First Look: Templar powers & UI

First Look: Templar powers & UI

Hi, everyone!

This is Mark Halash. If you caught the last "Crowfall Live!", you saw that we teased a little bit of the Templar as I created her basic attacks live during the stream. Well, now it’s time to pull the curtain back a little more and reveal the details of the Templar power kit.

As with the previous archetypes, the standard caveats apply: We are still building this archetype, so things are liable to change.  In fact, they are almost guaranteed to change.

Before we start, let’s review some of the development basics we use on Crowfall®.

Our Approach: Minimum Viable Powers

We have been building each archetype with what we think would be a ‘minimum viable power’ kit for that archetype to be useful and fun in combat. This means that the current list isn’t final, and some of the powers might even jump to other archetypes (or be cut entirely) as we continue development.

We are leaving ourselves room on the powers tray for the player to eventually slot additional combat powers (i.e. the ones that the player will acquire via disciplines, advantages or class promotions). We also assume there will be another non-combat related power bar when we start building those systems.

In other words, don’t freak out about anything at this stage!

Each new power we build often has a set of new (and different) components that would be useful not only in the construction of that particular power, but that would also open up a new area of design discovery. The goal is to build reusable elements that we can repurpose in other powers for other archetypes. The Templar is yet another archetype that has really benefitted from previous archetypes and the tech we did build for her gave us quite a few new toys for the powers toolbox.

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Templar Musings

Note that although I refer to the Templar as a “her” throughout, this is a human archetype, which means there that there will be both male and female versions of this archetype available for release.

To understand the Templar, you need a little bit of background first. The Mother Church worshipped Arkon, the Lord of the Sun. Confessors were the liturgical/arcane arm of the church, while the Templars were the martial/military arm. Following the death of Gaea, the Church split into two factions, each devoted to a different aspect of Sun worship, and each with a completely different dogma surrounding the Hunger.

Confessors blame the Hunger on the sins of mankind. They seek to purify and literally burn away sin with fire. Templars have a different interpretation. They see the Hunger as an external threat, beyond even the control of the gods. It is the duty of the righteous to band together to oppose the threat on their behalf. Templars call upon the power of the Light help them achieve those ends. Thus, Sun worship was split into two halves: those who worship the Flame, and those who follow the Light.

A Templar is more than just a knight in shining armor, however. The Templar is a melee-focused holy warrior using an imposing two-handed great sword to execute judgement and protect the righteous. As a tank archetype she is tough to take down, and uses a combination of healing, hitpoint buffs and defense/counter mechanics to form a strong “front-line” offense.

To balance this, the Templar sacrifices the usual dodge, trading some mobility in favor of strong area-based defense. By acting as Light’s conduit, she can protect not only herself, but allies as well. The Crowfall universe is deadly, but fighting alongside a Templar is one way to make it a little more safe.

Templars and Confessors may now disagree on the finer points of their faith, but given their shared history the two archetypes have power sets that include a degree of cross-over: both of them have mechanics that take advantage of “Sin”, the power-up (and debuff) currency that we introduced with the Confessor archetype. This means that the two classes are complimentary teammates… but it also means that one can act as a natural counterbalance to the other when facing off on the battlefield.

Templar Resource

Templars fuel many of their abilities with Righteousness pips, which are similar to the Dueling pips (combo points) used by the Guinecean Duelist -- with a few key differences. Like pips, you can stock up to five Righteousness pips. But, unlike Duelist pips, you only spend them one point at a time rather than using them all at once. Some abilities also drain Righteousness over time.

Also unlike pips, if you find yourself empty of Righteousness you will automatically regenerate back to one point. Many abilities that have a Righteousness cost also act as Righteousness generators and are capable of generating multiple points. Played skillfully, it’s possible for the Templar to quickly go from one humble point to fully-stocked with five.

Templar_wHelms

iFrame Powers

I’m going to reiterate the definition of iFrame powers again in case anyone forgot or missed it:

iFrame powers, on activation, typically remove the player from the physics simulation and render them invulnerable to damage while performing the power (a very, very short duration, obviously).

This means if you use a physics impulse on a character performing an iFrame power, they won’t get pushed around. We are putting all attacks we designate as iFrame powers on the C key.

We generally try to associate powers that use this property with those powers that send a player into the air. We are also limiting both use and availability of these powers, since they step outside the simulation. In other words, we only plan on giving some of the archetypes access to these powers.

This power is what we like to call an “Oh Sh..” power.

The Templar channels the Light, blinding nearby enemies with her iFrame power, Brilliance. Aside from Blinding nearby enemies, this ability grants a temporary hitpoint buff and some self-healing.

Passive Powers

Every Crowfall archetype gets an archetype-specific Retaliate passive power that can only be used when stunned or knocked down. This power, when activated, will leap the character back to their feet from the stunned or knocked-down state and will then generally deal damage to everyone in the area.

Retaliate powers are treated like a hidden combo, so the player never sees it on their powers bar… the button to activate it only appears when you are stunned or knocked down. The cooldown is lengthy, so you might have to eat a full stun or knockdown in some cases if crowd control immunity hasn’t kicked in on you yet.  The Templar’s Retaliate power lets her leap back to her feet again, dealing damage to all enemies in range and adding a point of Righteousness for every enemy hit.

When she is out of Righteousness, the Templar’s passive Faith kicks in, returning her to one point. When using an ability that generates Righteousness, a bonus point is earned if used against an enemy afflicted by Sin. Finally, when her health drops below 35%, she gains the effects of the Holy Warrior supercharge ability (see below). If Holy Warrior is already active when this effect triggers, she cannot drop below 1 HP until the effect has ended.

Sprint is technically a passive ability, but we don’t display it on the power bar. Depressing the Shift key will increase the speed of the character (currently by 30%) and rapidly drains her stamina bar.

Left and Right Click Powers

The Templar uses a two-handed greatsword for her melee basic attacks. These attacks are a slow, punishing three-hit combo chain. Successfully landing the third hit of the chain generates a point of Righteousness. An additional point of Righteousness is earned if that target is currently afflicted with Sin.

Her right-click ability has her taking up a Righteous Stand, with her sword held in a defensive posture. This ability requires Righteousness to activate, and it consumes additional Righteousness if sustained over time. Like Block, damage is reduced while this ability is active. If you are hit with a melee attack while in Righteous Stand, you generate a point of Righteousness and trigger the Righteous Parry ability which you can then activate to perform a counterattack. The counterattack will knockdown any who strike you, damage other enemies in the area and generate additional points of Righteousness for every enemy hit.

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Powers Bar

The first ability in her tray is Censure. This ability is a distance closer and one of her few mobility powers. She closes the distance to her target, stunning them in the process. Censure does not cost Righteousness and is instead governed by a cooldown.

Reproach is the second ability in her tray, and Righteousness is required to start the combo only. This leads to the next ability in the chain, Castigate. The combo then branches, allowing you two choices. Radiant Sweep strikes multiple targets in a point blank area, knocking them down. Your other option, Righteous Smash, hits multiple targets in front of the Templar generating Righteousness for every enemy struck.

The third ability in the tray also begins a combo starting with Judgement and ending with Execute. Both abilities require Righteousness to activate and cause additional damage to enemies with low health. With a negligible cooldown, this combo is useful as a “Righteousness dump” and obviously as a finisher to put enemies out of their misery.

Divine Light is the fourth ability in her tray, a field bathing the area in a purifying light causing some damage to enemies within the area. This ability does not require Righteousness to activate and is governed by a cooldown. But while active, the field drains Righteousness from the Templar over time. On the other hand, the Templar gains Righteousness for each enemy in the field. When the Templar has Righteousness, the field not only heals but also cleanses Sin from both allies and her.

Devotion is a self-buff, healing both the Templar and nearby allies based on damage dealt. Attacks made by those healed by devotion convicts enemies and afflicts them with Sin. Righteousness is required to activate this ability.

Holy Warrior is a supercharge ability, similar to Champion’s Ultimate Warrior. Supercharge builds up over time by attacking enemies and getting hit in combat. The amount of supercharge earned increases when fighting against enemies afflicted with Sin. Holy Warrior grants a temporary hitpoint buff and some healing. It also causes all the Templar’s attacks to be overloaded to the new “Holy” damage type, which cannot be mitigated by armor.

TL;DR Summary

The Templar is a melee-focused tank archetype. The Templar brings powerful area defense and generally makes things safer for allies in her general vicinity. Templars and Confessors have synergistic crossover (and counter-balancing) mechanics through the use of Sin.

Righteousness is used to fuel her abilities and is a variation of the pips resource mechanic. Her survivability comes from a mixture of healing, hitpoint buffs and right-click defense/counter mechanics. She is both a formidable enemy and a powerful ally.

As always, we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

Mark Halash
Senior Game Designer, ArtCraft

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