Taking a Look at Seasons & a Giveaway!
Just a few weeks ago, My.com announced a massive change in direction for Armored Warfare. The introduction of Seasons brings a whole new set of features to this ballistic brawler that will see the often-overlooked tank ‘em up go up against World of Tank’s 1.0 update. So, with that in mind, we deployed to a secret London bunker to find out what makes seasons so special, and why it might be worth giving Armored Warfare another look.
Launched in late 2015, Armored Warfare has had a much-maligned past. Just like a number of tank brawlers, My.com’s pretender to the throne has struggled to make headway into Wargaming’s core audience, but a recent Caribbean crisis changed all that. The Caribbean Crisis update marked a moment where Armored Warfare tried something a little different. Realigning their sights, My.com crafted a narrative experience that is now threatening to reinvigorate the franchise.
The result is Seasons, a new development cycle that focuses on story-driven content, that spans multiple months. Much like Guild Wars 2’s Living World, these updates consist of chapters that are connected through a special series of co-op PvE encounters, which ultimately reach a narrative conclusion. Unlike some of its competitors, Armored Warfare exists in a near future environment where countries hold no real sway against the might of military corporations. It provides the development team the perfect canvas to paint their own narrative and the first of these adventures is called Black Sea Incursion. It follows the story of Magnus, a former mercenary, betrayed by his military corporation, and out for revenge.
Black Sea Incursion combines two separate campaign missions, one for PvE and one for PvP modes, as well as a series of functional updates, such as an armor inspector and a new map interface. While I found that Armored Warfare has clearly undergone several functional improvements since its early incarnations, the move towards a narrative cycle is the most intriguing aspect of my reconnaissance. Moving away from an isolated series of updates, My.com instead plans to bring 2-4 seasons to Armored Warfare each year. The technical challenges of redeploying a development team to a whole new schedule is an intimidating one, and one that ArenaNet faced when they moved towards a cadence release schedule. The risks of studio-wide burn out can be massive, but My.com has clearly learned from the issues of other teams have faced and opted for three planned updates a year, at this early stage. It is a wise move and one that should provide time to lay the foundations for a series of really engaging experiences.
This also marks a distinct move to carve their own niche in the marketplace. While War Thunder is a great simulated experience, and World of Tanks has some fantastic PvP battles, Armored Warfare’s move towards story-driven experiences should allow it to mark itself out amongst its competition. From the capture the flag style PvE content, which provides some really rewarding gameplay, to the fictional setting, Armored Warfare is making a clear effort to distinguish itself.
The near future environment allows the story to go where it needs to, unhindered by historical accuracy. Locations are flexible, events are largely unwritten, and even the tanks, which are of course still realistic in the world, can change to fit the occasion. Black Seas Incursion, for example, will include a line of Israeli vehicles that mix a range of modified tanks for players to try. This even includes an upgraded WWII Super Sherman, which I actively avoided using. What this does do, is allow unseasoned players, like me, to drop in and pick a tank from a range of American, British, and Soviet designs. It makes finding your favorite style of play just a little easier in an environment that might otherwise seem a little intimidating. More experienced players will eventually get access to a tier 10 Merkava though the first Season update, which should be able to offer a fairly unique experience with its ability to intercept ATGMs, HEAT, and HE.
For anybody preparing to explore the new Seasons, Armored Warfare is offering players the opportunity to jump into a ZBD-86. This is an unlicensed copy of the Soviet BMP-1 and a tier 3 fighting vehicle. We have a fleet of 3000 to give away to EU players. Just head over to our give away and get ready to roll out.
Personally, I’m excite to see how this change pans out for Armored Warfare. For more information on Armored Warfare’s Season updates, check out the official website, and get ready for a definite change in direction.