Cohorts are NPC-controlled Houses designed for players who want to enjoy Territory Wars and all the fun that comes with them at their own pace, without having to worry about organising with other players. 

To get a closer look at all things Cohorts (past, present, and future) we spoke to Yifei Li, the Virtual World Creative Designer at Booming Tech.

What was the inspiration behind Cohorts?

We want to provide a free, low-pressure environment to help players participate in Territory Wars and give everyone the opportunity to experience the gameplay. This is why Cohorts are more unrestricted than the more organised [Player-Controlled] Free Houses or Alliances, and this results in a different way of playing Territory Wars for players from different camps—-the Houses will have more freedom to command and launch attacks, while the Cohorts will have clearer NPC leadership and a lower threshold for participation.

What challenges did you face when designing an AI-based House System that players could join?

The biggest challenge was how to attract players to it, and how it could co-exist with the traditional House system. The counter we found to this was to enhance the sense of immersion while differentiating the gameplay. The core of the special gameplay design focuses on 'convenience', making it easier to declare war and easier to join, thus offsetting some of the natural lack of organisation.

How would you say the Cohort experience differs from joining a House?

Beyond the gameplay, it's more about the sense of immersion. When you take part in a battle and fight for a long time for a particular place, you develop a special sense of belonging; the sense of honour that comes with victory also makes a difference.

Did you encounter any obstacles when Cohorts interacted with the Open-World?

The biggest problem arose with the War Declaration mechanism, which we initially tried in a direction similar to that of the Houses, except that the targets were randomly selected by the system. Such a mechanism showed obvious problems after running for a while, with the uncertain outcome both infuriating the Houses and adding to the already difficult organisation of the Cohorts. So, to coincide with the storyline of Season IX: Tyranny, we introduced a system of assembling NPC armies at the same time, in keeping with the identity of the Cohorts and to give a more visible reminder of the two types of experiences. We are still working on optimising the gameplay details and interactive experience of the rally system, and players in the already live Conqueror’s Blade: Helheim season will also be hit by [NPC] Viking warriors in battles.

With how the Cohort system works (AI Targeting of Houses and allowing Cohort members to quickly rally to ongoing battles), what advice would you give to Houses that are under attack from Imperial Restorationists?

With the help of the new reinforcements mechanism, Cohorts players will keep pouring into the battle line, but they are more likely to fight separately and sporadically in the battle, which gives the House players the opportunity to combine their forces and attack each other in one place. So, once you observe the Cohorts players extending their battle line, make sure you take advantage of the opportunity.

What do you envision for future iterations of the Cohorts system?

We hope that in the future, Cohorts will help more players to experience the fun of Territory Wars. We are committed to enhancing the participation of Cohorts players and optimising the interactive experience so that all players who put in the effort will be rewarded accordingly and enjoy the exclusive glory.
Check out more behind-the-scenes peeks at all things Conqueror’s Blade, with our glimpse at Territory Wars and making a Sequel Season. Stay tuned for more!