The Banner Saga: Factions Preview

20 Sep 2012

The Banner Saga: Factions might just be a multiplayer demo-of-sorts for what's coming in the full-blown Kickstarter RPG, but that hasn't stopped Destructoid from offering up the very first hands-on preview of what the ex-BioWare developers are showing off. Cue some mechanic details:
The Magic the Gathering comparison rears its head again through the unique damage system that ties health points to strength. In other words, a warrior with 12 health points has 12 strength as well but if you knock those health points down to four, he won’t be much of a threat.

Sometimes, you’ll want to knock out an enemy’s armor first. Armor dictates not only how much damage your attack against their health/strength will do but also how likely it is to land. If you knock an enemy’s armor down at the start of a match, they may not be such a threat at the end when you are outnumbered. Though it sounds complicated and will likely remain complicated until experienced through multiple (failed) matches, this system opens the door to a deep level of strategy built around risk and reward. Every day, the developer is improving balance through its dedicated QA staff member, beta testers, and consultation from their friends at BioWare they left to make Banner Saga happen. Their goal is to not have a single team build dominate all others.

Okay, bear with me as we go deeper down the rabbit hole. There is one last feature I must mention: Willpower. Willpower is a stat specific to each character that lets the unit do extra damage or movement (some classes can do both) in a turn. However, it is a finite resource that doesn’t refill until a battle is over. This is when the chess comparison feels apt, since top-tier players will need to be mindful of their opponents’ positioning and willpower.