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Brian Heins introduces Tyranny's Disfavored faction at Polygon
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 3 September 2016, 02:00:40Tags: Brian Heins; Obsidian Entertainment; Tyranny
Since the publication of PCGamesN's lone Tyranny Gamescom preview last week, other sites have gradually rolled out their own previews, such as Rock Paper Shotgun, Game Informer, GameSpot, Polygon, MMORPG.com, and GameGrin. Unfortunately, none of them really had anything new to add. More interesting is a new feature published by Polygon today introducing the game's Disfavored faction. GameSpot had a similar article about the Scarlet Chorus last month, but this one is much more in-depth, featuring commentary from game director Brian Heins. Here's an excerpt, describing the various units of the Disfavored and their leader, Graven Ashe:
Stoneshields - "Stoneshields they fight with spear and shield — large tower shields. They create the phalanx that everyone else revolves around. The shields they carry are massive iron tower shields that are very heavy to carry around. When the shields join together in the phalanx, they got their names from the idea that the enemies break against the shield wall like waves on a stone. That’s the core of the Disfavored army."
Crescent Runners - "Supporting them is a group called Crescent Runners. They’re the Greek hoplites. Much more like skirmishers, they’ll run ahead of the army and harass the enemy with javelins and other thrown attacks trying to provoke the enemy into the charge, at which point the crescent runners run back behind the phalanx and allow the enemies to break themselves against the spears and shield wall itself. Then they’ll harass with more javelin attacks while they’re fighting."
Iron Walkers - "These are the guys who stand in the center of the phalanx waiting for either people to break through the phalanx and reach the interior, or to wait for a high value enemy target. At that point the phalanx will part and the iron walkers come charging out and will take out the enemy commander or mage or whoever it is that needs to be defeated before retreating back inside the phalanx.
"I called them the Iron Walkers because the idea is that, just being able to be encased in a suit of iron armor and move is incredibly impressive at this point. Iron is crude and thick and heavy so it’s not like steel where it can be fairly light and still protective. It’s a lot of weight to carry on the battlefield. These are men and women at peak physical condition, they need a lot of strength just to carry around the armor they’ve got."
Oath Bound - "The Oath Bound are the elite among an already elite group. Each squad – or Fist – of Oath Bound is magically linked to the rest. When one dies, their strength is shared with the survivors. In addition, each living Oath Bound knows where and how their Oathmate died, and can seek out their killer for vengeance. The Oath Bound are the Disfavored legion’s scouts and assassins, sent ahead of the army to clear any obstacles."
Earthshakers - "Earthshakers get their power from the Archon of Stone. They’ve been studying him and his powers and developed a new school of magic based around creating tremors in the earth and ripping boulders out of the ground and throwing them at the enemy. They’re the ones who if the phalanx is approaching will send out tremors to knock them to the ground so they are weakened and can’t stand against the Disfavored units. They’re a small group of mages but when they’re coordinated with the Disfavored they’re highly effective."
While players won’t encounter a solid phalanx of Stoneshields in battle, they will meet small groups of warriors before and after larger battles. Understanding how they fight in rank-and-file units, Heins says, will help contextualize their abilities in a CRPG setting.
"We tried to design the AI so the Stoneshields will hunker down and try to attack you with spears or swords if you get close enough," Heins says. "The Earthshakers and the Oath Bound will attack from a distance while the Iron Walkers take you out from close up. Depending on the encounter and which enemies are spawned, you’ll get different tactics from the units and have to adjust your strategy accordingly."
But in order to survive the harsh world of Tyranny, in order to bring judgement to a frontier at war, players will have to deal with the leader of the Disfavored — Graven Ashe himself.
The warrior, already several hundred years old, has been in the vanguard of Kyros’ armies for generations. And, just as some Greek city states who first fought against and later allied with Persia in antiquity, Graven Ashe is a freedom fighter who was forced to kneel long ago.
"Somehow through that interaction Kyros won Graven Ashe’s loyalty," Heins says. "He’s one of the overlord’s most loyal generals leading the Disfavored, trying to fulfill Kyros’ dream of conquering the entire world under the peace of his law. He’s one of my favorite characters we’ve created so far in the game.
"Graven Ashe is a couple hundred years old. No one knows why but becoming an Archon extends peoples’ life. Mages can live maybe 150 years just by the fact of using magic. Archons seem to live until they’re killed. No one’s seen them die of natural causes. They only die when challenged by another Archon or someone of equal power."