It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally branching out from the mobile space. Lost Frontier will be our first PC title, launching on Steam this month for both Windows and Mac! Click here for a link to the Steam page.
Why Lost Frontier?
The truth is, I feel like its a game that never really got a chance to find its audience. It’s been our least popular mobile game, and I think part of that is simply that mobile players aren’t as interested in challenging turn-based strategy. And when I say challenging, I’m well aware that the game was probably too difficult for any audience, more on that in a minute. The attention and time investment that Lost Frontier asked of players was high – it’s perhaps the most “hardcore” game we’ve made, a quality that PC players may be more likely to embrace.
Improvements to Controls and Difficulty
What began as a simple port has become sort of a “Director’s Cut” now that the dust has settled. We’ve taken this opportunity to sand off the rough edges and make Lost Frontier the best it can be. Naturally, we’ve enhanced the controls and UI with keyboard hotkeys and other stuff you’d expect on PC. We’ve also gone a few steps further, revisiting some of the game’s systems and addressing problems with the original release. For starters, there’s now two difficulty settings for the campaign. The original’s brutal story mode remains as “Veteran” mode, but we’ve added a “Recruit” mode to help ease people into the game without expecting perfection by mission 6.
Redesigned Perk System
Another part of the game that got a fresh coat of paint is the way that the Living Legend’s acquire perks. In the original game, your Legend (the leader of your forces) gained experience after each mission, and simply unlocked passive benefits in a set order. There wasn’t any player choice involved, and even seeing what you have unlocked (and will unlock in the future) was tucked away in another menu four taps away. Oops.
The new version of the perk system has you select perks of your choice between missions in a nonlinear fashion, and is a single click away from the mission select as it always should have been. All of the same perks exist, but you’ll be able to snap them up a la carte. In addition, the way you unlock them is no longer based on grinding up experience. Rather, you distribute the stars you earn from completing missions to unlock the perks you want. This further incentivizes shooting for a better score on each mission, but don’t fret, you’ll be able to unlock everything without having to perfectly 3-star every map. And your perk selections aren’t permanent, you can reallocate your stars at any time.
This new method of unlocking perks adds some texture to the campaign that was lacking before. And for simplicity’s sake, all perks are unlocked “for free” in challenge mode, which was always tuned around the assumption that you’d maxed out your Living Legend anyway. Now there’s no need to grind up each Legend in the story before trying them out in other modes.
The new perk system doesn’t gel with the IAP we offered in the mobile release (a paid level boost for a living legend), so the PC version won’t feature it.
We’re really excited to bring this game to a new audience, and we hope you’ll give it a try! And naturally, we also plan to bring these new additions to the mobile version asap.
It’s with excitement and exhausted relief that I can say that we FINALLY have Battleheart 2 in the bag, and will be launching July 12th on iOS. A Google Play release will follow shortly after, as we need to wrangle a few platform specific things, and we’ll be strongly considering a Steam release as well after the dust has settled on the mobile side. Here’s our lovely launch trailer!
I can say with all honesty that I think this is the best game we’ve made. The original Battleheart remains one of our most beloved titles, and I think a big part of that is because it married the satisfying depth of more complex RPGs with fast, addictive battles that fit into your life. You could play it for hours, or just for a couple minutes on the bus. It was a “hardcore casual” game that could be enjoyed by varying ages and skill levels, at whatever pace you like. I feel we’ve not only retained this quality, but embraced it further. If you’re a seasoned gamer who loves digging into stats and systems to forge the most broken, overpowered character, Battleheart 2 has you covered. Yet my toddler son can still play the game and have fun too, thanks to the addition of a difficulty setting which can be changed at any time.
As the trailer can testify, the new visuals are pretty cool! Once you play it though, you may come to appreciate that the “under the hood” stuff has seen just as much refinement. Skills execute super quickly, and are more powerful than they’ve been before (deemphasizing auto attacks), making your reflexes and decision-making even more impactful. Gear and skill choices are much more detailed, making no two parties ever quite the same. With a dozen unique heroes and many ways to build each one, I’m sure our most dedicated players will be debating the “perfect team” for some time.
Just three more weeks. Thanks for your patience, and I hope you enjoy it! I think it’s been two years well spent.
Hero Spotlight time! Let’s take a look at….
Costello, the Silver Song
Costello is a unique support hero who empowers his allies through song. WIth his trusty lute, he can heal his allies and strengthen their stats. We’ve made some changes to how he works compared to the original Battleheart Bard (Edwardo), but the general idea is similar.
One thing of note about Costello – he is unable to target enemies or allies. Unlike our traditional Cleric healer, Costello doesn’t target an ally to heal them, but simply pulses healing at all times in a circle around him, an ability we call “Song of Peace”. He’s therefore able to produce a lot of healing to the group, but it is less focused on a single target, making him less suited to handling extreme damage on your tank, for example.
Transpose: The cornerstone of Costello’s kit, Transpose toggles his Song of Peace described above into the Song of War. This ability has no cooldown, so you can freely switch between Peace or War at any time. Where Song of Peace slowly heals nearby allies at all times, Song of War grants attack power to your allies instead. To maximize Costello’s impact in battle, you’ll want to use Song of War as much as possible to maximize offense, and switch to Song of Peace when healing is needed, all while making sure Costello is standing near his allies to maximize the effect of both songs. He might take a little more micromanagement than other support heroes, but he can be a powerful addition to the group. Talents can further emphasize the strength of either song, increasing the healing or offensive characteristics of each. Of particular interest is that Costello can have Song of War also confer his own crit chance or bonus skill power to his allies, making it possible for him to essentially act as a bonus item slot for other heroes.
Power Chord: This skill empowers whichever of your two songs (Peace or War) is active at the moment, performing a different effect for each. If Peace is active, Power Chord applies a large heal-over-time effect to the entire party. As you might expect, the War variation is a percentage-based damage boost to the whole party. Talents can grant Power Chord two charges, or add additional effects, such as a haste boost during Song of War.
Inspiration: Further cementing Costello’s role as the ultimate enabler, Inspiration immediately resets all of the party’s cooldowns. This ability has a long cooldown itself, but allows for enormous potential, particularly if combined with a timely Power Chord during Song of War. Empowering the whole team and letting them cast all of their abilities twice is a recipe for huge damage.
Welcome back to another hero spotlight. Before we get into the usual details though, I’d like to give a brief update on the game’s overall progress. The past month has been spent building the first boss, and doing a lot of testing and tuning of the initial experience. We’ve been examining and tweaking things like how quickly you get gold, how quickly the difficulty increases, and the relative power of different characters. Along the way, we’ve found and fixed a lot of little issues and bugs too. We’re feeling really confident in where the game is at, and hope to rapidly cruise through the remaining bosses as we prepare for a Spring launch. Now, let’s talk about our third and final ranged damage dealer…
Bio: Daughter of the immortal witch Wynter. She’s lived in isolation much of her life, studying forbidden magic and watching the cycle of prosperity and ruin that plagues the kingdom with dispassionate curiosity.
Odette is a ranged damage dealer that draws ideas from both the Battleheart and Battleheart Legacy “witch” classes to provide strong single-target damage and utility. Her unique ability to fuel her attacks with her own health gives her great potential, but also adds some risk. She employs the following abilities:
Drain Life: Attacks a single target, extracting their health in order to heal the most wounded member of your party. This gives Odette some great group utility, and also synergizes with her Soul Crush ability (described below). If you want to emphasize Odette’s supporting role, you can enhance the healing of this spell significantly, and even have it heal two allies at once.
Soul Crush: Unleashes a massive blast of dark energy on your current target. This is one of the hardest hitting abilities in the game, and has almost no cooldown at all, but has the downside of consuming a large part of Odette’s health. This cost can be mitigated by healing Odette directly or through her own Drain Life spell, but if you’re careless you can end up destroying yourself. Talents can increase the damage and reduce the health cost. A notable talent causes critical hits with Soul Crush to immediately reset Drain Life’s cooldown, allowing for a cycle of destruction when the dice roll your way.
Horror: Odette’s primary target is paralyzed in fear, and nearby enemies are also struck with terror, forcing them to run around helplessly. This is a handy crowd-control skill which players of previous Battleheart games will recognize, although it no longer emits from the caster, but from her target, making it easier to capitalize on clumps of enemies regardless of Odette’s position. Talents can also increase all of Odette’s damage against crowd-controlled targets, making her able to horrify and then obliterate her enemies, or take advantage of control effects provided by her team. Another fun one gives a small random chance for Horror to not only paralyze, but also deal extreme damage to its primary target.
Welcome back to another hero spotlight. Today we bring you…
November, of the North Wind
Bio: Enrolled in Haggerdom’s exclusive Mage’s Academy from a young age, November quickly eclipsed her peers with her natural talent. She now leads the Academy’s elemental research, emphasizing the frost domain.
November is a ranged damage dealer who specializes in ice magic. As you’d expect, she’s fragile and must be protected by her allies, but she provides strong area effect damage and control of the battlefield with the following abilities.
Flash Freeze: This spell encases a single enemy in an ice cube for up to 15 seconds, completely removing them from the fight. However, the enemy can’t be harmed while frozen, so unlike other stun effects it’s not useful for controlling an enemy while destroying it. Instead, it’s great for saving a powerful enemy for later while you wrangle his friends. Attacking a frozen enemy won’t do damage, but it will gradually accelerate the thawing process. Talents can modify this ability to also damage the target slowly while they’re trapped, or weaken the target’s damage output after they thaw.
Glacial Spike: Like the spell from Battleheart Legacy, November impales her current target with a giant shard of ice. This ability also deals partial damage to secondary targets along its flight path, but it’s mainly used for its single target potential. There are a couple neat talents that add some great combo potential as well. The “Shatter” talent causes Glacial Spike to instantly consume Flash Freeze, ending the freeze effect early but enhancing the spike’s damage massively. For even more shattering goodness, you can also talent Flash Freeze to immediately reset Glacial Spike’s cooldown on use, allowing for a swift spike > freeze > spike combo.
Blizzard: Unleashes a storm of ice around your current target, steadily damaging and slowing all enemies trapped inside. Talents include the option to enhance its damage, radius and slowing effects. One of my favorites is a talent that causes your Glacial Spike to always deal a critical strike on enemies currently within your blizzard, which can lead to some fantastic burst damage.
We’re making good progress on the boss battles in the game, our last major task before release. Thanks for your patience!