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With 12 days left to go, Animmal Studio’s Kickstarter campaign for The Way of Wrath has managed to reach its initial goal and is now looking to hit some stretch goals. The first of those will allow the developers to add a real-time with pause option to their otherwise turn-based game. And the second one will ensure the creation a Nintendo Switch port.
Beyond that, the campaign’s 14th update talks about your role in the game. Then, the next one lets us know what to expect from the demo set to go live on February 25th, 2021, and shares some details about the game’s combat. Let’s check that one out:
Our demo will launch next week! We chose February 25th as a final date for release.
The demo will feature the prologue map of the game. You will play 1 of the 3 in-game days of the prologue map. The demo will feature a special prologue map, combat, quests, crafting, world interactions, hunting, ice-fishing, and character creation. And you'll meet some of the companions like Nemme and Nuria.
The full prologue map will be unlocked for backers with a digital copy and higher tiers of the game when we begin the Backer Beta/Early Access in the first week of April. It will feature two more days of the story, advanced quest and enemy camp mechanics, and a smaller-scale siege/base building event. (Backers will also be able to continue playing the Kickstarter demo after the Kickstarter campaign finishes. )
We'll use the prologue map, as the base to incorporate your feedback, polish features, and add new gameplay elements such as pet mechanics, and additional interactions.
Then every 3~4 months, we'll release several more in-game days of gameplay of the main game campaign. Then we'll continue the cycle of polishing the game, incorporating your feedback, and adding new features, and unlocking more in-game days and locations.
If you'll choose console keys for your game option, we'll provide you with a temporary pc key to play the betas before console versions become available.
The combat in The Way of Wrath is turn-based and tactical. You control a party of 4 characters, as you fight against opponents using different weapons, skills, traps, and other tools of war. The fighting is fast & lethal, and you must make smart tactical choices to survive the challenges you face.
(Our first stretch goal, is focused on introducing additional combat mode with Real Time with pause gameplay)
We handcraft each battle in The Way of Wrath. Level design and AI is fine-tuned for each environment to create memorable and unique challenges for the player.
Battles are difficult and extort a heavy toll on the player. Equipment is damaged with use, wounds incurred can take days to heal, allies can die.
With clever play and thorough exploration, players can turn the odds in their favor. If the enemy is in a well-defended position you could draw some of them out on a fake mission and kill them in an advantageous terrain. Or arrange for them to capture a batch of alcohol and attack them when they are drunk. Or play on their superstitions and lower their morale.
Tactics and preparation play a huge role in the game.
Combat in RPGs can be brilliant fun when done right. Powerful depth to challenge our minds, diverse skills to spark creative experimentation as we take on tactical challenges, and tension and excitement enough to rival any action game.
As with everything in our game. First, we sat down and thought hard on what made us love the combat in great classical games that do this gameplay justice. We combined our findings with our own ideas to create combat design pillars for our game:
Our Base Design Pillars For Interesting Combat
We want to focus on meaningful encounters with a lot of reactivity, tactical freedom, and mechanical depth.
- Tactical Depth – A large number of meaningful actions available at one time during a combat turn.
- Diverse Builds – RPG system to support different play styles.
- Mechanical Depth - Status effects, buffs, debuffs.
- Mechanically Diverse Enemies – Unique features and gameplay approaches, to make opponents stand out.
- Combos – Previous actions and current actions can be used to produce stronger results.
- Tradeoffs - skills must have a positive and negative side(high AP cost, exposure to danger, Risk & Reward)there should not be skills that are universally good without something to balance it out to avoid flat gameplay.
- Meaningful, Story cohesive encounters – less is more.
We also wanted the combat to feel tense, dynamic, fast. We are often asked what we mean by fast-paced turn-based combat. To us, this has to do partly with removing everything that makes combat a routine. Like long animation, extra menus, and screens, complicated controls, lack of feedback.
Partly, controlling health & damage progression ratio to keep actions dangerous and tense.
And the rest is about perception. Combat becomes slow and boring when it turns into a routine or when it’s not clear what choices you have to counter the challenges before you. When you are in the heat of well balanced, challenging battle. You are pitted against interesting opponents and you have several exciting, yet dangerous choices you can make, combat feels fast, dynamic, and exciting. Whether turn-based or Real-time with a pause or even real-time. How engaging the battle is for our minds plays a huge role in how fast the combat feels.
We remember our fights in Baldur’s Gate 2 or Divinity OS 2 almost like epic movie scenes, where we dodged what felt like certain death at every turn and our triumph felt well earned and glorious.
This is the ideal against which we seek to measure each part of our combat mechanics as we balance our gameplay and incorporate your feedback. Skills must create new interesting choices. Mechanics must have enough depth to be challenging and adaptable, but also clear enough so all that depth is not buried under mountains of hard-to-understand stats. AI must be smart enough so each turn you are presented with a number of interesting choices to make.
Beyond mechanics, our combat is also very interwoven with the story. Every battle is handcrafted and tweaked to reflect the personality of the characters you fight. Fighting elite honorable soldiers will feel different from fighting ruthless and devious scouts.
Enemy factions are not a faceless antagonistic force. Every enemy is a character with their own stories and motivations. Players can use this to their advantage. Observing and interacting with enemy characters will reveal many possibilities to sabotage, divide and misdirect enemy efforts. You can pit enemy sub-factions against each other, blackmail characters into spying for you, or feed them false information and lure them in traps.
You will have dozens of skills, battle-oriented items, traps, tools to even the odds against powerful enemies. Often you’ll have a chance to sabotage and weaken enemy camps even before any fighting starts.
From simple stuff like poisoning enemy food supplies to masterful feats like spying on enemy characters and constructing personal horrors shows with your shaman to destroy their morale.
Along with the backer story beta/early access, we'll have a special combat-focused survival arena game mode, which will allow us to test out and balance new skills, test new features, and improve our AI.