The Bagpipers were the first unit to be introduced in Season X: Highlanders—-a trusty troop of troubadours who charged into battle alongside their allies, inspiring warriors with fighting spirit using their literal instruments of war.
We sat down with Anton Mamihonov, Creative Director at Booming Tech, to chat about the inspiration behind the Bagpipers, balancing a support unit, and the future of musical troops in Conqueror’s Blade.
The Bagpipers were the first unit of their kind—-a musical unit! Why did you choose Season X: Highlanders to bring music into Conqueror’s Blade battles?
Bagpipes are one of the strongest symbols of Scottish culture, and historically bagpipes were used on battlefields to inspire troops. It was a perfect opportunity for us to introduce a new unit type to the game – a full support.
3-Star Units are a very tricky tier to design. They’re not strong enough to stand face to face against 4- or 5-Star Units, but the specialist unit type is a great choice for 3-Stars, and the Bagpipers perfectly fit players’ desire to cooperate and fulfil supportive roles.
What is it about Scotland (and bagpipes specifically) that inspired you to make the first musical unit?
We’re huge fans of ancient and medieval cultures. Celtic and Scottish cultures are extremely interesting and deep. It is much about the mood, atmosphere - the sound of bagpipes, rocks and oceans, highland landscapes, bravery, and the strong spirit of Scottish warriors. And, of course, historical heroic instances when bagpipes inspired and changed outcomes of battles.
They also possess the first mechanics of boosting damage dealt and defensive stats of their allies - how did you address balance or that players might consider them a “must-have” unit for battles?
It’s much about their leadership cost vs the impact they make. Their buffs, when applied to five or six surrounding units, give more advantage than the leadership cost of 120, which can be combined by a player in a Warband build with other units. One or two bagpipers are something that we currently see in many sieges and even some Territory War battles—-a great success for a low-tier unit.
What were your main goals when it came to making a full support unit that doesn't attack?
We’re aiming to bring new unit mechanics for Highlanders and the upcoming seasons. The supportive role is something that hasn’t been explored enough in our game until this moment, and we’re hoping that players will enjoy helping their allies even more.
If you were going to make another musical unit, what instrument would they wield? Perhaps a drum corps or trumpeters?
I think that it would be most interesting to know our players’ opinion on that topic – whether they would like more musical instruments-wielding units and what kind. Hopefully, our readers will share their thoughts in the comment section!
Read up about the other units launched with Season X: Highlanders—-the fearless Claymores and the loyal Houndsmen. If you’re interested in more dev blogs, check out our behind the scenes look into Season X Weapon Skins.