Monday, MMORPG.com and Behaviour Interactive got together for a forum conversation between developers and fans for Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade. The team continues to be one of the most transparent in the MMO industry, giving fans open access and answering a lot of questions while development continues. Instead of trying to break new ground on a topic this week, I thought it would be best to review and comment on all that we learned on Monday when we gave everyone access to the developers for questions.
The first answer that got me excited dealt with the question on environments. Very happy to hear that the zones will include a Tundra for my Space Wolf to feel right at home. More importantly was the idea of underground zones which will bring strange environments to the battlefield. Nothing beats some of the weird planets and areas you hear about in the 40K lore: this is a great opportunity for the developers to bring something different to the table.
The next piece of information was the idea of faction alliances. When 6th edition added the idea of allies it added a ton to the game. I stay a purist with my armies, but am now mixed Daemonettes with Noise Marines. Still I do think the idea of commanders forming alliances to defeat the larger enemy in the zone makes perfect sense. Of course, leaving it up to the players is where it can get crazy. I do think that one of the cornerstones of 40K is that everyone is an enemy.
Vehicles: it is all about the vehicles. I loved the answers from the team on how many vehicles will be making it into the game. Orc trukks are great to see driving around belching smoke into the sky. Having Wave Serpents floating around for Eldar will bring some extra punch. I guess the big question will be how will Land Raiders work. I can see squads using them for transport, but they are also a beast in battle. In any case all of the talk about tanks and trukks in the game really is exciting.
The team also spoke a lot about customization in the AMA. One of the new bits of information we got was the idea of group shopping in the custom store. This option will allow squads to display themselves apart from everyone else. Giving groups of friends the ability to buy custom bits is something new and should be extremely popular.
With the entire game focusing on PvP, I had several reservations on how battles can go with the tide of players. However, Brent ended that fear with this one statement: “We want to split up the zerg, so when it comes to the large bases we're looking at ways to require players to hold multiple points simultaneously to hold the zone. For small bases, this may be a matter of holding a single point.” Zergs really can be the PvP killer in most cases. I have run in them many times and fought against them. However, I still find the most fun PvP in small group open encounters. From what Brent tells us here, the focus will be on spreading squads out to accomplish different goals.
These were some of the high points in the AMA that I found. If anything Behaviour Interactive is proving they are taking the game and especially the Intellectual Property seriously. From what we know, weekly table top games go on in the studio and remain a source of inspiration for the developers. I've always thought that playing 40K on the table is essential to getting any other form of the game's material correct.
The biggest issue I have now is the wait. 2015 seems a long way off, but so much work has been done already. We were lucky to have some of the first news on Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade from E3 this past year. Now milestones continue to be met and questions answered. There are not too many other MMOs being as open with their player base these days. We will just have to wait for beta, but the biggest thing I want to see now is gameplay footage. No flashy trailer, no hype, just gameplay.
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