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All About Early Access Modules

By Terry OBrien on December 19, 2014 | Columns | Comments

All About Early Access Modules

During today’s Eternal Crusade Twitch stream, Miguel, Katie and the rest of the dev team are going to be making some very exciting announcements. I was able to speak to Miguel Caron, Head of Studio-Online at Behaviour, earlier this week, to get some details on what announcements were upcoming. The bad news first, there are still things to be worked out before the game’s engine can be announced, so no new news on that front. The good news is that we got some pretty solid details on the first Early Access Module that BE will release. Also, another short story by Games Workshop’s own Graham Mcneill will be forthcoming, unveiling even more of the backstory of Arkhona.

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First, a little bit of history on the Early Access Modules. Founder’s will get access to these modules by the rank of their Founder’s Package, meaning that Captains and above will get access first, then, one month later Sergeants will join the fray, followed one month after that by Warriors. The original idea for the first EAM was to make it a simple Boot Camp, a one-player experience that would allow a single Founder to hit the firing range and get some practice in with the various weapons in the game. It was supposed to also include a vehicle driving range, where a single player could familiarize themselves with the mechanics of how vehicles will work in Eternal Crusade, firing at targets, and maneuvering around obstacles.

However, after the enthusiastic feedback that the team received from what they were showing during the Into The Warp (Twitch-stream) episodes, the devs felt that a more ambitious module was called for, one that would give Founder’s a real feel for how the game would play. An experience similar to what the devs themselves were playing out every day in the studio; thus was the goal for the first EAM changed to what we have now, what Miguel and the team showcased for the first time today, during the live-stream.

What we can expect now is an entirely different animal from the one originally planned. To begin with, it’s a full tactical mission, pitting twenty Space Marine against twenty Chaos Marines. Players can choose from any of the four starter classes on each side, including the Apothecary, for the Space Marines, and the Aspiring Sorcerer, for the Chaos Marines. For this initial module there is no real progression, and players will have to choose from several different load-outs for each class, it’s kind of like borrowing someone else’s army to play with, and then returning it to the owner when the game is over. The mission will take place through several different settings, including an open area where vehicle combat will dominate the field. There is also an outpost to be assaulted, and a larger base that must be infiltrated, and some sabotage to be carried out, all under the unforgiving eye (ear?) of a countdown timer, that will keep the pressure on the attackers to advance.

The Space Marines are the attackers in this scenario, while the Chaos Marines are the defenders, and players will be able to try their hand at both sides, to get a real comprehensive feel of how the game plays. The vehicles available will be the Rhino, a basic transport, the Predator, a light battle tank, and the Damocles Rhino, which is the command version of the Rhino, and can act like a mobile spawn point.

Keep in mind this is only the FIRST Early Access Module, there are plans already in place to follow it up with a second module, even more ambitious than this one. While plans are always fluid, the second EAM could include actual player progression, allowing players to start building characters to their own design. There is also the possibility that a third faction could be ready by the time a second module is released. If I were a betting man, I would wager that the third faction would be Orks, rather than Eldar, simply due to the sheer number of Eldar classes that must be nailed down before they can be tested.

Also recently announced is the Eternal Crusade Founder Holiday sale, where Founder’s can upgrade their Warrior and Sergeant packs to Captain’s packs, and Captains can upgrade to Dawn of the Imperium packs for 25% off, from Dec 17th to Jan. 7th, 2015. A nice holiday gift for the Warrior pack owner in your life. There are also some new items scheduled to be in the Rogue Trader Store, but as I am writing this on Thursday, I am not sure what they are just yet, I will need to head over to the RTS to check them out for myself on Friday.

Did you see today’s Into the Warp? What did you think of the reveals? Head over to the Eternal Crusade official forums and get into the conversation. Join the Crusade and let your voice be heard.

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