Eigentlich sollte das Taktik-Rollenspiel The Banner Saga von Stoic im November 2012 erscheinen. Aber die Entwickler waren wohl zu optimistisch und hatten nicht mit dem Riesenerfolg der Kickstarter-Kampagne gerechnet, schließlich hatten sie das Ziel von 100.000 Dollar mit 723.886 Dollar sehr deutlich übersprungen. Daher wird das Spiel entsprechend umfangreicher werden, was wiederum mehr Zeit erfordert.
In einem der letzten Videoupdates hatten die Entwickler angekündigt, einen Mehrspieler-Teil entwickeln zu wollen und diese Portion des Spiels ist nun unter dem Titel "The Banner Saga: Factions" als Free-to-play-Variante (via Steam) veröffentlicht worden - Mikrotransaktionen sind ebenfalls vorhanden, weswegen die Entwickler schon kritisiert wurden. Generell stehen die Kämpfe und der Charakter-Fortschritt im Mittelpunkt des Multiplayer-Modus. Allerdings sollen Singleplayer und Mehrspieler-Part getrennt voneinander sein.
Viele Unterstützer hatten sich bereits beschwert, warum sie denn einen Mehrspieler-Modus bekommen würden, obwohl sie doch für ein Singleplayer-Rollenspiel bezahlt hätten. Darauf antwortete ein Mitglied des Entwicklerteams und sagte, dass die Käufer jetzt etwas zum Ausprobieren hätten und somit die Wartezeit auf den Story-Modus verkürzt werden könne. Es soll eher als eine Art Anreiz oder Appetizer verstanden werden, während sie weiterhin am Solo-Modus arbeiten. Nichtsdestotrotz sei es trotzdem wichtig gewesen The Banner Saga: Factions zu entwickeln, heißt es von Stoic, denn dadurch und den Betatest hätte sich das Interface und das Kampfsystem deutlich verbessert.
Letztes aktuelles Video: PC Launch-Trailer
"Why make Factions at all, instead of just making the single player game?
Factions started out as a way to give backers a playable part of the game early. It also turned into a huge endeavor.
We got beta players, and we got lots of feedback, and we ended up making the best combat system we could. As we developed the combat we made huge improvements to the game. We reworked the interface three times until it was really intuitive, and we overhauled the classes dozens of times. We really fine-tuned and polished the hell out of the art and the combat mechanics. The depth and scope of the multiplayer game is far beyond what we had originally set out to do.
Did we spend too long on this system? Maybe. It’s still hard for me to know for sure. Making a single player game is vastly more simple than making a multiplayer game, and these challenges cost us more time than we would have liked.
At the same time, if we had not gone through this process, the game, both single and multi-player, would be significantly lower quality than it is now, without a doubt.
We say it in every single update, but it’s 100% true - the combat in factions was made for the single player game, and we’ve used that to make a fully functional game that you can play now! We had really hoped people would see this is a huge bonus.
Ultimately, which choice would you have made? We know there are people on both sides of the issue, and we’ve seen both good and bad results from the path that we’ve decided to go down.
Factions just looks like a cash grab to me.
It really bums me out to see this sentiment, we have tried really hard to avoid it. First off, let me mention that this is not our goal. We didn’t set out to make a f2p game with the funding from the single player game which we crap out as an afterthought.
We’re using any revenue we get for salaries. None of the core team have been taking income since we started the company last January. Unlike many Kickstarter funded projects which pay mostly for salary, the $650k that we received after Kickstarter and Amazon’s cut have gone squarely into production: programming support, animation, audio, music, sound, QA, writing, office space, legal fees and software. This isn’t said for sympathy - we knew what we were getting into and we also have a buffer in case things get dire. This is simply the reality of why we’re raising money.
Factions looks like a grindy, pay to win game.
We’ve heard some major, and valid, concerns so far: the shop is overpriced, earning renown is too slow, and buying Renown or characters means the game is pay to win.
We’ll be making a lot of adjustments to costs this week. We’ve removed all renown costs to adjust your stats on a character, because this is a core part of what makes it fun to experiment with characters and teams. Now it’s free! We significantly lowered the price of color variations. We’re also adding a lot of achievements that grant bonus renown to make earning renown happen a lot quicker.
As for “paying to win”, this honestly shouldn’t be the case. Your team has a rating (a total of each character’s rank) and you’ll always be matched up against teams with a similar rating. No matter how your opponent made his team, you’ll be fighting on equal footing. In addition to matching by total rank, we also use each player’s ELO (ranking) to find equivalent matches, so that veterans tend to match each other before new players.
There has also been an exploit that allowed players to artificially lower their team power so that they could intentionally fight against new players. First of all, this is unbelievably lame of some players, but we’re also putting in changes to how team power calculates to make sure it doesn’t happen at launch. In addition, we’re also adding safeguards so that new players only match against other new players based on how long they’ve been playing. Whether this works will rely somewhat on how big our population is at launch.
Will there be microtransactions in the single player game?
Will I miss out on anything in the single player game if I don’t play Factions?
No (except having fun).
Now, that said, we’ve put a lot of thought and effort into Factions. It’s not just a mindless one-off from The Banner Saga. Factions takes place in the same world, in a city that is part of the single player game and when events happen in single player they’ll affect the world in Factions. As we create new system for the Saga we’ll be testing them through Factions, so things like playing against the computer will appear in Factions as we work out the code, and the story will all tie together."