I first saw Trion Worlds’ upcoming MMORTS, End of Nations, back in 2010 when I traveled out to the studio to see both RIFT and End of Nations when both titles were still in Alpha. I found End of Nations interesting, but it was notably rough at the time. In all honesty, I haven’t really kept up with the game much since then, which made my reunion with Trion’s Chris Lena, senior producer on End of Nations, that much more interesting.
At its core, End of Nations is an MMORTS that pits players from two different factions (Liberation Front and Shadow Revolution) against each other across a variety of maps (ranging anywhere from 1 to 56 players) and game modes. Each faction features two Commanders (classes) and three hero units for players to choose from. Each Commander progresses along a tech tree, unlocking unique units, commander abilities, and more. Units can also be customized individually with modifications.
Before you jump into battle, you select your Company, which is basically a customizable loadout. These loadouts can also be switched mid-battle for a resource cost. Building a loadout is kind of like building a tabletop army. Each unit has a point cost and you only have so many points you can use. The game features a rock-paper-scissors balance scheme, so it’ll be important for players to take this into consideration in order to keep their builds balanced. Also, putting together loadouts for different stages of the game will likely separate the best players from the rest. Elite Companies can also be purchased and these feature pre-configured armies with unique units and color schemes. Elite company units cannot be placed into other companies, however, though standard units can be added to an elite company loadout.
There is no base building in End of Nations, so if that’s your thing, you may be disappointed. Instead, players spawn into the map with their full companies. Lost units can be replaced at a resource cost and resources can also be spent in order to place structures such as turrets or use commander abilities. Commander abilities are, of course, based on your chosen class, but additional commander abilities can be acquired on certain maps by controlling specific areas of the map. Each unit also features a unique ability, for example Flame Tanks can fire Flame Grenades. These unit abilities are bound to keyboard buttons in a way that is reminiscent of MOBA style controls. You don’t have to select the unit to use its ability, instead you’ll see your whole collection of available abilities displayed on your UI and you can simply fire them off on your target with a single key press.
End of Nations features a variety of game modes, ranging anywhere from Domination (think Dawn of War style Victory Point control), to Hold the Line (PvE, survival), to Last Stand, which is an indirect PvP map where two opposing players are being assaulted by AI, but can hire mercenary AI to attack the other player, to standard base vs. base maps, and more.
Petroglyph is looking to bring story into End of Nations by attaching video briefings to each of the game’s maps that help convey the purpose of the conflict over a particular piece of territory while simultaneously explaining to players what they need to do and where they need to go. This also ties into the game’s Campaign system, which is a sort of metagame where players can control territory and receive rewards base on their faction’s performance at the end of a campaign. Trion and Petroglyph intend to use these Campaigns as a means to deliver new maps, modes, and units, along with story in order to help players feel more invested in the game world.
If you’re wondering about the item shop, End of Nations item shop features fairly standard fare stuff. You’ll be able to purchase cosmetic skins for your companies, XP boosts, elite companies, and additional units for a unit type you’ve unlocked via your tech tree (these additional units can also be purchased with Wealth, your earned in-game currency).
Compared to two years ago, End of Nations is looking slick and is really coming along well. The game is currently in closed beta, with an upcoming closed beta test scheduled for this weekend. Unfortunately, Trion has not announced a release date for the game at this time. It sounds like the team is playing it by ear and will decide based on player feedback when to enter open beta and eventually launch.