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  1. #1
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Tbs2 @ e3

    So, just as summer came up, we were taken back to viking winter mode... Why? Stoic was at the E3 exposition last week and they did reveal quite some information about the oncoming TBS2! Arnie, John and Drew were all at E3 and they gave multiple interviews discussing some things in detail.

    SPOILERS all over, obviously, for TBS1 and TBS2 both, so leave now if you can't handle them

    AT A GLANCE

    • Playable demo displaying some of the new {features, characters, units} introduced.
    • Video sequence that is probably part of the introduction of TBS2 (see below).
    • Steam store page initiated for TBS2, featuring a high-resolution version of the new title screen (see below).
    • Release date roughly outlined: Winter... This means anytime from December 2015 to February 2016


    TITLE SCREEN



    Iver is in a prominent position along with Bolverk (we met him in the last chapter of TBS1) who seems to be considering a large wooden chest (or coffin). A shieldmaiden, Folka, is also shown near Bolverk, indicating that she will play an important role in this game. Also, Juno is seen in the background urging a mixed human & varl caravan towards a mountain cave (or pass). A company of horseborn is seen in the left, emerging from a forest and observing (or following) the caravan. Finally, the red Skogr banner is seen unfurled all along the foreground.

    VIDEO INTRODUCTION



    This video contains part of the announcement trailer with some more (new) voice-over and some extra scenes showing what happened as the caravan fled Boersgard. I presume that is will be (part of) the introduction of TBS2.

    ARTICLES/PREVIEWS based on the E3 demo



    GAMEPLAY VIDEO from the E3 demo



    This 15 min video was part of the GameSpot article mentioned above. After the short introduction, it shows some narration scenes now implemented "inside" the battle-engine (i.e. like they're happening inside a battle ), dialogue with some new characters/heroes and a full battle against a dredge company displaying two new enemy units.

    INTERVIEW VIDEOS





    GEEKY/FANBOY DETAILS

    Now, let me break down to bits every little detail of what I saw and heard at E3. I think I got most important parts, but I will keep adding things here as we go.

    • More cutscenes: Players asked more of those wonderful sideways-panned/animated cutscenes, and Stoic promised to deliver! I spotted one involving Rook out-of-focus in the foreground, leaning against a tree, while we see a river/lake landscape in the background... GORGEOUS!
    • In-engine narration/scenes: Instead of just reading text/narration like: "Rook charges against against a Dredge", we will actually watch him attack a Dredge in the battle-engine/mode. Conversation exchanged in these narration scenes will be done with "bubbles", which were only scarcely used in TBS1. This is a big improvement that will give more of a cinematic feel to the battle engine
    • Longship caravan: As the caravan travels down the river towards Arberrang, we will see a fleet of longships with the banner held by the first ship. A really nice touch
    • More Godstones: We actually saw one of the godstones that were a product of the contest ran some months ago. No more details here, except that it involved "earning" an item, again
    • Caravan management: This was, arguably, one of the weakest parts of TBS1; keeping your population alive didn't seem to have a strong effect on the gameplay, so you were much better off using all your Renown to promote heroes and leaving your population die to starvation... Stoic said they introduced mechanics to address this. Specifically, we can now choose to turn Clansmen into Fighters (and vice-versa?): having more Fighters will most likely improve the chances at winning War battles but they eat-up more supplies, while having more Clansmen will generate more Supplies (new "forage/hunt" mechanic?) and Renown (from fights won?).
    • Canon storyline for TBS1: To the question of "What happens if one hasn't played TBS1 and wants to start from TBS2?" Stoic said that they will only ask one important question at the start of TBS2 (concerning the events of TBS1) that will greatly affect how it will play out; needless to guess what that question is As for the rest of the supporting characters (e.g. Eirik, Egil-Ekkill, Hogun-Mogun, Ludin-Yrsa-Bersi, Krumr-Gunnulf-Griss-Mogr, Tryggvi etc), my guess is that Stoic will let us have at least some of them for TBS2!
    • Ranks higher than 5: I was wondering what will happen if a Rank 5 (max of TBS1) hero was imported into TBS2... From what we saw at E3, it seems that there exist Ranks 6+ heroes and the extra points might be used to max-out all stats. We even saw a super-strong Rank 8 item, with a set of bonuses like: Knockback at 2+ STR damage, +2AB, +2WP per kill!
    • Dual-class Heroes: It seems that an option is offered to (some?) heroes upon Rank 6+ promotions, to either acquire an extra promoted-class thus having two active abilities or to further develop their original promoted-class ability. Not much was revealed, but I did glimpse Rook having two active abilities; his new ability, "Call To Arms", was said to trigger Pillage-mode earlier, i.e. with 2 or more enemies remaining alive. Interesting, eh?
    • Dynamic battlefields/boards: Destructible barricades! We will see objects that units can interact with, e.g. barricades or walls that can be broken (maybe with Break attacks?) or braziers that can be turned-over (probably spilling burning coals on the floor). Also, we saw battles were new enemies & allies entered the board after a triggering point, e.g. on the second round or if somebody is downed etc.
    • New battle-ending clauses: In TBS1 you typically had to kill all enemies to end a fight. Stoic said that they addressed this with more variety on the battle objectives. Specifically, we saw a battle where killing a mini-boss would end the fight (causing other enemies to flee), just like in the final fight against Bellower in TBS1.
    • Hardcore achievements: Stoic said they would provide achievements that are actually hard to get. Specifically, we saw a battle were Rook charges alone into a host of 6-7 Dredge. It was designed to be unbeatable, but Arnie said he beat it, so we'll see
    • More characters: We saw two new characters Aleo (Skald class; his passive earns more Renown per kill when he's standing next to the ally who deals the death-blow and his active buffs allies) and Folka (shieldmaiden class; her ability seems to involve her destroying her shield, thus "harming" herself, in an effort to deal tremendous Break damage to an enemy, obviously to be used only once). We also saw supporting characters taking lead roles (Bolverk, Juno) as well as characters undergoing "transformations" (different portraits and/or traits), e.g. the tragic figure of Rook, now haggard and half-crazed after the loss of his daughter to Bellower...
    • More enemy types: We saw two new Dredge units. The Skulkers are 1x1-sized low-stat wolf-like beings who can walk through ally-occupied tiles (like Landsman passive) and who have two active abilities: first one (Skulk) turns them invisible and allows them to move again, second one (Howl) reveals them while triggering all nearby Skulkers to attack an enemy in unison (kinda like Rook's Mark Prey). We also saw the Direguard, 2x2-sized tank unit, whose active ability (Drumfire) sends a shockwave in a 2x4 tile-area ahead of him dealing damage to enemies while healing allies; a really powerful mini-boss type enemy!
    • War Battles: Stoic said they will improve this experience and make it feel more like a big war, rather than a regular fight. No specific details yet except from interview hearsay that "players can keep advisors who give counsel during army battles on how best to proceed."
    • Changes to the GUI: I noticed a small change in the battle-GUI, where the active-unit Rank is no longer displayed on the left-side panel (only the 5 other stats are shown).


    So, what do you think... Hype?
    Last edited by Aleonymous; 07-23-2015 at 12:10 PM. Reason: title; twitch link; proofs; two more i/v; details; more prev-articles
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Yellow's Avatar
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    Thanks Aleo, it's good to have all info on one single place!
    "Forged by Fire; Empowered by Passion"

  3. #3
    Backer Rymdkejsaren's Avatar
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    Good effort. I like the new look of the battles.
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  4. #4
    Nice job gathering all this stuff together. That one video definitely seems like the intro to the game.

  5. #5
    Is it just me or did I spot a character with the name Aleo in the video?

  6. #6
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spicykorean View Post
    Is it just me or did I spot a character with the name Aleo in the video?
    You got a keen eye!
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  7.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #7
    Art Director Arnie's Avatar
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    Not only in name, but I traced Aleo's face from a picture he sent me! I had to add some weight on him as the Skalds like to sit around and drink mead while they tell their tales, but other than that...it's our Aleo.

  8. #8
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Hehe, it seems that I gotta update my avatar picture, but I don't think Playmobil makes hair-pieces like that... A custom job will be required!
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  9. #9
    Superbacker Troll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
    Not only in name, but I traced Aleo's face from a picture he sent me! I had to add some weight on him as the Skalds like to sit around and drink mead while they tell their tales, but other than that...it's our Aleo.
    Damned, I'm jealous
    My beard is augmented.

  10. #10
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troll View Post
    Damned, I'm jealous
    Who knows, maybe some Troll will appear in the next TBS chapters, but I doubt it'll have your looks!
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  11. #11
    Superbacker Troll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    Who knows, maybe some Troll will appear in the next TBS chapters, but I doubt it'll have your looks!
    Edit : too much ranting.

    On that note, I was wondering if anyone in the world of The Banner Saga ever braided their beards. I have only seen Varl with straight beards. At most they quite nicely tied.
    Last edited by Troll; 07-04-2015 at 05:34 AM.
    My beard is augmented.

  12. #12
    Senior Member loveboof's Avatar
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    Ah cool - thanks for sharing Aleo! I missed most of the E3 stuff this year...

  13. #13
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Thanks for reading, loveboof. This demo felt like we're back in 2013, when Stoic did a "Lets Play" video series of TBS1 demo (from PAX expo?)

    By the way, I added two small interviews in that list: one with Drew and one with Arnie.
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  14. #14
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Bumping this thread just to point out that I've appended a new Section to the original post, titled "Geeky/Fanboy Details". You know what awaits you there
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  15. #15
    Superbacker Troll's Avatar
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    Thanks for this great digest...it was delicious.
    Unfortunately, it makes the wait harder than it was.
    My beard is augmented.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Kuba's Avatar
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    Wow, Aleo is famous .

  17. #17
    Junior Member Zogg's Avatar
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    Good job Aleo! With this spoilers one more passing TBS1 becomes mandatory. And congrats with appearing in game!)

    More of that, need 2 saves: first with Rook carrying silver arrow,another with Alette, both 5 level
    Last edited by Zogg; 06-26-2015 at 11:30 AM.

  18. #18
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zogg View Post
    More of that, need 2 saves: first with Rook carrying silver arrow,another with Alette, both 5 level
    That is definitely a requirement! I am curious to see how much different TBS2 will be with the Rook or Alette playthrough...

    Concerning the high-rank heroes, I am very afraid of imbalance, i.e. the game becoming too easy (if you got full Rank-5 teams and a lot of Renown) or too hard (if you got low-rank heroes and/or too little Renown). Factions experience has shown that a skilled player can really "own" a weaker one at p18, but the match-up will be much "tighter" at p6... And the AI kinda seems like a weak player Anyway, Stoic must throw a lot of effort to balance TBS2, even more than TBS1!
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  19. #19
    Junior Member Zogg's Avatar
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    "skilled player can really "own" a weaker one at p18, but the match-up will be much "tighter" at p6@
    at all we have hard mode,and playing Oddleif or some another Aleo will give us some new experience no matter.
    Last edited by Zogg; 06-27-2015 at 10:40 PM.

  20. #20
    Hard mode wasn't really hard mode in TBS though, if you had TBS:F experience.

    I'm mainly hoping for an improved AI feel and an improved camp feel.

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