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News from the Road - The Road to the Open World

Posted by Suzie Ford on May 19, 2015  | Comments

News from the Road - The Road to the Open World - Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade -

Greetings Crusaders, and welcome to a quick news update revolving around what we learned during last week's Into the Warp- Episode 18, specifically about the Road to the Open World.

After months of exciting victories and disheartening disappointments, it finally feels like Nathan Richardsson and the rest of the Eternal Crusade dev team have a firm grasp on what can be accomplished, and, perhaps more importantly, what cannot be accomplished, at least not at this point, be it for financial or technological reasons. The reason I find this so exciting and newsworthy, is that now it feels like there is a roadmap in place of all the things that have to happen between now and release, and we are finally working towards a concrete goal.

With the recent revelation that pikkoserver technology is not going to be a viable technology choice for several years at least, too long to really be used as the base of Eternal Crusade, the community was informed that, due to both financial and technological limitations, there would not b e one seamless open world for all to play in together. Instead we would be limited to match-style play, albeit with more players than we have seen in shooters to date. After a few weeks of community moaning and groaning, Nathan promised that we would soon see what his new plan was, and how it would work towards Open World play in stages. The time for that revelation is now here... uh, rather, it was Friday, but I will do my best to recap it here.

The plan now calls for one continent at launch, Malcadia, the central continent that the rest of the world will be built upon. Malcadia is massive, about 16 kilometers square, and it will be further subdivided into over 120 locations, each of which is a PvP map, so that's over 120 unique and different maps to fight for.

While the combats will necessarily be match-based, and thus have certain enforced limitations, they will still be pretty massive, the number of players fighting in each zone will be about 100. These zone limits are intended to be removed at some future point, creating more and more of an open world as development progresses.

Each territory is pretty large, about one quarter the size of a Planetside 2 continent, and can be controlled by one of the factions by taking the Stronghold in the territory. The Stronghold is only made vulnerable by taking a number of outposts that are also within the territory. Stronghold battles are designed to have as many combatants as possible, however there are no hard numbers at this point because there is still a good deal of development yet to occur. Outpost battles are smaller in scale, and each one that you control will give your side some small advantage in the battles to come. In the future, once the tech allows, the limitations on territories will be removed allowing the whole territory, both outposts and Strongholds, to be part of the battle, with the number of participants increasing as well.

This sort of flexibility and control will allow the devs to add new content, try new ideas, new types of encounters, and so forth, with limited adverse effects and/or added development time. All of this is leading up having more and more territories linked together into massive territories that can be explored openly, and eventually an entire open world, one linked territory at a time.

So all is not lost, Crusaders, the goal remains the same, the road just has proven to be a bit longer than anticipated. But we have a map now, and we will be able to see where we are, where we are going, and we can also suggest to the drivers where we might want to stop for a bit along the way.

Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom