Rock, Paper, Warhammer

By Alec Meer on April 8th, 2008 at 6:19 pm.

Oh dear, we have spent a lot of time talking about flashing pixel adaptations of Games Workshop stuff lately. It’s almost as if this site is run by four middle-class Englishmen. This time though, we’ll mostly defer to PC Gamer UK, who’ve dug up the first concrete factlets about the mysteeeeeerious Warhammer 40,000 MMO.

Notably, it’s definitely something World of Warcraftian – i.e. an RPG, not some crazy MMO FPS or RTS. Despite my glass-half-empty nature, I’m going to remain cheery, especially because it’s been proven that roleplaying in the 40K universe can fit right into whole Only War, giant army thing. Still, I can’t quite stop the nightmare visions of solo Space Marines grinding cyber-pigs in cyber-forests for cyber-gold. I’m quite sure it’ll be much braver than that, but lawks, I was so hoping for 40K-themed Planetside.

Sounds as though the combat is a notch up from your average hacker-slasherer, though – there’s talk of flanking and suppressive fire. Tabula Rasa did some interesting things with dumping shooty fun into an MMORPG environment – hopefully 40K Online’s Heavy Bolters of Smiting +2 vs Heretics will go further still.

Multiple races will be ‘represented’, though no word on which, and whether ‘represented’ means playable or just NPCs. Can I buy a mana potion please, Dave Tyranid? Intruigingly, the word ‘battleground’ is used in reference to the PvP, which might consitute a) a dig at WoW and/or b) the promise of massed army, 40K tabletop-esque Only War.

Not a lot to go on, then, though CVG’s summary of the Gamer article also drops some hints about the combat and character customisation. It sounds so far as though it’s taking a similarly traditional approach to the fantasy Warhammer MMO, Age of Reckoning, but only time and thousands of grumpy beta testers will tell.

(The pic’s from the Dawn of War Tyranid mod, by the way).

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15 Comments »

  1. Acosta says:

    The image of “Space Marines grinding cyber-pigs in cyber-forests for cyber-gold.” is going to stick in my mind until proven wrong. Thanks Alec.

    You know, when someone is dropping hints for a “super top secret project” the logical thing would be dropping hints that make it look exciting, what is the point of doing it for saying “oh, is like the other stuff out there”? I was expecting this project to be something different, like that RTS MMO that I have been expecting since forever, but looks like I will have to keep wainting for that (meanwhile, I would appreciate if they don’t drop the ball with this one).

  2. Alex Grose says:

    Talking of News. There is this on the XBox 360′s Wiimote imitation.

  3. Homunculus says:

    Speaking of Dark Heresy, the Inquisitor’s Handbook and Purge the Unclean (missus) supplements came out last Thursday.

    I know this ‘cos they arrived here today. *weeps tears of equal parts joy and lament*

  4. Heliocentric says:

    As bad as it was(is?) planetside had potential in buckets, all out warfare, from being a grunt to performing bombing runs, favourite of all? get in a small stealthed squad on quadbikes and lay landmines and turrets.

    That kind of open warfare games desperately needs love in the mmo space, instead it looks like we are going to get a wow in space game.

    Are people so afraid of trying to step out of wow’s shadow?

    Eh, i’ll hold out hope but it looks like i’ll need to turn to various mods to get my first person 40k warfare.

    Did anyone ever play hidden:source? Imagine that in a 40k battlefield 2 esq game.

    Leaping from rooftop to rooftop to rooftop followed by a swarm of tryanid backup, they follow you, because afterall, you are their hive synapse.

    Or as a commisar/seargent with a small npc squad (i’m suggesting minions because otherwise how could a space marine be balanced) then ordering your heavy weapons team to mortor smoke to cover your advance.

    But, now… space ruins, abandoned battlefields… great.

  5. richmcc says:

    New Planetside would be monumental. If ever a game needed a NEXT-GEN update…

  6. Larington says:

    At the moment, the only way I can see a new planetside happening is either Blizzard gets brave and does something really incredible with their starcraft franchise.

    Or I eventually get into the games industry and make the bloody thing happen myself (It’ll be nothing like starcraft 2 though… ;-) )… Whichever comes first. Of course my real dread is that someone does get to it before me, botches it about as much as SOE did (Come on, Core combat 3 months after the games release and then BFRs? Did they want to kill the game?) meaning that it’ll become several times harder for me to use the “ok, so SOE didn’t quite pull it off, but a new game based on the idea will be awesome because it benefits from hindsight…”

    I still play planetside, because nothing is able to capture the feel it does and yet at the same time there so many abused domininant strategies in that game (And players using hacks at the moment, scum) that I’ll sometimes log off in disgust.

    In short, its dangerous to mention ‘Whatside? – Planetside’ anywhere near me because, well, I can’t keep my mouth shut when its name gets dropped.

  7. RichPowers says:

    PlanetSide was ruined when the dolts at SOE implemented Maelstroms and Flails and BFRs; these spammy weapons ruined otherwise exciting battles due to their ease-of-use and sheer power.

    The lesson? Open warfare games should appeal to teamwork-oriented gamers who seek refuge from the spam weapons and insta-kills. People who enjoy those types of games already have enough outlets. PS devs ignored the team-based vehicles like the Sunderer and Galaxy while glorify the solo weapons, leading to “Soloside” and the mass exodus of skilled players.

  8. Larington says:

    Yeah, really wish they’d done something to discourage abuse of left-right strafing in it as well. Yeah, sure, that seems to be the standard for FPS games, but in PS it often didn’t work because of the idiots who’d run into the middle of your killzone and then decide to start adadading right across the aim of all the defending troops. Heh, grief should’ve been disabled in that situation, idiots.

  9. toby says:

    They could base it on the old Rogue trader role play rules from warhammer 40k. you’re in the universe, but not really part of the empire armies.

    Who knows though…

  10. Zeno, Internetographer says:

    Even after the oh-so-controversial “updates” to Planetside, it was still my favorite MMO ever. 40K would be perfect for a PS-esque game, though I’m not surprised they’ve taken the lameass sellout route of making Yet Another Generic MMORPG.

    The one thing that can save this game in my eyes is if they make it truly persistent. I want to feel like an actual WAR is going on in my WARhammer.

  11. malkav11 says:

    Apparently I’m the only one who is absolutely thrilled that it’s *not* going to be a massively multiplayer FPS. I love 40K. I love the lore and the fiction and the art and all of that. It’s the best possible MMO setting. And the only way to spoil it would be to make it a heavily player-skilled PvP shooter that I’d never be able to play.

    So I’m glad they dodged that bullet. (Though, I suppose they could still go that route and just not make it a shooter, which would be almost as bad.)

  12. Bursar says:

    Can they not have their cake and eat it? Why does it need to be one or the other?

    Couldn’t you have frontline worlds and ‘safe worlds.’ Safe worlds allow for all the WoW RPGness and then the frontline worlds could be persistent battlegrounds like Planetside. You tool up, grind, trade etc in the safer areas with the frontline worlds being akin to a PvP battleground (but much much much bigger and better). Imagine droppodding in or something? It should also remove the absurdity of having an ork grinding with a Space Marine….

  13. ErgonomicCat says:

    Bursar: You’re hired. Get to work *immediately*.

    Oh man. Now I’m gleeful. Because that’s my uber game. All the PvE you want on your own worlds, full of quests, lore, history, loot, etc.

    And then, when you’re ready, you hit the launcher, and BOOM! You’re playing Planetside as a Sister of Battle. Control of Frontline worlds would grant bonuses to the safe worlds – if you control a factory world, more items are available. If you control a research world, buffs on the safe world. Just like the bases in Planetside open different vehicles, activate techs, etc.

    Man. I could die happy at that point. I mean, right now, I have two active MMO subs – WoW, and Planetside. Why the heck not combine them?

  14. Jacques says:

    And here I was hoping for a decent Inquisitor style MMORPG or something similar.
    I seriously hope there’s no race playable apart from Imperial Guard.

  15. Stromko says:

    It might be good if it’s Tabula Rasa without the boring class system and uninspired items. I think TR was already too much of an RPG and not enough of an FPS (AutoAssault without cars, aim at target and hope the dice favor you), but if it must be an MMORPG I’d rather it at least have the palpable mechanics of a shooter.

    Target ‘Nid, hit 1 to trigger Bolter ‘burst’ attack. No. We don’t need anymore WoW re-skins. A Tabula Rasa-style RPG with shooter control scheme will also be worthless and terrible, but not as much.