Orcs Must Die: Unchained will be updating later today and with it comes a huge new cooperative PvE game type called Endless Mode (a twist on OMD's traditional Survival mode), crafting, and much more. We had the chance to interview Producer Chris Rippy to find out what the hubbub is all about.
MMORPG: First, let's start with the easy! What is Endless Mode? It makes me think of Horde Mode from Gears of War, name-wise.
Chris Rippy: Endless Mode (or what we call "Survival") is a cool new way to play Orcs Must Die! Unchained. Basically, it gives you and up to 4 other players a chance to prove your skills against wave after wave of enemy minions. As the waves get more and more impossible your job is to keep them out of the rift by placing traps and fighting them directly. When too many enter the rift, your game is over, but the further you get, the greater the reward. There are different ways to demonstrate your mad skills in Endless Mode like taking it on in small teams, or even solo!
MMORPG: Why add a map specifically for PVE? Was it really requested that much?
CR: It's actually an entire mode, and was inspired by the original Orcs Must Die! 1 and 2. Yeah, it's been a big request from our fans, and has been part of our plans for quite some time.
MMORPG: Why do you think that is?
CR: I think for fans of the original games, this mode really "feels" like OMD1 and OMD2. It's such a blast to coordinate with your friends and build the perfect minion killing machine. We still have folks today playing Orcs Must Die! 2 trying to get further on their favorite endless maps, and this will be a great addition for them.
For newer players, those that have only played Orcs Must Die! Unchained, this is a fun new experience and a new challenge. Plus it's PVE which fits some folks' playstyle a bit more.
MMORPG: What are the Guardians, and how do they factor in? Are there different kinds of guardians and are they randomly chosen each game?
CR: Guardians are like giant minions that help protect your rift from the enemy. In "Survival" gameplay, you actually earn different guardians just like you earn traps and other gear. Once you've earned them, you can take 2 of them with you into battle, and strategically place them on the map. What's really cool is certain guardians provide different benefits depending on where you place them on the map. For example, if you get a Monk guardian, he'll be much stronger if you place him in the Monastery versus the dock. So, there's a lot of strategy in where you place them, but then also how you funnel enemy minions into their path so the enemy can be properly annihilated.
MMORPG: The environmental traps were a big deal with the original games. What made you bring them back? And will we see them added in other modes?
CR: Oh, they're just a lot of fun, so it was time to bring them back. They're super powerful, and the strategy of when to use them is really important since they can only be used a few times per game. Some of them might make it into other game modes. In fact the chandelier is ready to roll right now in PVP.
MMORPG: The neutral objectives are a lot like what other games put in their "jungle". Is that the intention here? Something that can turn the tide of a battle?
CR: Yeah, it's definitely something that can turn the tide of a battle. Currently, they're how you release your "boss" minions, so they can be pretty impactful. Having said that, a good team can really counteract another team that is focusing too much on Neutral Objectives. It's a fun balance.
MMORPG: Crafting! That's one of those things that can keep players coming back to work on improving their odds. What sorts of things can you craft?
CR: Crafting is really going to change how people approach the Survival game mode. Right now, you can craft physics traps, scrolls, potions, and those Guardians we were discussing earlier. It's such a cool experience for an Orcs Must Die! game to have materials dropping during gameplay, and then crafting items that really impact the game.
MMORPG: Will this add to the game's other forms of progression as well? Could a player conceivably only play PVE and work towards the same things as a PVP fan?
CR: We are putting the finishing touches on our progression and we are excited to share more details in a bit. But I will say now that we are committed to creating a level playing field so items used in PvP are required to be “PvP legal.”
MMORPG: Thanks, Chris, for taking the time to answer our questions. Looking forward to giving Survival mode a try... when we're finally allowed into the closed beta, that is.