Hello survivors! In this dire time of winter flu and post-christmas nausea, let’s talk about another system that got upgraded in Dead In Vinland compared to Dead In Bermuda: the Sickness and Diseases system *kof* *kof* *sniff*
A simple flu can stop the strongest warrior! Poor Eirik, he won’t be able to protect his family like this…
When you are stranded on an unknown land without proper medecine and hygiene, sickness is an important matter, and one of the direst foe in the long run, so it needed to be correctly exploited in the game.
In Dead In Bermuda, we only played with the Sickness gauge. We had several mechanics trying to mimic reality: Sickness, once gained, could grow over time until healed, each night. It could get really out of hand quickly, because it increased exponentially – the more you were sick, the sickier you could get.
It was a good cheap way to get a small sickness sytem running, but it wasn’t really fun and it was hard to balance.
In Dead In Vinland, we wanted to dig a bit deeper. We now have two separate systems: the Sickness gauge and the Disease Traits.
The Sickness gauge now doesn’t increase on its own, it can only increase by a player action (drinking weird stuff while exploring the island, eating raw food,…) or by the effect of a Disease Trait.
Diseases are a new kind of special Traits that characters can obtain by various means. It can be the result of an action while exploring, but they also have a small chance to be obtained each night and by doing some specific camp actions.
It’s interesting system-wise, because now some apparently harmless actions can lead to getting a bad Disease Trait… It adds another layer to the balancing of every action. (Exemple: tending to the fire can lead to bad coughing)
Moreover, the system integrates well with the new weather system too: each weather can induce different types of Diseases.
All Disease Traits can be seen on the character’s sheet. Here you have several infos on the Disease effects on tooltip. Here’s a summary of what Diseases can do:
- The majority of Diseases Traits are temporary: they wear off naturally after a variable amount of days. But the direst Diseases are permanent until healed!
- Most Traits have an effect that increases the Sickness gauge by a variable amount each night. Alone, a Disease can seem harmful, but if you start stacking them, Sickness can rapidly get out of control!
- They all have several effects on skills or states gains/losses. Here, the bad Coughing gives you a large malus to Hunting and Stealth… *kof*
- One interesting new feature of the Trait system: Diseases can evolve into new Diseases Traits in several ways, for example when the Disease wears off, or each night the character has the disease, etc…
A simple example: when the Drunk Trait wears off, you have 50% chances of getting the Bad Hangover Trait
At the moment, we have a list of 30-ish Diseases integrated into the game that you can get. This list could expand in the future, but it’s already a good start…
That’s it! Have fun surviving hehehehehe…
Just kidding! Of course, we also integrated a new way to get rid of these nasty Diseases… We’re not THAT mean. Not really.
All these traits can be removed by using a Cure Potion on the character. Cure Potions are new items that can be crafted with the Healing Tent.
Each potion has a chance of removing 1 Trait. Each Disease has an innate difficulty level for it to be removed, so these potions can also “fail”.
We’re still fiddling a bit with the system right now. For now it takes a random Disease Trait from the character and rolls a dice to see if it healed, but we are considering letting the player choose which Trait he wants to heal. It means a bit of UI rework, but it can be a real improvement on how you deal with these nasty Traits.
Ah, and I haven’t even talked about the Healing Tent! A bit like in Dead In Bermuda, you have two roles for this station: the Healer, and the Patient(s). The patient will see its Sickness and/or Wound Gauge lower, considering the “mode” the player chooses. You can either focus on Wounds or Sickness treatment, in this case you’ll also have a bonus chance to heal a random Disease Trait in the process. Or you can heal a bit of both, but don’t have the “healing trait bonus”. Your choice!
Don’t forget to click on the different stations to see if they have special options or modes!
I think we’re complete on the topic… I’ll go fetch my medecine now, I feel the headache coming on;)