Eidaa is a nimble and lethal sellsword arriving in Sherwood for the start of Season One in Hood: Outlaws and Legends. Her journey from design to game actually started way back in 2019 as we began to define the characters and playstyles we wanted to support in our medieval multiplayer heist game. As we began the process of editing down the classes we absolutely needed for launch, the ranger, the hunter, the brawler, and the mystic delivered the most diverse gameplay, but the concept of developing a character that specialized in defense and area control was at the top of our list for when the opportunity arose. At the time the loose vision we had in mind was for a trapper or engineer class, and our stretch goal was to support some kind of swordplay as this felt like a great fit for the game fantasy, but was something we avoided at launch in our efforts to offer a less familiar representation of medieval weapons.
Studying the Streams
With the game live we could look at how players were using the different classes and better understand what was missing. We paid particular attention to how teams defended each other while winching the treasure, and also how they attempted to intercept the rival team at choke points leading to the extraction zone. The explosives thrown by John (Brawler) are effective to control an area, but they require precise timing and usually impact a single player rather than a gang running as a pack. To offer more meaningful area control we explored various boobytraps (mines, caltrops, spike pits), but ultimately signposting that style of trap was a big concern. If a hazard is hidden, and there is no gameplay to locate and disarm it, then it can feel unfair when you suffer damage because of it. This kind of mechanic also has the potential to dramatically slow the pace of gameplay, which is something we were cautious about since the game mechanics during the extraction phase are balanced in favor of action and excitement.
The Gear is Lava
The solution we settled on for Eidaa’s deployable gear item was a tar grenade. Eidaa deploys this the same way any other gear grenade is readied and used, and the visual feedback of glowing lava-like molten liquid is noticeable for both allies and enemies. The area of effect and duration is generous enough to provide excellent area control. As with all the other gear items, it can be upgraded with a variety of different perks to improve its effectiveness.
We also made a change to the way Eidaa’s Trait works. The other Outlaws have Passive Traits (front facing assassinations, lifting portcullis gates, prolonged tagging, faster stamina regen), but Eidaa has an Active Trait, in that an input is required. The trait is called Resupply, and it does just that. When visiting any empty gearbox Eidaa can press an input to immediately replenish its stock, providing vital items for her allies or even herself.
Hail Mary Shield
One of the most skilled and satisfying moments to pull off in Hood is the “Hail Mary” long distance headshot on an enemy player as they are winching the treasure. Until now there has never been an obvious or effective counter to this (other than firing on the sniper with your own ranger), but Eidaa’s ultimate ability, the Bulwark, provides a opportunity to clutch save your teammates as they winch to victory. Once charged Eidaa can deploy a large energy shield that acts as a temporary barrier to incoming missiles and explosives. It won’t last long, and it can be destroyed after taking damage, but if timed correctly it makes Eidaa the perfect defender in one of the games most critical phases. It’s still possible for friendly players to fire through the shield as they defend the objective, and while the ability is active Eidaa also benefits from increased movement speed to further enhance her defensive capabilities. This is an essential buff, as you will need to get up close and personal to make the best use of Eidaa’s unique fighting style…
The Hybrid Warrior
In another break from the existing classes, Eidaa is best described as a hybrid melee fighter. Both of our current melee characters (John and Tooke) use a block and parry to defend themselves from incoming attacks, and both our ranged characters (Robin and Marianne) use an evade to escape danger. Eidaa uses both an evade and parry to escape and counter attacks. This is a huge difference to the fighting style and might take a little while for seasoned players to adapt to, but it’s designed that way to support her offensive attacks – a quick barrage of sword swipes and slashes.
While Eidaa might not have the high damage output of John’s hammer or Tooke’s flail, she is agile enough to leave her opponents dazed and cut to ribbons in a one-on-one encounter. Her curved blade can flow gracefully between the slashes of her light attack, or unleash a spinning attack using her heavy. She can also make use of a running overhead strike to deal severe damage. Just remember to keep an eye on the stamina gauge as she is a far more graceful fighter than the current tank-like brawlers.
Strength in Numbers
With speed on her side and an arsenal of exciting new abilities, Eidaa is an exciting addition in terms of team synergy. But she’s far from a lone wolf, working best in combination with the other Outlaws who have the skills to complement her playstyle and create opportunities to capitalize on her defensive capabilities. In the State Heist (PvE) and Outlaw Heist (PvPvE) game modes a variety of classes will always have the upper hand, and running as a pack is still the best tactic for success.
Form Follows Fun
As with all the Outlaws, Eidaa had an eventful life before landing on the shores on medieval England and joining the gang in their forest hideout. Eidaa’s backstory will be revealed in the collectible tapesties unlocked by completing Heists. We researched and created backstories and game mechanics for many of the classic characters from the Robin Hood legends, but with Eidaa we wanted to create our own addition to those tales and not be limited by legacy. Our vision for the nimble swordfighter with the tactical elements of an engineer is absolutely realised in Eidaa and we’re looking forward to seeing how the community adopt her very unique set of skills.
Hood: Outlaws & Legends is available now for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. Get the Year 1 Edition, including the base game and Year 1 Battle Pass Pack, to access three premium Battle Passes, due to be released after the initial free Season, for a year of exclusive cosmetics!
Hood: Outlaws & Legends
Hood: Outlaws & Legends – Year 1 Edition
Focus Home Interactive