New info released: Undead Classes

Golden Xan

Moderator
Staff member
Mallius Odium
Immemorial
Ageless
OG 2020
Magus
Vampire Scholar
Old World
Harbinger
Mar 30, 2019
306
506
138
Hello everyone,

@Denis Dyack informed us on another thread about the addition of a new page on the website: Undead Classes

As usual, I'm going to list the most prominent content here and add my own remarks to it.


Death as the Undead
The death system in Deadhaus Sonata was designed to be consistent and philosophically aligned with occult literature. One cannot simply kill a spirit without going through the proper rituals of exorcising that spirit. Examples of this philosophy can be seen in excellent shows like Supernatural, where the remains of a ghost need to be burned or destroyed to completely remove the entity from the realm of the living, or Dungeons and Dragons, where the phylactery of a Liche needs to be destroyed before it can truly be put to rest, and echoed throughout occult literature. A long tradition of necromancy (the magic for raising and communicating with the dead) posits that death and life are not binary states, but rather a smooth and permeable continuum along which many beings can wander. A recent revival of interest in the magic of St. Cyprian, patron Saint of Necromancers, as well as a long-standing preoccupation with the family of the dead in vodoun tradition (such as the Ghuede loa, like Baron Samedi) confirms a continuing occult fascination with the liminal states in between life and death. These principles are applied consistently for all classes of undead in Deadhaus Sonata.​
In bold, passages that I believe are quite relevant. In italics, content I don't know enough to talk about and would like to know more.

Now, what might all that mean in game terms?
It might mean that killing undead characters, including players, might take more effort than just dropping their health to zero.
I have no idea how that connects to the players themselves, we'll have to wait and see.

However, when it comes to fighting and eliminating undead characters (if we get to do that at some point) it might mean that we will have special missions dedicated to locating or acquiring the source of a creature's unlife and then destroying it.
Having that mixed up with hordes of humans might get too convoluted unless the missions have wide and open maps for us to explore, and even then it might be a bit of a stretch... and that is why I believe we'll have dedicated missions, maybe even stealth or puzzle-focused, for dealing with other undead characters. Unless we also have humans guarding/serving specific undead characters, but I don't think so, at least not frequently.

It also implies that each character type will have a different sort of special item/artifact/location/link for us to find, and that might involve a different style of mission. Such as having to find the remains of a Ghost to destroy it, or the phylactery of the Liche. This also opens up discussion of what rituals would be necessary to kill all other classes (discuss in the comments, if you will).

As a bonus, does anybody have any information about "vodoun tradition", "St. Cyprian", "Ghuede Ioa" and "Baron Samedi"?


States of Existence & Trinary Resource System
The Undead of Deadhaus have three resources, one for each of their three major powers: Vitality, Mana, and Essence. Each of these resources has a corresponding state of existence: Physical, Ethereal, and Contained. The state of the Undead is determined through player choices, or by a forced change resulting from significant combat events. Each class of Undead has their own strengths and weaknesses in each state, and while using the corresponding resource – some classes prefer to always exist in one state, some classes switch between several states as they desire, and some classes cannot typically access some states and use the corresponding resource to cast abilities.​
In bold, passages that I believe are quite relevant.

This was extremely interesting to read. It implies that every character class has at least three "status" bars instead of two, as suggested in the early gameplay videos, at Apocalypse's YouTube channel. They might not be necessarily visible or even accessible at all times, but they are there and are tracked in some way.

I believe there are two good ways of interpreting this:
1. There are three completely different worlds that may or may not be connected.
2. There is only one world in which everyone interacts together, but the way that interaction happens depends on the "state of existence." The world might also have some visual changes depending on which state you are currently in, but essentially feels the same.

I believe the second interpretation must be the case because it's easier to make the game this way, and possibly more engaging as well.

It also means that some classes might be able to switch between different states of existence on the fly, mid-combat, possibly even accessing different skill loadouts with that. It might also mean that losing all your health may not be enough to take down the player, allowing you to either have influence in other existences throughout a battle or even recover your health and spawn once again. Essentially, that means that having all players "die" in the Physical existence might not result in a mission failure (if that's the structure the game follows, anyhow).

It also suggests that we might face creatures or challenges in different existences, similarly to what we've seen in Soul Reaver, where your character has living enemies in the material world, and spiritual enemies in the ethereal world, if any of the two interpretations.
If you have characters that can switch between these three existences in combat, I doubt it will be cost-free or challenge-free. Something must come attached to that.

This also spawns discussions on which class can access which existence, and what sort of benefits do they get for doing so, if any.
I also wonder whether you can tap into the resource of an existence other than the one you are currently in.

Next, they go into a little more detail about each of these existences.


61

It seems to me that this information supports my second interpretation of the states of existences, since the Ethereal description states that you can still be hit in the magickal plane with certain tools, straightforwardly powerful characters, and even critical hits. Magick must also be able to damage beings in that plane, I assume.

In the description of the Physical existence they say that you can defy the laws of that realm, at a hefty cost. I'm taking that as spending your power, be that what it may, in order to execute abilities. That is to be expected. The most interesting thing here is the fact that certain beings live exclusively on that existence... meaning it is likely that certain beings live exclusively on the other existences as well.

The Contained existence puzzles me greatly. It makes me wonder whether players will be able to "contain" themselves in another player's objects to influence the battle through them, by simply augmenting an item's property or by being able to manifest your abilities through them. I wonder how anything else would work, gameplay-wise. To me, it seems to suggest that players may be able to recover their health or mana by possessing specific objects, or absorbing energy from them.


62

Here, my mind revolves mostly around the uniqueness of each character. If some classes have only one status, does that mean they get "true death" by dropping their main status to zero alone? Does that mean that every class has some level of each element? The latter seems more likely.

The next information sheds some light on the Liche's case, which I think is quite illuminating indeed.


The Liche
The Liche assumes the role of the “spell caster” in relation to the other playable classes. Unlike most traditional caster classes – the magic the Liche wields is as much of a threat to himself as it is to his enemies. The decades of casting dark magic have taken a great toll on the Liche, requiring them to constantly possess a living vessel that can be used as a conduit for their dark arts. If the Liche does not have a living vessel under their control and attempts to cast any of the various dark magic spells available to them, then it is likely that they will suffer significant damage in the process.63
This bit here is great for a number of reasons.

First, it tells us that the Trinary Archetype System does not necessarily dictates the main existencial state of the class. The Liche is on the extreme magickal end, and yet its main state is Physical. What does happen is that he has a high amount of mana, possibly the most out of any other class.

Second, it suggests that every class has indeed all 3 status, and that you might not be able to freely access other existences willingly, but that you always go to another one if you die in the current one if you still have the "health" of another existence. It also means that you can access the resource of other existences in some cases. The Liche lives in the Physical, but can access the Ethereal to consume its mana.

Third, it also reveals that there are different ways of becoming undead besides initially dying and being summoned back. It also reveals that humans (we presume there are only humans as a sentient race in the living world of the game) can use magick... Which means certain enemies will have powers.

Fourth, it also says that the Liche can consume the life of enemy units (possibly friendlies as well) to cast its spells. This is similar to what I had attributed to the Banshee in the mana type speculation thread. This information is then further explained.


65

Dark magick seems to be a kind of magick that consumes the life/soul of the caster. The Liche is special in the way that it knows how to make the magick consume someone else's life or soul, or its own mana, whether it is of a natural source or not. Maybe that is a concept of the lore, maybe it has a meaningful connection to a gameplay element. It is too soon to tell.

This piece informs us that some enemies will have more than one existence as well, as could be the case of a human magician. However, it was previously stated that common people have only vitality. So that might mean that, although playable classes have all three status, certain creatures only have indeed one or two of these status, while some might have all three.
It also indicates that you can identify how much energy does an enemy contain for consumption visually. Whether that's artificially informed on the player's interface, or shown organically in the game through some indication, like an aura, remains to be seen.

And finally, there is a tidbit here about a class we hadn't heard about yet: the Ghoul.
It seems that we managed to hit the mark once again in our speculation thread in the Ghoul's case. The Ghoul grows in size and consumes the enemies' flesh to do so. That might also have some connection to his "mana" resource, whatever it is called.

This concludes my thoughts about the new info. What do you think about it? Do you think I missed something? Do you happen to know more about any of the aforementioned topics?

It seems to be that we have quite a few more things to think about now. :)
 

Attachments

  • 1563220015963.png
    1563220015963.png
    133.9 KB · Views: 4
  • Like
Reactions: Denis Dyack

Livin

Ancient
Herald of the Dead
Immemorial
Ageless
OG 2020
Dog Adopter
Magus
Old World
Harbinger
Mar 20, 2019
280
348
108
My assumptions on the Liche, based on what I can make out from all this info atm. Again, best guess so I'm happy to hear where I'm flawed.

Realm-Measure-Form-Weakness-Strength

Physical-Vitality-Vessel-Weak to all damage- Vessels are easily replaceable

Etherial-Magik-Corpse-Vessel is now more vulnerable to your own magic-Magic is stronger as a result of being in this realm of existence

Contained-Essence-Phylactery-At the mercy of opponents with no way to fight back or escape-A chance at being brought before true death through a party member placing you on a new vessel
 
  • Like
Reactions: Denis Dyack