DomiNations recently updated to the Atomic Age in a big flashy new content expansion. We had the opportunity to chat with Big Huge Games' Executive Producer Brian DeSanti to learn more about the update as well as to find out what 'Age' the devs have their sights set on for the future.
MMORPG: Give us the thumbnail version of the Atomic Age update?
Brian DeSanti: The Atomic Age continues to progress players through the history of civilization, covering the decade following the end of World War II in 1945. In the Atomic Age players find a host of upgrades for buildings and armies, new Library techs, new Wonders, and two new troop types: the Attack Helicopter and the APC. Beyond that, the Atomic Age update benefits all players with a number of bug fixes and balance changes.
MMORPG: What do you feel are the best, most important features of Atomic Age?
BD: The Atomic Age introduces new Wonders and troops that will change the way people play DomiNations. Players can choose from one of four new Wonders that align with the Atomic Age time period. The United Nations provides players with three National Trade Goods each day and deploys a peacekeeping army on defense when destroyed. The Sydney Opera House unlocks an additional Citizen and speeds up Expeditions by 20%, giving a great boost to your economy. The Atomium reduces all research times at the University by 10% and can be activated once per week to reset the cooldowns on all other Wonders. The final Wonder is the Pentagon, which allows players to train Airplanes 20% faster. Additionally, players can assign a General to the Pentagon, providing an additional General for defense. Players can use these Wonders to strengthen their current strategies or try something completely new.
On the combat front, the Atomic Age introduces two new troops: the Attack Helicopter and the APC. The Attack Helicopter is a flying siege troop that deals damage at a distance and outranges most defensive buildings (its preferred target), but is fragile if it comes under fire from defending troops. The APC is a sturdy ground vehicle that deploys heavy infantry every few seconds while laying down covering fire with its machine gun. Both of these new troops can be very powerful, but need to be protected in order to reach their full potential in battle.
MMORPG: How have the new features altered the gameplay landscape?
BD: The core of DomiNations is building a strong City, attacking enemy players, and defending against invaders. With the Atomic Age we weren’t looking to fundamentally change that core, but rather provide players with additional tools to modify and improve their strategies for building, attacking and defending. Specifically, the new features in the Atomic Age will change the way players need to think about defending their own City, and the way players build their armies to conquer their enemies.
If left unchecked, Helicopters can be devastating as they quickly destroy a City’s defensive buildings. APC’s can also overwhelm a defending City as they continue to deploy heavy infantry onto the battlefield. Players will need to carefully determine the best layout of their buildings to ensure that defending troops can shut down the enemy’s Helicopters and APC’s as quickly as possible. These new troops become particularly strong when well protected from defenders. With that in mind, players on offense will need to test out new army compositions until they find an army that can best utilize the new Attack Helicopter and APC to crush their opponents.
MMORPG: Have you identified any areas that may need alteration in a future update?
BD: We are always looking at ways of improving our player’s experience in DomiNations. One area we looked at specifically in the Atomic Age was the power difference between attacking and defending players. Upgrades like Airplanes and Expedition Troop Armies have given attacker an advantage in higher Ages. In the Atomic Age, we made defenses considerably stronger to ensure that combat remains fun and challenging for both attackers and defenders. If these changes are successful, we might revisit defensive strength in earlier Ages.
Another area of the game we’re looking into is the Blacksmith. This is a building that lets the player upgrade things like their troops, generals, and tactics. Currently, the Blacksmith has six categories of upgrades with several upgrade options within each category for each Age! Since players can only do one upgrade at a time, the Blacksmith has become a bottleneck for players. Our community has been great at providing us feedback and suggestions, and the Blacksmith is something that comes up frequently. While we haven’t finalized the design fixes for this problem, but players can expect to see the Blacksmith bottleneck addressed in a future release.
MMORPG: Where will DomiNations go after this?
BD: While the Atomic Age brings us one step closer to the present day, there are still exciting Ages left to explore. After players have built up their Atomic Age Cities, trained up their armies and dominated their enemies, they will advance into the Cold War era. Before that happens, though, there will be several game updates that introduce new features, fixes, and exciting content to DomiNations!
As if by magic regarding the final answer in our interview, we just received this great piece of news:
DomiNations has a series of promotions to get players in the holiday spirit starting Tuesday, December 13, including a revamped holiday theme and snowy in-game environment. Other additions include:
- Hiawatha, new University Leader - The Native American hero grants new powers and abilities. Check out his DomiNations “Extra History” YouTube series: Part 1, Part 2.
- Gifts of Peace - Each day, players can open gifts that spawn in their base to earn resources, tactics, blessings, trade goods, and more.
- Seasons of Giving Event - Donate troops to your allies to receive a Present Workshop. Use it to get advanced blessings, tactics, troops, or even the Red Baron.