A new MMO is coming and it's Warhammer themed! Made by a canadian company mostly known for smaller titles so it's hard to know what to expect! So far however, the developers have shown an unprecedented level of transparency and fan involvement, which is encouraging.
Personally I can't tell if this is going to be a flop or a hit, but the fact that we'll be getting a new title with the Warhammer 40.000 license is REALLY exciting to me. I think the 40K universe is one of the most fun and ridiculous settings around. "Warhammer: 40.000" as a franchise has been around for almost 30 years now and the lore is insanely deep, rich, fun and crazy.
With the cancelled development of the MMO "Warhammer 40k: Dark Millenium" and the imminent shut down of "Warhammer Online" and the tragic death of THQ, publishers of the Dawn of War series and Space Marine game, the Warhammer IP in games right now seemingly rests on the shoulders of this title... The question is if they can tie it all together and deliver on the experience? Only time will tell I guess and we have lots of it as the game is slated for release in 2015
What kind of game is this?
Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade is a 3rd-person, Massive Combat RPG. Players select one of the factions of the 41st millennium and fight other players for control of an open, persistent world, claiming territory in massive battles and hacking their way through procedural content while earning the right to customize their characters in a deep progression system drawn from Warhammer 40,000 lore.
What is the gameplay like?
Eternal Crusade's combat is fully action-based - you shoot or swing with a button and it's up to your skill whether you pull off a headshot or block that incoming chainsword. In addition, gamepads are fully supported.
Both ranged and melee weapons have equal emphasis – as in the iconic battles of Warhammer 40,000, combat begins at a distance with guns and heavy vehicle-mounted weaponry before progressing to bloody blade-on-blade action with brutal executions.
What business model will the game use?
Although it’s still under consideration, the current plan is that Eternal Crusade will be “premium with a free-to-play option.” By purchasing a copy of the game, you will have access to it forever with no need for a subscription. There will be post-launch expansions, as well as a cash shop for customization & convenience items.
If you don’t want to buy the box, you can still try the game as a free-to-play version of an Ork character. In contrast to the premium Orks, your progression will be slower and some options will be locked off, but you’ll be able to go anywhere and fight for the Waaagh! If you like it but still don’t want to pay the full price, you can unlock some of the missing options with microtransactions.
Are there quests?
Not in the traditional sense. Instead of looking for quest-givers to give you things to do, you can just head out into the world to find procedurally-generated content in your own or the enemy’s territory.
We’re currently working on short, horde-style firefights and longer dungeon-delving experiences. In both cases, the content is randomized so it’s new every time, but with parameters and details specific to the locations.
Of course, you can always look to the community channels and your faction leaders to get some direction. In addition, there are mid- and long-term opposed goals for factions that appear on a regular basis as part of the ongoing server-wide campaign system.
Can I play solo?
Solo players can easily find and join battles with their faction by either looking at the world map or deep striking into the top conflicts of the moment. They will also be able to access and progress through procedural content – it will definitely be a challenge, however!
Tell me more about combat.
Even though Eternal Crusade is an MMO in a persistent open world, the combat plays out like a proper third-person shooter. You point where you want to shoot or strike and hitting your target is based on skill. There are no ability bars or auto-attack systems, and if you want to evade or block an incoming attack, you press a button to roll out of the way or hold down the guard button.
At the same time, Eternal Crusade is a tactical experience with an RPG system, so positioning, teamwork, and your choice of wargear are also key components to victory. You may be an amazing shot with your Stalker Bolter, but when a Havoc has you pinned down and Raptors are advancing you’re going to have a tough time maintaining that defensive position!
How can you have an RPG system with skill-based combat?
Like many action games these days, an underlying RPG system affects how you fight in a variety of fashions. This includes the obvious methods such as modifying your health or the damage when you strike, but character and weapon stats can also change the way you shoot or swing.
For example, you can aim in any direction and fire away, but the spread on your shots comes from a variety of factors, including what kind of gun you're using, its upgrades, and an accuracy stat from your character. Your spread may increase while moving and decrease while zooming with a scope, and the extent to which these modifiers affect you may themselves have their own stats! Melee weapons are similarly affected, with the force on an attack compared against the stability of the victim to determine staggering, knockback etc.
How are the classes balanced?
Each faction has a set of primary classes (the number may vary on faction), and depending on how you build your loadout (accessories, weapons, items, etc) for that class there are a multitude of possible specializations. Eternal Crusade is also a massive tactical wargame so not every specialization will be equal when going toe to toe with each other - you should either bring friends to make up for your weaknesses or deploy your loadout in the circumstances that favor your specialty.
Since you can change classes and loadouts whenever you deploy to the field, you're not locked into your choice for hundreds of hours or anything (though that's not to say all the choices you make in your progression will be easy to reverse).
Certain classes (such as Terminators) have a resource cost associated with spawning them and exceptional players can earn access to hero classes as well. A given player’s opportunity to use these characters is limited and they must be supported on the battlefield, but with their power and ability to enhance the capabilities of primary classes those around them, they can turn the tide of war. Of course, killing a hero is also an exceptional action that shall be rewarded.
Can I be a healer?
Yes, although you should think of them more like combat medics or support classes. These characters may be better at healing than others, but they still have limited resources to work with and should still be spending most of their time fighting.
That said, everyone has a little bit of healing potential. When a character hits 0 health they enter a downed state where they start bleeding out (unless they've taken so much damage they've blown past the death threshold of course). Friendly units can rescue a downed character and bring them back with a little health, or enemy units can execute them up close with any weapon to earn a little XP and prevent them from coming back.
Both executions and rescue actions take time and can be interrupted, so you have to decide if doing so is worth the risk. Some characters may be better at rescuing than others.
Are there vehicles?
Yes! Expect the most iconic vehicles for each faction to be available for driving, ride-alongs, turret-manning, etc.
Is there friendly fire?
Yes. There is also a system for penalizing excessive friendly fire, although this will be receiving extensive iteration as the game develops.
Do characters have levels?
No! You’ll pick what unit class type you want to bring to the battlefield and have access to a huge amount of customization, but since this is a PvP-focused game the progression won’t be primarily about increasing power, but rather gaining access to a wider variety of skills and better specialization.
How do you equip your character?
Before you get to the field, you create Loadouts for your different classes, made up of weapons you’ve earned and accessories you’ve unlocked. However, your progression is generally horizontal - the more powerful an item is, the more “points” it requires from your loadout in order to keep PvP balanced.
With a few exceptions, each character generally has access to both ranged and melee attacks at any time. For example, if your assault unit has sword, axe, or power fist in one hand, they're going to have a pistol in the other.
There are exceptions, of course. Heavy guns prevent you from having much melee capability, of course, and if you choose to equip dual lightning claws then you're not going to have any ranged options in your loadout. But your average soldier on the field is able to do both in some capacity.
Is there be trading and crafting?
Yes, in a form that fits with the Warhammer 40,000 universe. You won’t be able to be a “crafter”, but there is an extensive upgrade system for weapons.
Will I be able to customize my characters' appearance and color scheme?
Yes! Although you’ll generally keep a sub-faction appropriate color-scheme, there are many options for changing up your armour, accessories, etc.
Is this a single-server MMO?
We are aiming to have one Realm/World/Instance for the whole world. If we achieve this, it means that every player will be able to combat each other in the world – giving the possibility for truly amazingly huge battles. We are aware of the fact that a networked signal takes time to travel depending on the distance from the servers to your home, but we have built our game logic in a way such that up to a certain degree this should not be an issue .
Our confidence in this approach comes due to our partner MuchDifferent and their PikkoServer technology. We have a distributed server system, which enables us to handle each server not on a per zone basis (like in other MMOs) but rather on player density. This means that if more players are in the same area, more servers are handling that area. In fact, we are able to adjust the spread of the servers on the fly, depending on where the players are going and how many players are converging in one specific area.
If at any point in development we hit a wall and realize that this approach is too bold and we cannot guarantee that everyone will be able to have fun, we will investigate splitting up the servers into regions to provide better quality network connections.
How are you going to deal with cheating?
Because we are using a server which is owned by us and only we have possibility to maintain and change the software on it, there is virtually no possibility of using third-party programs to alter the game logic and give any advantage to any player.
We achieve this by verifying every important gameplay mechanic on the servers, movement, combat etc. The server takes care of all these calculations to ensure that there cannot be any cheating – after determining the result of those calculations, your computer receives get a visible representation of (for example) how your shot played out.
What engine are you using?
At the moment we have a demo/prototype running and are in pre-production working with an engine, capable of delivering our goals. For various reasons related to production, we cannot reveal our engine at the moment.
However, the engine support x64 architecture so we are not limited by the 32bit memory problems of only being able to address 4gb of memory. Furthermore, it supports DX11 and all its features so we should have no difficulty creating the best looking Warhammer 40,000 game to date!
Will the world be instanced?
The PvP gameplay of Eternal Crusade takes place primarily an open world, without any instancing. Our PvE game modes take place in instanced dungeons and hives below the surface of the planet, but you get to them by finding them in the open world and entering. There may be further use of instancing in the game, but it should generally be the exception rather than the rule.
How do the Campaigns work?
As the four armies clash on the surface of the planet, the (npc) High Command for each army receives intelligence about the planet and set objectives to act on. Campaign objectives are always opposed by at least one other faction. These grand clashes rage across one or more of the continents on the surface for a set period of time.
When the High Command receives new intelligence, they change their objectives and focus their efforts into a new campaign on a different continent (or continents). The results of the previous campaign will be meaningful and lasting, and some campaigns will be heavily story driven, helping to uncover more about the lore of the universe and the planet itself.
What can I do if I don’t like PvP?
Eternal Crusade is a game primarily about player-run factions clashing against each other for control of the planet. However, there are other ways for players to contribute to their faction’s conquest. To that end, we’re targeting two PvE game modes for launch; tentatively known as Underworlds and Hives.
In Underworlds, you and your friends will crawl through the procedurally generated ruins beneath the surface of the planet. Never the same twice, Underworlds will test your teamwork and your skill as you carefully conserve health and ammo to delve as deep as possible, slay foul threats, and unearth powerful rewards. This mode is inspired by classic ARPGs like Diablo II and Left 4 Dead.
In Hives, you and your friends will drop into a Tyranid Hive and hold out as the ravenous alien hordes rush you in increasing waves. Similar horde mode game types can be found in Space Marine and Mass Effect 3.
Both PvE modes will allow you to earn contribution to your faction’s cause, and your faction will reward you appropriately for your efforts!
Will the Tyranids affect Campaigns and Territory Control?
Absolutely. From time to time, the Tyranid threat spreads and Capillary Spires burst out of the ground, conquering outposts and strongholds. Each faction must do what they can to flush the Tyranid threat out of their territory or risk losing it to the Great Devourer- along with any benefits that come with it!
Naturally, owning more territory draws more attention from the Tyranids, but these ravenous monsters are a threat for every faction to manage as campaigns go on.
Who’s writing this thing?
Black Library authors Anthony Reynolds and Graham McNeil are currently building up the background of Eternal Crusade, detailing the story behind the planet and all the factions involved. Expect some details on this front very soon!
Does that mean there are going to be cinematics?
The game’s story will not generally be told to you, but instead created through the actions of the players. In addition, the world of Eternal Crusade has a rich history written into the geography itself. As players explore the surface, fight through the Underworld, and advance through campaigns, all will be revealed...
What can we expect from the Heads-Up Display (HUD)?
Style-wise, the plan is to strike a good balance between an immersive in-helmet feel and a clean minimalist look. The HUDs, like the Front-End, are themed to fit your chosen faction. You can expect the standard HUD elements to be displayed – health, minimap, chat, objectives, ammo, squad members, etc.
Will we be able to customize it in any way?
Not at the moment. Eternal Crusade is not a classic MMORPG with tons of ability bars. We are designing finely crafted experiences about being a Space Marine, Eldar, Ork and a Chaos Space Marine. The GUI is key in supporting these experiences, and so we're focusing on doing exactly that. We will offer skins and variations which you will be able to access later.
Will you support community created mods/add-ons?
At this time, this is not planned for launch. If we do we will use a proper mod manager with tools for sharing and rating.
How can I play with my friends?
The Battle Squad is the core of the game. With friends (old or new), you’ll be able to create and earn rewards for your small community and then join Strike Forces made up of many Battle Squads. Strike Forces are the pillars of their factions and will make a huge impact in the gameworld.
As a team, either with your Battle Squad or an impromptu field group, you will traverse the landscape in various modes of transportation and participate as a unit in territory conflicts, or seek out and fight together against Tyranids and other forces in various forms of procedural content.
Who leads the factions?
A player-selected Council determines the focus of their factions in campaign and territory control, and also has some say over resource distribution. Strike Force leaders also have access to similar powers in a more limited fashion. Expect more details on these features throughout production.
Are there any player- or community-owned spaces?
Yes – different levels of community may own different types of spaces on ships in orbit that can be improved and customized. More details on this will be revealed throughout production.
Which Warhammer 40,000 armies are in the game?
At launch, there will be Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Orks and Eldar. Tyranids will also be in the game, but only as NPCs. We aim to release the rest of the races from the universe over the lifetime of the game.
Players may make characters in multiple factions, but non-combat interactions between factions are extremely limited. All the factions are unique and opposed to one another in their goal to conquer the planet!
When you create your character, you also choose one of that race’s sub-factions (Chapters, Clans, etc.) to identify with. Each faction features a unique selection of classes drawn from their lore, and each character in a faction has the opportunity to choose from a variety of classes when they deploy on the field.
How are you going to make sure the factions are equal?
Although we are investigating a system to prevent truly huge faction imbalances (51%+), in general we are not going to force faction balance. In fact, we don’t think of this as a four-sided game, but potentially an infinite-sided one!
Factions in Eternal Crusade don’t “win” by owning more territory than everyone else. Instead, you advance the cause of your faction by accomplishing distinct goals that provide rewards, give you recognition, and/or affect the long-term narrative. If one faction seems overly powerful, other factions can work together against them. This can take the form of an official alliance between their leaders, or happen naturally by virtue of the fact that the most powerful faction has territory that several other factions want.
Tell me about the Space Marine faction.
Space Marine chapters at launch include (at least) the Dark Angels, Ultramarines, Blood Angels and Space Wolves.
Characters such as Assault Marines, Devastators, Apothecaries and Terminators feature in the game, but the official class roster has not been announced yet.
Tell me about the Ork faction.
Ork clans at launch include (at least) the Evil Sunz, Bad Moons, Deathskulls and Goffs.
Characters such as Stormyboyz, Lootas, Mekboys & Meganobz feature in the game, but the official class roster has not been announced yet.
Tell me about the Chaos Space Marine faction.
Chaos legions at launch include (at least) the Black Legion, Iron Warriors, Word Bearers, and Night Lords.
Characters such as Chosen, Havocs, Raptors & Terminators feature in the game, but the official class roster has not been announced yet.
Tell me about the Eldar faction.
Eldar craftworld at launch include (at least) Iyanden, Ulthwé, Saim-Hann, and Biel-tan.
Characters such as Dark Reapers, Dire Avengers, Wraithguards and Warlocks feature in the game, but the official class roster has not been announced yet.
When is it coming out?
When is the beta?
We can’t say quite yet, but there will definitely be both closed and open beta phases. Sign up on this site to get access details first!
What platforms will it be on?
Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade is being developed for PC and next-gen consoles.
Can't wait to finally, FINALLY be able to smash and shoot things as an ork. Oh and don't forget to sign up for the