Behaviour Interactive's Eternal Crusade team continued their updates last week with some announcements about the factions and more importantly the Space Marine Chapters that will be playable. I was very excited to finally see Space Wolves as an option. But before we drill down into the faction breakdowns and what units or classes will be available, I wanted to talk about Orks. So far all we know about Orks in Eternal Crusade is that the Boyz will be free-to-play and their will be a Nob upgrade pack. So let's go through what we know and take a look at how the team at Behaviour can make Orks as much fun as they are on the tabletop.
Say what you want about the F2P Boyz idea, but this a solid choice by the developers in my book. There are always a mass number of Ork Boyz. If you can choose between sluggas and choppas or shootas, then this free aspect of the game will be great fun. It may take five or so orks to bring down a marine, but that tactic with the Nobz wreaking havoc on the field will be awesome to watch. I can see players fully using a swarm technique with Ork Boyz to achieve objectives.
Ok so these are the big guys, the grunts, the unkillable machines with power claws, bikes, and Cybork parts. These Orks will be rough, especially if they are given vehicles to parade around with. Fast moving hit squads which will really be strong in melee. What is their weakness? Shooting. Here is the issue with shooting, how do you hinder a physical player’s ability to shoot? The orks have always been bad shots. But in a game that relies heavily on target combat, how do you make an ork player worse than say a marine player? This is a hurdle the team at Behavior will have to tackle. Perhaps the targeting interface is more jumpy, or not as direct? Perhaps you have a shorter range on your weapons, or just plain old making their guns less powerful?
Nobz on the assault should be brutal. There is no question here, depending on upgrades and weapon choices. It will be great to watch a Nob with a power claw go after a Marine with a power fist. This is where the Nobz should really be set apart from the F2P Boyz.
Lootas, Meks, Weirdboyz, and the Other Stuff
The Ork army has some very colorful units on the board. Lootas are very popular in terms of shooting and their massive guns would make for some great upgrades and character designs. Keeping on this idea, Meks need to play an important role on the field. I could definitely see them as some kind of support class having tools like a Kustom Force Field and the ability to repair vehicles would put them in a unique role. Also, Weirdboyz should make an appearance. The idea of psychotic ork wizards blowing their heads up is critical to the insanity at the core of the army. If they put spells in from Gork and Mork, it would just be icing on the cake. My guess on the other classes would be a mirror to some of the Space Marine troops: so likely Storm Boyz and either Lootas or Flashgitz for shooting. I look at the inclusion of all these units as pure gravy.
The real power from Orks comes in the unpredictable. Non-40K players view them as green monkeys with guns. But Orks really do have some very sharp underlying strategies. I guess when it comes down to it, if I can play a Nob and have my own bike and ride around the battlefields causing total havoc it will be the joy to play as an ork. The key to this faction is to be over-the-top and strategic all at the same time. I know the team at Behaviour has some serious tabletop players working at the studio, so here is hoping they can capture the glory of Orks.
Garrett Fuller is the Industry Relations Manager at MMORPG.com
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