Campaign Mechanics

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The Campaign mode of the game involves the player exploring the open world, discovering and undertaking Quests, and partaking in Missions to progress through the main story. Some areas will be inaccessible until certain Missions are completed. Missions are acquired from the leaders of the Warband itself. After the Campaign has been completed the player may continue to play with the same character, however there will no longer be preset Missions (although there will still be Quests).

When a new game is started, the player creates a character, choosing a gender, height, build and name. The player can then continue to play as this character in later sessions by loading the saved game. The player character will gain experience points and level up throughout the Campaign, unlocking new abilities. Other players can join and play cooperatively over the internet or a LAN if the host player chooses to enable Cooperative mode when entering the game. This mode is the one that will be showcased for the demo level.

Inventory

Campaign mode has additional inventory features. Items can be unlocked or sold, the player has a backpack, armour with varying statistics can be equipped and money can be obtained.

Unlocking Items
To unlock a weapon, piece of equipment or vehicle, the player must take it back to the Warband’s current base of operations and speak to the relevant NPC. It will then be unlocked permanently, meaning that the player can request an item of that type at any time.

Item NPC Location
Weapon Quartermaster Armoury
Equipment Chief Mechanic Garage
Vehicle Head Engineer Tech Shop

The armoury will gradually fill with weapons as the player unlocks them, and the tech shop with equipment. To take a weapon, the player can either run up to it and pick it up, or talk to the Quartermaster and request it. To take a piece of equipment, the player can either run up to it and pick it up, or talk to the Head Engineer and request it. To request a vehicle, the player must talk to the Chief Mechanic. Each squad member can only request one vehicle at a time.

Buying and Selling
The player gains money by finding it on dead enemies which would have been carrying money (such as humans or goblins). These enemies sometimes drop a money bag when killed, allowing the player to run over it to pick up the money (the money bag then disappears). Money is shared evenly between squad members. Money is also given as a reward for completing Missions and Quests. The Warband gives the player a wage every day depending on his or her rank, and will give the player money for unlocking items, in addition to XP.

The player will encounter merchants, trade caravans and shopkeepers on his or her travels, and may choose to sell a weapon, or piece of equipment. Alternatively if the player chooses to buy a new weapon or piece of equipment, the one currently in that slot is sold automatically unless the player has dropped it (by holding F). The player cannot drop or sell his or her final weapon (the player is always armed). Armour cannot be dropped or sold, just bought – this will automatically replace the armour piece in that slot. This is because the player is always fully armoured. If an item that’s been taken from the Warband’s stockpile is sold, the player doesn’t gain any money. Each merchant, caravan or shopkeeper sells and buys different items.

Armour
The player equips armour on the same screen as the backpack (accessed by pressing B). On this screen the currently equipped armour can be seen, as well as each piece’s armour level, and the overall armour level (average of armour level total of all the pieces rounded down). The player may equip individual pieces of armour: chest, left shoulder, right shoulder, greaves, boots, and helmet. Armour is equipped in the same way as weapons, by holding E over a piece of armour on the ground or buy purchasing from a shop. When the player picks up a piece of armour from the ground, the formerly equipped armour is dropped.

Backpack
The player can pick up any consumable or Quest item and place it in his or her backpack (if the player wouldn’t be encumbered). Light weapons can also be picked up. The player starts with five encumbrance points and gains one every thirty points in endurance up to a maximum of ten. To pick up an item from the ground and put it into the backpack, the player should stand near to it and press F. To drop an item from the background screen, the player should move the cursor over the item and press F. If the player purchases a consumable item it is automatically placed in the backpack if there player has enough encumbrance points left, or is placed on the ground nearby if not.

Different types of item take up a different number of encumbrance points. When an item is used or dropped, the player regains the encumbrance points.

Item Encumbrance Points
Quest Item 0
Pistol, Flame Pistol, Energy Pistol, Revolver, Small Stimpack 1
Large Stimpack, Sub Machine Gun 2
Machine Gun, Stub Shotgun, Equipment (for example a Grenade Belt) 3
Rifle, Energy Rifle 4

Missions and Quests

The player explores a large open world, which is divided into seamless zones that stream as the player nears a boundary. To begin Missions, the player talks to Warband leader NPCs. Quests are acquired in a variety of ways, such as entering an area or talking to an NPC. When a Quest is accepted, it is added to the Quest log, which can be accessed by pressing L.

Missions
Missions take place in separate areas to the main open world, and the player must follow a set route (or choice of routes). There are various main objectives for the player to complete in each Mission, which may be added to or change as the Mission progresses. There is one main story arc running through the game which is told through the Missions (therefore Missions must be played through in order), with many other arcs encompassed by side Quests. When the player completes a mission, he or she is rewarded with XP, items, skill points and other perks.

Quests
Quests can be completed in any order, except those within Quest arcs (which contain several Quests). Some Quests aren’t available until certain Missions are completed. The player finds Quests whilst in the open world. Some quests are repeatable, such as bounty hunting and arena battling. The rewards are similar to those from Missions, although the more difficult the Quest is the higher the reward.

Cooperative

Players can play together cooperatively over the internet or a LAN. Before starting a game, a player may choose to host a cooperative game (he or she can still load a saved game) and password protect it. A maximum of four players can be in a cooperative Campaign game. Players can drop out at any time by quitting, however if the host quits then the game ends. Client players can choose to join a game in progress from the main menu, and select a saved game to load as well.

The client players will join the host player’s world, but their characters will still gain XP and count as completing Quests and Missions. Client players cannot interact with Quest or Mission givers. When the host player completes a Quest, all players receive the rewards (unless they have already completed it on their character, in which case they only receive ten percent of the XP and money rewards and nothing else). If a client player complete a Mission or Quest in cooperative mode which he or she hasn’t reached yet, and then returns to single player and reaches that mission, the player can choose to skip it, or to complete it again for a ten percent XP and money reward.

The host player can choose to save the game, load games and end the game. Players that join the game only spawn when a checkpoint is reached. Players must always be in the same zone: Missions achieve this by forcing progression (only opening a door when all players are in a certain area, then closing a door behind them for example). When a new area is loaded in the open world all players are teleported to that area next to the player who initiated it (as long as host accepts – if not the initiating player is moved back from border between zones).

Enemies

Random Spawning
To make the game more challenging and increase the replay value, most non-boss enemy encounters are randomised. Enemies spawn off-screen and attack the player in interesting ways, such as smashing through windows.

Artificial Intelligence
Each enemy has a unique attack pattern and various weaknesses (for example a troll has a weak underbelly and isn’t very intelligent). NPCs have fear, and flee from unwinnable situations. They also use weapons in correct way, and prioritise targets. The AI can also use skills, and become angry (if hit a lot by a specific pawn, the AI will attack back). AI complexity also depends on each NPC’s intelligence.

Bosses
Some enemies are much more powerful than standard enemies, and have unique attack patterns and weaknesses. The player encounters these bosses in Missions and Quests, but also occasionally in the open world. If the player kills or subdues a boss, the inhabitants of nearby settlements may reward him or her, or an NPC might be impressed enough to join the Warband (later in the game).

Save Points

During a Mission the Player cannot save until the mission is complete and back into the game world. In the open world, the game also autosaves – the frequency and amount of saves to keep can be set (default is save every ten minutes, and keep three saves). The game can also be saved at any time in the open world. The player can load a saved game at any time.

Puzzles

To help to break up gameplay and add another aspect to the game, various puzzles are found throughout the game. Some puzzles are physics based; others are riddles or maths based. Some can be bypassed, and some are optional. Certain puzzles will be cooperative – this allows players access to rewards that wouldn’t be accessible in single player (for example an additional vehicle might be in a garage which can only be opened through a cooperative puzzle, allowing everyone to have a vehicle in cooperative mode).

Environmental Systems

Day and Night
Time passes fairly quickly – every two hours is one day in game. The lighting therefore changes according to the time, and so does the amount and type of creatures encountered roaming around.

Weather
There is also a random weather system, which determines the weather in the zone the player is in (and the adjacent zones). The types of weather include clear sky, clouds, storm clouds, thunder and lightning, rain, snow, wind, hail, and fog. Different conditions change visibility of players and NPCs, and NPC detection distance for sneaking. Some monsters and animals only come out in certain weathers, and the behaviour of certain creatures is also modified. Weather forecasts can be accessed from the Warband’s base, although these aren’t always perfectly accurate.

Commanding Squads

Later in the game the player gains enough authority within the Warband to command a small squad of NPCs in missions. These are lower ranked members of the Warband than the player, and follow him or her around. Commands can be given to individual followers, or the entire squad.

Command Key(s)
Entire squad move to point X (whilst aiming at a point on the ground)
Entire squad attack enemy X (whilst aiming at an enemy)
Recall entire squad X (hold)
Command squad member for one action Z (whilst aiming at a squad member)
Squad member move to point Z (whilst aiming at a point on the ground)
Squad member attack enemy Z (whilst aiming at an enemy)
Recall all commanded squad members Z (hold)

Named NPCs
After the main Mission arc has been completed, the player gains the ability to take a squad with him or her at any time. This squad is selected from the named members of the Warband. The player can recruit NPCs to join the Warband through a variety of means (impressing, helping, bribing, threatening or defeating in combat), which can then be selected to join the squad.

Each NPC is proficient in different areas (for example an NPC may be an effective medic, but less efficient at using weaponry). NPCs gain XP at the same rate as the player, but automatically spend attribute points and purchase appropriate skills. NPC equipment is customisable by the player through the Warband Management screen – the player can choose to equip NPCs with any items that have been unlocked. This screen is accessed from any computer terminal in the Warband’s base. The Warband Management screen is also where squad member NPCs are chosen. When a named NPC is reduced to zero health, he or she is downed rather than killed. If the NPC is completely killed then he or she is permanently dead.

Grunts
Nameless NPCs also join the Warband automatically as the Warband’s reputation grows – the number of “grunts” in the Warband is displayed on the Warband Management screen. Certain named NPCs have the ability to command grunts. These grunts are equipped in exactly the same way as their commander and have the same skills, but their attributes are halved. When a grunt dies, the grunt total on the Warband Management screen is reduced by one. Grunts follow their commander, so if the player tells the commander to move to an area or attack a target the grunts will do too. If a grunt is selected with Z, his or her squad leader is selected instead.

Running the Warband

When main Mission arc has been completed, the player becomes leader of the Warband. In addition to being able to take multi-level squads with him or her, the player gains money from Warband ventures every game day. Tasks also become available – these are a new kind of activity for the player to partake in (similar to Quests and Missions).

Tasks
Tasks are given to the Warband by House leaders, nobles, civilians and Warband leaders. Current tasks can be viewed through the Warband Management screen. The amount of time each task is available is randomised (between one and ten game days), as is the target and the task itself. Each task has a random reward (which is also based on the type and difficulty of the task). The amount of named NPCs that can go with the player is restricted based on the type of task.

The player can choose to complete the Task, or send a squad of Warband members to do it (in which case the outcome will be randomised based on the levels, attributes, skills and equipment of the NPCs sent). From the Warband Management screen, the player can allocate NPCs to tasks by first click on the Tasks button, then selecting a Task and clicking the Send Squad button. A list of named NPCs is then displayed for the player to select from, and the player can also assign grunts to NPCs on this list. Once the player has sent a squad of NPCs to do a task, they will take between one and five days to complete or fail it, based on the task difficulty. Grunts may also be killed if the squad doesn’t score very highly. The NPCs that complete the task gain XP for succeeding.

If the player chooses to manually complete the task, instead of clicking Send Squad he or she should click Lead Squad. Again a screen allowing the player to choose squad members is shown, and then the player is transported to the location of the Task. If the player leaves the area then the Task is failed (a warning is displayed first).

Task Possible Targets Rewards Difficulty Max Squad
Assassination Enemy Warband Member. Noble, Civilian Money Medium – Hard 2
Bounty Hunting Creature, Criminal Reputation, money Easy – Very Hard 5
Protection NobleCivilianTraderCaravan Reputation, money, items Medium – Hard 7
Raid Enemy Warband Base, Enemy Warband Encampment, Enemy Warband Asset, Settlement, Caravan Reputation, items Medium – Hard 10
Spying Enemy Warband Base, Enemy Warband Encampment, Enemy Warband Asset, Enemy House Money Easy – Medium 2
Sabotage Enemy Warband Base, Enemy Warband Encampment, Enemy Warband Asset, Settlement, Caravan Money Medium – Hard 3
War Enemy Warband, Settlement Reputation, money, items, territory Hard – Very Hard 20
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