Welcome to our second developer diary where we go over the game mechanics and give you all the information that you need to understand how Broken Lines works.
Our first dev diary gave you an overview of the game, and if you haven’t read it just yet, we recommend that you give it a quick read.
This edition of the developer diaries will cover combat and how shooting works in our game.
So without further ado, let’s dive into it!
Introduction to Combat
At first glance, combat may seem to be pretty straightforward. This could be because your soldiers will react to situations on their own and automatically shoot at nearby enemies. However, if you do not pay attention, combat will quickly wreak havoc on your soldiers.
This is because our goal for Broken Lines was to have a tactical combat system that is both tense and exciting.
To meet that goal we designed a realistic combat system with a lot of complex features such as advanced accuracy, friendly fire, cover, ballistic simulation, stress (suppression) and so on. This is why paying attention is so vital, if you ignore even one of these features, the probability of your squad running into major trouble will be extremely high.
The Combat System in Action
When you first discover an enemy unit the game will immediately pause the action phase and enter the planning mode. This allows you to react to the new situation and give new orders to the squad.
As you can see from the video, when you are in the planning mode and an enemy unit has been detected, moving the soldier’s ghost preview will show a lot of information. You will be able to see the light of sight to the enemy from that position, possible cover (highlighted in white) and the hit chances against each other.
Hit chance is affected by several things:
- Moving while shooting
- Having the wounded debuff
- Standing behind cover
- Using abilities
- And a few more that we don’t want to spoil just yet (we don’t want to make it too easy for you!)
To make this easier, we have also added a simplified visual guide. When the line of sight line turns green, your soldier has a better chance of hitting the enemy than he does on you - if the line of sight is red, then the enemy has a better chance of hitting you than you hitting him.
Engaging the Enemy
Once the planning phase is over and you hit play, you’ll see your order play out in front of you.
If an enemy troop is in range, your soldiers will shoot at them automatically using their main weapon (secondary weapons are only used on your direct command).
Soldiers will also automatically pick who to target based on factors such as (but not limited to):
- Distance to the enemy
- Enemies thread value (aggro)
- How much your soldier has to turn from their given orientation
- If they are already shooting at an enemy unity
- If a target is shooting at you
- And several more.
Do note that some of your soldiers have the ability to help them focus on a specific target.
You can see this in action in the video as the soldier moves from one target to another.
Part of what makes our combat system special is that we have done our best to make the ballistic realistic. If you shoot at someone and miss, the bullet will keep on traveling, if someone else is in the path of the bullet, they will be hit. What’s more, even if no one is in the bullet’s path, the bullet will still stress the enemy troop(s) that are near it.
This means that you would do well to pay attention to the type of weapon that the enemy is using. If they have an SMG, moving as a closely packed group is not advised.
A better idea would be to try and lure the enemy troops(s) into an area where you can lay down suppressing fire.
The soldiers are smart, they know that shooting can be dangerous so they will do their best to avoid shooting each other - because yes, we do have friendly fire in this game.
When soldiers stand close to one another, in most cases they will not shoot at all as they know that they will most likely hit someone from their side.
However, if you execute a poorly planned crossfire ambush on the enemy, there are chances that your own bullets may end up hitting or stressing your own troops. Be sure to keep that in mind when planning the soldier's positions.
So to sum up, shooting is good, but knowing is half the battle. Always position yourself correctly to optimize your killing potential!