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Stieg Hedlund, the Design Director of Gods & Heroes, was interviewed by the good folks at the now defunct website Society of Gamers. Unfortunately, when the site ceased operations recently, the interview was left in limbo. A special thanks to Perpetual and Society of Gamers for allowing us to run it.
| MMORPG.com: Gods & Heroes uses a unique squad-based system; players have command of many minions. Please explain how this will maintain a "squad leader" feel while not forcing players to constantly manage and direct individual troops.
Stieg Hedlund: The minion system is one of our most crucial systems in the game and implementing it correctly is paramount to the experience we want to create. A significant portion of the development of the minion system was focused on the user experience and how we could adapt this system to the widest spectrum of players possible. The solution was to give the players as much, or as little, control as they wanted.
Minion control is achieved through a minion user sub-interface where multiple options, like agro radius and aggression levels, can be set. To start, the minions are broken in to three sub-groups, Infantry, Skirmisher, and Casters. This allows you to issue commands to individual groups and essentially micro-manage each sub-group of your minions. In these sub-controls you can independently set varying levels of aggression, agro radius, and even what they should be doing when they attack. You can tell one group to hold back while another attacks and have the casters in the back on support (healing and buffing) only.
In contrast to this, if you don't want to deal with these sub-groups or micro-management you can just issue orders from the main commands and they will respond accordingly. Of course if you just set them to an aggressive behaviour, you might find yourself in a few more fights than you originally anticipated!
You can read more here.
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios