End of Nations interview and hands-onPlatforms: PC
At the eurogamer expo I took the time to speak to one of the lead QAs about the game, it's interesting business plan and then gave the game a short whirl.
You are classing End Of Nations as an MMORTS (Massively Multiplayer Online Real Time Strategy), why?
You know how starcraft could have 8 players on a server, well we've taken that further and in End of Nations up to 52 players will be able to play on a single map at once. Each faction will be split into smaller teams whom you work with to achieve smaller goals and this advances the whole army. For example one of the teams, perhaps you and a friend, could be tasked to take out the power generator which would shut off the defensive turrets. Another team could lead a distraction, while the rest could wait to lead the charge once the power is down.
How many factions will you be able to choose from and what will be their differences?
There will be 2 playable factions and 1 NPC, whom you face in cooperative campaign mode. At present the Order Of Nations faction is the standard 'tank based army' and is well balanced. The second faction, the Liberation Front, is a bit more mysterious and requires some balancing before beta.
One of the most interesting things about End Of Nations is its business model. You're touting it as free to play with some premium content. How is this going to work?
Free players will be able to access everything in the game. Our plan is definitely to avoid pay to win situations. While a lot of the premium content will be aesthetic such as different skins (I particular like the skin that makes your units look like something that crawled out of H R Geiger's mind) some purchases will be for better mods to your units, such as range and damage. All these mods will be available to free players, but easier to come by if you pay. For example a free player could while playing a cooperative mission discover and use modifications for their units. These will last a certain amount of time in all modes of gameplay but will eventually wear out. Premium players may have the chance to purchase these without having to spend time battling. While these mods may give a small advantage our plan is to ensure they do not tip the scales over in favour of premium players. Obviously we are not entirely certain on all these aspects yet.
Do you have any dates for beta or full release?
As far as I know, we don't have any dates. I would say it's not ready for beta yet. I think we are looking to release beta at the start of next year and hopefully a full release 6 months later.
I also had the chance to have a quick hands on in a small 4 v 4 environment. Karl admitted that in an expo environment that's the best they can do.
The feel is closest to Command and Conquer Generals, though lacking the building section. You control a small group of units and with cooperation with your allies you team up to complete the larger objective. Alliances at an expo are notoriously hard to work out so the game felt a bit lacking, but you can feel how epic it might be with 50 players on either side. There is obviously a lot to work out, but this is definitely a title to watch and being free, what have you got to lose?
Thanks to Karl and the Trion Worlds team at the Eurogamer Expo for taking the time to speak to me.