons and armor, and so you may find them attacking with broken swords seemingly unaware of it

Ancient Legionary

Ancient legionnaires make up the medium infantry. Once professional soldiers, legionnaires enlisted for several years to be trained and used in the empire’s campaigns in exchange for land they could settle at and call their own. Legionnaires are well-armed with metal armor, sword and shield, or pike.

Legions from all the different eras of the empire answer its call, so you’ll find legionnaires that died a hundred years apart, all with different armor, helmet and shield design, to march together.

Ancient Honor Guard

Recruited from the ranks of veteran legionnaires are the ancient honor guard, once used as personal bodyguards and as heavy infantry to tip the scales of battle. The highest honor a common legionary could hope to achieve, joining the honor guard involved a symbolic death to shed the weakness and frailty of man, and being transformed into a tool of the emperor. No longer a man, but the manifestation of the emperor’s will, the honor guard was encased entirely in armor that did not show any flesh, becoming essentially a living, moving and fighting statue.

Honor guards make use of heavy weaponry from all corners of the ancient empire, such as the warscythe, the rhomphaia and a two-handed cleaver. They were once among the finest and most dedicated warriors of their time, and although now but bones in rusty armor, their skill still echoes through their every swing of the sword.

But wait, there’s more!

We’ll conclude our presentation of the ancient dead in next week’s dev blog with the overhauled vampire, as well as the introduction of an entirely new enemy to fight against. How exciting!

Dev Blog #84: Mood and Desertion (21 October 2016)Edit

As you may know from studying our roadmap, the upcoming update will also overhaul some minor worldmap mechanics. This week we’re taking a look at what’s going to change with the mood system and desertion mechanics. Let’s go!

Mood and Desertion

Battle Brothers is, of course, a game about managing a mercenary company. There’s a bunch of things to manage, more so now with the introduction of injuries, but one thing that never really took off as a full-fledged gameplay mechanic is managing the morale and discipline of the company on the worldmap – the company’s mood. Balancing the needs of your men against one another and against the needs of the company should be part of your job as commander, so we’re doing a couple of changes to shape the mood mechanics into a more integral part of gameplay.

The mood of all your men is now more closely tracked and at all times visible both in the roster view and in detail as a status effect. Every day, a character’s mood trends towards roughly neutral – more so if they’re an optimist and in a bad mood, or they’re a pessimist and in a good mood. Events, and your choices on how to treat your men and others, can change the mood of characters drastically. In addition, characters react to more things that are just part of their mercenary life – for example, a battle won will raise the mood, a comrade lost will lower it, and being stuck in reserve forever may make a character feel useless depending on their personality.

Your men in Battle Brothers have their own thoughts on how things are going for them, and their mood now better reflects this. To make it easier for you see exactly what is influencing a character’s mood, the last couple of mood changing events, positive or negative, are always listed when hovering over the mood icon.

So that’s how mood changes – but what about its effects? The biggest change is with how desertion now works. Characters no longer just randomly leave you if you can’t pay or feed them just once. Instead, their mood suffers. A greedy character will take more offense on not being paid, as will a gluttonous character when having to go to bed hungry, whereas a spartan will be a bit more lenient on this. Once a character’s mood drops to the lowest state, angry, there’s a chance that they’ll desert you. Again, character traits influence this; the chance of desertion is lower for loyal characters and higher for disloyal characters.

By coupling desertion with mood mechanics, characters may now choose to desert the company for other reasons than just not getting their due wage, but only after giving you some time to react and do something about whatever their qualms may be. The better you treat your men, the better their morale in combat, and the more of a safety cushion you have until thoughts of desertion even enter their minds. Pay for a round in the tavern every now and then, the lads have earned it and it will raise their spirits!

Dev Blog #83: Enemy Factions (14 October 2016)Edit

With work on the last big update now on the way, let’s take a look at what we’re going to do with enemy factions on the worldmap in order to make the world more interesting and dynamic, and how it’ll affect you as the player.

Enemy Factions

Enhancing the presence of factions for a more dynamic world is one of the goals of the upcoming update, and this includes enemy factions. Previously, enemy locations, like bandit camps, just got different banners assigned randomly, which then were also used by any parties created by that location, and that was it. Now, we’re going to introduce actual independent sub-factions, like orc clans and goblin states, which occupy territories on the worldmap and seek to expand them.

Orcs, goblins, bandits and undead each received half a dozen or more new banners on par in quality with the new mercenary banners introduced not long ago. You’ll be able to see by those banners on the worldmap where a faction holds power much like you currently do with noble houses. Take a look below to see a very strong orc faction fond of grates in the southern part, smaller goblin and orc factions bordering them, and a strong goblin faction to the north.

Factions are most active near their territory – sending out patrols, hunting or raiding parties, and actively defending their territory against intruders. While this was somewhat the case before already, it now also applies to contracts. In previous versions we often had to spawn locations and enemies all around the world artificially as part of contracts, just to give you enough to do. With a steadily increasing number of different contracts, however, we can now go back to having contracts appear when there is actually a specific threat in the vicinity, safe in the knowledge that there’ll always be some kind of work to be found.

For example, settlements bordering orc territory are now much more likely to require your help in fighting off orcs, and conversely, destroying that single orc camp near a town will erase that threat, and thereby the need for contracts against orcs, for good. Or at least until other orcs make their way into this part of the world. If you prefer to stay clear of orcs for now, you’re advised to just travel to a different part of the land where orcs have less of a foothold. Of course, those orcs may then expand their territory and grow stronger while you’re not there to keep them in check.

To underline further that you’ll be fighting not just randomly spawned parties, but parties actually belonging to factions and doing their part in helping theirs to expand, the combat engage screen now shows banners of all enemy factions involved in a battle in full detail on the right, and your own banner, as well as the banners of all allies taking part in the battle, to the left.

Update 0.7.0.11 (30 September 2016)Edit

A new contract variant, overhauled Necromancers and Fallen Heroes, balancing changes and bugfixes - all this and more in this week's update!

Please note that this is likely going to be the last update to the game for a while. As explained in last week's roadmap, we'll now start working on the last big update to the game. Because most of the upcoming changes are interconnected, we'll have to do this as one big package to be released when everything is done. Of course, we'll always keep you up-to-date with what we're working on in our dev blog posts right here!

Changelog

  • Added 'Defend Settlement' contract against greenskins.

  • Added overhauled Necromancer with new visuals and additional skill.

  • Added new Fallen Hero Wiedergänger and potential bodyguard for necromancers together with a few new lootable armors and helmets. The classic skeleton variant will eventually be replaced as part of the upcoming undead overhaul, but remains in the game for now.

  • Added hint to injury tooltip reminding the player that injuries will only heal if the company has medicinal supplies on stock.

  • Changed introductory contract to no longer show the 'Hire at least 3 more men' objective once the player has done so but not yet completed the other objectives.

  • Changed introductory contract to have one less opponent in the final battle on lower difficulty levels.

  • Changed bonus effect of 'Spear Mastery' perk to having the 'Spearwall' skill no longer be disabled once an opponent manages to enter the Zone of Control, and continue to work on any further opponents attempting to close in.

  • Changed attribute gain per levelup to be slightly higher for initiative.

  • Changed position of fatigue and morale bars in panel for selected character of tactical UI.

  • Fixed amount of provisions/ammo/medicine not being properly displayed in red when at zero on the worldmap.

  • Fixed raiders stopping their attack on a settlement when the player cancels an ongoing 'Defend Settlement' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Defend Settlement' contract getting confused about kidnappings that didn't happen because the player already killed all attackers before they could act.

  • Fixed player being able to fast travel by ship to hostile settlements and get contracts there.

  • Fixed morale flags not getting removed in after-combat-report for suvivors with permanent injuries.

  • Fixed inventory filters resetting on actions such as equipping an item.

  • Fixed 'Bruised Leg' injury not reducing initiative like it should.

  • Fixed 'Footwork' skill being usable when rooted.

  • Fixed various minor issues.

Dev Blog #82: Roadmap to the Finish Line (23 September 2016)Edit

Battle Brothers has come a long way since it entered Early Access over a year ago, in April of 2015. Every update has brought it a step closer towards being a finished game – and there’s still a few more steps to take. Read on to learn what changes and additions are yet to come!

What’s still to come?

With the perk & injury update live and stable, we’ll now start working on the last big update to the game before it leaves Early Access. This is going to be the second-biggest update after the big worldmap update earlier this year and will take us several months to complete.

Here’s the list of major points we’ll be working on:

  • Three different ‘Greater Evil’ end game crises for you to get involved in – a war between noble houses, a greenskin invasion and an undead invasion. Each will come with its own set of contracts, events and changes to the world.

  • An overarching goal to work towards throughout your campaign, and the ability to retire at any point to receive an illustrated ending screen telling of your accomplishments.

  • A more lively and dynamic world, with more opportunities for you to shape it, and more relation between what is going on in the world and contracts on offer.

  • A memorial wall screen where your fallen Battle Brothers are listed with their deeds.

  • An overhaul of the mood and desertion mechanics on the worldmap.

  • An overhaul of the undead faction with new visuals and lore, unique lootable weapons and armor, and the introduction of new enemy types with their own fighting style.

  • An overhaul of ghouls as independent beasts that are more interesting and challenging to fight.

  • More contracts and events to change things up.

  • Various improvements to usability in both combat and on the worldmap.

  • Steam achievements.

Not included in that list are the countless smaller additions and improvements we'll be doing along the way. As usual, all the major points and most of the minor ones will be explained in detail in future dev blogs as we go along, so you’ll always know what we’re working on and why.

This big update, once published, will then be followed by a couple of smaller updates for balancing, bug fixing and further improvements based on your feedback until the game is ready to be released.

So does that mean…?

It means that Battle Brothers will not be released in 2016. We’re looking at a release in early 2017 and you’ll be the first to know once we have a set date – most likely to happen when the last big update is live. It’s important to us that the finished game feels complete, polished and well worth its price, so we’ll take the time necessary to ensure just that and won’t rush anything.

It also means that some features that were considered at one point in development or another have been cut and will not make it into the game for now. While some concepts simply won’t fit anymore with how the game has evolved, others would still be cool to have but also require a lot of time to do right. Time that we then couldn’t spend working on other things. Game development is often about hard choices and setting priorities – what feature best to spend our limited time on? What feature will benefit the game the most? Our choices on what’s most important are reflected in the list above. If ever there is an expansion to Battle Brothers, we may revisit some of the concepts that didn’t make it into the game at first.


Also, the game has been updated

That’s right. The game has just been updated to version 0.7.0.10 with a new contract, balancing changes, a multitude of AI improvements and a couple of bug fixes. Find the changelog below.

  • Added new 'Defend Settlement' contract type.

  • Added '-nosound' command line parameter to start the game without any sound or music.
  • Changed loot in lootscreen to be sorted by type.

  • Changed amount of ammunition and medicinal supplies dropped by enemies as loot to be lower.

  • Changed 'Spear Mastery' perk to have spearwalls inflict full thrusting damage on a hit, and no longer give a bonus to hitchance.

  • Changed mechanics and cost of 'Rally the Troops' skill to better synergize with everyone's resolve, as well as the 'Sergeant' perk.

  • Changed 'First Aid' and 'Drink Antidote' skills to be usable only when bleeding or poisoned, respectively.

  • Changed AI to make more intelligent use of the 'Puncture', 'Lash' and 'Decapitate' skills.

  • Changed AI to better handle engaging into enemy spearwalls when equipped with a shield or throwing weapons.

  • Changed AI of more intelligent opponents to be less prone to gift the player free attacks by charging without any action points left on arrival.

  • Changed AI to better handle range advantages and disadvantages when deciding whether to engage or hold a defensive position.

  • Changed AI to make use of the wait function in more situations as to waste less action points.
  • Fixed wardogs not being affected by night time.

  • Fixed issue with dead wardogs that could result in other things not working properly down the line.

  • Fixed 'Sprained Ankle' injury not lowering initiative like it is supposed to.

  • Fixed 'Shoot Stake' skill being able to knock back rooted targets.

  • Fixed issue with contract-related footprints not appearing if accepting a contract immediately after traveling by ship.

  • Fixed contract-related worldmap parties sometimes not being attackable by other factions even when they should.

  • Fixed behavior of worldmap parties not being properly saved and restored in some cases.

  • Fixed various minor things.

Perk & Injury Update Released! (16 September 2016)Edit

Huzzah, the new perk & injury update of Battle Brothers just left the beta branch and is now ready to be played by everyone. A big thanks to all of you who tirelessly reported any bugs these past weeks!

What’s new?

This update started out with two major goals: reworking the perk system and introducing more complex injury mechanics. Both are included in this update, and while were were at it, we’ve also included lots of other changes and additions. Here’s the shortlist of features.

  • 2 new contracts

  • 25 new illustrated events

  • 18 new and detailed mercenary banners to pick from for your company

  • 3 new character traits

  • 2 new character backgrounds

  • An ironman mode

  • A reworked perk system, less constricted and with more perks to choose from

  • New injury mechanics with different types of injuries and usable temple buildings

  • A talent system whereby more talented characters regardless of their background can reliably reach high skill

  • More powerful but also more rare named weapons, armor, helmets and shields of every type hidden across the world

  • More tools to use in combat, like bandages and poison

  • Changed shield mechanics in combat

  • Changes to weapon progression and balance

  • New sounds for humans; every character uses one of six different voices now to shout and scream. More sounds for all voices incoming.

  • Lots of smaller improvements and bugfixes

Note that this update is not compatible with older savegames. You will have to start a new campaign!


What's next?

Stay tuned for next week’s roadmap of everything big that’s still to come while Battle Brothers is in Early Access.

Beta Update 0.7.0.8 (13 September 2016)Edit

Another week, another update. The 0.7.x version of Battle Brothers is about ready to leave beta with a few more fixes and balancing adjustments by Friday this week. Afterwards, it's on to new things!

Changelog

  • Added a new contract type.

  • Fixed two minor events not triggering correctly.

  • Fixed random events triggering too close to hostile locations.

  • Fixed event log not properly scrolling to the last entry.

  • Fixed issue with roster tooltip on characters with permanent injuries.

  • Fixed additional ignore armor percentage of named two-handed weapons not being shown in the tooltip of their attack skills.

  • Fixed rare issue with two-tile melee weapons being able to hit targets that should be unreachable due to difference in height levels.

  • Fixed rare issue with Hoggart in the introductory contract spawning at an inaccessible tile.

  • Fixed various minor things.

Beta Update 0.7.0.7 (8 September 2016)Edit

A small update to take care of more things reported by you guys.

Changelog

  • Changed roster tooltip to also show the approximate healing time for each injury listed.

  • Changed the 'First Aid' skill of bandages to have the character using it bandage themself and no longer bandage another character.

  • Changed effect of 'Strange Mushrooms' to last 4 instead of 3 turns.

  • Fixed issue with opening the inventory at the same exact time that an event fires.

  • Fixed issue with Zone of Control when having the Faster Movement option enabled.

  • Fixed 'Iron Jaw' trait not working as intended.

  • Fixed 'Split Man' skill not working as intended.

  • Fixed incorrect time with the company shown in tooltip for characters that joined the player via event. Only applies to characters joining after this update.

  • Fixed 'Secure Cemetery' contract type occuring too frequently.

  • Fixed various minor things.

Beta Update 0.7.0.6 (6 September 2016)Edit

The beta update has been fresh out for a week now and we collected a good bit of feedback and bug reports already. This update should address most of the issues that popped up.

Changelog

  • Added 5 new illustrations for contracts and events.

  • Added new 'Bascinet with mail' helmet.

  • Added ability to pause/unpause the game on the worldmap also by clicking on the image showing the time of day.
  • Changed monetary value of looted orc and goblin weapons to be higher, so that fighting them is more profitable.

  • Changed how ammo supply works. Each arrow is now counted separately; a single arrow equals 1 point of ammunition and a single throwing weapon equals 3 points. An empty quiver for ten arrows thus now requires 10 points of ammunition to be refilled, whereas a half-empty one would require 5 points of ammunition. Amount of ammo sold, loot drops and carry limit have been adjusted accordingly.

  • Changed retreating while the enemy is already in retreat to not incur any injuries or losses, and to count as letting the enemy retreat, allowing you to loot what is left on the battlefield.

  • Changed the 'Decapitate' skill to no longer have a -10% penalty to hit chance.
  • Fixed issue with potentially unloadable savegames in Ironman mode. Affected savegames will now load correctly again.

  • Fixed potential freeze with 'Return Item' contract on small islands.

  • Fixed enemies not dropping loot when dying from bleeding effects or by friendly fire.

  • Fixed 'Impatient' trait not always working.

  • Fixed issue with 'Impatient' trait in the opening tutorial fight.

  • Fixed the 'Strike' skill of Longaxes not benefiting from the Axe Mastery perk like it should.

  • Fixed Cruel Falchion not benefiting from Double Grip like it should.

  • Fixed 'Maimed Foot' and 'Injured Kneep Cap' incorrectly reducing max fatigue instead of initiative.

  • Fixed temple building not working correctly while a character has the 'Fatigued' status effect.

  • Fixed tooltip for medicinal supplies not working correctly while a character has the 'Drunk', 'Hangover' or 'Fatigued' status effect.

  • Fixed wardogs coming back to life when storing their collar in the bag slots.

  • Fixed AI using the 'Rotation' skill to unneccessarily shuffle around actors armed with throwing weapons.

  • Fixed various minor issues and inconsistencies.

Update released to Beta Branch! (24 August 2016)Edit

Here we go – the new update is now live for the beta branch of Battle Brothers!

What’s new?

This update started out with two major goals: reworking the perk system and introducing more complex injury mechanics. Both are included in this update, and while were were at it, we’ve also included lots of other changes and additions. Here’s the shortlist of features.

  • A new contract

  • 25 new illustrated events

  • 18 new and detailed mercenary banners to pick from for your company

  • 3 new character traits

  • 2 new character backgrounds

  • An ironman mode

  • A reworked perk system, less constricted and with more perks to choose from

  • New injury mechanics with different types of injuries and usable temple buildings

  • A talent system whereby more talented characters regardless of their background can reliably reach high skill

  • More powerful but also more rare named weapons, armor, helmets and shields of every type hidden across the world

  • More tools to use in combat, like bandages and poison

  • Changed shield mechanics in combat

  • Changes to weapon progression and balance

  • New sounds for humans; every character uses one of six different voices now to shout and scream. More sounds for all voices incoming.

  • Various bugfixes and smaller improvements, such as to AI

Note that this update is not compatible with older savegames. You will have to start a new campaign!


Why put this in a beta branch first?

This update makes changes to many of the game’s mechanics with a rework of the perk system, the introduction of temporary and permanent injuries, and lots of smaller things all over. Extensive changes like these will inevitably upset the game’s balance and introduce new issues. Participating in the beta is optional for everyone that wants to experience the new content now and doesn’t mind a few hiccups – we’re thankful for your feedback and bug reports! Everyone else may want to wait a few weeks until the game is more balanced and any issues that popped up have been ironed out.

Please report any issues you encounter in the forums here. Do not leave them as comments to this dev blog, they’d only get buried and lost.

How do I access the beta branch?

In order to access the beta branch of Battle Brothers you need to do as follows:

  • Go to your Steam library.

  • Right-click on ‘Battle Brothers’ and select ‘Properties’.

  • Go to the tab labeled ‘BETAS’.

  • Select ‘beta’ from the drop down menu.

Steam should now download the beta branch and once it is finished you can normally run it via your Steam library.

Dev Blog #81: Progress Update – Other Improvements (12 August 2016)Edit

Progress is going well with redoing the perk system of Battle Brothers. While it’s not quite ready to go yet, we have improved the game in other aspects as well. That’s what we’re going to talk about this week, so let’s start!

Talent & Backgrounds

Certain backgrounds, like sellswords, could vastly exceed other backgrounds in effectiveness if you could afford them. That makes sense, of course, in a game that is about sellswords, but what if some farmhand or former militiaman were talented enough to eventually catch up or even surpass them?

All characters now have three attributes in which they’re especially talented – how talented is determined by a star rating of between one to three stars. The way that attribute increases on levelup used to work, you couldn’t predict exactly how character attributes would develop, and if your men would always manage to take away the right lessons away from what they experienced. Being talented in a particular attribute now means that this variance and randomness is lowered or even removed; characters will consistently roll higher on attributes in which they’re talented. Of course, the more talented, the more rare. Can you find that prodigy that has full stars with all their attributes?

In addition, we’ll be introducing two new backgrounds to the game with the coming update. We’ll also add a whole bunch of new events that take into account your party composition. Depending on the characters in your employ, you’ll have different options with events and may gain access to rewards that you otherwise couldn’t. For example, that historian you hired might just be able to make sense of the old map that appeared useless at first glance. We’re currently at 18 new events, but that number is likely to grow further before the update launches.

Shields

Attacks missing in combat happens all the time, but it can still feel frustrating as veteran mercenaries make themselves look incompetent by seemingly swinging at nothing but air. In reality, they’d miss because the opponent does their best to avoid getting hit, of course, as they dodge, block and parry the attacks. When it comes to shields, that’s something we’ll emphasize more from now on.

Any attack that misses because of the defense bonus granted by shields, or in other words because the opponent uses their shield to actively block the attack, now actually does hit the shield. This is shown visually, accompanied by different sound effects depending on the material the shield is made of, and actually damages the shield by one point. The durability of shields has been increased, so one point doesn’t mean that much, but it can slowly whittle down shields in prolonged engagements. To effectively get rid of shields, the best way is still to use the “Split Shield” skill of axes and some two-handed weapons, just like it used to be.

These changes should help to make combat feel more authentic, and misses less frustrating, as you’ll have a better idea of why you didn’t hit, and even if you didn’t hit, you may have still caused some damage to your opponents.

Overwhelming and Surrounding

Time to do some cleaning-up. The Overwhelming mechanic has been in the game since the very beginning – way back in the public combat demo that was released in 2014, a full year before the game became available on Steam Early Access. And yet, it’s remained one of the more nebulous things for players. It’s not that intuitive to understand, and even if you do understand how it works, it leads to awkward use of the wait-function in combat to make the best use of it.

Come next update, Overwhelming will be replaced by Surrounding. The new mechanic is quite easy to understand; every ally beyond the first that is adjacent to an enemy counts towards the Surrounded bonus, which increases the hit chance of anyone attacking that target in melee. It goes for you just as well as for your opponents, and there’ll be new perks interacting with this mechanic in interesting ways. And if you think that’s how Overwhelming already worked, that’s just one more reason for why this changed was needed.

Banners

The next update will also include a rework of the banners that you can choose from when creating your mercenary company. We did the current ones way back when we scrambled to get the game ready for Early Access, and we’ve now taken the time to create actual unique mercenary banners that are distinct from those of noble houses and much more detailed.

Dev Blog #80: Progress Update – New Perk System (5 August 2016)Edit

This week we’re talking about the other major change coming with the next update: a revised perk system. We’re doing extensive changes both on how perks are acquired, and the individual perks themselves – new perks have been added and almost all of the existing ones have seen changes. Let’s learn more!

Why change it?

We’re happy to see that the concept of having perks in Battle Brothers worked out in general. They’re a good fit for the game in how they allow you to customize your men according to your own strategy, they make individual characters feel more unique, and they make up a large part of why leveling up and developing characters is fun.

That said, there’s a couple of issues with how the system currently works. By implicitly forcing you to specialize in one of three categories, we’re imposing too much of a limit on how you can develop your characters, and ultimately on the number of possible character builds. Over time it also became evident that some perks just didn’t work out. It may be because they’re not worth picking, whether they’re conceptually flawed or the game evolved in a way that made them obsolete, or because they may be so strong that they unhinge entire combat mechanics and dominate any other strategy. Both of these points demand action, so here we go.

We’re revising the perk system at this point in development because the game is now pretty stable in terms of combat design, and we have gathered enough knowledge on what works and what doesn’t. Because balancing the new perks is still going to take quite a bit of time, we want to enable you now to try out everything, discover synergies and new strategies, and to give us feedback while we have ample time still to act on it before the game is done.

What is changed?

While individual perks can still be described as being offense-, defense- or utility-oriented, you no longer have to pick perks from within a specific category to unlock other perks in that category. Instead, all perks are now sorted into rows that require a number of previously invested perk points to be unlocked. For example, while you can pick any perk from the very first row from the very beginning, the second row will unlock once you’ve picked any perk from the first row. It currently looks like this in the game.

This means that every time a character levels up, there’ll be new perks to pick from. And because there’s no longer any restrictions between categories, you now have much more freedom to experiment with character builds that fit your strategy, and to discover synergies between any of the available perks. The total number of perks sits at 51 currently, up from 42 previously, though that number may still change.

What is new?

When looking at how any perks work and what changes may be necessary, we’re looking at a couple of criteria. Ideally, a perk would support a player strategy or play style, it doesn’t invalidate combat mechanics but it may change them, it’s worth picking more than once for the company, and it should require player skill to make the most out of. Clearly, not all of the existing perks fulfill these criteria. Covering all the changes made to rectify this in detail is outside the scope of a single blog article, but we’ll take a look at some of the most important changes concerning fatigue, morale and weapon masteries.

Management of both morale and fatigue should be important combat mechanics. Unfortunately, fatigue easily becomes a non-issue with the repeated use of the ‘Rally the Troops’, which then also tips the scales on the balance of other things, such as heavy vs. light armor. Morale, likewise, is somewhat trivialized due to how the ‘Holdout’ and ‘Inspiring Presence’ perks work.

So what’s changed? ‘Rally the Troops’ still exists, but it now does what most people would expect it to do: it may rally fleeing allies and improve the morale of others. It’s become a tool that the player has to have the skill to make use of at the right moment. ‘Inspiring Presence’ has been cut from the game – you’d only have to pick it once for the whole company to benefit and it conflicts with other game mechanics such as mood on the worldmap. ‘Holdout’ largely invalidated the morale mechanic, so it’s now an entirely new perk that only shares the name and icon.

We’re introducing 12 different weapon masteries that allow you to specialize your characters. These include things like axe mastery, but also dagger mastery. Mastering any weapon reduces the required fatigue for using them and comes with a unique effect depending on the type of mastery. For example, axes have their shield damage increased significantly, whereas with daggers you’ll be able to attack three times in a single turn due to reduced action point cost. Picking weapon specializations for mercenaries not only makes a lot of sense thematically, but it also allows for building more unique characters and specialists, and it helps with fatigue management. As you see with the axe mastery example, we’ve also merged some of the previously very specific perks into the new masteries. Yes, there are masteries for light and heavy armor, too!

There’s also another new perk for fatigue management called ‘Recover’ that unlocks a skill of the same name. A character using it will spend a turn to, well, recover, and will see their fatigue reduced by a large amount. Why is that better than before? Because characters can no longer just keep on attacking with no regard for their fatigue, and using ‘Recover’ isn’t something you just automatically do every turn like with the old ‘Rally the Troops’. If you’re building up large amounts of fatigue, you’ll have to make a choice at some point on whether now is the right time to have that character spend a turn recovering, and if it’s the wrong choice, it’ll cost you.

When will it be done?

All 51 perks are in the game and working, though some are still missing assets. We’ll keep on iterating to balance these and iron out any bugs. We’re also determined to introduce some additional content and improvements to the game with the coming update that we’ll talk about in our next progress report. Once everything is done, we’ll again put it on the beta branch first. You can expect it to arrive later this month – we’ll keep you updated!

Dev Blog #79: Progress Update – Injury Mechanics (22 July 2016)Edit

Battle Brothers, as you know, is a game about managing a mercenary company. This week we’re talking about a new aspect to manage both on the battlefield and when travelling the world: the upcoming injury mechanics. There’s two types of injuries – temporary and permanent ones – and they both serve a different purpose in enriching the game. Let’s delve in!

Temporary Injuries

Temporary injuries add complexity to both combat and worldmap gameplay. They are effectively status effects that represent serious injury that diminish a character’s ability to fight effectively, different from lighter wounds by loss of hitpoints only. Depending on where a character is injured, they may suffer from various disabilities; for example, an injured leg may impede movement, whereas an injured arm may lower offensive capabilities, and a swollen eye may lower vision.

In combat, injuries are inflicted if an attack surpasses a certain threshold of hitpoint damage relative to the maximum hitpoints of the character hit. The higher the maximum hitpoints of a character, the more difficult it is to inflict injury upon them, and the more damage inflicted, the more serious the potential injury may be. This applies to both your Battle Brothers and your enemies – it’s easier to inflict serious injury to fragile Goblins than sturdy Orcs, or to those of your men that have a lot of hitpoints. A select few enemies may also be immune to some or all types of injuries. The type of injury inflicted depends on the weapon used, with blunt weapons inflicting different injuries from cutting or piercing ones. With the new injury mechanics, combatants will no longer be able to fight to their fullest at even just a single hitpoint left, but will now progressively get weaker as you beat on them.

Outside of combat, temporary injuries take a certain amount of time to heal – how long exactly depends on the specific injury, with a broken leg taking quite a bit longer to recover from than a light concussion. While you can send your injured right back into combat, it’s a good idea to make use of the reserve roster so that they can recover and don’t have to limp onto the battlefield. Injured characters have icons shown right next to them in the roster view, allowing you to see at a glance who’s fit and who may need to sit out a contract. In order to make the best out of the men available to you at any given time, you’ll now have to shuffle your roster every now and then, which should help to shake up what could previously become too static a gameplay element once you had assembled a good team.

If you’ve played Battle Brothers before, you’ll be aware of certain events that may end in fists flying amongst your men, particularly with certain party compositions, or combat drills ending in accidents. Consequences were previously limited to a loss of hitpoints very quickly healed by passing time. Now, events can also come with injury as a consequence, like a broken nose as your men beat on each other, which should make for a more serious concern as you weigh your options.

Finally, the upcoming update will also have the temple building serve a function. In temples across the land, devout followers of the gods will pray for and treat the wounds of the pantheon’s children as mandated by their faith. Your men will recover faster from injuries expertly treated here, and you don’t run the risk of developing gangrene like you do in the field. The bandages shown on your characters are even visibly replaced by clean ones.

Permanent Injuries

Life expectancy can be short for mercenaries. But while permadeath is and will remain an important part of Battle Brothers, not every downed character has to be quite dead. Assuming a character isn’t decapitated, has their skull bashed in or suffered a similarly gruesome fate, there’s now a chance for them to survive with a permanent injury that will accompany them the rest of their lives.

A character may get lucky and suffer an injury that has only a minor impact on their abilities, such as missing an ear, or they may suffer a more crippling disability, such as missing a whole hand. Permanent injuries all have negative effects, but some may also include positive ones. Brain damage, for example, doesn’t make a character any more competent, but it may make them just dumb enough not to realize when it’s time to run, effectively lowering their chance to break and flee.

Depending on the injury sustained and the role of the character in your company, a permanent injury may be anything from a small reminder to be more careful next time, to a crippling disability. From a design perspective it is a tool to cushion the impact that losing important characters can have on your campaign. Whether you choose to ultimately replace that character or not, they’ll be around for a while longer to help you succeed – especially useful with the optional Ironman mode we’ll be introducing next update. Also, of course, missing noses make for distinct characters and contribute to the emergent story of your very own mercenary company.

The Music of Battle Brothers (15 July 2016)Edit

We’ve entered full production now on the excitingly gruesome new injury mechanics and will be revealing them to you next week in a detailed blog post. For now, we give the word to our talented musicians to listen to and hear their thoughts on the most recent additions to the soundtrack of Battle Brothers.

The Might of Obrokk

Hi everybody, Patrick from Breakdown Epiphanies here. Over the course of the last weeks we added some new tracks to the Battle Brothers soundtrack, a few of which we would like to showcase in this week’s devblog.

So without further ado we’ll start with the latest piece in our musical arsenal, the third theme for battles against the notorious orcs that are haunting every late-game mercenary company’s dreams. We’ve started naming the tracks for the soundtrack inspired by names and places from the game now, so instead of the rather bland “Battle Track III”, we give you “The Might of Obrokk”.

At the start, our goal was to have two fairly long and varied themes for battles with each faction in the game. This third Orc track we did mostly for fun, although you can say that the Orcs pose a prevalent threat in the late game so more music that carries the weight of fighting these armored behemoths will be a welcome addition.

We’ve been listening to Howard Shore’s beautiful and brilliant soundtrack to the LOTR-movies a lot lately and we always loved Shore’s take on Tolkien’s world. So we had to have a go at an orchestration in his style while trying out some awesome new instruments we got our hands on. Like with all of the Orc music for Battle Brothers, we’re relying mostly on brass in our arrangement, accompanied by odd rhythm patterns that feature somber and tuned percussion, as well as hammering on all kinds of metal surfaces. All of this culminates in a more harmonic but still menacing ending with a big choir build-up. If at that point Obrokk has not wiped the floor with your puny mercenaries, and somehow you managed to survive, feel free to loot some juicy man-splitters off of those greenskin corpses, as the approaching reinforcements sound their war horns in the distance.

Traversing the Northern Clanlands

A few weeks earlier the guys from Overhype asked us for another track that could be played when travelling on the world map. Although we already wrote a bunch of music for this part of the game, some more variety was needed, given how much time players spend getting from town to town and looking for work for their company. Overhype have a lot of stuff planned that will incentivise exploring even further to make this part of gameplay stronger for the final release, so providing more music for the world map is also setting up for these improvements.

“Traversing the Northern Clanlands” starts out with a very mellow and soothing string arrangement that won’t get in the way when quickly hopping on to the world map screen and e.g. back to a city. After the first part though it transitions to a wide and epic theme that evokes (so we hope) a feeling of wandering and exploration (I’d say riding across the countryside but you all know that we are not very keen on horses around here ^^).

Rise and Fall of House Kaltenborn

Lastly we would like to present a piece that has been in the game for quite some time now but that many of you might not have encountered up until now because battling the forces of the various noble houses still needs a rather complicated setup at the moment. This will change when faction warfare becomes a thing, but until then, feel free to have a listen to the first Noble Houses Battle Track here.

All of the tracks related to the human faction in the game (bandit themes, town- and stronghold themes) feature acoustic guitars in some way and so does the music for battling the noble houses. Other than that, given the tone of Battle Brothers we could not help ourselves but think about Ramin Djawadi’s main theme for GOT and came up with a waltz in 6/8 (much like our “Stronghold Theme”) that uses a similar call-and-answer structure between a solo cello and the rest of the string section. Later, there are more strings, lots of brass and choir. We basically pulled out all the stops on this one, and its project in our audio workstation is a good contester for “most-notes-played per minute” in the soundtrack.

What’s next?

So what’s on the horizon? Next up is a second track for the beast faction that is already in the works. It will feature almost exclusively drums and percussion (those direwolves still having problems to play melody instruments with their clumsy paws) and will be a bit more up-tempo and dramatic than the first theme that was more about setting a dark and threatening atmosphere. After that we’ll tackle the second noble houses theme so we’ll have that ready for when faction warfare is being introduced. There might be some more new content that will need some musical accompaniment until the final release (like locations or events).

Anyhow, we will probably sit down and write a few more tracks in the meantime just because it’s a lot of fun, like we did with the latest orc song. Boy, are we lucky to work on this game ;)

Update 0.6.1.19 (11 July 2016)Edit

A few usability improvements and bugfixes to start the week.

Changelog

  • Added 'Center Camera' button to tactical combat UI with a tooltip telling of the associated hotkey (which was only mentioned in loading screen tips before).

  • Added mini icons above characters also for 'No ammunition' and 'Weapon in poor condition' warnings.

  • Changed status effect icons in combat dropping on multiple characters at once to display at once.

  • Changed highlighting of values in event dialogs to use a brighter color for better readability against the wooden background.

  • Changed size of inventory stack from 90 to 99 items.

  • Fixed issue with pressing hotkeys while the retreat dialog is being shown.

  • Fixed issue with camera centering when tabbing in and out of the game.

  • Fixed flickering of UI elements.

Update 0.6.1.18 – New Weapons (8 July 2016)Edit

Time for some new weapons! This update adds two new weapon types, the Two-Handed Hammer and the Longaxe, and fills some gaps in weapon progression with the Light Crossbow, the Warbow and the Fighting Spear. Let’s dive in!

The Two-Handed Hammer

What the Two-Handed Hammer lacks in grace, it makes up for with raw destructive power as it is brought down to smite your enemies. Armor is easily crushed and deformed, and the force of impact is felt even through the thickest of it.

The first skill, ‘Smite’, does increased damage to a single target and will stagger anyone hit. Staggered is a new status effect that moves the afflicted to the end of the turn order if they haven’t acted already this round, and heavily reduces their initiative so that they act late in the turn order of the next round.

The second skill, ‘Shatter’, is an area of effect attack that can hit up to 3 targets and with the force of the blow has a chance to either stagger them, knock them back or just inflict heavy blunt trauma. While the base damage of some other weapons, like the Greatsword, is higher, the Two-Handed Hammer excels in fighting against heavily armored opponents and disrupting the enemy.

The Longaxe

The Longaxe is an axe blade on a long shaft. In Battle Brothers, it joins the Pike and the Billhook as pole weapons that can attack over a distance of two tiles, beyond the reach of most other melee weapons. Its introduction comes with a rebalancing of the existing pole weapons to more clearly give each one a role they’re best at.

The Pike now inflicts lower damage, but attacks with increased accuracy, making it a good choice for less skilled fighters, and for more constant damage output. The Billhook also has its base damage slightly reduced, but the efficiency against armor increased, making it the pole weapon of choice against heavily armored targets. The Longaxe then excels against less armored targets with the highest base damage of the three pole weapons.

The first skill, ‘Strike’, has a range of two tiles, as with all pole weapons. The second skill is actually ‘Split Shield’ – but with a range of two tiles as well. This allows you to render the enemy’s shields unusable from the second row, well outside the reach of their melee weapons.

Other New Weapons

Finally, we’ve added previously missing tiers of existing weapon types. The Light Crossbow is the earlier tier variant of the Crossbow, of course, and comparable to the Short Bow. The Warbow is the third tier variant of the Hunting Bow, and what you’ll want to give your master archers later on in the game (at least until we introduce named bows!). The Fighting Spear is the third tier variant of the Boar Spear; being more durable and having a higher base damage, it makes for more effective spearwalls later on in the game.


Changelog

  • Added new music track for battling orcs.

  • Added two new weapon types: Two-Handed Hammer and Longaxe.

  • Added missing tiers of existing weapons: Light Crossbow, Warbow and Fighting Spear.

  • Added message prompting the user to close the 'Plays.tv' application, if detected at startup, because it may cause the game to crash by hooking into the rendering process.

  • Added '-gl30' command parameter for forcing the game to run on OpenGL 3.0. Try this only if your GPU doesn't support OpenGL 3.3. No guarantees that the game will work correctly with this; the game still officially requires OpenGL 3.3 to run.

  • Changed status effect icons in combat to form an orderly queue and drop one after the other instead of dropping all at the same time and potentially obscure each other.

Update 0.6.1.12 (4 July 2016)Edit

Since a couple of issues popped up over the weekend after last week's release of the new UI, we start this week off with a bunch of bugfixes.

Changelog

  • Fixed compatibility issue with some older video cards.

  • Fixed issue with characters potentially being invisible on combat maps with thick vegetation.

  • Fixed issue with characters spawning at inaccessible locations in the 'Swipe' scenario.

  • Fixed tooltips for after-battle-report not showing.

  • Fixed issue with enemies retreating from battle not being removed from the worldmap correctly.

  • Fixed issue with using hotkeys while the event dialog is showing.

Update 0.6.1.6 – New UI launched (30 June 2016)Edit

After tinkering with it over the last week in the beta branch, the new UI has just launched to propel Battle Brothers further towards being a finished game. Thanks to everyone who participated and helped us ironing out any issues!

We’ve talked a lot about the why of the new UI in blog posts over the recent weeks, so instead of doing it again, here’s the short list of changes for this update.

  • A more responsive UI with a hand-crafted look that fits the game’s setting.

  • A new reserve roster for a total of 18 Battle Brothers to keep with your company.

  • The formation in battle is now customizable via drag & drop.

  • Battles can now be ended once all your enemies are in retreat.

  • Four new events on the worldmap.

  • A new music track on the worldmap.

  • Movement sounds in combat specific to each type of terrain.

  • Numerous bugfixes.

This update does not break savegames. If you encounter any other issues, please report them to us in the appropriate forum here following the instructions in the sticky post.

What’s next?

The next major milestone for us is the introduction of a more complex injury system to take full advantage of the reserve roster, as well as the long-awaited perk overhaul. While we’re at it, we’re also filling some gaps in item progression, like adding a second crossbow and named armor to find. We’ll keep you updated with our plans over the next weeks!

New UI released to beta branch! (21 June 2016)Edit

Here we go – the new UI is now live for the beta branch of Battle Brothers!

What’s new?

All of the UI received a new look of wood, iron and paper that better contributes to the game’s atmosphere. Several lingering UI bugs have been fixed, and the UI as a whole should be more responsive and make for a much smoother experience playing the game.

You can now hire up to eighteen men for your company, and while the maximum number of characters you can lead into battle is, for reasons of balance and usability, still twelve, you now also have a reserve roster to draw from. Characters can be dragged & dropped easily between combat duty and reserve duty, and indeed placed at the exact spot of the formation you want them to be in order to best fulfill their roles.

In the lower right corner of the inventory screen you now have three rows with 9 slots each. The lower row is your reserves; characters placed here do not take part in battle. The top two rows are your front and back battle lines, allowing you to place archers in the back and build a sturdy shieldwall in front. Note that formations may be disabled for certain events, like when ambushed.

Having more characters available with the reserve roster allows you to rotate injured characters in and out of active duty (especially with the more complex injury mechanics we’re going to introduce soon), always have new recruits gather experience so that losing people in battle doesn’t hit you quite as hard later on, and to more easily keep specialists for fighting certain enemies around (especially as we overhaul the perk trees). Having a deep roster is also a matter of cost, of course, so it’s up to you to decide where best to funnel your crowns.

Finally, this new version also comes with a new music track playing on the worldmap, as well as movement sounds for different types of ground.

Why put this in a beta branch first?

Redoing the UI for Battle Brothers wasn’t just a cosmetic change, as we’ve entirely replaced the underlying UI library. There were a couple of issues we wanted to solve; there was a tendency for mouse clicks to be lost, the UI could feel very sluggish at times, and some people experienced compatibility issues when starting the game. Because this library ceased to be developed and we were basically stuck with all these problems, we opted to replace the library altogether.

A change as extensive as this will invariably introduce a couple of new issues. Because we don’t want to ruin anyone’s game, we’ve decided to iron out these issues in a separate beta branch together with your help. Please consider signing up for the beta (instructions below!) and report any issues you find so we can fix them and make further improvements based on your feedback.

The UI isn’t final as is, but it’s certainly ready to play with. There’s still room for improvement, regarding both usability and colors, and we’re still going to refine the look over the course of the beta. Once everything works smoothly again, we’ll merge the new UI into the live branch of the game.

How do I access the beta branch?

In order to access the beta branch of Battle Brothers you need to do as follows:

  • Go to your Steam library.

  • Right-click on ‘Battle Brothers’ and select ‘Properties’.

  • Go to the tab labeled ‘BETAS’.

  • Select ‘beta’ from the drop down menu.

Steam should now download the beta branch and once it is finished you can normally run it via your Steam library.

Announcement: New UI coming next week (17 June 2016)Edit

Good news, everyone! The reworked UI is almost ready to go. It sports a new look of wood and iron, and comes with two long-awaited additions: A larger roster with reserves and a customizable formation for battle.

Because some underlying parts of the game have been changed quite extensively, new issues are bound to arise, and we’d like to iron them out with your help. As previously announced, we’ll thus first launch the reworked UI in a separate beta branch, and once everything works smoothly, merge it with the main branch of the game. The beta branch will launch early next week so that we’re in office and can immediately address any potential problems.

To learn more about the new UI and coming additions, read our last dev blog here.

Dev Blog #76: Progress Update – Reworked UI, Extended Roster, Customizable Formation (3 June 2016)Edit

Overhauling the UI is mostly done now, save for a few minor quirks and a single screen left: the character screen. Here’s where things get interesting, because we’re not just giving it a facelift but are introducing an extended roster and the ability to change the starting formation in battle to your liking. Let’s find out more!

Extended Roster & Customizable Formation

That’s right – you’re no longer limited to have but twelve characters in your employ. While the maximum number of characters you can lead into battle is, for reasons of balance and usability, still twelve, you now also have a reserve roster to draw from. Characters can be dragged & dropped easily between combat duty and reserve, and indeed placed at the exact spot of the formation you want them to be in order to best fulfill their roles.

The new ability to have a reserve roster allows you to keep specialists around (especially as we overhaul the perk trees later on), rotate injured characters in and out of active duty (especially with the more complex injury mechanics we’re going to introduce soon) and always have fresh meat gather experience so that losing people in battle doesn’t hit you quite as hard. Having a deep roster is also a matter of cost, of course, so it’s up to you to decide whether you want to funnel all your crowns into a small roster, or share it between all the characters of a very deep roster where no one is unexpendable.

What else is happening?

With the new UI taking shape, the most expressive of button art also received a make-over. Here’s a before and after of the ‘loot all’ button.

Similarly to how the tutorial contract features illustrations, we’ve begun to create a whole set of artwork to use with events and contracts in order to further support the game’s atmosphere. The images below give a good idea of where we’re going with these. Take note, though, that they’re all still work-in-progress and not quite finished yet.

Dev Blog #75: Progress Update – Reworked UI (27 May 2016)Edit

Back from our short trip to Malmö, we’re busy again working on the UI as per last week’s progress update. Things are progressing well: The game feels a lot smoother already and the UI now looks like it actually belongs to a game. We’re about halfway done, so let’s take a look!

The new Look & Feel

The UI in Battle Brothers is now made from real materials that fit the setting: wood, metal and paper. This makes it feel much more as a part of the game world and actively contributes to the game’s atmosphere. Below is an example of how dialog screens now look – made of wood with decorative viking-esque carvings and a metal band. Note that the text color for everything is something we’ll adjust at the very end.

The same look and feel of wood and metal is also used for the combat UI. All the buttons got a makeover to be more clear in their function and fit within the design. Tooltips now have the look of pieces of paper and small scrolls, written on with ink. Aside from their visual upgrade, they also come with some improvements in functionality. For example, as you can see in the screenshot below, any status effects are now listed complete with their name underneath each other. No need to learn every icon by heart anymore!

Similar to how tooltips are now scraps of paper, we’ve also made the panel showing the current objectives a scroll bearing the seal of your employer. Whenever it made sense and didn’t detract from the usability, we’ve tried to incorporate real objects that would be part of mercenary life into the UI.


A shout-out

Finally, we want to give a shout-out to the devs behind Unclaimed World and Wartile – we had a great time chatting with you guys at the Nordic Game!

Dev Blog #74: Progress Update – Reworked UI (13 May 2016)Edit

Here we go again. After being delayed a bit while we waited for some technical issues to be resolved, as well as some of us taking a small vacation to recharge our batteries, we’re now back to working full steam on the UI rework. What does it entail? Let’s find out!

What are we doing?

Several things.

First, we’re replacing the third-party UI library we used for Battle Brothers until now. There are a couple of issues we want to solve; there’s a tendency for mouse clicks to be lost, and the UI can feel very sluggish at times. Because this library ceased to be developed and we’re now stuck with all these problems, we can either ignore them or replace the library altogether. We’ve opted to go with the second option, and the result should be a much more responsive UI experience overall, as well as increased performance of the game.

Second, we’re taking the opportunity to make some usability improvements to the UI. We’ll be resizing some dialogs to have you scroll less, and we’ll be adding additional UI functionality.

Third, we’re skinning the UI. The current look, grey and orange, was always intended as a placeholder and not something for the finished game. We’re switching it out for lots of wood and metal in order to have the UI contribute to the game’s atmosphere rather than detract from it, and to give Battle Brothers a more professional look as it nears completion. See below for an idea of how the new UI will look, but keep in mind that we’re still working on it and will be adjusting colors and adding details.


Why do it now?

There’s two gameplay features yet to be added that require quite a bit of UI work: extended roster management and customizable formations. While we’re itching to get these into the game as soon as possible, doing these before the UI rework would potentially mean having to redo their UI again later, thereby wasting development time. We’re doing the UI rework now so that we can then move on to implement both of these features next.

When will it be done?

We’re progressing at a good pace and should have a new build with an updated UI available within the next couple of weeks. The idea is to make it available first as an optional branch of the game – this way we won’t break anything for you and can iron out any potential issues based on your feedback. Once we’re sure that everything works fine, we’ll merge the branches.

Nordic Game 2016

On the 19th of May we’ll head out to Malmö, Sweden, to attend the Nordic Game Conference held there from the 18th to the 20th. The last day of the conference will focus on indie games, making it the perfect place to get in touch with fellow developers, enthusiasts and all sorts of business contacts.

If you want to know more about the event you can get all the details here: http://conf.nordicgame.com. If some of you should be there as well feel free to drop us a mail so we can meet up and have a quick chat!

Dev Blog #73: Progress Update - Marching on (29 April 2016)Edit

As mentioned in last weeks posting we will now shift to longer periods between updates as we go back to tackle the larger issues at hand. This is why there will be no update to the game today. However, we will let you know what we are working on right now:

More Contracts

As promised we are working on more contracts for you to take on in the game. These will come in batches and we have two new in the works for the next larger update. There will be one contract for settlements and one for noble houses with one being about exploration and the other about doing some ambushing for all you highwaymen out there. Of course both will come with their own twists for that extra variety.

UI Rework

Reworking the UI is a rather large task and is still ongoing. On top of that, it will probably keep us busy on the side for quite a while. We are aware that this is not a very spectacular topic and it offers little entertainment for the players but it has to be done better sooner than later as it stands in the way of some planned features.

Faction Warfare

We have secretly been working for quite a while on a way to get warfare between the noble houses into the game. Currently the noble houses have a rather passive role in the world. We want them to have a real dynamic conflict for superiority with the player being able to tip the scales in a certain direction. However, this is still in an early development phase and you can expect a dedicated blog article on this in the future.

Multi-Tile Combat Objects

With the tactical combat environments all done we have started working on some objects you might find on the battle maps starting out with camp equipment like crates, boxes, tents, fire pits and so on.

More importantly, we have found a way to implement multi-tile objects in the tactical combat that are basically as large as we want them to be. These objects now offer the possibility to have small buildings like ruined huts, crypts or tents on the battle maps. This way locations on the worldmap can be displayed in the tactical combat for more interesting combat environments. Imagine a camp surrounded by palisades with only small entrances or a graveyard with a crypt surrounded by lots of graves and tomb stones. Here is a first look at what you can expect:

Update 0.6.0.21 (22 April 2016)Edit

This week’s update adds the last batch of natural combat environments. With all terrain on the worldmap accounted for in combat, we can cross another item off of our list towards a finished game!

Swamps received a major overhaul for a much sleeker look, as you can see below. Picking a fight on hilly terrain on the worldmap now actually results in hills in combat, so there is now a benefit to retreating to hills or luring enemies there to make a stand. Finally, snowy forests now look appropriately, and mountains come with their very own new combat environment full of crags and ravines.

With all this done, we move on to work on adding more contracts, having locations like bandit camps being present on combat maps, and doing lots of UI work necessary before implementing certain new features. Because some of those items require longer periods of development and testing, we'll transition again to have larger but less frequent updates to the game for a while. Depending on what we're working on, it could be several weeks between those more meaty updates. We'll keep you updated as we go along.

Changelog

  • Added new swamp combat environment.

  • Added new mountainous combat environment.

  • Added new snowy forest combat environment.

  • Added new hilly combat environments for grassland, tundra, steppe and snow.
  • Changed 'Swipe' scenario to use the new forest environment.

  • Changed 'Early Game' scenario to use the new swamp environment.
  • Fixed mountains, snowy forests and shores on the worldmap not being linked correctly to their combat environments. Requires starting a new campaign to take effect.

Update 0.6.0.20 (15 April 2016)Edit

This week’s update adds two new combat environments and some more cosmetic weather effects to the game.

The frozen and snow-covered north has taken its rightful place as an environment for tactical combat. Movement is slower here, as people have to wade through a thick layer of snow, and the terrain is open and provides little cover. The red and yellow autumn woods, on the other hand, are more similar to the forests of old, but not quite as cramped. With lots of trees and bushes they provide ample cover for both you and the enemy.

The update also introduces new weather effects. Light snow can fall in the tundra and frozen north, and the latter can see even full-grown snow storms. Note that these weather effects are purely cosmetic for now, however. We may add actual gameplay effects to them in the future, similar to how fighting at nighttime comes with a status effect, but this will require a way to convey weather on the worldmap first, since we don’t want to just randomly put you into a snow storm after you’ve already ordered the attack.


Changelog

  • Added snow combat environment.

  • Added autumn woods combat environment.

  • Added light snow weather effect for snow and tundra environments.

  • Added snow storm weather effect for snow environment.
  • Changed tundra combat environment to have slightly less vegetation.

  • Changed 'Line Battle' scenario to take place on snow.

  • Changed 'Advanced Combat' scenario to take place in autumn woods.
  • Fixed body types resetting on levelup.

  • Fixed issue with 'Raze Location' contract.

  • Fixed erroneous display in tooltip of how many turns until a character can act.

  • Fixed clouds in combat not spawning at the correct position when the battlefield is flipped.

Update 0.6.0.19 & Next Steps (8 April 2016)Edit

This week’s update adds reworked forest environments to the game and gives you a roadmap of our next steps with Battle Brothers.

Forests have always been a bit tricky to navigate and read in the past because of how trees could clutter up the map. To solve this, we’ve changed the general layout of forests to be more clearly divided into mossy open pathways between pockets of very dense vegetation, making it much easier to read where you can and can’t go. While arguably a less realistic layout, it should make for better gameplay while retaining that feeling of fighting in a forest that is different from fighting on other terrain. There are still chokepoints and opportunities for flanking aplenty, but now with less usability issues. Below you can see the layout of a typical forest map.


Changelog

  • Changed forest combat environments to have a new layout and look.

  • Changed tundra terrain to have slightly less vegetation.

  • Changed Effectiveness vs. Armor of the Billhook to be slightly lower, and of the Pike to be higher.
  • Fixed potential crash related to pending offers for contracts that have you destroy a location when the location was already destroyed in the meantime.

  • Fixed issue with 'Escort Caravan' contract.

  • Fixed issue with Riposte skill.

Next Steps

Doing the worldmap update was a big step towards how Battle Brothers will play once it’s finished. With this done we want to give you guys a better idea on the future development of Battle Brothers by outlining the next couple of steps on our list. Note that this is not a complete or final feature list. As development progresses, we’ll give you an updated outlook again so that you’ll always know what things we’re working on next. The list isn’t in any particular order and we’ll often work on several things in parallel.

Tactical Combat Environments

We’ve added to the combat environments over the past weeks, and we’ll continue to do so. There’s autumn forests and snow still to do, as well as hills and mountains. Swamps will get a makeover as well.

Once all terrain from the worldmap has found its way into tactical combat, we’ll move on to build set pieces for different locations you can fight at. Attacking an orc camp on the world map will produce a different map than fighting at a graveyard, for example. All fighting will have to take place outdoors, however, and we won’t have actual dungeons for the initial release of the game.

UI Skin and Backend

There are a couple of issues with the third party UI library we use for Battle Brothers. There’s a tendency for mouse clicks to be lost, and the UI can feel sluggish at times. Because this library ceased to be developed and we’re now stuck with all these problems, we’ve started porting our UI to another library. This is a process that may take us several weeks but should result in a much more responsive UI experience overall, as well as increased performance of the game. We want to do this first before we get to adding any new features that require lots of UI work.

The current look of the UI, grey and orange, is merely a placeholder and will be switched out. We’re going for a skeuomorphic design, probably lots of wood and metal, to have the UI do its part for atmosphere and give Battle Brothers a more professional look as it nears completion.

More Contracts and Events

There’s 10 contract types and 70 different events in the game right now. We have another 10 contracts already written and waiting to be implemented, and we may write more. The same goes for events. Changing priorities has us working on other things first (mainly, porting the UI), but we’ll keep adding to the selection of contracts and events in the game.

Perk Rework

While the perk tree works for the game, there’s certainly room for improvement. It’s plagued by a couple of imbalances; there are perks that are must-haves, perks that are almost never picked, and perks that kind of work but could be made more interesting. We’ll go over all the perks and see if and how they need changing or should potentially even be replaced entirely.

More Equipment and Accessories

We have several more weapon types planned out, and there are a few tiers still to fill for certain weapon types, such as for bows and crossbows. Only a few weapon types have unique variants right now, but we’re going to add some for all of them. The accessory slot is very much underutilized still, and we’ll add a few more specialized equipment options that open up new tactical avenues.

Again, keep in mind that this isn’t a complete list but merely our next couple of steps. We’ll keep you updated.

Worldmap Update 0.6.0.18 (1 April 2016)Edit

This week’s update adds a new combat environment: the tundra. Flat and stony plains, sparse vegetation and a unique look make it stand out among the growing collection of different environments to do battle in. Here’s how it looks in the game.

Next up is a reimagined version of the forest environment. We have a pretty good idea now on what we want to do in order to have fighting there feel unique but at the same time get rid of some of the usability issues currently haunting it. While the new forest didn’t quite make it in this week, a related quality of life improvement did. You can now find an optional ‘Always Hide Trees’ setting in the game’s option menu to always hide the top part of trees, whether they occlude a character or not.

A large chunk of the last two weeks was spent discussing where we want to take the game from here, budgeting and planning things out. You can expect the result of this, a detailed blog post about what we’re going to add to or change about the game during the remainder of Early Access, right here next week.

Have a nice weekend!

Changelog

  • Added tundra combat environment.

  • Added optional 'Always Hide Trees' setting.
  • Changed smaller trees and boulders to only have their top part translucent when a character is positioned behind them, and no longer turn translucent as a whole, in order to make things more clear.

  • Changed noble house contracts to be bound to a single settlement once they've been fully negotiated in order to avoid some potential issues if the player accepts them at a different location later on.

  • Changed durability of some two-handed weapons and bows to be slightly higher.

  • Changed 'Wolfriders' scenario to take place on tundra terrain.
  • Fixed rare crash after loading a game from the worldmap.

  • Fixed potentially wrong 'Bought for' values in the tooltip of food and trading goods after looting them or loading a game.

  • Fixed issue with 'Armed Courier' contract.

  • Fixed another issue of characters sometimes appearing as injured after loading when having certain character traits.

  • Fixed barber missing a hair style.

  • Fixed various text errors.

Worldmap Update 0.6.0.17 (24 March 2016)Edit

This update adds a range of quality of life improvements that you guys have been asking for.

There are now options for both ‘Faster Player Movement’ and ‘Faster AI Movement’. Enabling these makes movement more or less instantaneous. Note that this only applies to actual movement and not movement skills (charge, rotation, etc).

Two more exotic new options are ‘Auto-Loot’ and ‘Auto-End Turns’. The ‘Auto-Loot’ option is for those of you who can’t remember to take loot after a won battle; you’re still presented with the loot screen to see what you’ve earned, but everything not picked up by you is automatically transferred to your stash once you leave combat. The ‘Auto-End Turns’ option is enabled by default for the behavior you’re used to. If you prefer to have to end all turns manually, and not have them end automatically as your men run out of Action Points, then disable this.

All of these options can be found in the ‘Gameplay’ tab of the game’s options menu.

On the content-side of things, this update adds an updated and revised look for the grassland plains combat environment. Plains are now generally more flat than before, with smaller differences in height level. Hills and cliffs will, however, make a comeback with assets of their own and some usability improvements as we get to implement actual hill and mountain environments for combat. Here’s how the new grassland looks in the game.


Changelog

  • Added optional 'Faster Player Movement' and 'Faster AI Movement' settings for combat.

  • Added optional 'Auto-End Turns' setting (enabled by default). Disabling this will result in turns no longer ending automatically as your guys run out of Action Points.

  • Added optional 'Auto-Loot' setting. Enabling this will result in automatically taking everything you didn't already take on leaving the loot screen. Note that this may fail if you run out of space.

  • Added additional information to tooltip of warning about weapons that are about to break.

  • Added automatic configuration of laptops to use their Nvidia cards instead of integrated Intel HD Graphics when running Battle Brothers. Requires starting the game two times to take effect. You can override this in the Nvidia Control Panel.

  • Added two new twists to 'Escort Caravan' contract.
  • Changed combat environment for grassland plains to an updated and more detailed look.

  • Changed 'Escort Caravan' contract to have the caravan provide provisions for the duration of the journey. The player's own provisions won't be consumed while on the road but may still turn bad with time.

  • Changed relation mechanics slightly. Losing relations with a noble house due to player actions now also has a minor effect on the relation to all settlements owned by that noble house, and vice versa.

  • Changed name of 'Even Difficulty' to 'Normal Difficulty'.
  • Fixed potential crash after combat ends.

  • Fixed several issues with how faction relations work when more than one faction is present at a single settlement.

  • Fixed wrong hitpoints in combination with certain traits and status effects after loading.

  • Fixed camping button being greyed out still after reloading an earlier save during an active 'Escort Caravan' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Secure Cemetery' contract.

  • Fixed issue with 'Raze Location' contract.

  • Fixed issue with AI use of Rotation skill.

  • Fixed issue with AI potentially switching between weapons unnecessarily.

  • Fixed armorer and blast furnace missing three helmets.

  • Fixed display of some attributes changed by events not updating immediately.

  • Fixed game not ending gracefully when quitting via Alt+F4.

  • Fixed potential exploit when killing allied troops with AoE attacks.

  • Fixed caravan donkey being a valid target for the 'Rotation' skill.

  • Fixed various text errors.

Worldmap Update 0.6.0.16 (18 March 2016)Edit

This update adds a reimagined version of the ‘Escort Caravan’ contract to the game. You’re now part of the actual caravan and don’t have to manually travel alongside it anymore. While the caravan travels, controls are locked from you, but time will pass faster until the destination is reached. The contract doubles as a way to fast-travel around the world and may also give you added safety with the caravan hands and guards in the beginning of the game. Be sure to take ample provisions before you start your journey!

The contract system has seen a general change. Contracts now vary in difficulty and payment as indicated by a rating of between one to three skulls. If you’ve taken some losses and need to rebuild your company, taking on easier contracts with a one-skull-rating might be a wise decision. On the other hand, if you don’t feel challenged enough, take on a contract with a three-skull-rating and get paid handsomely. Note that the skull ratings are rough estimates and don’t necessarily mean that a contract has to always be easy or hard for you. In an open world you can always run into roaming enemies, and how you fare against certain opponents will depend heavily on your equipment, leveling and tactics.

Finally, this update also adds our first all-new combat environment: the dry and flat steppe. Here’s how it looks in the game.


Changelog

  • Added new 'Escort Caravan' contract.

  • Added two new events.

  • Added steppe combat environment.

  • Added more debug output to logfile in order to help track down some remaining issues.
  • Changed contracts to vary in difficulty (and payment) as indicated by a rating of between one to three skulls.

  • Changed larger settlement factions to potentially offer more than one contract at a time.

  • Changed Orc Line Battle scenario to take place in the steppe.

  • Changed Riposte appearing as a negative factor in the hitchance breakdown only when the opponent is actually in range to execute a counter-attack.

  • Changed game to no longer pause when out of focus. Remember to hit Spacebar or Escape to pause on the worldmap before alt-tabbing out!
  • Fixed potential crash on worldgen.

  • Fixed destinations for 'Armed Courier' contract not being uncovered on the map in some cases.

  • Fixed issue with AI of Withered Vampires that prevented them from using the Darkflight skill in some cases.

  • Fixed issue with AI of Orc Warriors that had them use the Line Breaker skill when they shouldn't.

  • Fixed armor for helmets displayed as floating point value in some cases.

  • Fixed wrong effectiveness vs. armor of pitchfork.

  • Fixed various text errors.

Worldmap Update 0.6.0.15 (14 March 2016)Edit

We start the new week with a few fixes for issues that people reported over the weekend.

Changelog

  • Changed range of Return Favor perk to scale with reach of the equipped melee weapon (if any).

  • Changed how the minimum guaranteed damage from warhammers is applied internally to avoid conflicts with the Nine Lives and Fearsome perks. Numbers are unchanged.
  • Fixed potential crash with events that have the player lose provisions.

  • Fixed saves becoming potentially unloadable in very long campaigns. Saves already affected by this should now load correctly again.

  • Fixed changing tattoos at barber not taking effect.

  • Fixed bag slots highlighting while dragging a wardog in inventory when in fact the dog can't be placed there.

  • Fixed status effect icons blanking out for a second when running out of action points while Perfect Focus is active.

  • Fixed wrong effectiveness vs. armor value for Wonky Bow.

  • Fixed missing direct damage numbers in tooltip of Split Man skill.

  • Fixed half a second break with looping ambient rain sound.

  • Fixed various text errors.

Worldmap Update Sale (11 March 2016)Edit

The worldmap update has been out for two weeks now and brought a great many changes to the game. With the world completely redone and many new mechanics added to bring depth to the strategic part of the game, it feels a lot different than when we started out in Early Access last year.

To celebrate this milestone in the development of Battle Brothers, we’re offering the game at a 20% discount for this weekend only.

We’ll continue to improve the game and to add additional content that makes the best out of the opportunities that the new worldmap offers. If you’re interested to learn what we’re up to next, you can read about it here.

Have fun with the update!

New Worldmap

A bigger and all-new procedurally generated worldmap comes with new terrain, oceans and shores, and wild and unexplored parts covered in fog. It’s teeming with life as peasants, caravans, ships, hunters, beasts and many more pursue their goals.

New Settlements

Settlements differ vastly in appearance, size, services they offer, men to hire and goods to buy. Fish is cheapest at fishing villages, more metal-based products can be found at mining settlements and you’ll find men with combat experience at castles.

New Contract Mechanics

Contracts are completely redone. You can now negotiate the terms of payment, and every contract comes with twists to spice things up and keep you on your toes. There’s 9 contracts in the game right now, double the amount of before, and we aim to have several times that for the finished game.

Factions & Relations

Noble houses vie for power and cities are ruled by corrupt councils. Meet the leaders of factions on and off the battlefield, make powerful allies or betray them and feel their wrath. All this in contracts we’ll be adding over the coming months now that the system is in place.

Tracking

All parties travelling the world now leave tracks for you to follow or avoid. Different factions use their own footprints so that you can see at a glance whether it’s humans, orcs or beasts who moved though.

Camping

Make camp to have your men recover from their wounds, repair their equipment and have time pass faster. But be careful, the camp fire will be seen from afar and may attract unwanted attention.

A Proper Introduction

The game now comes with a proper introduction and story to set up the mood and ease you into the open world gameplay with useful advice from other characters.

Additional Music & Sound Effects

Five new music tracks join the already hour-long orchestral soundtrack. Orcs got all of their sounds redone, and the game now has a rich ambient soundscape, from birds, to the wind howling, to people in the streets as you visit one of the many cities of the world.

Worldmap Update 0.6.0.14 (10 March 2016)Edit

We close the second week after the big worldmap update with a larger update.

There are a few changes of note: We now support Steam Cloud saving, direwolves have finished their transformation from the werewolves of old to a new identity with visuals of their own, balance and progression has been smoothed out a bit to make for less rocky gameplay, and the level-up system for attributes has changed.

The change to the level-up system isn’t necessarily permanent, as we’ll look at leveling as a whole again together with going over all the perks later on during development, but we felt that this was a change we needed to make now. The system previously in place lacked transparency and thus led to some confusion and ultimately frustration as people misinterpreted how it worked. The new system should be easier to understand and offer a better strategic choice on levelup on how to best develop your Battle Brothers. It works like this: You can now see all levelup rolls right from the start (without going through the pick/cancel motion like most players did) and pick three values you want. Levelup values are re-rolled for each level and no longer stick until picked.

We’ll continue to work on any technical or balancing issues that may pop up, but with most now out of the way we’ll transition to adding new content to the game again come next week. What new content is that?

Our next major milestone is redoing all the combat environments already in the game, as well as adding new combat environments for every terrain type found on the worldmap. Here is an early preview.

While we’re at it, we’ll also look at some usability issues in combat (primarily with forests) and add some quality of life improvements (like an option to end combat early once all enemies are fleeing). Finally, we’ll keep adding additional contracts to the game. There are 11 more already written and waiting to be implemented, and we have plans for even more.

Have a nice weekend!

Changelog

  • Added automatic synchronization of savegames on Steam Cloud.

  • Added a chance for Withered Vampires to carry named weapons.

  • Added new visuals for Direwolves.
  • Changed levelup system for attributes. You can now see all levelup rolls right from the start and pick the three values you want. Levelup values are re-rolled for each level and no longer stick until picked.

  • Changed chance to get drunk on paying for rounds in the tavern to be lower.

  • Changed opposition in contracts to better match player strength throughout the campaign.

  • Changed roaming enemies to be slightly easier to take on in the early game and scale better into the lategame.

  • Changed treasure items to be sold at full value, like trading goods are, and be somewhat more valuable than before in order to make exploring and looting locations on your own more worthwhile.

  • Changed 'Patrol' contract to have the player be more likely to face opposition on the road.

  • Changed 'Patrol' contract to have a time limit of ten days and show both the time remaining and the number of heads collected in the objective panel.

  • Changed a few perk descriptions to make things more clear.

  • Changed name of 'Fletcher's Hut' on the worldmap to 'Arrow Maker's Shed' to avoid confusion about its relation to the 'Fletcher' building inside settlements.
  • Fixed issue with payment when at negative renown.

  • Fixed issue with cancel/engage potentially leading to fighting the wrong enemies.

  • Fixed issue with entities spawning on unreachable tiles in combat.

  • Fixed poor relations leading to better prices when selling items than with good relations.

  • Fixed money counter in UI not updating properly when buying food.

  • Fixed provisions counter in UI not updating properly when selling food.

  • Fixed direwolves looting other AI parties when they shouldn't because they're animals.

  • Fixed several issues with location placement at worldgen. Requires starting a new campaign to take effect.

  • Fixed cause of the game potentially slowing down on the worldmap because of poorly placed harbors, and ships unable to reach them. Requires starting a new campaign to take effect.

  • Fixed goblin camps spawning orcs in rare cases.

  • Fixed display issue in 'Armed Courier' contract negotiations.

  • Fixed issue with AI burning down locations while the player is tasked to destroy them in 'Raze Location' contract.

  • Fixed missing information on additional fatigue use for named orc weapons in tooltip.

  • Fixed action point bar not updating properly after picking up or dropping items during combat.

  • Fixed Goblin Wolfriders potentially becoming untargetable if their mount was killed using the 'Knock Back' skill in combination with the 'Shield Bash' perk.

  • Fixed issue with ranged AI potentially hanging in combat.

  • Fixed Arbalesters not having a backup melee weapon.

  • Fixed mood status effect sometimes not showing on characters after loading a game.

  • Fixed drunk debuff duration resetting on loading a game.

  • Fixed issue with change of master volume in the game's audio options not immediately affecting the volume of music currently playing.

  • Fixed wrong inventory icon for named greataxe.

  • Fixed various text errors.

Worldmap Update 0.6.0.13 (7 March 2016)Edit

This week we'll focus on improving balance and progression, so you're likely to see some changes to smoothen things out a bit more during the next few days. For now, here's a bucket of fixes to start the week off.

Changelog

  • Changed starting funds on Deadly difficulty to be higher.

  • Changed wardogs to also grant vision to the player.
  • Fixed no ammo warning not working correctly with 'Masterwork Bow' and 'Wonky Bow'.

  • Fixed stats missing from 'Wonky Bow' tooltip.

  • Fixed stats missing from 'Throw Net' tooltip

  • Fixed faction characters sometimes changing their name after reloading.

  • Fixed game potentially hanging on 'Raze Location' contract.

  • Fixed issue with the game hanging on loading battle with more than a hundred or so participants.

  • Fixed issue with campfires being displayed all black.

  • Fixed throwing nets and throwing weapons not dropping as loot like intended.

  • Fixed Weaponmaster perk not working correctly with some two-handed weapons.

  • Fixed inventory icons for faction round shields not being displayed properly.

Worldmap Update 0.6.0.12 (4 March 2016)Edit

Another bunch of fixes and balancing changes closes the first week of our big worldmap update.

We'll continue to focus our efforts on fixing any bugs and glaring balance issues until the game is as stable and playable again as it was before.

Have a nice weekend!

Changelog

  • Changed prices for fast travel via ship to be lower.

  • Changed kennels and barbers to be slightly more prevalent and guaranteed to exist on every map. Requires starting a new campaign to take effect.

  • Changed spawning of contract-related locations and parties to better account for the ocean.

  • Changed tooltips of crowns and provisions to show daily amount required also when having none left.
  • Fixed relations decaying much faster than intended.

  • Fixed enemies from contracts being added ontop of existing garrisons in some cases for more opposition than intended. Looking at you, goblin ambushes.

  • Fixed potential crash with 'Raze Location' contract.

  • Fixed potential exploit with resurrected undead for 'Patrol' contract.

  • Fixed cosmetic issue with world generation.

  • Fixed percentage condition of shields not being displayed ontop of their icon.

  • Fixed wrong icons for named flails.

  • Fixed various text errors.

Worldmap Update 0.6.0.11 (3 March 2016)Edit

The third day after the big worldmap update brings another couple of bugfixes.

We'll continue to focus our efforts on fixing any bugs and glaring balance issues until the game is as stable and playable again as it was before.

Have a nice evening!

Changelog

  • Changed relation decay rate for settlements and noble houses to be lower.
  • Fixed 'R' hotkey not toggling relations screen correctly.

  • Fixed issue with displaying relation texts in relations screen.

  • Fixed issue with software cursor.

  • Fixed issue with locations spawning at the very edges of the map.

  • Fixed looted food items showing wrong time until they spoil in the loot screen.

  • Fixed 'no ammo' warning not being removed once quivers are refilled on the worldmap.

  • Fixed potential crash when loading a battle containing a bandit leader.

  • Fixed potential crash when saving/loading during the tutorial contract.

  • Fixed Spiked Impaler not doing piercing damage for the purpose of resistances from e.g. skeletons.

  • Fixed UI clock going out of synch eventually.

  • Fixed various text errors.

Worldmap Update 0.6.0.10 (2 March 2016)Edit

The second day after the big worldmap update brings another bouquet of bugfixes and balance changes.

We'll continue to focus our efforts on fixing any bugs and glaring balance issues until the game is as stable and playable again as it was before.

Have a nice evening!

Changelog

  • Changed tooltips of food items to also display the price they've been bought at in order to make trading them more convenient.

  • Changed factions to show up in the relations screen also when their relations to the player are in the neutral territory but not exactly neutral.

  • Changed factions to also show their numerical relations in brackets for more transparency on how relations develop.

  • Changed it to be less likely the player is drawn into battle between AI parties.

  • Changed 'Patrol' contract to require the player to fight while on the road, and not attack locations, in order to get paid. The previous cap to the amount of heads has been removed.

  • Changed resource costs paid by the AI for individual goblin troops to be slightly higher, i.e. there shouldn't be quite as many goblins now if you're tasked to fight them.
  • Fixed recruits in settlements not refreshing correctly every few days.

  • Fixed battles potentially starting without enemies if the player is drawn into battle between two AI factions.

  • Fixed issue with two contracts available at a single settlement at the same time.

  • Fixed twist in 'Drive off Bandits' contract not registering as completed.

  • Fixed twist in 'Armed Courier' contract not registering as completed.

  • Fixed potential crash with the 'Hunt down beasts' contract.

  • Fixed the game hanging on attempting the 'Hunt down beasts' contract with just a single man on the roster.

  • Fixed various text errors.

Worldmap Update 0.6.0.9 (1 March 2016)Edit

Whew.

It’s crazy how many issues can all of a sudden pop up once 700 people start playing the game. After yesterday’s hotfixes, here is a larger bugfixing and balance update that contains all of today’s work.

We’ll continue to focus our efforts on fixing any bugs and glaring balance issues until the game is as stable and playable again as it was before.

Have a nice evening!

Changelog

  • Changed roaming enemy parties to start out weaker in the early game.

  • Changed contract rewards to be slightly higher.

  • Changed contracts to appear sooner after starting a new campaign.

  • Changed contracts to appear slightly more often.

  • Changed employers to be slightly less enraged when the player cancels contracts despite receiving advance payment already.

  • Changed second tutorial battle to have one less opponent on Even difficulty.

  • Changed hotkey to show/hide tracking to 'Tab', hotkey for camping to 'T' and opening the character screen back to 'C'.

  • Changed the way sounds and music are loaded in order to eliminate some potential crashes for people. This may introduce minor lag as music changes, but with the crashes gone we now can take the time to look for the best solution.
  • Fixed potential crash when loading an autosave right before combat.

  • Fixed game not saving correctly in rare cases when destroying a location that has a party roaming around it.

  • Fixed tutorial battle not triggering correctly because of Hoggart's hair.

  • Fixed bug potentially having the player start out with large amounts of money.

  • Fixed battles starting with the player being ambushed when they shouldn't.

  • Fixed issue with contract payment not scaling properly to contract difficulty.

  • Fixed 'Tab' key making the UI glitch and not accept keyboard input correctly sometimes.

  • Fixed the player starting on tiny islands in rare cases with no way to get off.

  • Fixed bandits having a leader hostile to them in a twist of the 'Drive away bandits' contract.

  • Fixed player choice in twist of the 'Investigate Cemetery' contract not being registered correctly.

  • Fixed player choice in twist of the 'Armed Courier' contract not being registered correctly.

  • Fixed issue with 'Investigate Cemetery' contracts being issued on small islands with no space to spawn the cemetery.

  • Fixed issue with player's wardogs not properly attacking militia and noble house troops.

  • Fixed people joining the player via events even when the roster is already at full capacity.

  • Fixed several text errors.

Worldmap Update Released (29 February 2016)Edit

Finally, the big worldmap update has arrived!

Battle Brothers has made a huge step towards completion and to how the finished game will play. Below you’ll find a list of all the major changes and additions to the game.

And we’re not done yet! Once the dust from the update has settled, we’ll return to smaller and more regular updates again so that you’re likely to find something new in the game every week. There are several more features (yes, including formations!) and loads of more content we’ll be adding until the game leaves Early Access later this year.

As a very small team we depend on your feedback to make this game as good as possible. Please leave us your thoughts and feedback on balancing, progression and gameplay in the forums!

With so many changes, introducing new issues is also pretty much inevitable. If you encounter any bugs, problems or crashes, please let us know in the forum following the instructions there.

Have fun with the update!


New Worldmap

A bigger and all-new procedurally generated worldmap comes with new terrain, oceans and shores, and wild and unexplored parts covered in fog. It’s teeming with life as peasants, caravans, ships, hunters, beasts and many more pursue their goals.

New Settlements

Settlements differ vastly in appearance, size, services they offer, men to hire and goods to buy. Fish is cheapest at fishing villages, more metal-based products can be found at mining settlements and you’ll find men with combat experience at castles.

New Contract Mechanics

Contracts are completely redone. You can now negotiate the terms of payment, and every contract comes with twists to spice things up and keep you on your toes. There’s 9 contracts in the game right now, double the amount of before, and we aim to have several times that for the finished game.

Factions & Relations

Noble houses vie for power and cities are ruled by corrupt councils. Meet the leaders of factions on and off the battlefield, make powerful allies or betray them and feel their wrath. All this in contracts we’ll be adding over the coming months now that the system is in place.

Tracking

All parties travelling the world now leave tracks for you to follow or avoid. Different factions use their own footprints so that you can see at a glance whether it’s humans, orcs or beasts who moved though.

Camping

Make camp to have your men recover from their wounds, repair their equipment and have time pass faster. But be careful, the camp fire will be seen from afar and may attract unwanted attention.

A Proper Introduction

The game now comes with a proper introduction and story to set up the mood and ease you into the open world gameplay with useful advice from other characters.

Additional Music & Sound Effects

Five new music tracks join the already hour-long orchestral soundtrack. Orcs got all of their sounds redone, and the game now has a rich ambient soundscape, from birds, to the wind howling, to people in the streets as you visit one of the many cities of the world.

Let’s Play – Worldmap Update, Episode 2 (26 February 2016)Edit

Our new Let’s Play series in anticipation of the update coming on Monday, the 29th, continues with episode 2 today. We make some crowns on the side by trading and take on our first contract to hunt down bandits. Sadly, not all Battle Brothers shall return unscathed…

Preview Twitch Stream with ZiggyD

Youtuber and Streamer ZiggyD will do an exclusive preview live stream of the update. Depending on where you're at, it'll be on Friday the 26th (today!) at 7:00pm PST, or Saturday the 27th at 3:00am GMT / 2:00pm AEDT.

At least one of us developers will be hanging around in the Twitch chat as well, so if you want to talk to us or ask us anything about the game, this is a great opportunity. You can find ZiggyD’s Twitch channel here: http://www.twitch.tv/ziggydlive

Last Warning!

The upcoming update will break savegames! If you want to keep playing your current campaign you should disable automatic updates on Steam for Battle Brothers!

Let’s Play – Worldmap Update, Episode 1 (24 February 2016)Edit

Here we go again! In anticipation of the big update hitting next Monday, the 29th, our very own Jaysen starts a brand new Let’s Play series with developer commentary to explain all the new additions and changes to the game. You can expect the second episode to hit later this week. Also, spoiler warning.

We’ll have a written summary of all the new things together with the update itself.

Preview Twitch Stream with ZiggyD

Youtuber and Streamer ZiggyD will do an exclusive preview live stream of the update. Depending on where you're at, it'll be on Friday the 26th at 7:00pm PST, or Saturday the 27th at 3:00am GMT / 2:00pm AEDT.

At least one of us developers will be hanging around in the Twitch chat as well, so if you want to talk to us or ask us anything about the game, this is a great opportunity. You can find ZiggyD’s Twitch channel here: http://www.twitch.tv/ziggydlive

Important Reminder

The upcoming update will break savegames! If you want to keep playing your current campaign you should disable automatic updates on Steam for Battle Brothers!

Progress Update – Tutorial, Music, Experienced Mercs (19 February 2016)Edit

With the finishing line in sight, this will be our last regular progress update before the big update on the 29th. Today we’ll cover some more changes to the game and our reasoning behind them: A new introduction and tutorial, new music and the ability to hire experienced mercenaries.

Over the course of next week, our very own Jaysen will start a new Let’s Play series to showcase and explain all the new features, additions and changes made to the game. But for now, read on!

Introduction and Tutorial

What’s the first thing you’re greeted with when starting a new campaign right now? A big wall of text. And then an even bigger one as you pick up the tutorial contract. Being dropped into an open world with little idea of what to do and what the game even allows you to do can be daunting. In fact, the tutorial contract was actually missed by quite a few people in the beginning as they attacked the nearby bandits without hiring a single man, only to get slaughtered. That makes for an odd first impression. What the game needed was a proper introduction that gradually helps the player get into the game and gives context to their role in the world, without being overbearing.

The above is the new very first thing you see when starting a new campaign. This leads into a first battle and a short story about how you end up being the commander of a mercenary company, sets a suitably grim but not hopeless mood, and gives you a tour through the core gameplay loop. It’s presented as a short contract involving several steps and a series of events and dialogs with manageable bits of text and pretty pictures. And it also gives some explanation as to why you aren’t fighting on the battlefield yourself.

During the tutorial the player is introduced to basic combat mechanics without the danger of being instantly slaughtered, learns about hiring new men and buying equipment, camping and repairing, as well as other important aspects. It’s presented as individual characters explaining things and giving their opinions, and it’s all things specific to this game and doesn’t tax your patience with basic stuff like moving the camera. Although we recommend playing through the introduction at least once, it can be skipped after the first few minutes and you’re free to go anywhere in the world you want.

Raid Battle Track

While working on all the new features you’ve read about these past months, our talented musicians from Breakdown Epiphanies haven’t been lazy, either. We’re happy to say that several new music tracks will come with the update, among them one you can listen to right now.

Music playing when raiding a village or farm and fighting agains civilians. Find more information about the game here: http://www.battlebrothersgame.com Created by Dennis and Patrick from Breakdown...


This one is titled the ‘Farm Raiding Battle Track’ and is intended to play when slaughtering peasants and burning down their farmsteads, which is a new thing you may be asked to do with contracts now. It sets a dark and somber mood fitting a scenario like this, and it’s a great track in its own right that will play on various occasions throughout the game – including the very introduction you’ve just learned about.

Hiring Experienced Mercs

Here’s a dilemma: Battles are supposed to be deadly and you’re supposed to be losing men every now and then, yet losing men can hurt a lot in the late game because of the difference in power between fresh recruits and veterans, and because it takes a long time to train up again starting from level 1. We’ve talked about an extended roster as a way to cushion the impact of this in the future, but there’s another thing we’re introducing with the upcoming update: Hiring people that come with a few levels already.

Depending on their background, recruits may now come with higher starting levels. Finding a fisherman or farmhand with combat experience is pretty much out of the question. Not so with a raider, a retired soldier or a sellsword. These backgrounds can be found with some or even a lot of combat experience under their belt, but they’ll ask to be paid handsomely for it. It’s generally cheaper to build up people on your own than to hire ready-made veterans, and you won’t be able to afford any higher level hedge knights in the beginning. In order to not take away too much from the progression of characters, the maximum level at which recruits may come is currently at 5, and that’s already only for a select few backgrounds.

You’ll be able to distribute the attribute points and pick perks yourself upon hiring one of the more experienced recruits. By alleviating the severeness of losing an experienced man and having to start with a new one, we’re hopeful that players are more open to living with the consequences of their men dying in battle.

Progress Update – Taverns & Tracking (12 February 2016)Edit

Two more features join the list for the update on February 29th this week. Taverns are a hub for information and mood management of your men, and tracking allows you to follow or avoid other parties on the worldmap more easily. That leaves us with only one more feature left following these that we really want to include in the update, and that’s a better tutorial as you start a new campaign. But for now, let’s take a look at taverns and tracking!

Taverns

Taverns with the capacity to serve a mercenary company can be found in larger settlements, cities and castles, and the odd small village along trade routes. Laughter can be heard coming from it pretty much around the clock, as it’s one of the few buildings that can be entered both day and night. It’s also the first instance that we’re using small atmospheric images in the UI, as you’ll see below, and the idea is to have a whole bunch of them complement the events in the game as we skin the UI later down the road.

Although taverns aren’t the most critical of buildings, they nevertheless fill with the services they offer what was previously a vacant spot in the world of Battle Brothers. These services revolve heavily around beverages, and they’re talking to the patrons for news and rumors while sharing a beer, and paying a round for your own men in order to get their spirits up. We’ll look at each of them in detail.

As you enter the tavern, you’ll immediately pick up some talk amongst the patrons. What they talk about comes in different categories, and we may add additional useful ones as the game progresses in development.

Patrons can talk about potential work for you that they’ve heard about – as the world has become a bit larger now, it’s quite useful to get directions to people that are looking to hire sellswords so that you have a better idea of where to head next.

Patrons can also talk about nearby hidden locations. If you’ve played previous versions of Battle Brothers, you may remember contracts that have you find locations based on vague directions. Those type of contracts aren’t in the game anymore, but that same mechanic is now used for entirely optional locations, potentially full of treasure, you may head out to plunder on your own. The level of directions that individual people can give will differ, so it’s sometimes useful to get directions from several people in order to better pin down where a location might be. You can pay a round for everyone in order to loosen their tongues and have them share more news and rumors with you.

Finally, patrons will also give you flavor responses that tell you more about their situation, the lore of the world and the settlement you’re in, and news about what’s happening in the realm. They may also share light gameplay tips, such as soldiers explaining the advantage of high ground or talking about their experience of fighting goblins and how best to approach it. These types of responses depend heavily on where you are, so you’ll more likely be talking with soldiers at castles, and fishermen at fishing villages. We want the world to feel more lively, more lived in, and this is another step towards that goal.

The other service available at taverns is paying a round for your own men. This will generally lift everyone’s spirits and make them forget the horrors of battle for a while, but it comes with its own risk and reward.

Every time you pay a round and the men cheer to different things, there’s a chance that the mood of people improves, but also of them getting drunk. Mood is more important now as we attached additional benefits and penalties to it, and it should become more interesting in general as we do a minor rework of how the mood system works in the future. Being drunk, on the other hand, is a new status effect quite detrimental to combat effectiveness, although it does make people more brave. It doesn’t persist for long, but is succeeded by a hangover, which is a more mild debuff. Whether people get drunk or not heavily depends on their traits. For example, strong and tough characters don’t get drunk easily, whereas tiny and fragile characters do. All this then comes down to the decision of how many rounds you want to spend for your men in order to increase the mood of the company vs. the increasing risk of them getting drunk and being severely handicapped the following day.

Tracking

All parties now leave tracks for you to follow that look like footprints on the map. Different factions use their own footprints so that you can see at a glance whether it’s humans, orcs or beasts who moved though. Footprints also scale with the size of the party, so you’ll have a rough idea on how many individuals it is that you’re tracking. Note that we’re still experimenting with the visuals right now, so it may end up looking slightly different in the game.

We’re adding the tracking mechanic in order to give you a better idea on what’s happening around the limited radius of vision you have on the worldmap, and to introduce new gameplay opportunities. Even if you lose sight of a party now, you’ll still be able to follow their tracks. You can also potentially follow the tracks of the bandit raiders you just bested back to their camp, and you have more options to both find and avoid parties on the worldmap. Don’t follow large orc or goblin tracks if you aren’t prepared for what lies ahead!

Progress Update – Customizing Appearances, Nighttime Vista (5 February 2016)Edit

Work continues on balancing, bugfixing and adding more content to the game for the update on February 29th. We’re also adding some more minor features, one of which we’ll take a closer look at today: the ability to customize the appearance of your Battle Brothers.

The Barber

The barber offers his services in a building you’ll be able to find at the larger cities around the world. Whether you’re looking for someone to cut hair, trim beards or sell you dubious potions to lose weight, the barber has you covered for a modest fee.

With the barber we’re adding the ability to customize the appearance of any characters in your roster to your liking. Getting to know your Battle Brothers and bonding with them as they accomplish heroic feats or flee like cowards is part of the fun, and now you’re able to grow that axe guy who saved everyone a suitably majestic beard, or shave clean the head of the coward who runs at every battle. Some players have expressed that they’d like to mold characters to their likeness, or to that of characters from their favorite book or movie, and that’s possible now as well. And like all buildings in the game, the barber, too, helps settlements feel more distinct in the services that they offer.

Nighttime Vista

As the sun sets and the moon rises, as your men drag through the snow in the dark, settlements are now visible as beacons of civilization from afar, for they light torch and candle.

Update Date Announcement, Pretty Pictures (29 January 2016)Edit

February is almost upon us, time to announce a date! The worldmap update will be released exactly one month from now, on February the 29th. We’ll use the time until then for adding some more minor features and more content, as well as for bugfixing and balancing. As the release draws closer, Jaysen will also start a new Let’s Play series to give you a tour of how the game now plays.

Bugfixing and balancing doesn’t make for good content in blog updates, sadly, so this week we’re a bit short on material. Let’s look at some pretty pictures instead!

Pretty Pictures

Most of the worldmap visuals are finished now. There’s a few settlement locations left to be done, like the harbor, but at this point it’s more polishing than creating new assets. Take a look at one of our new environments, the steppe. It’s modelled after terrain you’d find in some southern European countries, like Spain. With a drastically different look from the tundra and snow you can find in the north, it makes for more distinct regions in the world and more variety as you travel it. How much steppe there is, and where it is exactly, changes with each world you generate.

Swamps also received an overhaul. Looking more dreary now, they can be found in small to medium stretches more or less all over the world. Traversing them has become slightly faster, but travelling on dry land is still preferable. That ground fog is actually animated, and they have quite a lively sound ambience.

Mountains are still not something you want to cross regularly, as it takes a long time and is costly in terms of supplies. To make it easier to distinguish them from hills, all mountains now have snow caps. Should you make it to the top, you’ll be able to see far across the land – useful perhaps if you’re looking for something.

Hills are now a common terrain that can be crossed at decent speeds. Settlements at hillsides often have an economy based around mining, like the one in the picture below. Goats are held here as a source of food, and you’ll be able to purchase goat cheese in the settlement. The gem mine will also likely make caravans from here juicy targets for bandits, which in turn means good job opportunities for mercenaries.

Noble houses are quite a bit more active than the Landsknechts of old, especially when it comes to defending their territory. This picture shows a company of soldiers led by a knight battling against a horde of marauding orcs. Speaking of orcs, they had all their sounds redone and a lot of new ones added to bring them to the same level as goblins.

Progress Update – The Little Things (22 January 2016)Edit

Amidst all the sweeping changes to the worldmap, like different human factions and an entirely reworked contract system, there’s also a lot of smaller improvements and additions that will come with the update later in February. These are little things that address some lingering issues or are simply quality-of-life improvements, and it’s some of them that we’ll take a closer look at this week.

Camping

That’s right – you can now make camp. Put down your tents, build a nice bonfire and enjoy some of the smoked ham you got at that little hamlet two days ago. When encamped, time goes by faster, so if you’re waiting for it to become daytime, or for someone to arrive, making camp is the way to go. Your men will also recover faster from their injuries and have more time to maintain and repair their equipment.

To make it a more interesting strategic decision when and where to make camp, there’s also some drawbacks to it. Enemies will be able to see your bonfire from afar, especially at night. You’re immobile while camped and can not attack yourself – but you can easily be caught in a surprise attack by the enemy. Best not to make camp in the middle of orc territory, then, but if you must, do so on high ground, like hills, to have a better view of the surrounding lands and to spot approaching enemies before it is too late.

We’re adding the camping mechanic as a way to reduce on the downtime you’d otherwise spend waiting for your men to heal up and their equipment to be repaired – but in a way that makes sense in the context of the game world and adds some decision making. There’s also always the option of adding more depth to camping, of course, and we may decide to do so at a later time.

Paying for Repairs

Handling attrition is part of the gameplay we’re aiming for, and while making camp is a good way to maintain and repair your gear, there’s another way now that’s even faster. Smithies across the world can quickly repair both weapons and armor for you – but generally at steep prices.

Scouting the Enemy

Players need a good way to judge the strength of enemies on the worldmap in order to make an informed decision on whether to fight or retreat. Yet, attaching any kind of strength rating to enemies isn’t as easy as it may sound with a game as complex as Battle Brothers, as there’s a lot of unknowns we can’t really account for. What experience and skill does the player have? Is their group equipped or skilled in a way that handles certain types of enemies, like orcs or goblins, better or worse? No matter how we shuffle numbers with the current system, there’s no way we’ll arrive at a satisfying level of prediction, so we’re going another way.

Ultimately players always fall back to judging for themselves what enemies they can take on, so we’re supporting this with a new scouting mechanic with more in-depth information to replace the relative strength label. As enemies or allies get into visual range, you can now see their troop composition and approximate numbers when hovering the cursor above them, just like it is in the engage screen before combat. In addition, their total number is shown in their name tag to see at any time and without hovering over them. It takes some experience judging what your company can take on, and probably some failed attempts along the way, but who better to make the call than their commander, anyway.

Do keep in mind that this change comes in the context of a new worldmap that has more clearly defined regions as well. With what are safer hinterlands or war-torn regions bordering on orc and goblin territory, you now have a greater level of control over what enemies you’re likely to face, depending on where you have your mercenary company seek their fortune.

Inventory Filters & Sorting

There’s quite a bunch of different weapons, armor and other gear in the game to use already, and we’ll keep on adding more. Add to this the all-new treasure items you can plunder, and the new function to filter your inventory by item type comes in handy as not to waste any time managing it. You can choose between showing everything, only weapons, only armor and helmets, and only supplies and treasure.

Also, no need to change screens anymore to sort your inventory while browsing the wares of merchants. Both sorting the inventory and filtering it are available at the shop interface as well. Speaking of the shop interface, performance has been improved and it should feel more responsive now.

Progress Update – Specialized Shops (15 January 2016)Edit

A centerpiece of how individual settlements will feel distinct on the new worldmap of Battle Brothers is different buildings with a unique gameplay function. This week we’ll be taking a closer look at some specialized shops that are coming with the update in February.

Specialized Shops

If you’ve watched our Update Preview Video you’ll already know that every settlement now comes with a marketplace. The marketplace works as an amalgamation of what a variety of smaller traders peddle throughout the settlement. That is, all kinds of different goods and equipment that are regionally available. Apart from supplies, such as different kinds of food, this may also include weapons, armor and shields. However, the selection on the marketplace is limited to what those traders bought themselves and are now reselling, the quality is limited to what is commonly available to and affordable by the people living there, and the equipment may have been used before and look the part. You may even find the occasional great deal here, but to outfit your growing mercenary company you’ll eventually want to look elsewhere.

For those who have the crowns, there are specialized traders available for weapons and armor which have a much larger selection of quality equipment, brand-new but also quite a bit more expensive. These traders are the weaponsmith, the armorsmith and the fletcher. You are more likely to find these in the settlements surrounding fortifications than small fishing villages, and while the smithies are more likely to be found in settlements with good access to metal, you’ll find the fletcher in settlements with good access to wood.

Whereas the weaponsmith will have a large variety of melee weapons on offer, with a few throwing weapons thrown in, the fletcher specializes in ranged weaponry. The selection of ranged weapons in the game is still limited at this time, of course, but we’ll eventually add more of them that will then make their way to the fletcher as well. To make browsing specialized shops more interesting and also worth it later in the game, you’ll now be able to sometimes find unique named weapons on offer – for kingly prices, of course.

An even more specialized shop than those three is the kennel. You can pick up a wardog or two all over the land, but if your tactics happen to rely heavily on man’s best friend, you’ll want to head out to go to the source: one of only a few kennels across the land where the best dogs of war are bred and sold in large numbers. Kennels are usually part of smaller fortifications, so they’re worth visiting for reasons different than large castles. Dogs and their handler are yet to be added to the image you see above.

There’s a bunch more buildings coming, including one that will allow you to customize the appearance of your Battle Brothers to your liking. Return here, as we’ll be revealing them in future progress updates!

Progress Update – Putting the Pieces Together (8 January 2016)Edit

The holidays are over and it’s back to work! This week we started putting all the pieces we have been creating over the past months together so that we can start playtesting and balancing all the new additions for the update in February.

Populating the world

Reworking the worldmap feels a bit like taking a machine apart and putting it back together. We started again at the beginning, improving the layout and terrain of the world, adding more interesting and unique settlements, and creating a more complex web of different factions. Now is the time to populate the world again and let the inhabitants roam the world.

Speaking of population, the world now has more clearly defined regions than before. There’s the densely populated areas between settlements that belong to noble houses – you’ll find bandits there every now and then, and the odd beast may find its way there, but it’s a lot safer than the regions bordering on the wild. The wild is largely covered in fog at the beginning of the game and for you to explore. It’s home to Orcs, Goblins and worse, and not somewhere you should venture out to before you got some experience under your belt.

Hostile locations on the worldmap received a graphical overhaul, and some, like the large camps of Goblins and Orcs, got redone. This is because we want to give both Orcs and Goblins more identity in accordance with their lore in the world of Battle Brothers. Orcs, for example, are now actually the nomads they’re supposed to be; they live in tents because they may at any time pack their things, migrate as a large horde to somewhere else (hopefully not near human settlements!) and put down their tents there to raid anything in the vicinity.

Another change is that there is no real distinction anymore between inactive and active hostile locations, as was the case in previous versions. Every location now can send out parties for hunting, raiding and similar, although smaller locations do so less and in fewer numbers, and some factions may be more passive than others. You may find Ghouls hovering around old battlefields and graveyards, or Vampires taking a stroll at night, but the undead are generally content sitting in their crypts and guarding their treasures.

While parties roaming the world will feel familiar if you’ve played previous versions of the game, there have been some improvements and additions. Caravans, for example, now actually carry the produce of the settlements that send them, it can get taken by raiders (from which you in turn can take it) or unloaded at marketplaces of the settlements that caravans reach, for you to buy there. Noble houses patrol their roads and shuffle troops between their outposts, and they’re generally more formidable than the generic Landsknechts of old. Ships now also sail between coastal settlements, transporting goods and passengers.

Loot & Treasure Locations

Because looting golden chalices, ornate tomes and gemstones feels more satisfying than mundane money every time, we’ve added a number of loot items for you to plunder. Those are largely cosmetic, but they also serve another feature we’re introducing: treasure locations. You may find treasure at all kinds of locations, of course, but there’s now a few locations well-hidden and littered around the world that contain vast amounts of treasure, including pieces of unique equipment.

You may stumble upon these locations by yourself, or you may follow rumors and leads you pick up around the world. We’ll talk more about treasure locations and rumors in a future update together with the introduction of taverns.

Update Preview Video (23 December 2015)Edit

Happy holidays, everyone!

As a special treat we have a preview video showing many of the new features and changes on the worldmap of Battle Brothers in action. Just keep in mind that all of this is still work-in-progress and will receive more polish as we go.

The worldmap update is a rework of the entire strategic part of the game. This means a lot of changes that are all interconnected and can’t really be separately released from one another. The big update containing all of these changes will be released in February 2016. Following this, we’ll go back to smaller updates again with less time in between.

Progress Update – Provisions & Sound (18 December 2015)Edit

Food connoisseurs rejoice! Provisions received a rework this week and are more diverse than ever. Also, we implemented a system to dynamically mix ambience sounds in the game for a richer atmosphere. Let’s read about it!

Provisions

Handling provisions is one of those mechanics that are kind of underwhelming. You get why it’s there – the logistics of running a mercenary company should be part of the game – but it doesn’t really add that much. What usually happens is that you’re just every now and then refilling the tanks, if you don’t happen to loot enough provisions anyway, and don’t spend much thought on it otherwise.

We want to try something different with provisions. We want it to be a bit more engaging, requiring a bit more thought put into it, without making it more complex than it should be.

Battle Brothers now has different kinds of provisions – bread, dried fish, smoked ham, mushrooms, and more. All of these come as stacks worth (currently) 25 provisions with different prices and durability. There is no limit to the amount of provisions you can carry anymore, but because individual stacks of food will eventually go bad, you probably shouldn’t buy more than your men can actually eat before it rots away. Don’t worry, though, your men are smart enough to eat first whatever food is about to turn bad next.

The different kinds of food are available at places that fit thematically, so we can further reinforce that a settlement is, for example, a fishing village. You may find the odd overpriced fish inland, but it’s fishing villages and coastal cities where you can get fish cheap and in large quantities. That village with the pig farm will probably sell you some smoked ham, and that small hamlet in the swamp won’t have much to offer other than mushrooms. As a mercenary, you have to adjust your diet a bit to what’s available during your travels.

Sound & Ambience

Since the Early Access launch on April 27th, the game was plagued by some sound compatibility issues because of the 3rd party sound library we used. Some problems have since been solved, some remained. We’ve wanted to replace this library with a different one for some time now, and this week we finally got around to doing it. What does that mean for you?

If you encountered any sound problems or oddities in the past, chances are that those are now resolved. There’s also been an issue of the game stuttering occasionally as music tracks changed on the worldmap, and this should now be a thing of the past as well.

What other cool things can we do now? We created a small system to dynamically mix ambient sounds depending on your surroundings on the worldmap. No longer is music the only thing you hear; if you’re near the coast, you’ll hear seagulls and waves crashing. In the swamps, you’ll hear insects and frogs, and icy winds blow around you in the snowy wastes of the north. At night, you can hear wolves howling in the forest, and crickets in the steppe. We really want you to feel that you’re in that forest that your figurine is standing on on the worldmap. Settlements have their own ambience as well, of course. Not only are there people, dogs, cats, chicken and more running about – if a settlement got a smithy, you’ll hear hammering, if it’s got a temple you can hear sermons, and there’s laughter and singing coming from the tavern even at night.

These ambience sounds really add a lot to the atmosphere of the whole world, make the different terrain feel distinct and settlements much more lively. Of course, reading about this is one thing, actually hearing it is another. That’s why we’ll try to have a preview video of the new worldmap ready for you to watch next week!

Progress Update - Oceans and Sea Travel (11 December 2015)Edit

Ever wondered why there is no big body of water in the world of Battle Brothers? Well, wonder no more because now there is! And you can even fast travel from port to port for a small fee to cut down on those long pilgrimages. Let’s check out the details!

Ocean and Coast Lines

A while ago we talked about how we want to reshape the geography of the world of Battle Brothers. How we’ll have both land and sea for an actual continent and smaller islands off the coast. In short, a more believable and varied looking world to play in. If you missed the original announcement back then, you can read up on it here. With this in mind, our focus turned towards the ocean and the coast this week.

Creating a coastline that fits well into our hex-based tile system, looks nice and integrates seamlessly with all kinds of different terrain we now have was a surprisingly nerve-wracking endeavour for our artist. After a long process of trial and error, and experimenting with a wide range of brushes and textures, we now have an actual shoreline along the coast where ocean meets land. With that established we can go further to add various details, like driftwood and rocks, to make the coast look more varied. At the same time we’re looking into animated waves for the ocean in order to make the worldmap feel more alive than before.

Fast Travel by Sea

Not only makes the ocean for more interesting geography, it also makes for natural barriers for travel. In fact, some settlements on islands off the coast can’t even be reached by foot. To make these accessible, and to cut down on travel time across the world in a way that integrates well with the setting, we’ve added fast travel by boat this week.

Coastal settlements, whether a small fishing village or a mighty castle by the sea, come with docks which can be accessed from the settlement screen. Here you’ll be able to browse through available routes and board a ship for a small fee (depending on distance and the number of men in your employ) to fast travel to another settlement with sea access.

IndieDB Indiegame of the Year: Vote for us!

The well known website IndieDB is hosting their Indiegame of the year voting 2015 right now and Battle Brothers already made it into the top 100! The voting continues until the 20th of December so all of you have the chance to cast a vote for us. Please head over to IndieDB and throw a vote our way – and while you are at it, tell your friends about it. You can follow this LINK or just click on the IndieDB widget below. Thanks so much for supporting us!

Progress Update – Map, Faction Leaders (4 December 2015)Edit

Time is flying by as the settlement screens get finished and we move on to work on the actual map part of the worldmap. Let’s take a closer look!

What’s been happening?

The settlement screens are done for now, so we’re moving on to polish the worldmap assets. Just like the settlement screens, those, too, had initially been done with placeholder images and are now receiving their final look. Below you can see how the central buildings of settlements, the same ones you previously saw on the settlement screens, look on the worldmap now.

At the same time we’re implementing more faction mechanics and contracts. All factions in the world of Battle Brothers now have a number of characters leading them – family members in the case of noble houses, and influential citizens in the case of settlements. Although those characters don’t have the depth as in a true rpg, we do feel that giving faces to the factions really helps to have them come alive.

As factions give out contracts, you’ll be dealing with individual characters that negotiate with you and to whom you report after all is said and done. You’ll potentially be working with them on several contracts, and they can also become part of contracts themselves. You may be escorting them, you may fight alongside them on the field of battle, or you may even be hired to kill them after having worked with them for some time – in which case they’ll permanently depart from this world, just like your conscience.

The above shows part of the new ‘Factions & Relations’ screen where you can at any time get an overview of the factions in the game, their leading characters, and your relation to them. Factions, too, come with a bit of procedurally generated backstory depending on their traits and values, in order to give you an idea of who it is you’re dealing with. If we find the time, we’ll also add some more clothes and hats suitable for nobility.

Progress Update – Contracts, Part 2 (27 November 2015)Edit

In last week’s update we talked about what we feel needs to be improved regarding contracts in the game, and introduced new mechanics to do just that. This week we’ll walk through one of the new contracts together to get a better feel for how those may branch out and how you can affect their outcome. Onwards!

Your Reputation

The contract we’re taking a closer look at today is the ‘Raid Caravan’ one. For a long time there have been requests from you guys to be able to raid caravans yourself – and now, you can. It’s not the same as living as bandits, but it’s the shadier side of mercenary business where your employer cares little for the life of a few peasants if it furthers their agenda.

Because we want to also portray the less chivalrous side of mercenary life, and give you options on how to lead your own company, we have a bunch of darker-themed contracts and decisions available. Being hired to slaughter a bunch of peasants, let no one escape alive and burn down their homes, may not appeal to everyone, and that’s ok, but it’s a way to earn some easy crowns because those peasants will hardly put up a fight against hardened mercenaries.

Your inclination towards actions such as these are now measured with a new ‘moral reputation’ scale, which reflects how people know you to act. If you’re particularly bloodthirsty, people may fear you just for your reputation, which may even unlock some additional actions in contracts and events, while being known as kind and merciful may garner you the goodwill and support of the people.

Raid Caravan

Because we’ve covered contract negotiations in last week’s update, we’re jumping straight to the action. Your employer hired you to raid a caravan, kill everyone and burn everything – their motivations for doing so vary throughout the game, the specifics will differ, but the general structure of the contract remains the same. You’re given information on a caravan travelling from one settlement to another and have to intercept it on your own terms. Predict the way it’s going to take, pick a good spot, pick a good time, and attack.

As you close in to attack, several things can happen. You may be spotted, and the caravan leader may seek a parley to offer you a bribe. You’d just have to return to your employer and tell him that you failed to catch up to the caravan. If you accept, he may even offer you a second bribe to name your employer. Failing to destroy the caravan will hurt your reputation either way, but naming your employer is a betrayal – and if your employer were to find out, he might seek revenge, and will certainly not want to trust you with contracts for the foreseeable future. But then, how should he find out? And it’s a lot of crowns you’re offered.

The caravan may have also taken up travellers along the way. One of them could be a swordmaster, a dangerous opponent that now threatens you to leave alone the caravan that so graciously took him along. Is fighting him at the risk of losing good men worth it for what you’re paid?

Closing in on the caravan successfully, you have several options. You may choose to encircle the caravan for different starting positions in battle – helpful when your orders are to leave noone alive. So are wardogs, of course, to catch up with anyone attempting to flee. If it is night time, you may try to close in even further. Note that while these actions allow you to adjust your approach to the situation, they’re not meant as a replacement for a potential deployment phase, preset formations, or similar.

The battle is done, you’re victorious! Time to report to your employer. Again, several things can happen. Maybe this time, while looking for valuables and burning the rest, your men find some delicate papers about your employer that make for an interesting read. Turns out that this was the reason he wanted to have the caravan burned in the first place. You may choose to burn the papers with the rest, or take them along. As you return to your employer, you can blackmail him with the papers for a large sum of crowns, but at the cost of your relations. Or you can just hand them over. Or keep them for a later time.

And did you let anyone escape alive to tell the tale of your attack? If so, then you better hope they didn’t know who you were, or they didn’t make it, because if the trail leads back to your employer, he probably won’t be happy about being incriminated. And neither will whoever owned that caravan appreciate your involvement.

And that’s a day in a mercenary’s life.

Progress Update – Contracts, Part 1 (20 November 2015)Edit

This week we’re talking mercenary contracts. They are a core feature for a game about managing a mercenary company, so we’re redesigning how they work in order to have them be more interesting, varied and reactive to your choices. Let’s get into it!

Introduction

Battle Brothers is a game about managing a mercenary company in a medieval fantasy world. That’s pretty much the core premise, and something to keep in mind with every feature we consider. Mercenaries, by definition, are free agents that offer their services for a fee, that take on mercenary contracts offered to them by different parties. And that’s something we really want to emphasize and make a core gameplay element of with our new contract mechanics.

There’s a couple of issues we have with how contracts work in the game right now. They’re too few, too simple, too repetitive, too static. Because they also are agnostic to the player’s progress, they can be impossible to complete or be completely outscaled in their reward by selling loot of enemies the player just randomly engages on his own, demoting them to merely a means of additional income rather than the guiding light they’re supposed to be. Finally, with loot being the major source of income, certain enemy types are vastly preferable to others that drop few or no loot due to their nature.

With these problems identified, we took contracts back to the drawing board. Let’s check out what we came up with.

Contract Negotiations

Contracts are offered to you in settlements all across the land. Some are concerned with local problems, issued by single settlements that require your services, and some are of more of a global nature and offered in all of the settlements that belong to a particular noble house. The number of contracts on offer in a single settlement is no longer limited to just 3, and you’ll also be able to see if there are other contracts on offer even if you have an active one. Because contracts may now have a time limit or contradict each other (like both attacking and defending the same caravan), you’re limited to fulfilling one at a time.

The contracts offered to you also depend on your relation to your potential employers and your renown. Renown is a new statistic that is basically your ‘business reputation’ and measures how reliable and competent you’re perceived to be across the lands. Successfully completing contracts will increase your renown, as will winning hard battles, but failing or cancelling contracts, not to mention betraying your employers, will lower it.

Contract negotiations are now handled in dialogs much like events on the worldmap are. Potential employers will introduce themselves, explain the task that they need you to perform and make an initial offer of what they’re willing to pay. This is where you’ll now be able to actively negotiate the terms of your payment. You may at any time accept their offer or ask for different terms, such as payment in advance, more payment on completion or other clauses depending on the type of contract. This also allows you to customize payment to your current needs – just lost half of your men in battle and are low on crowns? Then ask for a lot of payment in advance to be able to recruit new men and stock up on supplies before going into battle, even if it means less payment overall. Don’t test the patience of your potential employer too much, though, as eventually they may decide to break up negotiations. Once negotiations have been completed, you’ll see a final overview of what you’re to do and what payment you’ll receive. At this point, you can agree to take up the contract or take a look at other contracts available and return at a later time to sign it.

How Contracts Work

To put it simply, contracts can now be quite a bit more complex. Just take a look at the flow chart for the new ‘Raid Caravan’ contract to get an idea. Contracts now can branch differently based on 3 different ways;

They can branch randomly. Because you’re likely to do quite a few ‘Escort Caravan’ contracts in your time, we want to make sure that they play out differently and offer a surprise every now and then. Perhaps what the caravan carries this time isn’t quite what you expected. Or perhaps it isn’t bandits that stop the caravan, but soldiers of a noble house that claim that the goods the caravan caries are stolen. By changing contracts up we want to keep them feeling fresh and less predictable.

They can also branch based on your actions. Contracts can now trigger dialogs with player decisions at any time, the same way events work. For example, some contracts (and random branches) may offer you an opportunity to betray your employer for a fat bribe. Depending on your decision, the contract will play out differently. Other branches are the result of your actions in combat, and not of dialog. For example, contracts now come with more granular victory conditions; it’s no longer just a matter of getting a single survivor of a caravan to their destination – the less carts make it, the less happy your employer will be, and the less he’ll be inclined to pay you or hire you again in the future.

Finally, they can branch based on actions in previous contracts. Your decisions may carry over from one contract to another. Take the previous example of you betraying your employer. The next contract they offer to you may seem like any other you’ve done before, chasing away some bandits. But it’s a setup – heavily armed troops await you. Your employer isn’t of the forgiving kind and now seeks vengeance for your betrayal.

By introducing different branches, we want to have contracts feel much more varied, reactive and give you more choices of how you conduct yourself in the world, but also introduce consequences for your actions. Always keep in mind that helping one faction is likely to anger another, and you can’t afford to make enemies of the whole world if you expect someone to keep paying you.

Progress Update - Settlement Screens (13 November 2015)Edit

With most of the assets for the noble houses now in place we have returned to fleshing out what you see as you enter the various settlements on the worldmap. We previously worked with placeholder images to get the mechanics down first and make sure that everything works out as planned, but now those settlements receive their final look and polish. Check it out!

Settlement Screens

The worldmap consists of a variety of different terrain and climate zones, including several new additions we introduced a while ago, and those also show as you enter settlements. As villages, cities and strongholds are located in the frozen north, buildings will be covered in snow and snowy mountains will cover the horizon.

A settlement located in the wide open steppe of the south will have a much different vibe to it, as does one high up the mountains or deep in the forest. Having settlements fit their environment helps to make the world as a whole feel more coherent, and individual settlements more like real places and less generic spots on the map. After all, entering a city in the snowy north only to see lush green meadows on the inside wouldn’t exactly help the atmosphere.

Of course all settlements will look differently during night time. The shops are closed and usually only the tavern will remain open. You will be able to spend the night there and rest until morning. Here is an example of a settlement during night time in a grassland environment.

What you can’t see from the images is that we’re also creating a whole ambient soundscape for settlements depending on both their environment and the buildings within. A coastal fishing village will have you hear seagulls, a village containing a smithy will have you hear hammering on metal, and every settlement will have the sounds of people and civilization to really make you feel that you’re in the middle of a living and breathing place.

Meanwhile, work on the all-new contract mechanics continues. Next week will see a more lengthy update again as we’ll introduce how contracts now work and how you’ll be earning your crowns in the future!

Meet us in Hamburg

If you are in Hamburg you can meet up with us tomorrow 14th of November at the “Making Games Talents” conference at the HAW Hamburg. We will be representing Overhype Studios and be talking to young people wanting to get into the game industry all day so if you are in the area or attending anyways drop by and have a chat with us!

More info here (German only): Making Games Talents 2015

Finally! After all that waiting you can now experience for yourself how it feels to get your men slaughtered and, in some rare cases, even emerge victorious in a game of Battle Brothers. We hope you enjoy playing the game as much as we enjoyed designing it!

Please keep in mind that this game was just released into Early Access and is far from finished. We consider it a solid foundation upon which we can now build a truly great game over the course of the next year.

You can get the game here right now and it is offered in 3 different editions.

Basic Edition

This includes the game in its current Early Access version and all future updates up to and including the full game release. It comes at a cost of 19.99$ – depending on region, your price may vary slightly.

Deluxe Edition

The deluxe edition includes the game in its current Early Access version and all future updates up to and including the full game release. Additionally, all buyers will receive the complete Battle Brothers soundtrack as a digital download once it is finished and released. The difference in price to the basic edition will go directly to the fine musicians who are creating all the music for Battle Brothers. It comes at a cost of 24.99$ – depending on region, your price may vary slightly.

Supporter Edition

For those of you who really want to support us in the future development of Battle Brothers we also offer the Supporter Edition. Like the Deluxe Edition, this includes both the game itself and the soundtrack. In addition, you’ll get a digital lore book with a lot of background info about the world and its inhabitants, as well as our very first legendary item in the game, complete with a look of its own and a unique background story: The Fangshire.

The Supporter Edition comes at 39.99$ – keep in mind this price is not about the additional content you get, but a chance for you to support further development of Battle Brothers if this is a project you truly believe in.

For all editions, please take note that both the soundtrack and the lore book are not yet done and will only be delivered once they’ve been finalized. You can expect them to be done at around the time the game leaves Early Access.

Feedback and Bugs Reports

Head over to the Steam discussion boards or our official forums to share your opinion, tell us of your ideas and experiences, and give us feedback.

It’s pretty much inevitable that once all of you play the game a pile of bugs and glitches will turn up that we never experienced before. We’ll do our very best to fix any issues in a timely manner, but we also need your help.

Please report any bugs at our bug report forum and try to follow the guide in the sticky post.

Work on factions in the world of Battle Brothers continues and ties into the tactical combat part of the game this week, as noble houses get lots of nifty stuff to wear and get their own identity on the battlefield. Also, work on new contract mechanics has started. Let’s take a closer look!

What’s been happening?

Like with all opponents in the game (and in this case, allies as well) we want noble houses to have an identity of their own and pose a unique challenge on the battlefield, to require different tactics from beating, say, orcs or bandits. To this end, noble houses will have access to equipment not otherwise available and make use of skills and tactics that differentiate them especially from other human opponents. We’ll cover all the units available to them in detail with their lore at a later point, but for now, here is a preview of what is to come.

Noble houses make use of standard bearers with any full company. Not only do they look impressive and give a sense of organized and regimental warfare lacking with other opponents, they passively raise the morale and will to fight of nearby troops. In addition, they can make use of the ‘Rally’ skill, just like the player can – blowing a horn to push their comrades to go the extra mile.

The single most dangerous individual unit employed by noble houses is the knight. A man of noble birth, trained from youth in the use of weapons and warfare, steeled in experience by combat and attending tourneys across the land. Their station affords them the best equipment available, and their helms may be adorned with ridiculously intricate decoration that picks up themes of the noble house they serve. This decoration is in fact based on what knights have historically worn – although, while in reality this was usually limited to parades and tourneys, we took the artistic license of making it a custom for knights to display their station and grandeur in this way in the world of Battle Brothers in all situations. It makes for a nice contrast to have knights care so much for their presentation, to stage themselves as untouchable warriors and connoisseurs of the fine arts, only to end up all muddy and bloody on the battlefield like any soldier of common birth. Speaking of battlefields, knights come with partially randomized perks to reflect that each knight has his very own experiences, strengths and weaknesses in combat.

At the same time, work on the new and completely redone contract mechanics has started. We’re currently prototyping to make sure that everything works out as planned and will have a dedicated update or two to let you know all about them within the next few weeks.

Progress Update – Character Backgrounds, Goblin Preview, Visual Makeover Continued (7 August 2015)Edit

All the different Goblins have made it into the game now and are being tested and balanced. All their sounds are done as well – the most extensive work for any creature yet. You’ll find a new preview in this update. In the meantime, we also changed how character backgrounds work and gave all helmet visuals a makeover.

Character Backgrounds

Hiring new mercenaries is a core part of the gameplay of Battle Brothers and we put a lot of effort into making characters feel as unique and memorable as possible. That’s why we keep adding new faces, hairstyles, items and background stories all the time. The background of a character, essentially what they did before joining up with you to become a mercenary, is an especially defining factor of who they are today. It determines their starting stats, their traits and factors into events involving the character.

However, there are two issues with how character backgrounds work currently. The first issue is that because characters have randomized stats within a certain range to reflect different talents and dispositions, it’s sometimes hard to predict their stats based on their background. A hunter is someone you’d want to hire when looking for a ranged specialist – yet with an unlucky roll you can end up with a guy quite bad with ranged weapons, despite the Hunter background adding a flat amount of ranged skill. This is understandably frustrating for players that are explicitly looking for a ranged character and have invested quite a bit of crowns.

The second issue is that because backgrounds change a character’s stats by a fixed amount, it makes things too predictable on other occasions. A Hedge Knight is always better than a Farmhand overall. There is no single Farmhand that can match a Hedge Knight in strength, anywhere. This is a problem because it quickly divides backgrounds into those considered must-have, and those considered bad and only to be hired at the start of the game, outside of roleplaying reasons. We want to have some diversity in the player’s rosters and not just two or three different backgrounds with the rest essentially skipped.

To address these points, we’ve changed how character stats are determined. Instead of rolling stats in the same range for all characters and then having the background add a flat amount on top, backgrounds now have their very own min and max values when rolling for each stat. What does that mean? Well, you can find characters skilled in ranged combat with all kinds of backgrounds, some even more skilled than the Hunter you’ve just hired – but the Hunter is guaranteed to know how to use a bow and will always come with a good level of ranged skill now. And while with a Hedge Knight you know you’ll be getting a beast of man, there’s always the chance that you’ll find that random exceptional Farmhand that is even stronger and more physically fit – the Hedge Knight is just guaranteed to be at a good level.

Founding Members

When starting a new campaign you enter the world with 3 founding members in your mercenary company. Those founding members previously came with a background chosen at random, with only the very weakest and the strongest backgrounds excluded, which made for some interesting scenarios at times but also contributed to the very uneven difficulty in the early game.

You may have noticed before that the introductory screen explains you starting a mercenary company with three companions who worked as sellswords before and fought alongside you personally in the shieldwall. It never made much sense that you’d then end up with a fisherman and a tailor who didn’t know the first thing about fighting, so we’ve changed that. The three Battle Brothers you start with now come with a unique Companion background that can’t be found anywhere else. They have some respectable fighting experience and some fighting gear that has already seen battle, as well as background stories that tell of your exploits and how you originally met. They’re competent fighters and should make the early game a bit less bumpy, but they’re not necessarily on the level of some of the other characters you can hire later on in the game. Where to take it from here, and whom to hire next, is your decision to make.

Goblins

And here we are with another preview of the upcoming Goblins. This time we’re showing the Goblin Skirmisher, their melee infantry, with a couple of different deadly tools available to them.

We’re currently busy testing them in the game, balancing their difficulty and adjusting their behavior to make for some unique challenges very different from other opponents already in the game. All their sounds have been done this week as well – with an actual sound budget now we’re able to give Goblins voices that really underline their mischievous character.

Visual Makeover Continued

Continuing with our visual makeover, Paul has had his crosshairs on helmets this week. Those are now in line with the new body armors and also boast a grittier and more detailed look.

Progress Update – Throwing Weapons, Visual Makeover Continued (31 July 2015)Edit

The first Goblins have made their way into the game and are now being playtested. While that’s going on, as always, we’ve implemented a bunch of smaller things from our todo. The most important one this week: Throwing Weapons and a bit of love for ranged combat in general. Also, Paul has been busy as ever continuing his visual rework. Wiedergangers and all armors in the game got a makeover!

Throwing Weapons

Let’s talk about ranged combat in general for a moment. There’s some things that work well already, such as the difference between bows and crossbows, line of fire and friendly fire. But then there is the issue of ranged combat, generally speaking, not having quite enough of an impact on how the game is played. Players seldom invest into the Ranged Defense attribute, as ranged opponents usually don’t pose enough of a threat, and using ranged weapons themselves is usually reserved for a token archer or two.

To address this, we’ve taken several steps. First, view range for all units has been increased by one, and the range of bows and crossbows has been increased by one as well. This way we’re emphasizing the strength of ranged weapons and make for more situations where they can be of use, while at the same time making it easier to find enemies running. Second, we’re rethinking the place of throwing weapons in the game and introducing a bunch more. Here we go.

Whereas bows and crossbows are best for long-distance ranged combat by ranged specialists, throwing weapons are supposed to be secondary weapons that can be used at least somewhat effectively by everyone over short to medium distances. That’s why throwing weapons get an accuracy bonus to start off but have their accuracy drop much more sharply than for bows and crossbows the more distant the target is. New throwing weapons are Throwing Axes, Javelins and – spoiler – two devilish Goblin throwing weapons. Crude Javelins, previously already in the game, are now an orc weapon again, as originally intended.

Those throwing weapons are being handed out to some melee opponents as we speak. Not to everyone, of course, but Goblins are very fond of them as they synergize well with their other tools, and Bandit Raiders may also throw an axe your way every now and then. Even a few Young Orcs may now carry javelins to throw before a charge. If the only alternative is charging into your spearwall, your opponents may now opt to just pelt you from afar and punish your static defense line.

With ranged weapons now more common, Ranged Defense should also become a more important choice on level-up and in choice of shield for keeping your Battle Brothers safe. It’s still not a must-have, but it makes a difference – and very specialized builds, such as the famed Nimble Swordmaster, now come with a clear weakness that can actually be exploited by the AI.

Visual Makeover Continued

Continuing with the visual makeover we announced last week, Paul has given the Wiedergangers some attention. Not only have they received some polishing, they now also sport their very own hair and beard styles fit for half-rotting corpses.

Those of you who follow Paul’s Art Thread, our Facebook or Twitter will already know – most of the visual makeover this week has been armor. We tried to give all the armor are more realistic and detailed appearance, but also a bit more of a used and less fresh look. Pieces of armor were extremely expensive in the middle ages and used for a long time, sometimes over several generations.

At the same time we’re looking to make the progression in armor value something to be more visually recognizable. Heavy armor should look the part, which is why Heraldic Mail no longer has the highest armor value in the game but is now situated more closely by the other mail armors. We’ve also filled quite a few gaps in progression with entirely new armor and will shuffle values around a bit for everything.

Progress Update - Wardogs, Armor Mechanics, Visual Makeover (24 July 2015)Edit

Work continues on implementing Goblins. While that’s going on, we’re also doing some things that have been on our todo list for some time – adding wardogs and changing the armor mechanics. In addition, Paul is doing a makeover of many of the older assets in the game, especially the Battle Brothers themselves.

Wardogs

That’s right, wardogs have made their way into the game and you can soon have them in your mercenary company. These dogs are of a large and aggressive breed and they come with their own name and one of several different looks. But what is their purpose?

Goblins will rely heavily on ranged combat and kiting their opponents, so Battle Brothers need a new trick up their sleeves as well. And while the recently introduced feature of retreating enemies does alleviate the issue of having to catch the last remaining enemies, we want to go further. Wardogs are a tool for the player to chase down any enemy and hold them in place until Battle Brothers arrive, as well as to find any enemies hidden in the fog of war. It’s a tool that makes a lot of sense in a medieval fantasy world, and at the same time is something to have fun with and get invested in. Afterall, who doesn’t like dogs?

Wardogs are not individual characters in your party but are treated like an item – at least outside of combat. They can be bought in settlements and then assigned to a character before combat. Ever noticed that empty slot in the top left of your characters’ paper doll? That’s the accessory slot, and that’s where wardogs go, among other things.

In combat the character handling a dog has a unique skill called ‘Unleash Wardog’. The unleashed dog will spawn on an adjacent free tile and will act immediately after the handler has finished his turn. The dog is not controlled by the player but by the AI following a distinct behavior – it will straight up charge for the next free opponent and engage him in melee all while doing a lot of barking. Wardogs don’t actually do that much damage, at least not against armored opponents, but they are very useful in pinning down archers or other elusive targets in the opponent’s backline for your Battle Brothers to follow up. What’s more, they can track down hidden enemies. If you don’t know where the last few enemies are hiding on the map, unleash a dog and he will find them for you.

Wardogs bring a lot of utility to the table, but they also require a bit of careful thinking of when to best be unleashed. They’re not humans and so will run happily into enemy spears only to kill themselves. Just like for your Battle Brothers that spells perma-death for them.

Armor Mechanics

First, the punchline: We’ve changed how weapons and armor interact. While we believe that the armor system as it was worked decently well, there were a couple of issues we want to address with this change.

Because armor effectively acts as additional hitpoints, the game as it were encourages stacking a lot of armor. In fact, it encourages doing so over increasing hitpoints because raising maximum fatigue in order to wear more armor yields more effective hitpoints than raising actual hitpoints on levelup. In addition, getting hit with any kind of weapon and just shrugging off the damage as long as your armor is intact is a simplistic approach. In reality you often suffer at least some small bruise or blunt trauma, even if your armor is not penetrated. Finally, we have no way of correctly modelling weapons that penetrate armor very well without doing much damage to the armor itself. A good example is the crossbow which has a very high armor efficiency causing it to do a lot of damage against armor because we had no other good way of modelling penetrating attacks.

To remedy the above points we’re introducing the concept of ‘Direct Damage’ as an addition to the armor mechanics that are already in place. Direct damage is a new characteristic of every attack skill (e.g. Slash, Thrust, etc) that determines what amount of damage done is not absorbed by armor immediately but may directly affect hitpoints, whether by actually piercing through armor or by blunt force trauma that is felt through armor. Let’s go step by step to see how damage is applied:

Firstly, armor damage is applied to armor (if any) based on the ‘Armor Effectiveness’ of the skill and weapon used. Secondly, and this is new, ‘Direct Damage’ is applied to hitpoints based on the skill used but reduced by 10% of the current armor value. This means that the better the armor, the less direct damage gets through, and the more damaged an armor gets, the more direct damage will get through. Finally, if there is no armor left, the remaining damage is applied directly to hitpoints.

So how does that address the issues above? With direct damage, both armor and hitpoints matter. A character getting attacked by weapons that can inflict a lot of direct damage – such as crossbows or maces – can now get killed even while he has armor points left. On the other hand, a character can never get killed with any hitpoints left. Because hitpoints heal a lot slower than armor is repaired or replaced, Battle Brothers may also take attritional damage now by way of cuts and bruises that add up over several battles, further emphasizing the need for a larger hitpoint pool for longer campaigns. With the introduction of direct damage we can now correctly model weapons like crossbows that were built to penetrate armor, not to destroy it. This also gives us a more freedom for introducing different skills and weapons in the future. Finally, modeling most attacks as inflicting at least some damage to the target in the form of blunt trauma, concussion or bruises is arguably more realistic than assuming that armor would prevent all damage.

While unfortunately this added mechanic does take away a bit from the clear and simple way it worked previously we’re confident that this is well worth the trade-off. We want to strike a good balance between having realism in our combat system and keeping the mechanics easy to pick up, and we feel that the concept of direct damage makes a lot of sense intuitively.

Visual Makeover

As you may know, we started out doing this game in our free time, in the few hours we had each evening after our day jobs. With very limited time we had to make some tough calls and couldn’t give everything the attention we wanted to.

This changed since we moved to working fulltime on the game about a month ago, and this also shows in the game’s visuals. The newer assets – such as for the upcoming Goblins – are a lot more detailed, making the older assets look a bit dated by comparison. To remedy this, Paul will be revamping many of the older assets and giving them a makeover so that they’re on par with the new stuff for a consistently detailed look.

First up are the Battle Brothers themselves – and while we’re at it, we’re also adding a few more faces, hair and beard styles as well!

Progress Update – Worn Armor and Goblin Preview (17 July 2015)Edit

As we explained previously, the next update to the game will take us a few weeks to get done. In the meantime we invite you to take a look at what we’re working on and how progress is going. This week we’ve added a wide variety of worn armor and helmets for the bandit faction and started work on the Goblins.

Worn Armor

So far, everyone was wearing well-crafted armor and helmets in mint condition. This always felt a bit out of place especially with the bandits who looked pretty much like regular soldiers or militia forces with their equipment. After all, they are supposed to be outlaws living in the woods and they can have a hard time getting materials to repair their gear.

To address this, we’ve made a variety of new armor and helmets with a worn-out look, gear that has been patched up many times, lost some parts or has become rusted. This gives the bandit faction a unique look and makes them stand out from other human factions. What is more, all these items have their own values for armor and fatigue penalties. In general, the worn-out and patched armors are a bit lighter, giving less fatigue penalties but also having less armor points.

Although bandits make the most use out of this new equipment, it isn’t exclusive to them. These items are not sold in shops, but they can of course be looted and used by the player, and some backgrounds the player can hire now also wear ragged surcoats, headscarfs and many more of those new items as starting equipment for a more flavorful look.

Goblin Preview

Goblins are of course the major coming new feature for Battle Brothers. We’ll do a proper reveal in time and talk about their place in the world, their culture, their equipment and their individual troop types in detail. Until then, we didn’t want to leave you without a small teaser of what is to come. So here it is, an image of the Goblin Wolfrider!

What’s next?

Most of the assets for the Goblins are done, and now we’re on to implementing them into the game. Since they come with a bunch of unique skills and an extensive armory of their own, that’s quite a bit of work. Once that’s done, we’ll have to extend the AI to allow it to actually make use of all the new weapons, skills and tactical options. Finally, we have to playtest and balance the new faction to make sure they work as intended and that combat against them is both challenging and fun.

Named Items - Battle Brothers 0.4.1.5 (10 July 2015)Edit

This week’s update adds named items with unique looks and randomized stats as rare loot for the most powerful opponents, fixes a critical bug with last week’s retreat mechanic, adds some new events and includes quite a few balancing changes.

Named Items

As we see it, there are two problems with the item progression currently. Firstly, the player very quickly skips the lower tiers of weapons after just the first few battles because higher tier weapons generally drop as loot and are widely available for reasonable prices. And because mid to high tier equipment is available so soon, there is also little to buy or save for later in the game. This will be addressed with the next big update. Secondly, although the selection of weapons, shields and armor is ever-increasing, there is a distinct lack of reward when prevailing against the strongest of opponents, and little excitement in the looting phase after battle. This update aims to address this.

The strongest opponents now have a small chance to both use and drop as loot named weapons and shields that offer some advantages over their nameless counterparts and come with looks of their own. Their stats are slightly randomized to excel in different areas and some of them are plain better than others. To be clear, named items are not the legendary items we plan on adding eventually – they’re just very well crafted weapons and shields and should make looting in the game a bit more interesting for now, as well as allow you to customize your brothers better with their unique look.

Looking for a Sound Designer!

Going forward we’re looking for a dedicated hobbyist or professional sound designer to join us in making the game come alive. Your responsibilities would include designing the sound effects for various fantasy creatures, general battle sounds, footsteps, ambient noise and user interface sounds. If you’re a fan of Battle Brothers and would love to work on the game yourself, read our full job posting and apply at contact@overhypestudios.com!

What’s next?

Next up is the biggest update to date – the one introducing Goblins and changing quite a few mechanics around. Getting all this done will take us several weeks, so there will not be an update to the game for a while. However, we will keep you posted on our progress and will give you some sneak peeks into the coming green menace along the way.

Unfortunately the Goblin update will break save game compatibility – you will have to start a new campaign.

Changelog

  • Added named weapons and shields with slightly randomized stats as rare loot for the more powerful opponents.

  • Added 4 new events.
  • Changed Rally the Troops skill so that a single character can only be rallied once per round. A single character being rallied multiple times, especially in combination with Perfect Focus, proved to be way too powerful in dealing with almost any threat, which was not how it was intended.

  • Changed fatigue costs of Perfect Focus skill to 30 (down from 40).

  • Changed Ghouls to make use of the retreat mechanics as well.

  • Changed prices of some supplies to be higher.

  • Changed movement speed on mountainous terrain to be slightly higher.

  • Changed the waiting action to reduce initiative by 25% for the purpose of determining turn order the following turn. This is to lessen the problem of taking double-turns, i.e. two turns in quick succession.

  • Changed the Shield Bash perk to have the Knock Back skill cost 10 Fatigue less to use in order to make it more of a viable choice until it gets either reworked or replaced.

  • Changed Javelins so that they can be thrown twice per turn and cost less fatigue to use, also reduced their damage and effectiveness against armor with each throw.
  • Fixed retreating enemies crashing the game in some instances.

  • Fixed orcs potentially charging to tiles they shouldn't be able to reach.

Retreating Enemies - Battle Brothers 0.4.1.3 (2 July 2015)Edit

This week’s update adds a new feature to the game - enemies can now retreat from battle! Also, we’ve added a new weapon, a new armor, and a bunch of new events. Existing events have been tweaked a bit for more balanced outcomes and trigger conditions, and the bugs that surfaced after last week’s larger update have been fixed.

Retreating Enemies

Chasing that last surviving bandit marksman on a forest map isn’t always that fun, so non-undead enemies now have the ability to retreat from the battlefield should they perceive there to be no chance of winning the encounter. Just like the player, the AI has to reach the map border in order to retreat safely, giving you the chance to intercept them if you want to let noone escape, or get all the loot.

Whether an AI combatant retreats or not depends on a few factors, such as how many of his allies are still with him, how many have already fallen, and how many men the player still has. For the time being, the AI will not attempt to flee a battle from the beginning, even if they’re outnumbered. The option of retreat is meant for the last few scattered survivors. The actual thresholds for when individual combatants make use of it may still need some numbers tweaking.

We know that this doesn’t solve the issue of chasing enemy archers across the map in its entirety, but it is a good step in the right direction that makes sense in the context of the game world. We’ll eventually introduce a few more tools that will enable the player to better handle such situations.

New Weapon

This week we introduce the Butcher’s Cleaver, a tool used for hacking through meat and bone. It is a low tier variant of the older Military Cleaver and a possible starting item for characters with the butcher background.

Changelog

  • Added ability for non-undead enemies to retreat from battle should they perceive there to be no chance of winning.

  • Added 8 new events.

  • Added Butcher's Cleaver as a lower tier variant of the Military Cleaver and a possible starting item for characters with the butcher background.

  • Added Werewolf Hide Armor.
  • Changed some events for more balanced outcomes and trigger conditions.

  • Changed out mood icons for better readable ones.

  • Changed Pathfinder perk to now also reduce the fatigue cost for movement to half.

  • Changed Necromancer to walk at a slightly less brisk pace across the battlefield.

  • Changed resource limits to depend on difficulty setting. They're now a bit higher on normal and easy.
  • Fixed quickload/quicksave unintentionally being disabled.

  • Fixed bug that had militia spawned with the Woodcutter's Axe show as unarmed and unable to take their turn in combat.

  • Fixed issue with savegames not loading correctly when the player has a Masterwork Bow. The savegames in question should now load correctly again.

  • Fixed time not pausing correctly when switching tasks.

Introducing the Event System - Battle Brothers 0.4.1.1 (26 June 2015)Edit

Time sure flies by fast! It’s been a full month now since we announced that we’d go full time and needed some weeks to get everything sorted out. While we took care of business and set up our new workspaces, we were also featured on the Steam Summer Sale for a day. Yay!

We’re happy to let you know that we’re now back in the saddle again. Both Christof (the programmer) and Jan (the manager) have moved to work full time on Battle Brothers. The last of the bunch, Paul (the artist), will join us mid-July. Development pace should now pick up again.

As previously announced, the first item on our roadmap is the introduction of an event system for the game. Today’s update to the game adds just that, so let’s take a closer look…

The Event System

Managing a mercenary company is not an easy thing. Not only do you need to command your men in battle, now your leadership skills are tested outside of combat as well. It’s easy to forget at times that the little guys you control are supposed to be humans. As humans, they sometimes have their own agenda, they have strengths and weaknesses in character, they may change with time, they may quarrel or bond with each other, and they’ll come to you with requests. While traveling on the worldmap, a lot can happen, much of which we can now convey to you with events.

To kick things off, we’ve added 47 events to the game. These include things that you can just stumble upon while traveling the world, some things that require you to be at certain places, as well as things that require characters of certain backgrounds or traits in your party. Some backgrounds may not play well together, and some may have advantages or disadvantages also outside of combat. What choices you have available at events may depend on what characters you have, and the outcome of your choices may differ as well.

Those 47 events are pretty much a vertical slice of what we want to ultimately achieve with the events, showing a bit of everything. Some events are comprised of only a single scene, some are quite complex and contain a dozen different scenes. It’s not nearly enough events yet to cover everything, of course, but we intend to add a lot more as we go along to make for a varied and reactive experience. Keep in mind that as everything else in this game, the event system is in Early Access too, and not finished. Once we add additional mechanics in the future, such as player reputation in the world, we’ll also weave this into the event system to trigger different events depending on your reputation, and to allow for events to change the reputation you have.

Note that you do not have to start a new campaign to have events in your game, your old save should load just fine. However, you’ll get the most out of the events with a new campaign.

Character Moods

Together with the events we also implemented a ‘mood system’ that tracks a mercenary’s current mood on an individual level. This was necessary as many events potentially influence how your mercs feel and how motivated they are. We model this by a scale ranging from ‘euphoric’ all the way down to ‘angry’. A character in good spirits receives a bonus to his resolve while a disgruntled character will probably be more reluctant to risk his neck for you.

For example, a highborn noble gets into a fight with a lowborn servant – depending on how you, as the leader, decide to handle the situation there might be people upset or satisfied in the end. The effect on your mercenaries’ moods adds another layer of consequence to your decisions during events and makes them more meaningful and impactful. Getting all the different characters in your mercenary company to work together can be a challenge in itself.

New Weapons

While we were at it, we also added a few more weapons to the game.

From left to right: Wooden Flail and Reinforced Wooden Flail – agricultural tools turned weapon, these are lower tier variants of the Flail. Woodcutter’s Axe – a two-handed axe meant to fell trees, but will fell men just as well. Warbrand – a hybrid between a one-handed and a two-handed sword.

What’s next?

We’ll keep a close eye on the changes we’ve just introduced and will likely provide smaller but more frequent updates for a while to iron out any issues and make minor content additions. Once things are looking good, we’ll target the next item on our roadmap – the Goblin faction. This will be the largest update to date and come together with a lot of other changes, such as to AI and the leveling system. We want to do as many of these changes as we can in one go, because unfortunately that update will then have to break compatibility with save games from previous versions of the game.

Changelog

  • Added new event mechanic on the worldmap with 46 different events to start with. We'll continually add new events from now on.

  • Added two new combat music tracks exclusive to fighting bandits and beasts, respectively.

  • Added a limit to the amount of food, ammo, tools and medicine that can be carried at once. Previously, the player could haul giant stockpiles of everything around the countryside, essentially removing these resources as a consideration and additional means to pay upkeep. This change should make them stay relevant.

  • Added Warbrand as a two-handed sword variant.

  • Added Woodcutter's Axe as a lower tier two-handed axe.

  • Added Wooden Flail and Reinforced Wooden Flail as lower tier flails.

  • Added Masterwork Bow.

  • Added ability to pause the game on the worldmap also using the 'Pause' key. Makes sense.
  • Changed Skeleton Guards to have 8 AP (up from 6) to bring them in line with other skeletons and enable them to stick to the bulk of the fighting force.

  • Changed fatigue costs for movement to be double across the board. Movement hardly factored into fatigue before and this should provide another drawback for using heavy armor, especially when fighting more skirmish-oriented opponents, such as the upcoming Goblins.

  • Changed Athletic and Clubfooted traits to have double the effect on fatigue costs for movement.

  • Changed Taunt skill to be more effective.

  • Changed crossbows to be reloaded automatically after combat ends.

  • Changed amount of crowns the player receives from selling loot to be lower.
  • Fixed flipping the map during an AI turn potentially preventing the game from proceeding.

  • Fixed game refusing to continue during an AI turn under specific conditions.

  • Fixed laggy UI after changing character name and confirming with return key.

  • Fixed Gravedigger background incorrectly using text of the Graverobber background.

  • Fixed incorrect icon for Impale skill of the pitchfork.

  • Fixed Berserk perk sometimes not working correctly.

  • Fixed inaccurate sell prices shown on items in the shop interface.

Going Full Time and A Small Roadmap (23 May 2015)Edit

Time for some good news!

It’s been more than three weeks now since Battle Brothers released into Early Access and so far it has been pretty successful. The game was well received and we got a lot of helpful feedback from all of you, much of which we’ll incorporate into the game over the course of the next year. There is a lot still left to do, of course, but things are looking bright.

The game has also been a financial success for us. As you may be aware, Battle Brothers was developed by a core team of just 3 people over the course of nearly 2 years in their spare time while also working day jobs. The recent success now allows us to quit our day jobs and start working full time on Battle Brothers. That’s right, we’re about to have a lot more time we can put into the game and should be able to make progress much faster than before!

The downside for now is that quitting our day jobs and going full time is not something we can do over night. As you may know from experience yourselves, changing jobs always comes with a lot of organizational hurdles. Getting legal stuff out of the way, setting up new workplaces, doing a clean handover for you former job, existing contractual obligations, and so on. We are looking at a transitional period that will keep us pretty busy over the next couple of weeks.

During these next weeks we won’t be able to make much progress on the game itself and provide you with updates as frequently as before. It’s all worth it, however, because once things are settled, the game should progress at a much faster pace than in the 2 years before, and we’re already looking forward to really get going!

A big thank you to all of you who made this, our dream of working on our very own game, possible! And an extra big thank you to those of you who supported us even more by getting the Supporter Edition!

A Small Roadmap

To give you a better idea of our immediate plans, once we have settled into working full time on Battle Brothers, we also want to share a small roadmap with you.

1) Event System

As explained in our last blog post, our next immediate goal is the addition of the event system to add interesting encounters and tough decisions outside of combat, as well as laying the foundations for dialog and a future rework of the contract system. Because a lot of events will change depending on what backgrounds or traits your Battle Brothers have, it’ll also add a layer of complexity to character backgrounds beyond just their different stats.

2) Goblins

Next up are Goblins. Those are the green skinned cousins of the orcs that have an entirely different fighting style. While orcs rely on physical prowess and brute-forcing their way through your ranks, goblins lack the physical power to do so. In fact, they’re quite fragile individually, more so than your average Battle Brother. In battle they rely on their wits and dirty tricks instead, preferring to fight at range. Goblins come with their own arsenal of unique weaponry and skills – throwing nets to incapacitate their enemies, arrows with terrible poison and long jagged pikes. Goblins should add an entirely new challenge to combat in Battle Brothers and are also meant to be a missing piece of the puzzle that is game balance by making ranged combat more important. No longer is the nimble swordmaster safe from all danger!

3) Rework of the Worldmap

The third and by far largest step on our immediate roadmap is a rework of the worldmap as a whole. It’s quite clear that the world simulation, as it is now, is not satisfactory. With the resources available to us now and the lessons learned so far, we’re going to design new gameplay around commandeering a mercenary company in a low-fantasy medieval world. We already have a solid concept for this, and we’ll update you once things are further along. Yes, there will be multiple human factions working against each other. And yes, we’ll make contracts a lot more interesting and dynamic.

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.44 (19 May 2015)Edit

Bugfixing time.

CHANGELOG

  • Fixed sound compatibility issue.

  • Fixed rendering compatibility issue.

  • Fixed AI being unable to end its turn under specific circumstances.

  • Fixed caravans being attacked not triggering combat for the player as it is supposed to.

  • Fixed day/night indicator potentially going out of synch.

  • Fixed outdated description of Captain perk.
  • Added more debug output to logfile in order to help with hunting down unresolved issues.

For people experiencing rendering problems it should be worth a try running the game again with this update.

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.42 (15 May 2015)Edit

New weapons! No longer is the Billhook the only melee weapon with a range of two tiles, as there is now the Pike. Also, the Pickaxe and the Pitchfork are introduced as early game equivalents of the Warhammer and the Pike, respectively, to smooth out the progression a bit. Some backgrounds will have these as starting items and you may see militia using these as improvised weapons as well. Also, other stuff.

CHANGELOG

  • Fixed compatibility issue with sound.

  • Fixed rare graphical glitch.

  • Fixed Return Favor perk not working as intended.
  • Changed Killing Frenzy effect to last for 2 turns (down from 3).

  • Changed fatigue cost of Footwork skill to 25 (down from 30).

  • Changed Captain perk to now grant half the difference in resolve between the captain and the non-captain as a bonus. Consequently, characters with low resolve of their own will profit the most from a leader nearby, while a potential exploit for characters with very high resolve is eliminated.

  • Changed Rally the Troops to have a range of 4 tiles (down from 5).

  • Changed the way Debilitate works. The skill is no longer an attack of its own but modifies the next attack done. Once used, the user gains a 'Debilitating Attack' status effect which has their next attack confer the 'Debilitated' debuff to their target. Missing the attack wastes the effect. This way, Debilitate can now be used with any weapon, including ranged weapons. A debilitated target has the damage it can inflict reduced by -50% for one turn (instead of receiving increased damage, as it was before).

  • Changed the way movement for the player works on the worldmap. Setting a destination close to the current position will have the group move directly to it as it worked before, but setting a destination further away will now make use of pathfinding to navigate between forests and on roads automatically. We'll probably add an indicator for the destination and path in one of the coming updates.
  • Added Pike, Pitchfork and Pickaxe weapons.

  • Added icon dropping on everyone affected by use of the Taunt skill to make it more appearent how the skill works.

  • Added hint to targeting tooltip if the selected skill affects the hitchance.

  • Added command line argument (also known as Game Launch Option) to potentially fix rare compatibility issue with some video cards. If you're getting pixelated sprites in the game, try to start Battle Brothers with the command line argument -t2. If this works for you, you can increase this to -t3, -t4 etc up to -t8 for better performance. You can read up on how to apply the command line argument with Steam here. If it doesn't work for you, please let us know so we can continue looking for a solution.

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.40 (12 May 2015)Edit

Quite a bunch of changes this time.

Most importantly, this update should resolve some issues with poor performance and UI lag that a few players were experiencing. Please let us know if the issue persists for you despite the changes.

Valve has also fixed issues with upgrading to the Supporter Edition. If you want to support development of this game even more, you can now do so by upgrading on the storepage. Thank you!

CHANGELOG

  • Fixed some performance issues.

  • Fixed crash related to the AI using the Rotation skill at the edge of the screen.

  • Fixed pathfinding not always returning the optimal path.

  • Fixed issue with villages being placed without any connection to the road network on the worldmap in rare cases.

  • Fixed UI label of available stash space not updating correctly.

  • Fixed Hammer skill not inflicting a minimum of 10 hitpoint damage in some cases.

  • Fixed Bloody Harvest not working correctly with the Split skill.

  • Fixed Ghouls feasting on corpses while at the same time being repelled by the spearwall skill.
  • Changed worldmap speed of all parties, including the player's, to be slightly higher on default but get reduced by 1.5% per individual unit. This way, the player has an easier time outrunning large armies and can get away easier with few men than the full contingent of twelve. With more different worldspeeds, AI parties also shouldn't chase each other for as long anymore with no chance of either catching up or losing another.

  • Changed enemy factions on the worldmap to acquire resources slightly slower via scavenging and hunting animals.

  • Changed newly constructed enemy bases to have slightly lower resources to start with.

  • Changed Escort Caravan contracts to be more readily available later on in the game.

  • Changed bonus hitchance of Bloody Harvest perk to +10% (down from +15%).

  • Changed Horrific Scream of Lost Souls to be slightly easier to resist.

  • Changed Lost Soul AI to stop trying to shout at characters who are obviously immune to mental attacks.

  • Changed Lost Soul AI to more readily engage into melee once everyone in their vicinity is fleeing or immune to their screams.

  • Changed a few values around for the difficulty rating system on the worldmap.

  • Changed hidden enemies to no longer show up in the tooltip as a factor affecting hitchance when they're in the line of fire between a Battle Brother and a visible target. Actual numbers used still include their presence, however.

  • Changed Alt + Rightclick to no longer sell items on the shop screen for those players who are actually trying to set items for repair there.

  • Changed retreat confirmation dialog to also be shown when retreating via the ingame menu.
  • Added Lost Souls using Horrific Scream to combat log.

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.38 (9 May 2015)Edit

A few important fixes. Have a nice weekend!

CHANGELOG

  • Fixed crash with non-equippable items.

  • Fixed issues of the AI being unable to end its turn.

  • Fixed enemies warping across the tactical map in rare cases.

  • Fixed UI highlighting of paperdoll slots not being removed correctly when dragging items from the ground into the paperdoll.

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.36 (7 May 2015)Edit

This update will reset your game options. You'll have to set resolution, audio volume, hardware cursor and all that stuff again the way you want it to be!

CHANGELOG

  • Fixed fleeing characters occupying the same tile as other characters in rare cases.

  • Fixed allied locations not recovering their resources correctly which could lead to no caravans or patrols being spawned later in the game. Note that it may take a while for your world to recover and that locations still need caravans to reach them in order to flourish.

  • Fixed Orc Headsplitter not applying the correct amount of shield damage.

  • Fixed AI not considering whether they have the Crusher perk when using the Split Shield skill.

  • Fixed AI calculating the value of their ranged units vs. the player's ranged units incorrectly.
  • Changed AI to be more cautious of spearwalls.

  • Changed Quick Hands perk again. The first item swap each turn is now a free action, every additional swap has the normal cost of 4AP. This should allow for more instances where the perk comes in useful.

  • Changed Taunt skill to be more effective.

  • Changed Effectiveness vs. Armor of Winged Mace to 140% (down from 150%).

  • Changed damage range of Fighting Axe to 35 - 55 (down from 40 - 55).

  • Changed prices of all mid and high tier armor and helmets to be higher.

  • Changed forests to be slightly easier to navigate and made enemies there spawn a bit closer to the player on average.
  • Added new 'Auto-Adjust Height Level' setting to gameplay options. This is enabled by default for the camera behavior you're used to. Disabling this will prevent the camera from changing height levels automatically to give you a better view on things. Be aware that disabling this means you'll have to adjust height levels manually or some units will be occluded by terrain!

  • Added level of difficulty shown for every save made with this update and beyond at the load/save campaign screens.

  • Added new Tailor and Shepherd character backgrounds.

  • Added more high-level compositions of base defenders for all factions.

  • Added hint for enemies having Riposte active to the attack tooltip.

  • Added hint for skeletons having resistance against piercing attacks to attack tooltip.

  • Added hint for enemies being immune to stun or knock back to attack tooltip.

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.34 (6 May 2015)Edit

Mostly balancing changes this time. Some perks were not working as originally intended for some reason or another (Nimble, Dodge), some perks were too easily exploited and became must-picks (Quick Hand, Rally the Troops), and others were not attractive enough to pick most of the time (Holdout, Indomitable). This will probably be the first of a great many such tweaks and might even end up with us replacing a perk or two altogether depending on how things play out over time. A few of the other perks also aren't in that great a position currently, but we still want to hang on to them in light of the enemies that are to come.

CHANGELOG

  • Fixed crash in combat introduced with last update.

  • Fixed parties on the worldmap sometimes not fading in again when lingering at the very edge of the player's view radius for a while.

  • Fixed inconsistent AP cost when moving items with drag&drop or via hotkeys.

  • Fixed Dodge perk bonus not working as intended.

  • Fixed Nimble perk not working as intended.

  • Fixed Rally the Troops skill getting reduced fatigue costs when a character has the Weaponmaster perk even though it is not actually an attack.

  • Fixed Indomitable skill being displayed at the wrong position in the active skill list.
  • Changed Holdout perk to also give double bonus at confident morale in addition to removing the penalties of negative morale states.

  • Changed Quick Hands perk to reduce the cost of swapping items from 4 to 2 Action Points (up from 0 before).

  • Changed Indomitable perk. The penalty to Defense has been removed and the Damage Reduction has been reduced to 50% (down from 70%). Immunity to Stun and Knockback/Grab remains unchanged.

  • Changed Rally the Troops skill to reduce fatigue of nearby allies by 50% of the user's resolve (down from 100%).

  • Changed supplies dropped as loot at enemy bases to be lower.
  • Added Vampire Dust as new loot dropped by Withered Vampires to give more of a reward when winning against these tough opponents.

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.32 (5 May 2015)Edit

By popular request you can now upgrade to the Supporter Edition on the storepage if you want to further support development of Battle Brothers and get some goodies as a thank you!

Some more bugfixes before we move on to balancing changes.

CHANGELOG

  • Fixed crash when using the Hook skill under specific circumstances.

  • Fixed crash on retreating from combat while an arrow is still travelling towards a target.

  • Fixed rare bug that could potentially make savegames unloadable.

  • Fixed Ghouls not ending their turns as they should in some cases.

  • Fixed turns ending prematurely when using the Perfect Focus skill with only 7 AP left.

  • Fixed turns ending prematurely when killing targets with ranged attacks with barely enough AP left but the Berserk perk active.
  • Added Ghoul Teeth as new loot dropped by Ghouls.

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.30 (4 May 2015)Edit

Another update to celebrate our one-week-anniversary.

CHANGELOG

  • Fixed resurrected Wiedergangers being untargetable in rare cases.

  • Fixed allied locations sometimes disappearing from the worldmap after losing a battle.

  • Fixed tooltips for combatants not being displayed correctly in combat anymore after the last update.

  • Fixed rare issue with Escort Caravan contract.

  • Fixed text label backgrounds on the worldmap sometimes not updating correctly to fit the actual text.

  • Fixed spelling mistake at Fainthearted trait description.
  • Changed items placed in a character's bag to apply half their normal fatigue penalty (from none before).

  • Changed the Bags and Belts perk to remove this new fatigue penalty in addition to still unlocking 2 additional bag slots.

  • Changed Dodge perk to use a character's current initiative and no longer the base initiative.

  • Changed Lamellar Harness to have 210 armor (from 245) and -26 Max Fatigue (from -30) as originally intended.

  • Changed difficulty rating shown on the worldmap to be relative to the estimated strength of the player's party instead of being based on absolute values. If a group of orcs is now labelled 'weaker' it should actually be weaker than the player's party. Probably still needs a lot of tweaking, though.

  • Changed Armorparts and Ammunition to be more readily available at cities.

  • Changed idle sounds to play for hidden opponents as well.
  • Added auto-pause after combat ends.

  • Added hint to unpause by pressing the 'Spacebar' key to paused overlay on the worldmap.

  • Added the 'F' key to end turns in tactical combat.

We've also added some more output to the logfile to help us in tracking down the bug that sometimes causes opponents not to end their turn. If you encounter it again, please mail us your logfile as described here. Thanks!

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.28 (3 May 2015)Edit

I think I'm getting the sniffles.

CHANGELOG

  • Fixed compatibility issues with some video cards.

  • Fixed rare crash on using the Rotation skill.

  • Fixed game locking up on orcs charging a caravan donkey.

  • Fixed issue with Discover Location contract.

  • Fixed issue with combatants spawning at unreachable tiles on forest maps. Probably needs further attention.

  • Fixed Perfect Focus skill not being reset correctly after combat finishes.

  • Fixed contract offers not being cancelled upon destruction of a location when entering a city a split second after completing a contract.

  • Fixed quivers not being dropped as loot.

  • Fixed spelling mistake in some helmet descriptions.
  • Changed worldmap speed of some enemy parties to be slightly lower to give the player more of a chance to avoid battle.

  • Changed caravan donkey to have more hitpoints and thereby last a bit longer in combat.

  • Changed caravans to be slightly cheaper for villages and cities to create.

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.26 (1 May 2015)Edit

Even more fixes.

CHANGELOG

  • Fixed crash on using the Swing or Split skills under specific circumstances.

  • Fixed rare case of UI vanishing.

  • Fixed overlay not being cleared correctly on entering the character screen while having a skill selected in combat.

  • Fixed offhand remaining blocked when a two-handed weapon would break in combat.

  • Fixed Debilitate skill not working as intended.

  • Fixed combat not ending at Necromancer's Lair location.
  • Changed characters equipped with a Billhook to spawn in the second line of battle until there is a real deployment phase or pre-battle formation setup, which may be a while still.

  • Changed range of attribute increases to be 1 point lower on overall so that characters scale less heavily with level.

  • Changed friendly locations on the worldmap to regenerate their resources up to a certain point so that they can never be completely bled dry. Will need a complete overhaul eventually, but should help for now.

  • Changed bandit camp cap to be lower so that they aren't all over the map in the lategame.

  • Changed undead to have more of an active presence on the worldmap.

  • Changed number of provisions dropped as loot to be lower.
  • Added the ability to zoom in and out using the PageUp and PageDown keys both on the worldmap and in tactical combat.

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.24 (30 April 2015)Edit

More fixes.

CHANGELOG

  • Fixed crash on viewing the Footwork skill tooltip on the worldmap.

  • Fixed crash on viewing the Killing Frenzy effect tooltip.

  • Fixed UI issue with the Exterminate Beasts contract.

  • Fixed Indomitable skill not being usable.

  • Fixed Perfect Focus effect not being removed correctly.

  • Fixed accuracy bonus of Slash skill not being applied correctly.

  • Fixed characters unable to reach level 11.

  • Fixed issue with using '.' in savegame names.
  • Changed quickload/quicksave to be disabled while any UI menu is shown.

  • Changed skeletons of all kinds to have a 50% damage resistance against Pierce, Puncture and Thrust skills. This makes spearwalls also less effective against them, at least in terms of dealing damage.

  • Changed XP required for levelup starting from level 5 to be slightly higher so that reaching max level takes a bit longer.

We'll continue to fix all the critical issues first over the next coming days.

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.22 (29 April 2015)Edit

Another bunch of fixes.

Buyers of the Supporter Edition should now find The Fangshire in their inventory when starting a new campaign.

CHANGELOG

  • Fixed crash on killing charging orcs with the Spearwall skill.

  • Fixed crash on using special characters in save game names.

  • Fixed bug that had the game not continue when AI moves in combat under certain circumstances.

  • Fixed bug that could leave the player stuck when pressing Escape just after ordering a retreat.

  • Fixed combat potentially not ending when mercenaries would reach the maximum character level.

  • Fixed contract UI not updating correctly on loading a save from inside a campaign.

  • Fixed Crusher perk not working as intended.

  • Fixed incorrect articles used for some enemy types in the engage screen.

  • Fixed additional chance to hit head for ranged weapons not being displayed correctly in the character stats.

  • Fixed ranged engage AI sometimes positioning too boldly at the beginning of combat because they can't see all the Battle Brothers yet.
  • Changed the after-combat-report to always lead the player to the loot screen before allowing him or her to return to the worldmap.

  • Changed combat between AI parties on the worldmap to take slightly longer in order to give the player more time to react.

  • Changed starting lineup to no longer include the Beggar background.

  • Changed save games to be shown ordered by date last modified.

We'll continue to fix all the critical issues first over the next coming days.

Battle Brothers - Update 0.4.0.20 (28 April 2015)Edit

The game's been out for one day now and we're truly amazed at how well it was received. Thank you all for your great support!

Unfortunately it was pretty much inevitable that a bunch of bugs would pop up once a larger group of people start playing the game. We're working tirelessly to fix them and have now made a first update to the game.

CHANGELOG FOR 0.4.0.20

  • Fixed crash on loading a save from inside the campaign under some circumstances.

  • Fixed crash related to entity placement at the beginning of combat in tight spaces.

  • Fixed that the game could freeze later on in a campaign when enemy factions were running out of names for new camps and fortresses they built.

  • Fixed error in preloading of scripts that could cause all manner of problems.

  • Fixed edge-of-screen scrolling not working correctly on the worldmap.

  • Fixed quest givers sometimes not cancelling their offers to destroy a location when the location had in fact already been destroyed outside the contract.

  • Fixed equipment of characters deserting the player not being equippable again by other characters.

  • Fixed arrows and javelins not showing on Orc Warrior corpses.
  • Changed worldmap generation for a higher chance of villages being placed.

  • Changed minimum garrison of orc bases to be slightly larger.

  • Changed 'Push the Advantage' perk description for clarity.

  • Changed the F12 key to no longer open the command console.

A crash related to undead resurrecting may also be fixed, but as we've been unable to reproduce the problem so far we can't be sure. Please let us know if the problem persists with the updated version.

Our priority is now to fix all crashes and showstoppers and then start adding some of the features you guys requested, such as a warning popup for the loot.

Battle Brothers released to Early Access! (27 April 2015)Edit

Finally! After all that waiting you can now experience for yourself how it feels to get your men slaughtered and, in some rare cases, even emerge victorious in a game of Battle Brothers. We hope you enjoy playing the game as much as we enjoyed designing it!

Please keep in mind that this game was just released into Early Access and is far from finished. We consider it a solid foundation upon which we can now build a truly great game over the course of the next year.

You can get the game here right now and it is offered in 3 different editions.

Basic Edition

This includes the game in its current Early Access version and all future updates up to and including the full game release. It comes at a cost of 19.99$ – depending on region, your price may vary slightly.

Deluxe Edition

The deluxe edition includes the game in its current Early Access version and all future updates up to and including the full game release. Additionally, all buyers will receive the complete Battle Brothers soundtrack as a digital download once it is finished and released. The difference in price to the basic edition will go directly to the fine musicians who are creating all the music for Battle Brothers. It comes at a cost of 24.99$ – depending on region, your price may vary slightly.

Supporter Edition

For those of you who really want to support us in the future development of Battle Brothers we also offer the Supporter Edition. Like the Deluxe Edition, this includes both the game itself and the soundtrack. In addition, you’ll get a digital lore book with a lot of background info about the world and its inhabitants, as well as our very first legendary item in the game, complete with a look of its own and a unique background story: The Fangshire.

The Supporter Edition comes at 39.99$ – keep in mind this price is not about the additional content you get, but a chance for you to support further development of Battle Brothers if this is a project you truly believe in.

For all editions, please take note that both the soundtrack and the lore book are not yet done and will only be delivered once they’ve been finalized. You can expect them to be done at around the time the game leaves Early Access.

Feedback and Bugs Reports

Head over to the Steam discussion boards or our official forums to share your opinion, tell us of your ideas and experiences, and give us feedback.

It’s pretty much inevitable that once all of you play the game a pile of bugs and glitches will turn up that we never experienced before. We’ll do our very best to fix any issues in a timely manner, but we also need your help.

Please report any bugs at our bug report forum and try to follow the guide in the sticky post.