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Ladies and Gentleman,
I know all of you have been waiting for our interview with Relic, Well I have good news your wait is over. I would like to personally thank Thunder from Relic for making this happen and letting us interview him. So, now all thats left is to sit back and enjoy our very own Q&A
1) How do you feel about how Dawn of War II is shaping up? What are the major changes since the initial stages of development?
The game has come together really nicely since I arrived at Relic in August. I wasnâ€™t really around for the initial stages of development, but just in the last little while Iâ€™ve seen major changes and improvement in every part of the game. Thereâ€™s that magical point in the development of any game where it goes from clunky prototype to workable to something thatâ€™s showing real polish. Weâ€™re definitely on that last stage now.
2) Can you give us any hints to what the system specs will be? Will it be close to what Company of Heroes requires? What do you guys think about this? How will the system specs compare to CoH? Obviously we are notin the same age of computers as CoH, but do you see the specs being a potential negative with gamers? Iâ€™m not going to throw out any guesses or hints since players might take it as gospel. A lot of fans on our Dawn of War II Community Site seem to think that the system requirements will be insanely high. Keep in mind that weâ€™re running the game here on machines that are a couple of years old.
3) What will make this game different from the other RTSes on the market? What does Dawn of War II offer that other games don't? The campaign experience is pretty unique in my opinion because it's no longer about sending hordes of units to their death. You have a real sense of attachment to your units and you'll constantly customize and level your squads as you progress through the single player game. We now offer co-op in the single player campaign, so two players may end up using different combinations of squads that are customized to work together in different ways. The sense of progression through levels, getting new gear for your squads, and the fact that you donâ€™t make endless streams of faceless units give the game a unique feel compared to many RTS games.
We havenâ€™t talked about multiplayer yet, but Iâ€™ll just say itâ€™s not all about building a base or managing peons. The games will be fast-paced.
4) Gameplay-wise, how different is Dawn of War II from Dawn of War?
Quite a bit different. For starters, we've incorporated the Company of Heroes Essence Engine into Dawn of War 2. This has allowed us to utilize some of the features from Company of Heroes that worked really well while keeping the things that fans loved from the original game. Itâ€™s definitely a 40k game; the look, the feel, the sounds, but it's an entirely new experience.
5) Would you say that Dawn of War II is more of a real-time tactic type of game, rather than a real-time strategy game?
Itâ€™s a strategy game thatâ€™s more about your individual units than building a base, farms and peons. You'll still find traditional RTS elements such as upgrades, technology trees, and resources to manage. 6) It's our understanding that the game emphasizes small squad-based tactics rather than the larger engagements seen in the original Dawn of War series. How will you balance armies that lend themselves towards overwhelming numbers (like Tyranids) while still keeping the game focused on small squad-based development for all factions? The Orks lend themselves toward overwhelming numbers too. The green tide! The campaign certainly emphasizes small squad-based tactics, but multiplayer is a bit of a different story. Weâ€™ve had some epic battles in our team games. There can be quite a few units in play all at once. We can't wait to show this off to the public. 7) How will resource management be handled in Dawn of War II?
Resource management comes into play in the multiplayer portion of the game. There isnâ€™t much of it in the campaign where the focus is on your squads, leveling, and their war gear. Weâ€™ll be talking more about multiplayer soon.
8) A lot of players play skirmish battles against AIs rather than playing online. What kind of improvements can we expect from the AI compared to what it was in Dawn of War? AI was known to turtle a lot rather than attack most of the time.
The rules of the game have changed, so to speak. The way that Dawn of War II plays suits an AI opponent better than all of the base building etc, that was in the first game. I think that AI opponents are going to be a lot more aggressive for that reason alone.
9) Will there be any extra game modes for multiplayer or can we just expect the plain old Annihilation, Take and Hold, etc?
The base multiplayer mode actually isnâ€™t Annihilation. Weâ€™ll go into that more later.
10) Letâ€™s face it, not many players liked the Gamespy service since there were issues with downtime and lag that would disrupt many multiplayer games. Will the Games for Windows â€“ LIVE service that Dawn of War II will be using solve all our woes? Can we expect improvements/additions to the multiplayer features, like real time map download that Blizzard's Battle.net has?
Weâ€™re pretty excited about the support and infrastructure that Games for Windows Live gives us. We want multiplayer matchmaking to run well for players all over the world and we think that GFWL will definitely provide that in spades.
11) Is there anything you can tell us about customizing multiplayer armies? For example will we be able to fully customize each of our individual armies with colors, badges, banners, weapons and looks? Will it be only featured in single player, or will it also be featured in multiplayer?
There is an army painter in Dawn of War II so you can customize the look of your army in a variety of ways with that tool. You will definitely see the look of your squads change as you get more war gear in the single-player campaign. There are banners, lots of armor, weapons, and other accessories. 12) One of the big features of Dawn of War was Relic's support of the modding community. Is Dawn of War II going to be as effectively moddable and can we expect to see modding tools and editors released once it comes out?
I believe there were some decisions made with regards to this version of our engine that has made the game more difficult to mod. These types of decisions are not taken lightly, or with malicious intent, itâ€™s just the way things worked out in order to make the game look as good as it does and work the way it does.
13) Will we be seeing any familiar faces returning from the original Dawn of War?
Definitely. The campaign revolves The Blood Ravens chapter of Space Marines that will be familiar to Dawn of War fans. If youâ€™ve played previous campaigns youâ€™ll recognize Davian Thule for sure, but the story in Dawn of War II stands on its own so anyone will be able to jump in, play, and understand whatâ€™s going on.
14) Will any other races make a cameo appearance in the campaign, like the Imperial Guard from the original game? There are other races involved in the campaign, but I wouldnâ€™t want to spoil any cameos. The Orks, Eldar, and Tyranids all play a roll in the story as it unfolds, but it revolves around you and your Space Marines.
15) Following from the previous question, can we expect any expansion packs featuring Chaos, Imperial Guard or any other races? And if so, will they get their own campaign storylines as well?
We do have plans for further content after Dawn of War II ships. We arenâ€™t talking in detail about them right now but weâ€™ve certainly heard quite a number of fans express interest in campaigns featuring other races.
16) Jonny Ebbert seemed really enthusiastic about the inclusion of flying units in Soulstorm. Will they also be featured in Dawn of War II?
No, Dawn of War II doesnâ€™t feature any flying units in the game. Itâ€™s all about getting some boots on the ground and yours hands dirty. Iâ€™m not sure if the designers have some future plans for flying units or not.
17) One of the major community grumbles with Soulstorm is the ongoing delay with the expected patch (not that we're telling you off!). What can we expect when it comes to patch support for Dawn of War II?
Well, weâ€™ve been doing quite a bit of work lately to support Soulstorm. The patch was released last week as I type this. We definitely understand that fans of our games stick with us if we do right by them, so investing some time in producing patches is time well spent. We did indeed have to rework our patch system for Soulstorm because of all of the digitally distributed versions of the game out there. We have a plan for post ship content and support for Dawn of War II which will include patching the for balance and bugs.
18) Anything else would like to share with us? That was a lot of great questions, thank you! Iâ€™ll just share that the Dawn of War II team gave a demo for the entire company today of the multiplayer game. Some of us work on other projects here at Relic and so donâ€™t play the game every day. Itâ€™s looking amazing! There are some members of the press coming in tomorrow to play some multiplayer so we should be able to talk about it soon.
Thanks Alot, My pleasure. Take care and I hope to see you online when we ship Dawn of War II!
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