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Developer Jordy Lakiere Details We Who Are About to Die’s Unique Combat System

Solo-developer Jordy Lakiere set a personal sales goal of 10,000 lifetime sales for We Who Are About to Die (WWAATD), a gladiatorial roguelike game that was seven years in the making. In its first 24 hours out of Early Access, the indie title broke that goal & gained an additional 60,000 spots on Steam users wishlists as well. Lakiere knew he was onto something with his core concept, pairing the punishing charms of a roguelike with professional pit fighting, but admitted “the reception has been quite frankly overwhelming.”


Game Rant recently spoke with Lakiere about his indie-hit in the making, including a deep dive on what makes the game’s combat system st& out from other popular roguelikes. He also has advice for new players struggling to make it in the arena, & shared some insights about the game’s deep career system.

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A New Way to Slay

To provide two points of comparison, Lakiere mentioned that WWAATD’s combat is similar to the physics-based system of Exanima, & the more arcade-like action of Mount & Blade. But ultimately, WWAATD is its own beast.

“The idea here is that you can control your upper body mostly with the mouse, & lower body with the keyboard, & combine any & all moves together to do just about whatever you wish. The entire combat system is animation driven & many animations are semi-procedural.”

WWAATD‘s attack animation & physics-based combat system’s capacity for improvisation may be its greatest strength. Since the player is always in control of their gladiator – or Aspirant in the game’s parlance – every action can be canceled or adjusted on the fly. Such a system has Incredible potential for feinting, combos, & advanced trickery like sweeping an opponent’s legs. Since damage is determined by the speed at which combatants’ weapons collide with each other, players can deal more damage to foes by turning their torso in t&em with their weapon arm. With eight weapon classes to choose from, the potential for emergent gameplay is tremendous.

Best Beginner Builds in We Who Are About to Die

Reveling in the potential delights of WWAATD‘s combat system will dem& a degree of commitment. On the titles’ steam page, Lakiere warns players that they will need to relearn how to fight from the ground up to excel in the arena. Fortunately, he provided some build advice for new players.

“Early on, Professional Aspirant is currently the most forgiving backstory. Level one characters don’t know how to fight, so if the player also doesn’t know how to fight, that’s a bit much. A Professional Aspirant backstory starts you with some skills, so your character is already a bit more responsive at the start.”

In terms of weaponry, Lakiere suggested players stick to weapon & shield builds to Start with. In terms of survivability, it’s hard to argue with shields, especially given the game’s physics system. While players can manually block with their mouse, the shield exists as a constant, passive obstacle, providing a degree of automatic protection. Additionally, spears are also a forgiving starting weapon, having both reach & reasonable speed. Traits like Spoils to the Victor are valuable early on, as it can allow players to keep loot accrued in battle, translating to more money.

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While these systems may seem overwhelming, the joy of good roguelikes is knowing players will die to fight another day, refining skills with each run. Lakiere is committed to making each run feel meaningful & distinct as well, with many opportunities to customize & improve your character outside of the arena.

Meaningful Career Management

We Who Are About To Die Matches

In addition to all the in-arena action, Lakiere aims to provide players with a rich career-mode experience. Players will be able to manage their Aspirant in a wide variety of ways, including a bracket selection system, patronage, & various services to enhance your fighter in between fights. The bracket system allows the player to build their fighter for a specific type of match up, like dueling, paired fighting, or free-for-all melees. Patrons serve as the game’s faction system, as winning for one patron will raise favor with them, & decrease it with all the others. Each of these patrons favors a certain style of play, rewarding the player with extra money, fame, & so on.

Fame, appropriately, is a major force in WWAATD. The crowd will not respond well to a gladiator who wears ugly armor, even if it is the most pragmatic choices. A fancy plumed helmet, however, has flair to it that the audience will respond well to. Given the plurality of customization options, & the game’s distinctive battle system, it is hardly surprising that WWAATD has already made a name for itself in the competitive, indie roguelike arena.

We Who Are About To Die is available now on Steam via Early Access.

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Source link gamerant.com
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