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The Dark Eye: Book of Heroes

KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
edited August 2019 in Off-Topic
Been a long while since we had any kind of worthwhile The Dark Eye/Das Schwarze Auge videogame. So you may relate to how surprised I was when I found out about this upcoming title:

It is currently being developed by Random Potion and published by Wild River Games. Not much is known about this cRPG other than what was shown in its announcement trailer and the informations written on its steam page. Which doesn't come as a surprise, given that it has only been two weeks since they announced the game on Saturday 10th August in Ratcon Limburg roleplaying game convention, Germany.

What we do know for certain is that:
  • its combat will be isometric RTwP in singleplayer mode and RT in Coop
  • Encounters can be dealt with in more ways than merely battle them
  • has 4 playable races (Dwarves, Elves, Half-Elves and Humans)
  • features 12 professions/classes (Blessed, Soldier and Assassin amongst them)
  • you create your very own player character
  • it has a singleplayer campaign with optional coop or multiplayer mode from the looks of it
  • and its art designs are being done by official The Dark Eye artists
  • the developer plans to have post-release DLC content
  • also, there will be no toolset or level editor
  • but most importantly: it is neither a Diablo clone, nor an action RPG. Watch the designer Interview for more

All in all it seems to follow the classic German PnP Tabletop game rather closely. The last videogame that came close to that imho was Drakensang: The River of Time. So, for me personally, Spring 2020 can't come soon enough! :D

Post edited by Kamigoroshi on


  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 1,306
    edited August 2019
    Thanks for posting!
    I am a bit wary, but given that every other cRPG these days is using stupid-ass TB combat, I will keep an eye on this game. However, that it looks to be RT and not RTwP has me concerned, especially since it also says combat will be fast and brutal.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    edited August 2019

    Here's an insightful preview of the game by Orkenspalter TV. Most of it is in German, so you'd have to turn on English subtitles. But at least the interview with the Finnish indie developer is spoken in English. Didn't know for instance that Random Potion was first interested in having a D&D licence for their game, but were apparently told off by WotC for one reason or another. Luckily for them it didn't took long getting an offer by Ulisses Spiele instead.

    Edit: HA! Would you look at that:

    Orkenspalter TV even did a fully English designer interview with Random Potion.

    Post edited by Kamigoroshi on
  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 1,306
    In that English interview he confirms that while co-op play will be RT, single-player will have pausing, so YAY!! This game is now at the top of my Steam wishlist. With games like this one and Solasta and such coming out, who needs BG3?

    Honestly, if WotC's attitude is to kiss Larian's ass while giving the finger to anyone else who wants to make a D&D-based game, I'm beginning to think that maybe I should start rooting for Larian's game to flop.

  • CvijetaCvijeta Member Posts: 417
    Now I have something to buy in spring 2020.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876

    Random Potion did release two more trailers that show gameplay footage. And honestly now: devs really deserve more exposure than what they currently getting for their game. The fact that almost no one seems to know of this upcoming RTwP game boggles the mind. :(

    The Dark Eye: Book of Heroes will release in Q2 2020. So be a dear and wishlist it on Steam if you like what you're seeing in those trailers.

  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 1,306
    It has been on my wishlist. Any cRPG that has RTwP is an insta-auto-buy for me (at full price) given how few such games I have to enjoy.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,639
    I wishlisted this, also. It looks really interesting, and more in the spirit of Baldur's Gate or Pillars of Eternity than what Larian is doing.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876

    Another video from the German gamer channel Orkenspalter TV. They had the chance to play a bit of the pre-release build 0.9.8 (more precisely through the tutorial and two missions). Meaning some things are bound to change in the final release.

    In a nutshell:
    - The developers have targeted a singleplayer campaign of 20-ish hours.
    - Graphics have been objectively enhanced since last year. Especially dungeon textures and character models.
    - The game itself plays similar to a Baldur's Gate 1 clone, apparently.
    - There's currently little to no voice acting. Whenever the final build gets more or not is unknown.
    - The used ruleset is The Dark Eye 5th edition, but somewhat simplified.
    - The worldmap shows half of the Middenrealms (kiiinda like West Faerûn, but not quite)
    - Each dungeon room will be randomly generated. Encounters and things to do within them will also change accordingly.
    - There are lots of books, trinkets, notices and other references of The Dark Eye lore.
    - The devs designed missions to be replayed by single and co-op players alike.
    - A single dungeon will take up approximately between 30 minutes and one hour to clear. Depending what's generated.
    - Missions may involve killing bounties, fetching items, solving puzzles and so forth.
    - On Character Creation you pick your character's reason for adventuring, which present itself through the gameplay via sidequests.
    - Both potions and equipment can be crafted by the player. Of course also buying and selling stuff.
    - Mercenaries can be created for singleplayer, but are fully AI controlled. Each class has its own AI that acts differently inside dungeons.
    - Party size is always 4. Either 1 player with three mercenaries. Or 4 players in co-op mode. Doesn't look like solo is a thing.
    - There's currently only a text chat for co-op gamers. But an ingame voice chat is also planned.
    - After completing a mission, you get special Inra cards and Adventure Points to level up / flesh out your character.
    - Players may or may not get their own room and stash inside the Inn (hub) to store items. That's still being discussed between the devs.
    - The price is still undecided, but it won't be a full priced game. Something like 30-ish bucks, maybe?

    Orkenspalter's first impression is that Book of Heroes is more of an enjoyable "snack" than a "5-course dinner" cRPG where you easily clock in 100+ hours. They also noted that it's a niche cRPG that tackles the limited things it does really well. So people who expect some epic The Dark Eye plot story akin to Drakensang or Demononicon may end up getting disappointed without having prior knowledge of what this game is all about.

    Still, given that this will be the *very first* isometric The Dark Eye RTwP cRPG ever created. And it's made by only 11 people. I will definitely buy it on day one. If only because video games which use this particular IP are a rare breed indeed nowadays.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876

    Lookie, such shinies! The German publisher did a little "Making of" series about Book of Heroes and the Finnish studio behind it. Even comes with English subtitles. Nice! :)

    Glad to hear that they are working hard on bringing in more outside-of-combat content to the game. Especially since The Dark Eye isn't supposed to be as combat heavy as D&D. Hence why the Point & Click adventure games Chains of Satinav and Memoria were more successful than the Blackguards franchise for instance.

    For those interested what the Hundeblume is (which is confirmed to sadly not be in the game), see the spoiler.

    Yes, it's a chimera between dogs and flowers. And it's an official creature found inside The Dark Eye TTRPG. :p

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876 did recently publish a preview article about Book of Heroes.
    Not much new informations in it, given that they also had the 0.9.8 build from PAX East like Orkenspalter TV did. But it seems that combat won't be a walk in the park for the unprepared.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876

    New video with a couple of yet unseen scenes. Noteable are new instances of traps, puzzles and the resting/camping mechanic.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    Some new informations about the game:
    - its price has been confirmed to be €29.99
    - there will be no Early Access phase (yay!)
    - Book of Heroes will also see no console ports from the looks of it
    - Steam will be the only place for getting the "digital" version of the game. Possible plans for a physical release?

    We are getting closer and closer to getting our hands on the game, even with the global pandemic going on. :)

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,144
    Steam only? Guess I'm never playing it.

  • SorcererV1ct0rSorcererV1ct0r Member Posts: 2,173
    Looks promising. There are necromanies in this game?

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    The 12 professions inside Book of Heroes include: Assassin, Black Mage, Bounty Hunter, Blessed One of Boron (deity of death), Blessed One of Phex (deity of thieves), Blessed One of Rondra (deity of war), Gray Mage, Knight, Mercenary, Rogue, Wandering Sword and White Mage.

    Boron's "portfolios" include Funeral, Blood, Darkness, Ghosts, Night, Prophecy, Rest, Sleep, Silence, Souls, Death, Peace in Death, Dreams, Undeath and Obliviscence. So the Blessed One of Boron is probably the closest you will get to a necromancer build out of the bunch. The Dark Eye's classic necromantic profession is known as Metamage and possess the Skeletarius spell: allowing them to conjure skeletal undead. They were playable in both Drakensang titles, but aren't in Book of Heroes. At least for now.

    As for the other full casters:
    - Black Mages hail from the Al'Achami of Fasar, a school of mindmages that is mentioned in old Tulamydian writings and shrouded in many mysteries. Basically an academy of Illusionists and Enchanters.
    - Gray Mages of the Lowangen School of Transformation study healing magic and transmutation.
    - White Mages graduated from the Gareth Academy of Sword and Staff, a branch of the Alliance of the White Pentagram. Your typical muscle brained battlemages that hold little interest in researching the Arcane.

  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,211
    Eh, Boron is the God of Death, not Undeath - Undeath is the domain of his arch demonic counterpart and nemesis. Necromancy is punished by his priesthood by alive burial.

    I am not sure how close they are to PnP but I would expect non of those classes to be summoners/necromancers. There are Black Mages who do both but they picked an academy with a very different focus.

    The metamagic=necromancy thing is a Drakensang adaptation so I would not necessarily expect to see that again. It is a completely different domain in PnP with no Academies which focus on both areas.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    Ammar wrote: »
    Eh, Boron is the God of Death, not Undeath - Undeath is the domain of his arch demonic counterpart and nemesis. Necromancy is punished by his priesthood by alive burial.
    This is the case of Boron worship within the Cult of the Twelvegods, yes. Though that's not the universal truth in all of Dere. The Children of the Night for instance are vampires blessed by Boron himself, even going so far as to calling themselves Paladins of Boron. The Nereton church (another name for Boron) inside the Myranor Empire vastly differs in the way of worship as well. According to the rulebook Myranische Götter they do actively conjurate the undead. Which is probably why Undead is listed under Boron's aspect entries. But I agree with you that the arch demoness Thargunitoth really is the go-to choice for any serious necromancer.

    I mentioned the Metamage because to most gamers Drakensang was pretty much their only exposure to the Dark Eye IP. Well that and maybe Chains of Satinav/Memoria. From my experience the TT PnP game isn't all that well known outside of Europe.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    edited April 2020
    Some BIG news!

    First, Random Potion did post a steam update about some of the professions. Including the Assassin, Black Mage, Blessed One of Boron, Blessed One of Phex, as well as Blessed One of Rondra. Interesting choice they did with showcasing a dwarven Black Mage. ;)

    We also do have a second steam update talking about the release date: June 9th 2020 is the day!

    On a very special note, a physical Collector's Edition will also be available on Amazon for €69.99.
    It comes with a 16 pages-long Comic, a CD of the OST, a digital Artbook, a rather stylish DVD case, as well as two steam keys within. Looks like there will be no DRM-free game DVD in this one. Given the numerous instances where the article summary lists having a steam account is required and all.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    New updates, new insights. One of them talks about the Gray Mage, White Mage, Knight, Mercenary and Rogue. We also now know that both the three Blessed Ones and Wandering Sword archetypes will exclude Elves. Probably dwarves as well, but that's not confirmed yet.

    The newest updated speaks of the character creation proccess. Even comes with a new video:

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    - The AI does know how to check if someone needs healing, so those precious healing spells won't be wasted on characters who are on full health.
    - The DPS henchmen are not mages and thus (as per The Dark Eye rules) don't have limited abilities they could waste.
    - The henchmen try their best to rescue you when you fall. Even if they immediately can't, the adventure is not failed until all the characters have been incapacitated. Same goes for multiplayer.
    - The content generator calculates henchmen as less powerful than it would a person playing the exact same character since the AI can never play that optimally.
    - I can't promise that the henchmen would *never* be annoying, but we have done our best to ensure that they don't completely ruin your playthroughs either.


    I thought these answers about Book of Heroes' AI henchmen will interest my fellow singleplayers here as well. Good to know that the not-really-mage henchmen won't run out of spells. It would have been a small nightmare otherwise, given that players cannot take control of them.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    Some new eyecandy appeared! Remember that the Physical Edition had a printed comic in it? Well, Random Potion just posted the whole strip inside a steam update. It even is in English. :D

    The above comic was created by the talented Elif Siebenpfeiffer - a well known illustrator of The Dark Eye's tabletop game.

  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 1,306

    Unfortunate that they don't just allow us to create four characters for single-player.

  • IseweinIsewein Member Posts: 403
    It is such a pleasure to see realistic female armour. Hadn't heard about this game yet, but the realistic renaissance art direction of Drakensang was one of its strongest points, and I'm delighted to see they continue in that vein.

  • CvijetaCvijeta Member Posts: 417
    I already plan to buy this, and I even don't do coop
    it will probably suck like Druidstone.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    tb wrote:
    AMA on on Monday June 8th at 5 PM (cest) / 11 AM (edt)
    Want to know everything there is to know about The Dark Eye: Book of Heroes?

    Lead designer Arto Koistinen from Random Potion will be hosting an AMA on reddit/r/games next monday.

    So please join in and ask all your questions on Monday June 8th at
    5 PM (cest) / 11 AM (edt)
    Finally, a developer who doesn't do their AMA around unholy times like 12PM CEST or so. :p

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    edited June 2020
    Here's a short summary of the AMA from yesterday:
    • The game uses Unity Engine.
    • The game takes place in the Middenrealm of Aventuria, around 1040 FB.
    • Players will encounter many types of creatures. Some of which have different variants and even sub-variants.
    • Console releases and post-release content are being discussed with the producer. But all will depend on how well Book of Heroes will sell from today onwards.
    • The team's favourite professions are Blessed One of Rondra, White Mage, Rogue, Assassin and Gray Mage respectively. Also interesting of note is that both Hesinde (Goddess of Magic) and Praois (Godking of the Sun) nearly got a Blessed One on their own as well. But were later replaced with Boron and Rondra.
    • No pointy wizard hats or winged "Asterix" helmets for our characters to wear, sadly.
    • As of now, none of the books/notes/pamphlets the players find inside dungeons are readable. But Arto Koistinen (Game Designer) mentioned that this is something they can definitely add (via updates) later on.
    • The Dark Eye edition used inside the Book of Heroes (5e) was decided by Ulisses Spiele. Random Potion did, for the most part, stay true to that ruleset. Things that changed were obviously the game being RTwP (singleplayer) / RT (co-op) instead of TB. As well as a handful of spells working a tad different than in PnP, but with similar effects.
    • It is possible that the Blessed One's deity may play a bigger role down the line. That's something the devs are looking to add in the future.
    • Both players and henchmen can "provoke" enemies.
    • Players can choose to play a female dwarf! In Drakensang and other TDE adaptions it was only possible to play as a male shorty.
    • Players can give their henchmen commands: "Explore that room", "listen by the Door", ect. It is also possible to use the map to leave markers for the henchment to respond.
    • There are currently over 15 Missions. Or "Adventures", as the devs call them. They range from combat oriented dungeons, to puzzle oriented ones. Once unlocked, the players can keep replaying them.
    • Here's a list of some of the most memoriable Missions for the team: For Arto Koistinen (Game Designer) it's "Forge of Agromoth", "Armillary of Angrella", "Goblin Raiders" and "Supply Burn". Saara Korhonen (Game Programmer) answered with "Shrouded Society", as it was her first quest for the company in 2018. Teppo Hyttinen (Environment Artist) on the other hand has a soft spot for "Hesinde Heist", it being the first forest Mission in the game.

  • kanisathakanisatha Member Posts: 1,306
    [*] Players can give their henchmen commands: "Explore that room", "listen by the Door", ect. It is also possible to use the map to leave markers for the henchment to respond.

    So does this mean we have no direct control over our henchmen?

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    edited June 2020
    delastone2 wrote:
    From Fargol on Steam forum :
    Since I only control my main character, suppose I roll a Healer or a ranged character and hire melee mercs to support me. When exploring a dungeon, it appears I would "lead the team" into rooms, which makes no sense. I'd expect the melee merc to do that. That's what I'm paying them for, after all :)
    1. If one of my ranged/caster mercs is threatened in melee, will they switch to a melee weapon, or continue to fire at close range and (presumably) get smacked around with AoO?
    2. Will my ranged characters properly prioritize enemy targets - i.e. focus on enemy healers, casters, and ranged units before opening up on the melee'ers?
    3. If the enemy AI is smart enough to do what I'd expect my ranged mercs to do in point 3, will my mercs respond appropriately? i.e. if my healer/caster is being targeted, will my melee merc peel off to defend him/her (if not engaged)?
    4. If one of my ranged/caster mercs is threatened in melee, will they switch to a melee weapon, or continue to fire at close range and (presumably) get smacked around with AoO?
    It still seems odd to me that I have zero influence on the mercs, despite the fact I'm (presumably) paying them. I should have at least rudimentary control, such as instructing my ranged mercs to harass enemy casters, then ranged units, then whatever's left. Or, I can instruct one of my melee mercs to hang back and protect my squishiness, and only attack if I'm secure.
    1. You can give commands to the henchmen such as 'explore that room'. We also have an option to listen by the door, so you can (if your Perception roll succeeds) if there are enemies there and then decide who to send in.
    2. They switch to melee weapons.
    3. No, but that's been taken into account in balancing.
    4. See above.
    5. This is the same question as 2?
    You can use the map to leave markers to which the henchmen respond to.

    The henchmen are completely AI controlled, yes. But from the above AMA answer we do know that players can influence them. Albeit nowhere near as versatile as taking direct control over them like with the henchmen in Kingmaker. Also worth noting:
    Pyremoo wrote:
    I understand that the companions are mercs that have varying price ranges based on their skillset - eg level 1 mercs are cheaper than more capable ones. Will these mercs get better over time, or are they set as in their gear and skills never change?
    No, the mercs stay the same, you just unlock more experienced ones over the course of the game.

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