Lots of news on the Eternal Crusade front today, Behaviour has officially announced two partnerships, one with Razer and one with Alienware, as well as announcing a new spin on the Free to Play experience, with the new Pioneer Pack. Finally, two contests are running, to give the community members a chance at some pretty excellent prizes. I spoke with Miguel Caron, Studio Head, Online Games at Behaviour to get some more details on these announcements.
First, let's take a look at he Alienware deal. The first two thousand new Founders can get an extra ten thousand Rouge Trader points, used to customize your characters with cool pieces of gear from the Rogue Trader Store, by using the coupon code: XENOTECHNOLOGIST. Those who take advantage of this offer will also receive a special forum badge. Some things to note: this offer is only available to NEW Founder's. Those of us who have already purchased Founder Packs are excluded. However, in order to keep their veteran Founder's happy, and to maintain their mantra of “BeFair”, Behaviour has already awarded all veteran Founder's a very nice Pistol/Close Combat weapon pack, to recognize their early commitment to Eternal Crusade. Also, this offer cannot be combined with the referral program rewards (four thousand RTP for both referrer and referral), the Alienware offer is a standalone.
Next up is the deal Behaviour has arranged with Razer, well-known producer of some of the coolest gamer-oriented hardware in the PC gaming world. In addition to their myriad of headsets, keyboards, mice and assorted devices, Razer has developed their own VOIP software called Razer Comms. Razer Comms is an all-in-one communication system, designed with gamers in mind and you can take a closer look at it here. This software will be embedded into Eternal Crusade, ensuring that it works alongside the game for excellent in-game communication. In addition, Razer is working hand-in-hand with Behaviour to develop the Voice Modulation software that Miguel has hinted around in the past. These voice modulators will allow each player to change his voice in order to sound more like a Space Marine, a Traitor Marine, an Eldar or an Ork, when he communicates with his teammates. Behaviour is hoping that Eternal Crusade will be the first game that will include a feature like this, helping create a more immersive environment for the players. Admittedly, I have not tried Razer Comms yet myself, but I hear good things from my MMO-raiding friends, so it's one of the things I will have to take a close look at soon.
Now on to the most exciting announcement, in my opinion, and that's the new Pioneer Founder Pack. The EC development team was looking at the Free to Waaagh program, wherein players could play limited parts of the Ork faction for free. While this would be a good entry-point for new players, and also for those who were not sure if Eternal Crusade would be the game for them, it occurred to them that the Free to Waaagh prgram could (and probably would) be more than just a chance to dip your toe into the pool before diving in. For some players, that would be all they were looking for in a game, a chance to commit some psychotic mayhem for a couple hours a week, and not have to be committed to anything more than just producing havoc. Was the Free to Waaagh system a complete experience in and of itself? Well, what they came up with as an “in-between” system was pretty cool.
The Pioneer pack is a new, entry-level (so to speak) Pack that will provide Ork players with the chance to grab some cool stuff, as well as give the game a whirl. The Pioneer Pack will cost $15, and, as usual, the first benefit it provides is fifteen thousand Rouge Trader Points and access to the Rogue Trader Store. Since RTP are priced at $1 per thousand points, the players initial investment is immediately covered, before we even get into the other cool things that are also included. You also get one Ork character slot (duh), so you can create and customize an Ork to go bust heads with. Your new Ork will also receive a special “Pioneer” Helmet and Pickaxe, so everyone you bash will know who just bashed them. Pioneers will also have their own titles in the game, to further proclaim your Orky heritage.
Now let's talk about what isn't included in the Pioneer pack. First, the Pack does not include a full game key, Pioneers will still be limited to the Free to Waaagh features, unless they choose to upgrade at some later point. This Pack also does not include Early Module Access, however, if they choose, Pioneers may purchase Early Module Access as part of a “fourth wave”, some time next year. As some consolation, if Pioneers wish to, they can purchase additional Rogue Trader Points, and if their RTP total should reach or exceed forty thousand, they will be automatically upgraded to a full game key, getting access to all the features and factions available in Eternal Crusade. You can read more about the Pioneer Pack at the official website here.
Finally, Behaviour has two contests upcoming, the first of which was announced during the livestream last Friday, with Graham McNeill. The goal of the contest is to create your own original art piece depicting your favorite scene from Graham McNeill's latest short story, Death and the Maiden World. This contest ends on November 25th, 2014, and will be judged by a literal “who's who” of Eternal Crusade devs, including the one and only, Miguel Caron, and our own Community Manager (and apparently an Eldar Farseer), Katie Fleming. Prizes are listed on the website, and look pretty tempting. If only I had even an inkling of artistic talent. Oh well, the second contest is more my speed anyway.
The second contest is a Referral contest. Throughout the month of November, all referrals will be worth DOUBLE ROGUE TRADER POINTS. That's right, eight thousand points for both the referrer and four thousand to the the person who gets the referral. Also (and this is where it gets good), for every person you refer you will receive one entry into a drawing for some awesome prizes. Third prize is 75,000 Rogue Trader Points, second prize is 100,000 Rogue Trader points, and first prize is a 14” Alienware gaming laptop! I want a new laptop! But all my friends were so eager to join the Founder's community, they all went and bought Founder's Packs on the day they were made available, so I'm gonna have to hop to it and recruit some strangers if I intend to win that prize!
So there you have it, all the Eternal Crusade news that's fit to print, errr... Post. Remember to visit the Eternal Crusade website and register for the forums, so you can keep up to speed with everything going on during the development of Eternal Crusade.