Friday, April 25, 2014

FIVE... and a Picketers Program Profile!

Hey everyone! Aetherium continues to gather steady momentum as we enter these final 5 day -absolutely fantastic. We are tremendously excited not only by the response so far, but also for the future that you have opened (and continue to unlock) for this game.
Today, we wanted to invest a little more time delving into the different program types in the game.

Units in Aetherium are referred to as programs. There are 3 types of programs in the game: Avatars, Functions, and Subroutines. Today we will be taking a look at one of the Nanomei subroutines that comes in the starter box, the Picketers.

Subroutines represent the 'squads' of Aetherium. They are the most simple of programs in the game, and are usually controlled by the most basic user. Sometimes, subroutines are automated programs that have been put into the system and run themselves on a basic set of parameters. All subroutines are comprised of multiple models, usually 2-5. Subroutines are further divided into 2 types; Segmented or Linked. 

Segmented subroutines each act as independent models in the game. Though they all act during the same in game activation, each model in a segmented program activates independently of the others. Each model can move, attack, and activate .EXEs during their activation. They also each have their own stability grid (health), and take damage separately from one another. Damage is never shared between them, and does not carry over to other models in the program. Even those with a low damage output can be dangerous, because each model in the program can make an attack. In the case of a program such as the Riot Grlz, it is rather like having 3 separate models in your collective, and that damage can add up fast!

Linked subroutines work more like traditional 'squads'. Each model represents part of a greater whole, a part of the program. During their activation, they move and fight together. One model is moved, and when its movement is complete, the rest of the program is placed in adjacent squares. When they attack, they only make one attack roll. They share one large stability grid. When a linked program takes enough damage models get removed, until the entire program is deleted.

Subroutines are further defined by a unique ability known as a 'coordination' skill. These are skills that generally trigger when multiple models from the same program are working together in some way, usually against the same target.

With that explained, lets take a closer look at one of the Nanomei's Linked Subroutines: The Picketers.

The Picketers act as type of tarpit unit for the Nanomei. Their attack profile isn't amazing, and they don't dish out a ton of damage, but they can interrupt the enemy and become quite the nuisance for your opponent. Their disruption ability 'riot' only requires one disruption cog to trigger, so it is fairly reliable. When the disruption ability triggers, it forces the target program to end the next activation adjacent to the picketers. This can cause enemy models to be pulled away form other potential targets in your collective, or if the picketers move away from the main battleline, you can force your opponent to follow you, thus pulling them away from the main fight.

Picketers excel in a support roll as well. With their coordination skill, if enough models are still in play, you can completely cancel out an enemy's safeguard, allowing your other programs to wreck havoc on that program. Their .EXE, 'strike', makes it harder for you opponent to move away from the picketers. Combined with 'riot', enemies will find themselves slowed down while engaging the picketers. Finally, their safeguard 'civilian ploy' can keep the picketers from suffering massive spikes of damage from a single attack. These abilities, when used in combination, open some a very cool level of strategic thinking in the game, one which has been used to very powerful and nuanced effect in our playtesting.

More tomorrow! In the mean time, keep up the tremendous work!

Great stuff!

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