We’ve been hard at work in these past several weeks and yeah, we have something to show for all that work! So, here it is:
World Map and Missions Systems – these systems are inter-connected, so we are going to make the introduction together.
First off, we have the World Map. Since the whole story in “The Outpost” revolves around the Varam Kingdom and its various areas, factions and landscapes keeping in touch with the state of the world is pretty important – no to mention the small fact that gaining control of all the terriories is key to actually finishing the game and the story. As we were saying, the action in “Azuran Tales: The Outpost” takes place in the Varam Kingdom, a central element of power and stability on the Cruzan Continent, just south of the Kel’Narian Lands – scorched, deserted lands overrun by demons ages ago – the player will get to meet and fight these “nice and friendly” guys at some point during the story, you can be sure of that. And that’s about all we’ll say about the story today, maybe there will be more of that later on – now back to the game systems. The map is comprised of 133 separate territories, each with its own specific set of characteristics and challenges, and the player has to take control of all of them in order to achieve victory and let the whole story unfold.
The map screen allows a bird’s eye view of the whole kingdom and the player’s current status, the area controlled by the player. These territories are available for taking over. They offer access to new resource production facilities, new missions and adventures. The controlled territories are highlighted and the player can interact with each of them in order to collect resources, repair or upgrade production facilities.
There are 4 types of facilities depending on geography: Mines bring metals hidden in the mountains; Tar Pits supply tar from the swamps; Lumber Mills supply wood in the forests and quarries in the hills that bring stone. All the facilities are initially inactive and need to be repaired before they are fit for production. Once repaired, the player can also upgrade these facilities in order to expand production. A steady flow of production materials is essential for the development of the outpost and eventual expansion of its influence.
But first, the player has to control those territories, and that obviously presents a few challenges. The first step in obtaining control over a territory is completing a set of missions for each area in order to strengthen your presence there. Once the missions are completed the final step is using the ingame currency “influence” to add that territory to the player’s controlled space.
So, a quick recap, complete the missions successfully, acquire the territory using influence, repair and then upgrade the production facilities. Easy, right?
Now about those missions. Missions are an integral part of both the expansion system of the game, as described above and the leveling of the Followers as well as a very important resource for gold, recipes, influence and various materials – YAY, LOOT!!! Missions function as a hands-off system where the player’s task is to set up the best party for that specific event and let his (hopefully) well geared Followers do the rest.
Each mission has a specific set of requirements: number of Followers, Follower level, and cost. They offer bonuses depending on the party composition. The gearing and level of the player’s Followers the bonuses can be important for the outcome of the missions. The chance of success is clearly displayed in the mission interface and will change depending on your party composition, gear, and bonuses.
Once the player has set up the desired party and is happy with the expected results he can send them on their way and wait for the outcome. Again, each mission takes a certain ammount of time to complete. While the Followers are on a mission, they become unavailable for other tasks, so choose your battles wisely!
There are 4 types of Missions:
- current missions – missions that are made available after the conquest of a territory and are one of the best sources of loot and Follower leveling in the game. Once completed these missions disappear from the available list. These missions also provide minimal materials rewards depending on their location – mountains, swamps, etc;
- influence missions – they are specific for each territory. Once completed, they allow for the expansion into that territory as described before. The missions also provides various types of loot;
- repeatable missions – these missions have a short completion time and are quite easy to complete even with a modest Follower setup. They are available at any time but provide only minimal loot, they are intended as a mean to compensate the momentary lack of a certain resource and not a reliable long-time source of loot;
- King’s orders – special, high risk/high reward missions. These missions require a good setup to complete successfully but are one of the best resource for King’s Favors, a special currency used for important upgrades and other game systems;
As a passive element of the game, the missions do not require constant interaction from the player but do require a tactical approach to the party composition, the deployment of Followers (as they become unavailable during the missions), and a good judgement of what missions to attempt to complete, as failure can become very costly in terms of Follower morale and even Follower death/loss.
With these final thoughts we complete our presentation for today!