News / Unreleased Merc: Ember

Unreleased Merc: Ember

Last week Dirty Bomb went fully free as a celebration of all of the time we as developers and you as fans have put into the title. Alongside that we also lifted the lid on the development, sharing with you all the Game Design Document, Art Book and Soundtrack.

One of the other things that the end of development has allowed us to do is share content that the team was working on. We’ve shared unreleased Obsidians on our social channels and ArtStation and will be expanding that to include weapons, maps and more.

One thing the team was incredibly excited to share, though, was what would have been our next Mercenary. This is the full design, straight from our documents, to demonstrate some of the writing, thinking and design that went into her. It’s long, it’s wordy, but we wanted you to see (almost) everything about her.

Meet Ember.

Overview

Ember is a seasoned, close-quarters killer who brings Brazilian flair to the battlefields of London. DB’s first South American Merc is equipped with a deadly Fire Cannon: a powerful pyro-ballistic weapon that allows her to wreak destruction rapidly. It’s an experimental design as devastating as a flamethrower and mobile as a shotgun, allowing the wielder to incinerate their enemies. The fuel supply is composed of small gas tanks that are integrated into her armour in a makeshift manner. The more smarter-looking solution will have to wait for the next production prototype .

Ember is a tanky Merc who pushes forward and initiates fights while team mates focus on objectives. Her ability is simple and direct, allowing her to play as Tank, Support or an Objective class. Whatever the player wants to do, they can use Ember’s massive battlefield presence to achieve it.

Goals

  • Ember extends the Dirty Bomb universe to a new continent and brings unique characteristics to the World of Mercs.
  • Ember possesses unique combat abilities that cater to different playing styles.
  • Ember supports a quick and responsive old-school playstyle to refine our Dirty Sauce™.
  • Ember is attractive to different player types without being too stereotypical
  • Ember will, unlike Javelin, receive positive community sentiment on release
  • Ember brings something new and unique to the table

User Stories

  • As a player from South America, I would like to have a Merc that comes from my region and represents my culture.
  • As a player, I would like to see a larger variety of female Mercs in the game.
  • As a player, I want to have a simple, easy to learn Merc that focuses on killing instead of different gadgets and devices.
  • As an old-school shooter player, I want to have a Merc that uses some kind of a Flamethrower.
  • As a player who wants close quarters combat with high sustained damage, I want a character that fulfils my playstyle needs
  • As a player who wants close quarters combat, I want to have a Merc with high survivability.
  • As a pyromaniac, I want to have more Mercs that have the same hobby as I have.

 

Merc Details

Name: Ember

Nationality: Brazilian

Age: Unknown

 

Role: Ember is a seasoned, close quarters killer that is best when she can jump into a group of enemies

Behaviour: Ember wants to get up-close and personal so she can melt faces. Her high health gives her the opportunity to do so.

Body Type: Heavy

Health: 150 HP

Max Sprint Speed: 7.5 m/s

Eye Height: 77 units

 

Personality & Backstory

Known associates: Stoker

Overview

Ember knew from the time she could talk that she didn’t want to be ordinary. She taught herself combat skills, and speaks at least seven different languages. She’s been taking on Merc work since her late teens and has over a decade of combat experience. She throws out insults like they are confetti but as far as she is concerned she’s not arrogant, she’s simply great at what she does and loves her job. She has a custom-built flame thrower useful for torching anything standing in her way.

Backstory

Ember has been making her living as a Merc since she was eighteen years old. Initially working through PMCs, then later accepting commissions from local villages worried about the rise of gang violence. She’s almost entirely self taught having picked up additional skills with a mixture of observation…and improvisation.

In 2012 the UN Emergency Research group (The precursor to the CDA)  set up a research facility in Brazil, they forced the local villagers out of their homes and cordoned off the research area. Soon after they arrived villagers begin getting sick, plants were observed dying around the research facility and the local wildlife started fleeing at an alarming rate. The Brazilian government and UN ignored their calls for help. The already poor relationship between the locals and the research group deteriorated as the cordoned off area was widened and more villagers were forcibly evacuated from their homes. Desperate for help the villages pooled their resources and hired a team of Mercs for protection which included  Ember (who was willing to work cheaply for the desperate villagers) and Stoker who just fancied a free trip abroad.

One night the security team associated with the research facility started lighting fires. They assured the locals that they were just investigating the long-term effects of slash and burn and that the fires would be controlled. However, the fires spread at an accelerated rate and soon escaped the research camp’s cordoned area. Several villagers were injured, one died. Enraged at her failure to protect the villagers, Ember launched an attack on the facility. She was joined by fellow Merc Stoker, who wasn’t going to turn down the chance to raid a mysterious and well-funded looking lab.  When they arrived, they found the facility in chaos and the two managed to steal some of the experimental tech the lab used to start the fire.

After her attack on the lab Ember began to show signs of radiation poisoning.  She found herself powerless to help the villagers and they were accused of starting the fire via a poorly managed case of slash and burn agriculture. Stoker left Brazil after obtaining a lucrative contract elsewhere.The UNERG returned to clean up the site leaving few clues. Ember remained in Brazil to recover and help the villagers.

Seeing the raw destructive power of fire and the effectiveness of the UNERG tech, Ember crafted a bespoke weapon with the help of a few skilled craftspeople from the villages she worked with. Since PMCs were a major employer in the region there were no shortage of technicians with weapon design experience. Ember’s custom weaponry distinguished her as a fearsome force in Brazil.

In 2020 Stoker encountered one of the scientists from the UNERG (now a CDA member) in London. Seeing many similarities between what happened in Brazil and events in London  ( as well fondly remembering the tidy profit he made) he contacted Ember. She travelled to London and began to take on Merc work. She was reluctant to work for the CDA, but was willing to accept MercSERV’s terms in order to get into the city. Ember is burning to find out what the researchers were doing in Brazil, and to learn just how flammable they are. If she earns a little money that she can invest back home…. then that’s a nice bonus.

In her own words:

“I don’t trust anyone but myself to get the job done properly. I’m entirely self-taught, I learned how to fight, to speak seven languages…. all on my own initiative. I can get things done better on my own, it’s not that I don’t trust other people; I just do better work than them. There are a lot of people who could learn from me if they tried.”

 

Weapons and Abilities

Ability: Fire Cannon

Ember has a unique weapon called “Fire Cannon” (the image above is over heated). It is a newly designed weapon that is supposed to be as devastating as a flamethrower and handy as a shotgun. The weapon will make use of a modified type of shotgun ammunition. The pellets get ignited when leaving the barrel (see Wolfenstein II). Ember can be damaged by the resulting fire just like any Merc, so there is a trade-off to using the weapon in close quarters.

Players that are hit by the Fire Cannon will be set on flames. Pellets hitting another surface will explode and spawn fire on the ground (like the Molotov). This functionality is either a nice side effect when shooting enemies or a way to deny access to specific areas (similar to the Molotov).

Functionality

Shooting

  • Left Mouse (normal): press, hold, release the left mouse button to shoot once
  • Left Mouse (constant): press & hold the left mouse to shoot several times
  • Right Mouse (prepare): hold right mouse button to light up the flame.

Weapons

  • Pellets per shot: 9
  • Damage per pellet: 8
  • Spread: high (more than current shotguns)
  • Recoil: low (it`s a heavier weapon that can be handled easily by Ember)
  • Cooldown: similar to the one of Nader (Ember gets a new shell every 7 seconds)
  • The damage against objectives is increased by 100%. This should allow her to shoot down generators really fast.

Fire Damage

  • The time a player receives fire damage over time depends on the amount of pellets he got hit with.
    • 1 second per pellet hit (max. 8 seconds)
    • 10 damage per second for 8 seconds (max. 80 damage)

Status Effect

  • There are three different ways the fire can disappear
    • The player reaches 1 HP (DB is about skill and it always requires to hit the final shot)
    • The fire disappears after some time (max. 8 seconds)
    • The player gets healed by an Aura Station or a Medkit

 

Playstyle

The following is a list of tips for an Ember player or a player that plays against an Ember. This should provide some inside on how Ember should be played or how others should react if they have an Ember in the enemy team.

  • As Ember
    • Focus high health targets like Thunder to make full use of the Fire Cannon (more pellets hit). The damage over time effect allows Ember to slowly melt their HP.
    • If you can get close to an objective shoot at it to apply on hit and fire damage. This allows you to destroy generators and other objectives quickly.
    • Team up with a Merc like Sawbonez to live throughout several fights. Team up with a Guardian to block incoming damage while you focus on combat.
    • Use your alternative fire to keep your Fire Cannon ready at all time. Keep in mind that you are slowed down when you do that.
    • Use your other weapons when you are out of Fire Cannon ammunition or want to reposition yourself. You are faster with them.
  • Against Ember
    • Stay on distance to her. She can kill you really fast if you jump around in front of her.
    • Her Fire Cannon needs to charge up. Use this second to walk past her or kill her quickly. Keep in mind that she can keep it charged up at any time with her alternative fire mode.
    • Her fire damage hurts but is not deadly. If you are on fire try to find a medic or hide until the fire effect is gone.
    • Ember is weak on mid-long range. Target her from a distance. If that is not possible try to force here into using all three shots of her weapon. She only gets a new shell every 7 seconds up to a maximum of 3.

 

Weapons

SMG

Functionality:

  • Fast fire-rate (second-fastest of all SMG’s)
    • ~765 RPM
    • 0784 Fire Interval
  • 10 damage per shot
  • 128 DPS
  • 50 round magazine (relatively higher than real-life reference)

Feel:

  • Fast fire-rate with a lot of kick
    • Mid-to-high recoil for an SMG
    • Lower spread than KEK-10/Crotzni
    • Good accuracy-over-time like the Hochfir
  • Aggressive sound and feel

 

Pistol

Functionality:

  • Slower light-pistol fire-rate
    • ~360 RPM
    • 0.166666s fire-interval
  • 18 damage per shot
  • 108 DPS
  • 11 or 12 round mag

Feel/Draft:

  • Filename
  • Description
    • Being a super close-range Merc, Ember will use light-pistols rather than Revolvers.
  • Values
    • Capacity
    • Damage
    • Max Fire Rate
    • Optimal Range

 

Brazilian Machete

  • Faster light-swing speed than Kukri
  • Lower light-swing damage
  • Slower heavy-swing speed
  • Same heavy-swing damage