[Devspeak] Countering Types Showcase
"For Black Gold Online, our goal with the Battle Carriers was to create a sense of danger and excitement in battle, where you can take control of something other than your character, something outside yourself, more powerful than yourself but still in many ways vulnerable that you cared for. It makes for really exciting combat, and also long-lasting effects that really impact players.”
-Kee Zhang, Producer of Black Gold Online
The power of mechanized legions and the ferocious wilderness fall in players’ hands as the heroes of Montel battle for control in Black Gold Online. With its unique Battle Carrier system, Black Gold Online creates a new type of PvP battleground, mixing mounted and footed combat in heated large-scale battles. This week, we get the scoop from producer Kee Zhang about Carrier PvP and the ideas behind the BGO Battle Carrier system.
No Carrier is an Island
As players progress and acquire important resources in Black Gold Online, they will be able to create and upgrade their very own Battle Carriers, as well take advantage of those available on special battlegrounds like the Blood Fang Citadel. As players make their choices of Battle Carriers, it becomes clear that no single one can outmatch all others, and everyone is vulnerable to another.
“The idea of using a battle mount, with its own damage and attacks and such, came into the mix pretty early. The real light-bulb moment came when we thought of this ‘Rock, paper, scissors’ assortment – every Carrier has advantages and attack bonuses over certain other Carriers, and in turn is vulnerable to another. It makes teamwork and strategy a must.”
Black Gold Online features over a 100 distinct Battle Carriers, with a wide variety of unique abilities and weaponry. These Carriers fall into 5 basic classes: Raid, Assault, Siege, Aerial and Anti-air. Each class has special attack bonuses against others, as well as particular traits that make each matchup different and challenging.
“Every Carrier is different – there is no top dog. They’re fast or slow, both in movement and reloading. They can dish out a heavy payload or pepper the enemy with rapid, light fire. They get in close to attack or sit back. It makes things get pretty interesting.”.
Agility vs Firepower
Battle Carriers must make the trade-off between light, nimble mobility and lumbering, forceful attacks. Speed vs Strength comes into play, both in terms of movement and attack cool-downs.
Take for example a matchup between the Isenhorst’s Aggressor, a Raid Carrier with a light rocket and close-range shotgun, vs the Erlandir Marauder, a long-range Assault Carrier with powerful AoE elemental attacks.
Going head-to-head, the Aggressor has a serious disadvantage. Despite its speed, it’s hard to avoid the heavy damage dealt by the Marauder’s long-range attacks. However, this heavy damage comes at a cost of attack cool-downs and a “deep breath” moment – a winding up pause before attack. A clever Aggressor pilot can outmaneuver the Marauder to avoid damage.
Add into the mix an enemy on foot, and now the Marauder has lost the advantage. With its slow firing, it’s hard to land a hit on small, quick-footed enemies on the ground. Where the Assault failed, the Aggressor shines, running down footed players and finishing them off with its mix of rapid long-range and powerful short-ranged attacks.
Long-shot vs Up-Close-and-Personal
The Battle Carriers of Montel feature many abilities with different ranges and effects, such as knock-backs, stuns, poison or fire damage and more. The different types of abilities challenge players to play to their advantages, whether that means finding a vantage point to fire from or closing in on the enemy to duke it out face to face.
Imagine two players meet on the field of battle: one astride the Erlandir Screecher, and the other buckled in to the Isenhorst Incinerator. How might it pan out?
Players who choose the Screecher will find its greatest strength is in its range. With a rapid firing primary attack and target-locking secondary attack, Screecher wranglers are strongest at a distance. Even moving targets are not safe from the Screecher’s honing birds of prey.
The Incinerator on the other hand has been built to get in close and start the enemy ablaze. With special chaining effects for its primary Flamethrower and secondary Gas bomb, the Incinerator gets the upper hand when standing toe-to-toe with the enemy.
Enemy at the Gate
Beyond the open field of battle, players must also fight among the fortified walls and defensive turrets of bases. Heavily armored Siege Carriers are well suited to this type of attack, while others may soon find themselves overwhelmed by enemy defensive fire
Siege carriers are slow and cumbersome, making them vulnerable to attack by other. When the defensive barrage comes raining down, powerful siege engines like the Isenhorst Retaliator or the Erlandir Craniosaur can withstand massive damage and blow away the defenses otherwise impassable to their team mates.
“The thing we’re most proud of with the Battle Carriers is the variety – each Carrier is unique. When players join in the battlefield, they’ll have a lot of options available to them. The battles get intense, and it’ll take strategy as a team to consistently win. ”