This week we present the playable unit class: Knight, the second of six class introductions that will highlight all of the units the player will have the opportunity to include in their pool of playable fighters.The Sacred Military Order of Tarshim the Great are a monastic organization dedicated to the service of Tarshim – Tarshim the Great, Tarshim the Sunderer, Tarshim the Divider who separated the Earth from the Sky, the Water from the Fire, the Night from the Day, the Summer from the Winter, the Living from the Dead, the Human from the Animal, the Magic from the Mundane. Tarshim the Hero who shattered Kan’Seht the Binder and unchained the world
The Knights of Tarshim guard several holy sites through the realms but primarily Tarshim’s Road, which is traveled by devout pilgrims who visit the Shrine of the Great Ravine. Legend has it that Tarshim defeated Kan’Seht on the now severed bridge over the ravine. They stand ready to fight the evil servants of Kan’Seht, often referred to as the Cult of the Shattered God, who seek to assimilate all the people of the realms into the service of their fallen lord. But they most often defend Tarshim’s Road and the region from raiding Barbarians who plunder the fertile lands and pilgrims.
The Knights are melee combat specialists, they can wield either sword and shield, as the Kingsmen can, or great two-handed swords, which no other class can use. Additionally, they can upgrade their shield to a Tower shield. They are also skilled at inspiring and rallying their comrades in battle.
Designing the Knight.
Storywise, these Knights are not direct servants of the kingdom, they are servants of the god Tarshim. They are not feudal servants, they are holy champions with much more in common with the Knights Templar. Knights are a “faction class” meaning that you must win them over to your side to have them fight with you. During play, the story will present opportunities to choose the Knights over another Faction Class and have them as hireable units. In fact, all classes except for the Kingsman class are faction classes. Consequently, Knights and all the faction classes may not hold Kingsmen rank, so they cannot lead patrols.
Designing the Knights was challenging because the Kingsmen are the elites of service to the sovereign. We needed something to distinguish the two classes. Our Knights are the tanks of the medieval battlefield: big armor, big guns. The two-handed sword is their unique weapon, but if they choose to stick with ‘sword and board’, like the Kingsmen, they get access to the Tower shield, which gives them greater protection that they can also use to protect others. In comparison, the Kingsmen choose between sword and board or bow. The challenge for the Knight is against ranged combat – their greater armor helps but they must close to get in range where their weapons will dominate.
As mentioned earlier, the big advantage of having Knights is their ability to help boost the Discipline of fellow patrol-mates. This helps prevent units breaking morale during a mission. Knights can lift the confidence and morale of friendly units so that they can push on and finish the fight. Another advantage is their potential to remove adverse effects on friendly units during a mission. Depending on how the player chooses a Knight’s skills while leveling, Knights have the potential to form shield walls, as well as protecting friendly units with their shield.
Knights are good at helping to build robust, defensively-minded patrols.
Our Knights don the more traditional long tabard or surcoat, chainmail shirt with sleeves, leather boots, and gorget as a rookie unit. As the player takes them on successful missions and levels them up, they will have the opportunity to upgrade their armor.
Below are some images of the Knight during the modeling process, as well as some in-game shots, or engine shots.
The above images show the high poly sculpt on the left, and the low poly game model on the right, with textures of course.
The above two images are the game models in one of our maps as well as a grab straight from the editor.
Like the Kingsman class we featured two weeks ago, these shots all have placeholder heads on the meshes. The heads, hair, and facial hair, as well as skin tone will be a customizable feature available to the player within his Castle and base management system. The more finished head on the female knight is a result of trying out what a default head might look like – the female Knight was the first of the new class skeletal meshes.
The Knight class should be a fun faction class to have on your team. Able to defend fellow units, and guard against unnatural forces, the Knight could be the unit to help turn the tide against not only the Arconian Crown, but cultists loyal to Kan’Seht – the Shattered God.