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This year is ending with a bang as new and original content connected to the animated series Lance Dur arrives. Players can celebrate the introduction of not one, not two, but three completely new areas to explore. An entire archipelago is coming to the World of Twelve. Located in the north-east of the Amaknian continent, tons of new adventures await on these islands, which Twelvians forgot about many years ago. In this devblog you will learn more about the rich history of the archipelago and the connection it has with the characters you have probably already met in your adventuring. And as you already know, a new class is being introduced. So, are you ready? Let's go over some of what you will soon be able to explore.

Valonia, An Archipelago With a Rich History

The history of Valonia goes much further back than a lot of people think. The first significant event took place over 1,000 years ago. During this time, a mysterious and gigantic lance hit the island of Valonia and split it into multiple islands. This event was why the archipelago came to be known as the "Broken Islands Archipelago". A group of adventurers was sent to investigate this cataclysmic event. When they encountered this lance (which they called the "Original Lance"), they all had a vision that foretold of a cataclysm that would swallow the world and defeat the gods. Only seven of them were willing to believe in this vision, and these seven vowed to break away from the gods by cultivating their free will. They forged seven lances, each one bearing a name and ideas that would guide their lives and those of anyone who came after them. This was how the first seven Forgelances emerged: the Forgelances of the Oath.

For several centuries, their behavior was somewhat individualistic. It wasn't until the signs of the Eliocalypse shook the World of Twelve that the Forgelances became aware of how urgent the situation was. They had postponed making the necessary preparations to face such chaos. But the Forgelances were now strong from centuries of tradition and inheritance.

In the year 652, Forgelances started to appear in the World of Twelve in large numbers. They then shared their concerns with their elders: How could they survive this predicted cataclysm? One of the seven Forgelances of the Oath, Gidrud, decided to take matters into his own hands. They settled in the Archipelago of Valonia to build a refuge that would endure through the ages. The colony decided to settle on the island of Albuera, the largest and most hospitable of the archipelago. It was there that the first Forgelance buildings were erected 1,000 years ago.

However, for a people that had lived independently up to that point, organizing such a large number was a huge challenge and one that had an impact on their way of life. Other than these problems within the colony, their island and the archipelago in general didn't turn out to be as easy to colonize as they had initially thought.

Geography of the Archipelago

Albuera - The Forgelance Colony

Between the seeds of discord growing within their ranks due to colony politics, controlling the island's hostile fauna, and the massive logistical problem of acquiring the resources needed to maintain work sites and feed everyone, the new Albuerans face many challenges on their island.

Your exploration of the archipelago will first take you to the main island: Albuera. This is the largest and most hospitable of the archipelago's three islands. This is where the Forgelances decided to establish their colony and temple – at the place where the Original Lance struck. However, the Forgelances are not alone on the island and they need to learn how to co-exist with all the inhabitants.

Albuera is a level-50 area.

The Ereboria Mines

Your adventures will take you to the second of the archipelago's islands: the Ereboria Mines. Here, the architecture is both stark and sophisticated, worthy of the greatest of little people: the Stubbyobs!

Stubbyobs never end up in a location by chance. While exploring their majestic mines, you will learn more about how they operate and what drives them. But if you look carefully, you might even find other things a lot less welcoming…

Ereboria is a level-190 area.

Ephedrya, Belladonna's Lair

You can't miss the enormous abandoned castle when you disembark at Valonia. Visible from very far away, it sits atop an island overrun with a wide variety of spectacular plants and seems rather unwelcoming. Rumor has it that a witch used to live there and that she seemed to be linked to old stories of the Forgelances. But what was the link and what might you learn while exploring there?

If the answers to these questions intrigue you and you feel the call of adventure just from reading this, then head to the third and last island of the "Broken Islands Archipelago": Ephedrya.

But be warned: This island may seem abandoned, but you will definitely have some eventful encounters with the local flora. 

Ephedrya is a level-200 area.

Monster Families

You probably already know this by now: New areas means new monster families. Here's an overview of the three new monster families that you can face in this new update. And as always, we're still keeping the boss of each family a little bit of a mystery.

The Timberland Rebels

Albuera Island where the Forgelances chose to establish their colony is not as peaceful as it seems. The coast where they have colonized is surrounded by the Snowbound Timberland, a nearby wood populated by the Timberland Rebels, who are fighting to stop their forest from being cut down by the new colony.

In combat, keep an eye on your resistances, which these monsters will focus on to keep you at bay.

The Bitter-Hammers

The legendary avarice of the Stubbyobs is… well, legendary. Where's there's gold, there's a Stubbyob. But what are they doing on the cursed island?  Why are they living on Ereboria and why have they built an underground city? Whatever the answer, the fact remains that they are there and more than willing to defend their territory.

If you choose to cross swords with them, you'll soon learn not to test the "Stubbygerness" of the Bitter-Hammers.

The Protectors of Ephedrya

You won't be alone if you want to go adventuring in the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Ephedrya. Although nature has reclaimed the land, you will undoubtedly have the misfortune of meeting certain residents who are there to protect the abandoned castle from any foreigners who dare enter.

Are you brave enough to take them on? We just have one piece of advice for you: Whatever you do, take cover at the end of your turn!

And What About Cire Momore?

Cire Momore is one of the main antagonists of Lance Dur. It has thrown everything it's got into protecting its treasure for many centuries, and you will undoubtedly encounter this monster during your adventures.

But you should know that its formidable power has given rise to many legends, which are now told to children to terrorize them. If you ever come face to face with Cire Momore, run! Or stand up to it at your own risk.

To fight it, you will first need to prove yourself in a variety of quests.
 

Note: This monster was first shown at the 2022 Japan Expo. For those who couldn't make it to that event, the Cire Momore in the game will be identical to the one presented at the expo.
 

Equipment

"Lots of equipment" would be an understatement for the amount of equipment waiting for you in this update. A deluge of equipment items will be added to the game at the same time as Valonia. The three monster families will be represented along with a few extras. Here's an overview of the equipment (you can see more details about all items during the beta).
 

Level-50 Equipment for the Timberland Rebels

For this monster family, there will be four new sets containing three equipment items each: 

  • The Rebel Set geared toward Strength/Intelligence and containing: Cloak, Ring and Boots
  • The Raccooper Set geared toward Strength/Agility and containing: Scythe, Cloak and Headgear
  • The Albueran Warrior Set geared toward Strength/Chance and containing: Amulet, Ring and Lance
  • The Albueran Trapper Set geared toward Agility/Intelligence and containing: Boots, Belt and Lance

Here are a few examples of items in these sets: 
 

Level-190 Equipment for the Bitter-Hammers

For this monster family, there will be three new sets containing three equipment items each: 

  • The Bitter-Hammer Set geared toward Strength/Chance/Power and containing: Shield, Necklace and a choice between Hammer or Scythe
  • The Berylbell Set geared toward Chance and containing: Daggers, Headgear and Belt
  • The Copperbeard Set geared toward Strength/Agility/Intelligence and containing: Headgear, Ring and Hammer

Here are a few examples of items in these sets: 
 

Level-200 Equipment for the Protectors of Ephedrya / Cire Momore

For this monster family, there will be one new equipment item not part of a set and two new sets (one with six equipment items and one with seven): 

  • The Cire Momore's Curse Set geared toward Power/Tank. It contains: Sword, Headgear, Amulet, Ring, Cloak, and Boots. Note that this set has a special feature: If you equip two or more items from the set, you can't have more than 2 MP.
  • The Evils of Ephedrya Set geared toward Power and containing: Shield / a Weapon (choice between Lance or Axe) and a Ring from three options
  • A Bow geared toward Strength/Intelligence
Here are a few examples of items in these sets: 

Incarnating as a Forgelance

Their History

While Huppermages advocate balance between the gods, the Forgelances are convinced that the gods won't save them from the future catastrophe and prefer to take fate in their own hands.

If you want to break free from the shackles of the gods' doctrines, this class is for you. But what defines a Forgelance? Well, here is a description of these warriors:

Forgelances are lance-bearing warriors who believe only in themselves! Drawing their powers from the Original Lance, these fighters seek to forge a reputation that death itself can never erase. Lovers of the arts, legendary tales and epic jousts; promises of glory and posterity will be enough to convince a Forgelance to stand by your side with weapon at the ready. They'll act as your spearhead in battle, making first contact with the enemy to pierce their defenses.
 

Our goals for this class

When designing this new class, we had various goals in mind.

First of all, we wanted an original game mechanic with real personality to ensure the Forgelances were not just a class like any other. We wanted gamers to say "I love playing as a Forgelance. The lance mechanics are great". In a game with 18 classes and turn-based combat, this first goal of refreshing gameplay was already a huge challenge.

Next, like all the other classes, we wanted the Forgelances to have a distinguishing element that the mechanics were based on (like bombs for Rogues, masks for Masqueraiders, turrets for Foggernauts, portals for Eliotropes, summons for Osamodas, etc.). We didn't have to think very hard for Forgelances… the lance was ideal. So, when designing the class, we had always thought about making the lance central to the mechanics while ensuring it didn't become inconsistent with the weapon system in Dofus. The spell kit also needed to be considered so that we could showcase the lance but without falling into the trap of creating "a magician with a lance". This is also reflected in the use of the elements, which we wanted to infuse with a material and tangible quality for the animations and effects: Water is associated with the storm, Earth with wood and rock, Fire with lava, and Air with metal.

Finally, the animations for spells and the lance were both a goal and a big challenge. Making the lance central to the mechanics meant that it needed to be physically present on the battlefield. This made spell animations more complex. The lance is both physically present and also symbolically part of the Forgelance character.

Inspirations for the Class

Inspiration plays a role to varying degrees when anything is created. And the Forgelances were no exception. There were many inspirations, including a variety of legends and stories, Arthurian tales, and a touch of Tolkien. It is a class without gods and one that makes the lance central to its way of life, which should be felt in all its forms. The goal was to find the very essence of epic battles and great sagas (in the sense of telling an epic story), but obviously with a Dofus flavor and some lighter wordplay.

Forgelances And Combat

As we mentioned in the first Forgenews, the three major roles for the Forgelances are: Damage Dealer, Positioner, and Protector. Let's look at this in a bit more detail.

Positioner: It will be hard to catch a Forgelance. They are very mobile in combat, on their own and as part of a team. Using their lance, they can move themselves and others.

Damage Dealer: Forgelances are warriors. And warriors pack a punch. This makes Forgelances quite self-sufficient in PvM and geared toward Erosion in PvP. They can also deal a variety of damage with their lance: area-of-effect damage, ranged damage and close-combat damage.







Protector: We haven't reinvented the wheel here. There aren't any new effects. We're are just reusing those that already existed for other classes. However, we have tried to do something different in how they are used. To roughly summarize, Forgelances can apply shields, heal allies, and increase Pushback Resistance and Critical Resistance.

All these mechanics will be based around two states: armed (= lance carried by the Forgelance) and unarmed (= lance planted in the ground). What Forgelances can do varies based on their current state. To give them their own identity, two new spell area of effects have been specially added: a Rectangle and Trident area of effect.

Challenges Faced by the Game Designers

Lots of goals, lots of inspiration, and on top of that, we had to make a new class in an 18-year-old game. As you can imagine, it was a difficult task and we faced many challenges. 

First of all, a new challenge with the Forgelance class was creating a spell kit based on a lance being used on the battlefield. As traditional spells didn't allow for this, we opted for triggered spells, which allow for deeper and more varied gameplay. To produce the best results, we took the opportunity to make some improvements to the triggered spell system.

Then there was balancing, which was mentioned earlier. Yes, let's broach this subject. Balancing is very much like walking a tightrope for game designers. It's something we work on every day. However, the difficulty of finding the perfect balance (which is actually impossible) shouldn't restrict us when we are creating something, especially a new class. So, we paid particular attention to balancing, especially as Forgelances have many area-of-effect spells. As we were well aware of how difficult it is to balance the new class to the same level as the other classes right off the bat, we did the best we could and we decided to extend the usual duration of the beta to give us more time to adjust the new class before it is added to the full game.

Finally, as mentioned earlier, Forgelances alternate between two states (armed and unarmed). Switching between states needed to be fluid to avoid making the combat tedious. This was actually one of the issues raised during our early internal tests. It was solved by allowing Forgelances to re-throw their planted lance if they are next to it without needing to retrieve it.

Mini Conclusion

For those not brave enough to read the whole devblog but still want to learn more about the new class, I'll try to summarize everything in one sentence (and one easily understood): 

Forgelances are a new class with unique mechanics built around their lance, which required a lot of work to implement in terms of balancing, animation and fluidity, and which can be used in many combat situations, including for dealing damage, positioning, and protection.

Note: When the new class is added to the game, you won't be able to change class to become a Forgelance. Temporis experience potions can't be used on a Forgelance character.

Conclusion

As always, thanks to all the courageous adventurers who read every devblog from start to finish. This update involved between six months and a year of work, so it's hard to summarize everything in just a few lines. But we are happy to finally be able to introduce it to you, and we can't wait to read your feedback. Adding a new class to the game is always a major challenge for the game designers, especially in terms of balancing. So, we have decided to keep the beta open for one week longer than usual (three weeks).

Has this devblog made you want to try everything out? Log into the beta tomorrow and FORGE AHEAD (no pun intended)!

Category: Game design