Orcs Will Die On July 30, For They Must

By Nathan Grayson on June 21st, 2012 at 9:00 am.

Witnesses reported that this is roughly how the orcs died. Because they were killing them.

A trench-coat-clad detective emerges from a thick late night fog. He spots his partner – a smaller, more plainly dressed man – standing near a small bridge between two rocky cliffs. And also a pile of dead orc bodies. “What was the official time of death?” the detective asks grimly, not even bothering to greet his protege. “Midnight or somewhere thereabouts. July 30,” the young man replies. Both then briefly survey the carnage. It’s not pretty. Spikes and arrows protrude from torn green flesh, while others are singed, and still others seem as though they’ve gone careening through the air until… splat.

The detective looks a bit green himself, but he keeps his composure. “Who could’ve possibly done this? Do we have any suspects?” His assistant glances away uncomfortably. “Well, yes. You,” he blurts, suddenly staring the detective straight in the eyes. “And also me. And, like, everyone. Also, we should probably stop talking and start laying more traps. Another group of them is gonna be here in, like, 20 seconds.” The detective furrows his brow thoughtfully. “Oh, right. But why?” he wonders aloud, suddenly feeling existential. “Well, because it’s wicked fun,” his assistant replies. “And they’ve all got it coming eventually anyway. I mean, Orcs Must Die, too.”

Fin.

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41 Comments »

  1. khaz says:

    Its amazing how many sub-genres Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne’s custom maps has resulted in. God bless modders.

    • f1x says:

      Well, this tower/defense – wave things kind of remind me of Starcraft 1 Starship Troppers maps, surely it was perfected in WC3 tho

    • Dominic White says:

      I really don’t think OMD has much to do with Tower Defense. It plays far more like a hybrid of Tecmo’s Deception series (started in ’96) and Toys For Bob’s The Horde (’94), which were both defensive action games where you could place traps and NPC soldiers.

      • khaz says:

        Yeah, TD and AoS (MOBA like maps) started on Starcraft 1 but were perfected during Frozen Throne. Hell, they’re still going strong today. I thought OMD was an actual custom map on WC3 but I was confusing it with Orc Gladiators (Which was awesome anyway).

        And the gameplay in the OMD games here are common among various WC3 custom maps. Notably among TDs, hero siege maps and other such variations. If someone would make a fully standalone epic megawin version of Castle Wars or Lego Wars or Pyramid Escape or even Uther’s Party from WC3 i’ll hand over my bank account details, let alone money.

      • Cooper says:

        Khaz, you’re missing D.White’s point. Go have a look at:
        http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/horde

        I remember playing a demo of this to death as a kid. That’s a good 4 years before StarCraft 1 and longer before the first TD maps on StarCraft.

        To suggest that the gameplay in OMD has a history that begins with SC or WC3 maps is just incorrect.

        • khaz says:

          Coolios, will check it out. Although it makes sense that even the early TD and AoS on Starcraft 1 would have had inspiration from elsewhere.

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    Sarigs says:

    wOOt! I absolutely adored the first OMD, can’t wait for this to come out…and Co-op mode is going to be ace!

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    Cross says:

    I wasn’t big on the original. I found the trickle of new traps to be too slow, and it got real repetitive, real fast.

    • Spengbab says:

      Loved the original. Although I felt that the new toys came with every level, they weren’t all equally useful (My levels mostly consisted of swinging traps, barricades and wall-mounted pushers/crushers, whatever the actual names were). The vast majority weren’t used, or only for novelty.

      The sequel looks to have some outdoor thing going on. Humm.

    • f1x says:

      Yes there was some really useless traps, for example, that hot air trap, hum seriously, whats the use for that?

      also I never felt it was more fun to use the mages powers than killing everything with traps, hopefully they will enforce traps more in this second part
      but overall I’m really looking forward to it, despite this minor things I had awesome fun with the game

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        Sarigs says:

        I used the hotair trap a fair bit, you could stack traps above the vents to trigger combos, it was also a great way to slow down some of the orcs and thin them out while archers pinged away at them and your traps further ahead were still reloading!

        • Unholymess says:

          The steam trap was an absolute cornerstone of my strategy, so useful when combined with ceiling traps and amazingly good against the big ogres once you’ve powered up physical traps with the Weaver, stops them right in their tracks! Also, watching the hunters try to get a across a 3X3 grid of them is hilarious!

          So yeah, I’d say they are one of the more useful traps, not just a load of hot air ;)

          • Balm says:

            From what I remember one square blow-upward-trap would lift one ork and allow a dozen to pass, and it had pretty large cooldown. Where tar would slow down everyone.
            I never saw any use for it other then to throw some around for laugh after i’m done making gauntlets with tar-baricades-swinging mace.

        • f1x says:

          Nice, this means I was either not too creative with it, or that there is actually a good variety of succesful strategies

          Usually I went for the slow them down/barricate-labyrinth strategy, so I dont know never found real interest for hot air traps

          • Unholymess says:

            Heh, that’s funny because I pretty much ignored the slowdown and barricades! Methinks another playthrough may be necessary to explore the other options that I ignored!

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            Sarigs says:

            If I’m being honest I never settled on a single go to strategy. Led to just scraping by on a couple of the levels but I tended to mix and match my inventory selection which stopped each level being a hunt for the right spot to set up the “killer” cut and pasted trap combination :-)

          • Mother says:

            I’m one of the devs. This thread made my morning, as the discussion of which traps are worthless and which are must-haves is *exactly* what happens in our playtest area every day.

          • Cooper says:

            I think the one issue I had in OMD was how slow the trickle of upgrades for traps was. Upgrading a trap felt like a pretty big investment, which funneled me down a certain setup because I wanted to use the traps I had upgraded.

            I would have enjoyed a bit of incentive to try new combinations. Something like at the hlafway point giving away free level 1 upgrades to all traps you’ve yet to upgrade (or somehow linking the free upgrade to upgrade points spent so peopole don’t just save all their upgrade points until after the free ones) or anything else to give some kind of hint and nudge: “Now is a time to try something new” that wasn’t reliant upon changing up the level layout would have been nice. (OMD made me realise how set in my ways I can get. I’d doggedly stick to a tried and tested combination on a map where it was sub optimal rather than use a whole bunch of traps I hadn’t upgraded)

          • Mother says:

            There are still traps awarded for completing levels but a lot of that system has been redesigned with the spellbook model. If you didn’t like the way it was in the original, I think you’ll be happy here — you get to pick a lot more of your arsenal and upgrades with the new system. (And there is re-spec, so you can try different approaches easily.)

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          Arathain says:

          I can see using the Steam Traps in that way, but I was never sure why they were better than Tarpits or a Spring Trap to fling them into more traps or other tarpits. This also works with Archers very nicely. My issue with the steam was that they were only effective against one enemy.

          • Unholymess says:

            Mother: I think it’s one of the most brilliant aspects of the game, there are genuinely so many different ways of going about each of the levels, gives it a lot of replayability and everyone has a different experience of the game to share as a result.

      • InternetBatman says:

        There are a ton of different ways to play the game. For instance, I went through my entire first run without using tar traps. However, there’s definitely a most effective load-out / strategy if you’re not concerned with multiplier. It’s L-shaped barricade funnel, tar traps, and mace or wall-blades if no ceiling. This’ll take care of 90% of ground forces, and the strategy is just how to do this quickly enough.

        I bought the DLC after the first level, and it was definitely worth it. I definitely would have felt constrained without it. That’s an issue with the game, but since the whole package was $4, I’m not too concerned.

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          Sinomatic says:

          Yeah, me too on the tar traps (and now I can’t even think of playing without them).

          I think OMD is often thought by many as being fairly boring/badly designed because ‘loads of the traps/spells were useless’, yet in reality it just comes down to the fact that most people stuck to the things they personally found worked for them and then didn’t really experiment much beyond that. I’m not saying everything was perfectly balanced or equally useful (nor could they ever be, given the different level layouts), but I think it actually had masses more scope to play around with the trap/spell load-outs than it’s usually given credit for.

          • InternetBatman says:

            I think the problem also lies in the fact that experimentation is best done after you’ve beaten the game, since you now have access to everything, especially coinforges. The skull system (which is too opaque) discourages experimentation because you don’t want to keep replaying the same level in a futile attempt to upgrade, so you speed through without regard to careful trap placement. Also, skulls are so hard to come by that a bad upgrade (arrow walls or spring traps) can put you at a disadvantage once you figure out your own play style.

            In essence, the game is at its most fun once it is freed from itself, and becomes a sort of playground.

            The really fun elaborate things like splat walls (vent or spring trap into grinders or wall blades), multiple burn pits (barricade + tar + fire gauntlets or acid bombs), bumper mazes, barricade mazes where the floor is lava, etc. are only available once you have a ton of money, and are way more effective once you have a ton of upgrades.

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            Sinomatic says:

            I’d agree with that actually, and also that the second playthrough on the medium difficulty was actually more fun than on easy, because you hadall the toys to play with from the outset. I do have a vague memory of reading somewhere that they were doing away with the upgrade system, or rejigging it somehow to make the whole thing a bit more open. I’ll have to have a dig around and see.

  4. caddyB says:

    More of the same? Well can’t be sad about it yet, I loved the first one.

  5. Teovald says:

    I absolutely loved the original.
    Sure the mechanics were not profound enough to allow me to play it for the years to come, but the campaign is absolute wicked fun. It is has never been more satisfying to mass murder orcs.

  6. bitbot says:

    Interesting how this is a PC exclusive while the last was out for Xbox Live as well. I guess it didn’t sell well there.

  7. Njordsk says:

    Can’t wait for Orcs and Men, so orcs can finally bash stupid human with their über strength.

  8. Sauerkraut says:

    Meh. Looks like more of the same, although it’s been long enough since the first that OMD2′ll still be a blast.

    Oh, and woot for co-op!

  9. kaoswielder says:

    Co-op was the only thing that was missing :) Fun times follow

  10. Thunderkor says:

    I’m very excited for this! I loved the first one, and the only things it was missing were co-op and a map editor. I’ll settle for one of the two. Plus, I’m going to have to buy two copies so I can play with my son.

  11. Vexing Vision says:

    I am now replaying OMD.

    The visceral traps are fun, and I can’t wait to do this in co-op – I never got the hots for Dungeon Defenders, so this is exactly the sweet spot.

  12. aliksy says:

    I kind of liked OMD more than dungeon defenders. Probably because it didn’t have the annoying gear/level progession, and it was all about strategy and twitch. I’m kind of burned out on stat progression.

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      Arathain says:

      Dungeon Defenders left me cold. All numbers, no impact. I loved OMD because everything had some impact to it. Orcs got flung about with great abandon, and all the traps felt powerful.

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    lowprices says:

    Dear developers:

    Stop it.

    No really. Stop it. I don’t have enough time to play the games I currently have, let alone enough to make room for more games. So if everyone could just stop releasing games for six months or so, that’d give me a bit of time to catch up.

    Love and Kisses,

    Lowprices.

    • Quasar says:

      This, exactly this. I mean, I haven’t even finished the original Witcher, let alone the sequel. I’ve got to finish Skyrim and New Vegas and Dragon Age and Dragon Age 2 and I still haven’t even found a tractor in Day Z yet oh my god so many games

  14. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    Does anyone else see the Counter Strike Map Prodigy in that screenshot?