Dev Diary: Creating Fjorjinn
A Daschlandian Unicorn, Fjorjinn is an idealistic yet pragmatic healer who knows the reality of her work and what she must do. Using psionics and practical medicine, the young and accomplished healer is one of four playable characters in Early Access of Ethereal Metropolis. Her wide variety of abilities allows her and her allies to survive on the battlefield, letting them stay in the fight longer.
Creating the Character:
Fjorjinn is a steadfast and professional healer who understands the nature of her work. She isn’t an old veteran or naively hopeful, allowing her to keep her goals and hopes in mind, but acknowledges the realities of situations. We wanted to deviate away from the extremes, and trite tropes of healers being these soft and angelic-like figures and wanted her to be more realistic. This has resulted in her being a caring soul yet maintaining “professional distance” from those she assists and cares for to spare herself growing too attached.
We wanted her to be a unicorn because fantastical creatures are associated with miracles and fantasies. We leaned into this and combined it with the title “miracle worker” to reinforce the importance of her work. We support this specifically with her colors being more soft and angelic with whites and creams. That way, we can give her a slight feeling of being an angel with long flowing hair and white colors. However, the pure white isn't perfect, as cream colors on her design almost act as “blemishes,” giving her a more realistic and down-to-earth appearance. Furthermore, the impression is subverted by her personality.
This personality is a brilliant and personable young mare who is riffed with insecurities about her future and the call-- where her greatest opponents are herself and her mind. We won’t go into any more details about her personality and let you experience her personal character story in the game.
As for her insecurities and backstory, that veers into the spoiler territory (along with some incomplete stuff), which you will be able to find out more about in Early Access. You can find out what made her a healer in the first place, parts of her backstory, and a bit more in our lore card system!
Creating her abilities:
When we set out to create Fjorjinn mechanically, the singular yet broad role she had was to keep her allies in the fight longer.
She has three subclasses of abilities that you can choose from to change her role on the battlefield: Oath of Malice, Oath of The Savior, and Oath of Hope. These three subclasses approach her role in unique fashions you can customize, each with its drawbacks and advantages on the battlefield.
Now, while there is the more traditional subclass of Oath of The Savior where Fjorjinn can directly heal allies and revive them, we wanted players also to have the tactical freedom to play her more aggressively. These are reflected in the Oath of Malice which focuses on “parasiting,” or rather, dealing damage and healing allies with said damage, or granting buffs so that you don’t have to even heal your allies in the first place with Oath of Hope.
With this tactical freedom and the other abilities that the party has in the game, they all have their drawbacks compared to the other classes. The Oath of Malice can’t heal allies as much, yet it suffices with damage dealt to enemies, which may just be enough to turn the battle in your favor. The Oath of Hope is risky but with very high payoffs where you can’t heal allies and must play aggressively with her to reinforce your lines. Then there is Oath of the Savior, which sacrifices much of her offensive ability in favor of healing allies yet can allow them to take up that aggression.
The ability such as “Smoke” allows you to deploy a smoke cloud that is poisonous to enemies and disorients them while healing your allies and giving a dodge bonus, so friendlies take damage less often.
The “Stasis” ability allows Fjorjinn to suspend a target midair, guaranteeing hits and damage against a single target. The sacrifice of healing capabilities is more reflective of granting buffs and ensuring damage so that you don't even need to heal allies in the first place.
The “Revive Dove” ability from Oath of The Savior allows you to bring knocked-out allies quicker back into the fight and heals them for half health. It will enable you to be in the fight longer and slug it out with the Converted for more extended periods in attrition warfare.
It is ultimately up to you to decide how you want to fight against the Converted with Fjorjinn. We want to give players intellectual freedom to craft their builds and create solutions to the Converted threat.
Now, that was a ton of information! We won't divulge any more, but we will be back next month, showing off some of the Converted (the shadowy deer unicorn abominations) and next month's character, Farcos! Thank you for the read, and make sure to join our Discord community to stay up to date about the latest news about Ethereal Metropolis!
Kailoulou, Founder and Lead Creative Director