Wartales Combat Q&A

We already had a chance to familiarize ourselves with the lore behind Shiro Games' upcoming mercenary RPG Wartales. And this means, we're now treated to a closer look at the game's turn-based combat system, its unique features, approach to RNG, and weapon types.

Here are the text parts:

Attention Mercenaries!

Welcome to the second of our weekly Q&A's with the wartales development team!

This week, Quentin, our Lead Game Designer/Producer gives us an insight into the easy to learn but hard to master combat system of Wartales, providing more information about how best to approach every fight, how your choice of weapons and units will be pivotal in your fights and why you'll need to thoroughly prepare for every confrontation that awaits you in wartales.

Read on to find out more...

What makes the fighting system in Wartales stand out from other turn based strategy games?

"We wanted to offer the player a combat system that is quick to learn but whose richness and depth unfold over the course of your playtime. Since the management component is one of the main aspects of the game, it was essential to link it to the combat system. In short, there are two layers of combat mastery; The first is simply winning the battle. The second is winning the battle efficiently, i.e., with as few wounds and armor repairs as possible.

Of course, winning a battle under catastrophic circumstances can be very resource intensive and can negatively impact the player's progress and economic expansion. Thus, the basis of a healthy economy is a good mastery of the combat system.

Wartales is not just a matter of fighting a skirmish to the death, we wanted to make a large variety of fights available to the player: you will be offered different combat objectives such as reaching a point in a given time, defending an area for a certain period of time, escorting a VIP, burning rats nests, fighting in arenas, attacking merchant caravans, assassinating a champion...

We designed a combat system that is malleable and adaptable to all of these requirements. The variety of objectives, encounters and game rules go hand in hand with the procedural generation of the battle area: this guarantees quality gameplay and replayability. The player must then deal with the battlefield, which is directly linked to the environment in which the fight was initiated (in the world) and procedurally generated according to the rules that govern these locations: is it a forest dotted with trees and tree trunks which archers can hide behind? A swamp in which the mud and mire make it difficult to get around? A mountain in the middle of a snowstorm that makes visibility almost impossible? The variety of combat environments and their procedural generation guarantees that the player will fight in a constantly renewed space and, by extension, always experience a different battle."

Why did we choose this particular combat style?

"Wartales’ combat system was designed to meet two requirements: the first being to distinguish itself from traditional tactical games by offering a more organic and faster system to learn and play. To do this, we removed certain mechanics such as the chance to hit and replaced them with a system of engagement that is simple to understand but whose mastery will make the difference between a perfectly executed fight and a mass grave.

We wanted combat to be based on a turn-based system that valued the player's strategic and tactical intelligence rather than an explosion of varying percentages that affect chance according to dozens of criteria. The second requirement was more of a challenge: we had to create a combat system that was as interesting with six fighters as it is with more than twenty. While each enemy begins at a predefined location during a round, the player can activate any of their units when it is their turn to play. This system has the advantage of preserving the strategic composition of the player's band of mercenaries, rewarding adaptability and tactical intelligence, as well as limiting the negative impacts of too many units: it is possible to focus on the enemies that will have their turn first in order to nullify their impact.

The same goes for Bravery Points (resources to be spent in battle used to activate certain skills): rather than having to manage individual points for so many units, the player has an amount of Common Points to spend as they wish among all their units, which guarantees the implementation of a real group strategy."

Can you run us through the different weapon types you’ll find in the game?

"Swords will make well-balanced allies for your mercenary contracts. If you want, you can also chop off heads with an axe. If you prefer to smash foreheads, go for the maces instead. Note that these weapons are available in one-handed and two-handed versions.

Bows allow you to distance yourself from your enemies. Although, polearms could also fill this role perfectly. Unless the dagger lodges in the back of their neck, it could be just as effective. Also, each weapon in the game has its own skill, which means that picking up a new weapon grants you a new skill that allows you to specialize your units as you wish. And you will be able to equip left-hand items like shields, nets, torches, grapples or little bombs which also grant you skills and abilities. This way, you can customise your team completely to your preference!"

Are there different combat styles to utilise?

"Of course! The game is partially inspired by modern RPGs in which the player expresses themself with the skills they choose to use and which represent their in-game identity. In this sense, we have a huge variety of weapons, active skills, passive skills: in short, customization!

Whether you are defensive, aggressive or more of a control player, you will find something to suit you in Wartales. For example, you can build a team based on the use of poison, burning or bleeding, by playing around with the riposte and disengagement mechanics, if you prefer to have tanks blocking enemies while your archers rain hell, or managing a real zoo by taming wolves, boars and bears..."

Thank you once again for joining us and remember to keep an eye out for next weeks Q&A!

Don't hesitate to leave us a question on, Discord, Twitter, Facebook or on our Steam forums, we'll do what we can to get it answered in a future article!

- Shiro Games