DOS editor news, 10 Interesting things about Orcs, Stats screen preview
We promised more frequent updates, and we intend to keep that promise! In this update, you'll discover that the DOS editor is in a healthy shape, and might be among you sooner than you expect. You'll also learn at least 9 interesting things about Orc society, which happen to be important for a quest our fans designed during the fanday. And we give you a preview of the primary and secondary stats characters have in Divinity: Original Sin.
Two pieces of good news that'll make you happy
And they all come from one man! Meet Laurens, head of tools at Larian & bringer of good tidings.
The impact of Kickstarter: An example
For the first time in the history of Larian, we have people who are dedicated to making character development really fun. In the past, we always had the problem that we were spread too thin, and so the design and balancing of the character development systems were done almost between the soup and the potatoes. This may surprise you, but there are many many moving systems in an RPG and when you make them with a small team, you can't afford to have too much specialisation.
But now, thanks to your generous contributions, we can afford to have a team that is focussed on balancing our combat systems and tweaking the formulas that affect character development. It's a very big improvement ;).
Part of the job of our shiny new "stats team" is playtesting and adjusting the rule set that drives things behind the scenes. You know, stuff like "will constitution affect some resistances?", "What about initiative, does stuff in your inventory affect it?" etc... But they also decide whether or not strength affects the initial opinion somebody has about the player's avatar. After many discussions, the team came up with the following set of primary and secondary stats. We also have a list of abilities, traits and talents that go with it, but we’ll leave those for another update, because we’re interested in hearing what properties you think should be associated with each of these stats.
A picture tells a thousand words, so here's that picture :)
Let us know your thoughts! (Here's a bigger version)
10 Things I bet you didn't know about orcs
- Orcs live in tribal societies in which the females of the species are the natural leaders. Physically they are just as strong as the males (except for exceptionally large orc behemoths), and they are mentally far superior to them.
- A curious and as yet unexplained phenomenon among orcs is that far fewer females are born among them than males. This makes them very precious, and if need be, scores of male orcs will willingly perish to save the life of a single female, be the cause war, famine, sickness, or any other threat.
- Orc females' heightened importance because of both their rarity and their superior intellect is the main reason--most anthropologists agree--for their role as leaders among the orcs. Over time, highly ritualised protocols have arisen around their chieftaincy. Indeed, the main god of the orcs being Amun-Hor (the All-mother), females are worshipped as mortal avatars of this supreme deity. Orc sculpture, though exceedingly primitive to human eyes, almost always depicts the female figure in idolised form, and it is never quite clear whether it is supposed to represent Amun-Hor, a specific chieftain, or possibly both at the same time.
- A single female commands tribes that can consist of as few as a dozen male orcs to well over fifty of them. Though they obey any other female, they are always fiercely loyal to their own overlord (or to be more precise: overlady). The highest status a male orc can achieve is to be elected Consort, i.e. the chosen of the tribe.
- Once every year, during midwinter, a chieftain chooses a male from among her tribe to mate with so that she can give birth in the spring. No higher honour can befall a male orc than to be chosen, and for the duration of exactly one year he is known as the Consort, which entitles him to greater liberties; limited command over his fellows; the choicest spoils of war; the best cuts of meat; etc., that is to say, the second best of course, for the best invariably goes to the chieftain. (Indeed, like lions, but with the genders reversed, during meals everyone looks on until the leader of the pride has filled her stomach to satisfaction. Only then do they eat what is left. In lean times, that may mean they have but carcasses to chew on.)
- A female will usually choose her Consort based on his physical prowess, his bravery in battle and his natural cunning, which allows him to survive in the cutthroat world orcs live in. Because of the esteem and the perks that come with this elevated status, the post of Consort is highly sought after and competitiveness often ends in bloodshed. Females actively encourage the 'locking of horns', for it helps them to determine which of her orcs is worthy of her, and more importantly, has demonstrated possession of the necessary qualities that must be passed on to subsequent generations.
- In the spring the chieftain will give birth to some four to seven orc cubs. Usually once every three years on average, a female is among the newborns. If so, a massive feast is held in honour of the All-mother. When a girl reaches maturity on her tenth spring, she is given command of her own group of orcs and so new tribes are formed.
- Orcs can live up to the age of forty, but it is a testament to the violent and brutal society they live in that most do not exceed the age of twenty or even fifteen. The females form an exception because they are so well-protected by their devotees, but few make it past thirty nevertheless, because they never shy away from participating in combat.
- When a chieftain dies, the leaderless band of orcs will look for another tribe with a willing ten-spring female to take over command, though some tribes have been known to go out in a blaze of glory against a superior opponent or even commit ritual suicide so that they may burn alongside their fallen avatar of Amon-Hor.
- The story of how gender balance will eventually be restored in orc society depends on what Jan a.k.a. Mr. Awesome sees through his window.