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Azreal13

Enter The Blacksmiths...

85 posts in this topic

http://steamforged.com/sfg-news-blog/8tokdplidg3xezql2l8ovn3qe80d7l

MAY 12, 2017

The Blacksmiths Guild

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Today is one of those rare, amazing days in Guild Ball. Today, we get to talk to you about a brand-new Guild entering the fray. Today we can show you the Blacksmiths Guild. This article will give you an introduction to the some of the core concepts that shaped the Blacksmiths Guild during development, and how we chose to represent those concepts on the Pitch.

Always Two There Are...

The Masters of the Blacksmiths Guild are experts at turning raw potential into fearsome destruction. Apprentice Blacksmiths are capable of incredible feats of skill and carnage, but they can only realise their potential under the direction of a Master Blacksmith. To this end, Blacksmith players always work in pairs, a Master and an Apprentice. The Masters are stalwart and aloof, preferring to use their knowledge and experience to disrupt and weaken their opponents so the Apprentices can take advantage.

The first concept that we knew we wanted to include in the Blacksmiths Guild was this idea of the Master and the Apprentice Blacksmith. The working relationship between these two is a core foundation that we built the entire Guild upon, so we wanted to make sure the concept was well represented on the Pitch. All the players in the Blacksmiths Guild are one of two new model types, a [Master] or an [Apprentice].

Another early concept that we developed to demonstrate on the Pitch was the idea that the Blacksmiths Guild are not quite as unified in structure as our more traditional Guilds. In the Empire of the Free Cities Blacksmithing styles, skills, and etiquette differ enormously from city to city. The Masters of the Blacksmith Guild are incredibly proud of the traditions that have been passed down to them through the generations, each of them believing beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are the very best at their craft. As a result, Master and Apprentice Blacksmith pairs can vary quite dramatically from one to the next in how they appear and how they play.

...A Master, and an Apprentice

Let’s take a closer look at what the relationship between a Master and an Apprentice means on the Pitch. During the Steamforged Games Ltd Q&A session held at Vengeance 2017, co-founders Mat Hart & Richard Loxam unveiled the first two Blacksmith players, the Master Blacksmith Anvil and his Apprentice Sledge. Those cards can be found here (click to enlarge).

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There is SO much to talk about even on just these two cards, so let’s start with the basics. The core concept for Anvil & Sledge comes from one of the oldest methods of Blacksmithing, that of the ‘Blacksmith striker’. This method is employed where a piece of metal needs particularly heavy blows in order to shape it properly. A ‘striker’, in Blacksmithing terms, is an Apprentice with a large hammer that takes an enormous amount of focus and energy to wield. So much focus that if a Master were to wield the hammer, the Master may lose track of where they need to ‘strike’ the metal. Having an Apprentice perform this task means that the Master can concentrate on deciding precisely where and how hard the metal needs to be struck. To this end, Sledge is armed with an enormous two-handed hammer, that he can use to smash opponents into paste, and Anvil is armed with a smaller hammer that he can use to ‘mark’ a particularly tough opponent in the exact spot that he wants Sledge to ‘strike’. But how does this translate onto the Pitch?

One of the prominent features of these Blacksmith cards, when compared to each other, is that Anvil and Sledge have VERY different momentous results. Anvil has momentous knock-down, Play Icon, and Push results, whereas Sledge has entirely momentous damage results instead. This is to re-enforce the role that each model type plays on the Pitch. Master Blacksmiths tend to be distant, seeing themselves ‘above’ doing the dirty work a lot of the time. Instead, Master Blacksmiths prefer to use their skills and experience to disrupt and debilitate opponents in preparation for the Apprentices to annihilate in one fell swoop. As a general rule, Master Blacksmiths have a number of ways to increase the capabilities of the Apprentices, whether this is through increasing their TAC, damage, or movement speed. Alternatively, some Master Blacksmiths have several ways to make enemy players vulnerable to attack, such as easy access to knock-down Playbook results, or abilities that lower enemy movement speed, DEF, or ARM.

Perhaps the most prominent aspect of Sledge is his Playbook, and that incredible momentous [7] damage result that it contains. With it, Sledge is clearly capable of singular acts of destruction, but, with a Playbook that is seven columns long Sledge will require the assistance of Anvil to reach it consistently. There are several ways that Anvil can do this. Veterans of Guild Ball will be no stranger to the Singled Out Character Play, which increases the TAC of any player attacking an affected enemy by [+2]. When we create new Guild Ball players we re-use existing abilities where they fit the desired theme. In this way, Singled Out is the perfect example of an existing ability that we used here to show Anvil ‘marking’ an enemy player for Sledge to ‘strike’ with his hammer. In addition to Singled Out, Anvil has incredibly easy access to a momentous knock-down Playbook result, it’s on his first column! A super useful Playbook result for laying a potential target flat out on the Pitch ready for Sledge to flatten further. Lastly, there’s the Tutelage Character Trait on Sledge’s card which allows him to use a Character Play without spending Influence, but only if he activates close to Anvil. That Character Trait is probably very useful with Sledge’s second Character Play… I wonder what it could be…

Where Sledge has the highest Playbook damage result written to date, Anvil is different type of extreme altogether. At [19] HP, with an unprecedented [3] ARM, and the Tough Hide Character Trait. Anvil is certainly up there with the most resilient players in Guild Ball. Just looking at him with his enormous tower shield, attacking Anvil certainly looks like a daunting task. Indeed, in development we made the decision that we wanted the Master Blacksmiths to be more resilient than the average player. To this end, each of the Master Blacksmiths has a particularly defensive speciality. In the case of Anvil, he is designed to be able to take the full force of a charging enemy player and, in most cases, still be on the Pitch once the dust has settled.

A Master Blacksmith’s shield is more than just another piece of armour. A Master Blacksmith’s shield is his or her badge of office, whether it takes the form of a huge tower shield or a forearm mounted buckler. A Master’s shield demonstrates to all who see it their incredible skill in creating near-indestructible defensive equipment. On the Pitch, Master Blacksmiths use their shields to become living defensive positions that the Apprentices can take shelter behind. In the case of Anvil this is represented on the Pitch by the Sentinel Character Trait which increases the ARM of any nearby Apprentices by [1]. A much-needed ARM bonus since the Apprentice Blacksmiths have been designed to be slightly less resilient than the average player. Indeed, Sledge has only [12] HP which is on the low end for a DEF [4+] and ARM [1] player. Blacksmith coaches need to be careful to not get their Apprentices taken-out when trying to get the most out of their supreme offensive potential.

And there you have it, the Blacksmiths Guild has been unveiled! Let us know what you think of this brand new Guild through our forums and on Facebook. We will be back to take another look at the Blacksmiths Guild in future articles.

 

 

 

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Shiny :D

 

And from the look of that artwork, Sledge definitely does even lift. But I really hope he doesn't get to the top of his playbook easily!

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Seems pretty awesome on the first take. Like masons dialed up to 11 with the focus on lower speed, high armor and internal synergy. I hope sledge has a tac of about 4 and really needs to be set up to do any work because I know how easy it is to get high results when you have a guy with low KD and singled out. 

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Wow. Just wow. SFs ability to find ways of bringing new gameplay to the table amazes me.

 

Here's my Visa, keep it. 💸

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Ah, my next Guild.

I like how Sledge is basically a glass cannon, except he's a glass cannon that happens to be ridiculously jacked and covered in steel.

Ironprice likes this

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14 minutes ago, JS said:

Ah, my next Guild.

I like how Sledge is basically a glass cannon, except he's a glass cannon that happens to be ridiculously jacked and covered in steel.

It is weird that a guy that big has so few hit points.

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58 minutes ago, MechMage said:

It is weird that a guy that big has so few hit points.

He just bruise easily.

 

Selfy likes this

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There are some model pics floating around the internet and I've gotta say I'm not a big fan of how their fluff calls their gear masterworks and yet their models are wielding what looks like Neolithic hammered ore tools. They look like primitives who just discovered that some rocks are harder than others, not master craftsmen.

Lord Antoine and Sid like this

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Blacksmith hammers aren't supposed to look good, they are for hitting metal until IT looks good. The shields are supposedly the masterworks and Anvil's looks great to me

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i like the idea. It's kinda like the farmer mechanic but feels more consistent. Based on the hidden inf, and anvil's inf, i imagine masters will be generating your influence pool, and apprentices will be using it. 

It's interesting they basically have no functioning counter attacks (KD is at best, a meh counter attack compared to <<, >< amd >>) on these models and i have a feeling that may stay the case. their stats are looking really annoying to fight (2+/3 and 4/2 while master and apprentice are together, plus natural crowding and whatever other def tech they get) so it'll be kind of a case of "if you commit onto a master and his apprentices, you better make it count or you'll be setting your opponent up"

Need to see if they have a viable way to ice the ball or strike though. That being said, statlines with a lot of armor is actually pretty good vs most low tac strikers. 4+/2 and T on 1 w/ 2" melee makes for a pretty good ball holder, all things considered.

Sledge is a really nice kicker too, 3/10" on demand 

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7 hours ago, Mako said:

And from the look of that artwork, Sledge definitely does even lift.

Yeah, but I bet he skips leg days.

Mako likes this

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7 hours ago, Khift said:

There are some model pics floating around the internet and I've gotta say I'm not a big fan of how their fluff calls their gear masterworks and yet their models are wielding what looks like Neolithic hammered ore tools. They look like primitives who just discovered that some rocks are harder than others, not master craftsmen.

I'm totally with you there: for someone who takes pride in his works and presumably makes his own tools of trade himself, those hammers are just screaming 'Dishonour!'.

And if that's not enough, take a look at the shield and compare it to the description of its value:

A Master Blacksmith’s shield is more than just another piece of armour. A Master Blacksmith’s shield is his or her badge of office, whether it takes the form of a huge tower shield or a forearm mounted buckler. A Master’s shield demonstrates to all who see it their incredible skill in creating near-indestructible defensive equipment.

 

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I would describe the Blacksmith's 'weapons' as Tools in reality - tools don't need to be fancy, they need to be practical. They'd make fancy stuff to sell or to show off (as the Masters seem to do with their shields).

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Man I'd hate to hear the criticism if you guys got into my toolbox. I got a 3 pound cross peen hammer I use daily held together by 3 nails to help wedge the handle out for the head to stay on. Hard to get used to all these new worthless rubbery-fiberglassy  handled tools, especially when you use the same old beat up one so long! :P

BREW BALLS, Cynfawr, RedSam and 4 others like this

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Don't get me wrong, practicality over appearance is understandable, but wouldn't it be a requirement to have at least a flat face of the hammer (the main working surface)? Not to dig too deep into how smoothening metal surfaces reflects the amount of forging done and hence the durability.

But maybe these two (Anvil & Sledge) represent a branch of the guild which specializes in manufacturing crude steel billets that other branches work on refining later on? After all, someone has to produce all the shiny polished armor that Masons wear (compare it to the Blacksmiths' own) and all the steel parts for the Engineers works, right? ;)

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19 minutes ago, Sid said:

Don't get me wrong, practicality over appearance is understandable, but wouldn't it be a requirement to have at least a flat face of the hammer (the main working surface)? Not to dig too deep into how smoothening metal surfaces reflects the amount of forging done and hence the durability.

Perhaps he brought the old used hammer for the game, as he's only gonna smash shins anyway? ;) 

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I like sledge, he does look apprentice-y with his roughly forged vambraces etc. Anvil though... he looks like a generic fantasy dwarf, which surprises me for Guild ball. Usually they avoid looking quite so traditional-gaming-model!

 

Then again, his artwork reminded me more of Cohen the Barbarian, so I was almost guaranteed to be just OK with the model :P 

Mudge Black likes this

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I haven't looked around the internet to check all the posts yet, so I might have missed the answer to this ... but if they always work in pairs how will this work in a six man team? It sounds like you'd want to take three pairs and no mascot.

Could this also be the way that the "rookie" mechanic has ultimately been integrated into the game?

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4 minutes ago, ADG said:

I haven't looked around the internet to check all the posts yet, so I might have missed the answer to this ... but if they always work in pairs how will this work in a six man team? It sounds like you'd want to take three pairs and no mascot.

Could this also be the way that the "rookie" mechanic has ultimately been integrated into the game?

In last night's q and a they actually addressed rookies. I think they're still being worked on. 

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4 minutes ago, ADG said:

I haven't looked around the internet to check all the posts yet, so I might have missed the answer to this ... but if they always work in pairs how will this work in a six man team? It sounds like you'd want to take three pairs and no mascot.

Could this also be the way that the "rookie" mechanic has ultimately been integrated into the game?

Two pairs of master/apprentice and a captain/mascot pairing perhaps? The captain/mascot pair would be looser maybe so you could take any mascot, but still get some use from it. Or maybe not, and just a more skewed pairing and everyone basically gets taken in pairs.

 

But what kind of mascot suits the blacksmiths? A shire horse?

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The shields are a badge of office they said so possibly passed down multiple generations so could be from an archaic era they would only fix not remake them

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42 minutes ago, Mako said:

But what kind of mascot suits the blacksmiths? A shire horse?

A giant crab (Tongs) or a ram (Punch).

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