Three more skill trees! The “Subversion” skill tree is still in the planning stages, but we have the “Cavalry” tree, the “Navigation” tree and the “Gunpowder Weapons” tree.
Top-left is Gunpowder, top-right is Cavalry, bottom-left is Navigation. Key:
Green A – Gunpowder weapon accuracy on Gunpowder tree; skill with archery weapons when mounted on Riding tree
Lilac P – Chance to penetrate foes (i.e. pass through and hit another)
Yellow O – Chance to spot openings in combat
Lilac S – Upgrade a stat (Str/Wil/End/Int/Dex)
White ! – Unlock a special attack/ability
Magenta 1 – Skill with one-handed gunpowder weapons
Blue 2 – Skill with two-handed gunpowder weapons
Orange R – Reload speed
Blue + – Increase gunpowder weapon range
Silver S – Riding speed
Grey G – Skill with gunpowder weapons when riding in Riding tree; skill with ship-mounted guns in Navigation tree for you + crew under you
Red W – Accuracy with hand-held weapons when riding
Pale Red S – Accuracy with slashing weapons when riding
Brown H – Accuracy with heavy weapons when riding
Blue C – Skill at controlling your hose
Cyan T – Reduced turning circle when riding
Blue ~ – Skill at crossing rivers when mounted
Brown D – Reduced chance of being dismounted when riding
Light Green R – Increased archery weapon reload speed when mounted
Green M – Increased map vision range
Red ( – Increased ship-to-ship combat skill for you + crew under you
Light Grey L – Combat bonus vs legal vessels
Purple P – Combat bonus vs pirate vessels
Brown R – Efficiency of ship repair
Cyan S – Increased sailing speed
Yellow F – Reduced food consumption on vessels for you + crew under you
Blue % – Reduced damage from storms
Additionally, I’ve now implemented a rather nice little ‘key’ system that follows you around, and tells you what each skill does at the bottom of the screen. The top line of the skills screen will tell you what tree you’re on; I just haven’t implemented it yet. The key follows you around and gives you a brief description of the skill, whilst the lines below tell you your current EXP, how much you need to unlock that skill, and a more detailed description of the skill.
Now let’s say a little on special abilities. The ‘Rifleman’ class is currently down to gain a 25% boost to gunpowder weapon accuracy for 10 turns after each kill. I think this suits the rifleman’s ability as a front-line unit that has to cut through large numbers of foes, and should also (I hope) produce some emergent drama from last stands and the like! However, producing special abilities for the ‘Rider’ class and the ‘Sailor’ class are proving trickier, though I have some ideas.
For the Rider, I’d like it to be an ability focusing on routing and cavalry charges, but I’m pondering how to implement it. I considered something like a boost to damage the further from your commander you are; if you’re right at the back of the enemy force, you’ll actually be much more effective than if you were on the frontline. That’s one possibility. I also considered something involving a negative morale modifier for foes you attack – however, if I decide that other units should give negative modifiers to foes, maybe that shouldn’t be unique to the Rider. I’m currently undecided on which of these, if either, to go with.
For the Sailor, the Navigation tree and therefore its specialty is partly military, and partly exploratory. Which is to say, I think it will be a good class if you want to play a game focused on exploration (like the Quester class) but also if you want to play a particular kind of military game. Just like the Spy has full knowledge from intelligence, and the Quester full knowledge of artefacts, I’m debating giving the Sailor “full knowledge of maps”. This would potentially mean that maps might normally be poorly drawn, or difficult to navigate to, or have cities located in the wrong areas, but if the player is the Sailor class then maps are always fully accurate (or the player can always make sense of the map; one or the other). How useful this would be depends I suppose on the mechanics of maps in the game.
For all three of those special abilities (and, indeed, any of the others) I’d like all the feedback I can get. I want each to emphasize very different abilities, but still obviously be reasonably balanced. Naturally some classes will have bigger bonuses, and that’s fine – it’s not a competitive game so classes can be unbalanced a little to make some easier or harder. With that said, I want them all to be reasonably similar, but more importantly to all have interesting abilities.