The New Millennium: Warhammer 40K – Eternal Crusade

John is the man to ask about upcoming Warhammer 40K MMO, Eternal Crusade. Or at least he’s the right man to ask the questions of the people in the know, as he demonstrated last year when he interviewed Behaviour about their project. He discovered that Eternal Crusade is likely to be more Planetside than World of Warcraft, which makes sense. Space Marines don’t quest, they WAR. It will be a game of territorial control, against both player-controlled enemies and NPCs. The first footage is available below, along with a teaser trailer. It’s pre-alpha. The real kind, with grayboxes, stuttering and explosion animations plucked from 1952.

Is this burning, an Eternal Crusaaaade?

First up, we have a Marine enjoying a romantic sunrise on a death planet where the atmosphere literally chews exposed eyeballs until nothing is left but a bleeding nerve-stem.

Next, how about a Chaos Rhino that appears to have broken tracks, shooting at some smoke?

And here are the grayboxes, providing the backdrop to a battle between Marines and another Rhino. This one is cornered and soon falls to bits.

How about some Jump Pack action?

And wall jumping!

And a bit more of that sort of thing.

Very early footage indeed but on top of the incomplete nature of it all, it’s not entirely clear what the short snippets are supposed to be demonstrating. Day/night cycles, vehicular combat and locational damage on armoured vehicles perhaps? Oh, and vertical level design with chainswords from above. It’s all a little too hasty to gain much of an understanding.

Here’s the teaser trailer.

Founders packs, which will provide early access on a ‘first come, first served’ basis range from $40.00 to $450.000. The extra cash provides in-game currency, exclusive banners and the like. There are already ‘limited’ items available to buy with the currency.

It’s a sad Friday when I end up being grumpy about 40K twice.

36 Comments

  1. Volcanu says:

    Noooooo!

    Why is a Rhino making another Rhino explode by shooting a weedy Storm bolter at it?

    If this game turns into an MMO ‘Space Marine’ I will be very happy. But I have serious doubts about the ability of this developer to pull something like this off. I fear it will be a train smash.

    It also looks completely cack in this Alpha footage. If this is rather unrepresentative of the final game (and I hope it is) then what’s the point in showing it? I suppose you can glean something of the mechanics, but still.

    EDIT – and the most generic looking Raptor ever killing an Ultramarine with 2 swipes of a Chainsword to the chest also just looks wrong.

    • Carlos Danger says:

      If all they gave me was Space Marine with dedicated servers for MP I would be a happy camper. I just hope too much doesn’t get lost in translation from the MP game to an MMO.

      • Lemming says:

        It’s a good point. For what it’s worth, I’ve tweeted Relic/Sega about it since they’ve been showing the Dawn of War back catalogue some love, recently.

    • Calaros says:

      The Rhino killing another rhino with a storm bolter is really not that far from the realms of possibility; in the real world many APCs (and other light armoured vehicles) struggle to resist heavy machine gun fire, if at all. The technology level scales up in a scifi setting of course, but the precedent is there. If I remember correctly from when I used to play, a Rhino was AV10 on the sides and rear and a storm bolter was strength 4, so even in the board game it /could/ blow one up…

      Still though, I am with you in having some skepticism about this developer, but I want this to be successful enough to continue to have faith…

      • Wret says:

        I think going by the codex though(it’s been awhile and it’s late), a Storm Bolter lacks the Strength value to even glance a Rhino’s front plating. Especially not with the regularity shown there. Still, early alpha, probably just showing off “you can rotate and shoot vehicle weapons” since they probably don’t have any vehicle mounted AT weapons ready.

        • DekArosaro says:

          Íts an pre Alpha version, its here to test things.
          Because they have no anti vehicle in game so far, they have to use this.

          If you want to know more about the current state, you can look into the forum :D

  2. remon says:

    Is that marine captain the same as that warrior priest of Sigmar from the Mark of Chaos epic intro?

    • Geebs says:

      Whoever he is, his intercalated waistcoat/armour combo is totally bitchin’

  3. theRayDog says:

    Is anyone else slightly concerned by how the most complete looking parts of their game (the marine movement/shooting, jump packs) appear to be identical right down to the animations with Space Marine?

    • Kandon Arc says:

      I’m more concerned that they look worse to be honest.

      • ceriphim says:

        I’m so relieved, I was worried it would end up being another sloppy, weightless, twitchy GoW/Space Marine-hybrid over-the-shoulder shooter rather than an awesome and solid FPS true to the fluff.

        Oh, wait. Fuck. Fooled me again, GW licensing dept.

    • Bull0 says:

      Yeah, if anything the drop in quality makes me think they’ve more copied the Space Marine style than re-used it’s assets direct. :/ looks crummy

    • Volcanu says:

      Yup – what the guys above said.

      Space Marine’s animations are much better than these imo. These look like a poor imitation, but hopefully they are just early placeholders. The plunging overhead chainsword strike just looks plain daft and their doesn’t look to be enough ‘weight’ in the models and animations at present. Space Marine got that right at the very least.

    • Gamgee says:

      Considering one trailer says GREY BLOCK, a process in development where you block out a stage but don’t add any details (because your playing with the layout and would waste time and money colouring it many times). So they make the level and then add details later. I’m going to go out on a whim and say all of these were done for trailer purposes and not representative of the final game. It would be shooting themselves in the foot.

      However I expect it to not look as good as Space Marine for one reason. It’s an MMO, and you can’t cater to the PC powerful. You need a wide player base. So don’t expect it to look amazing.

    • Rindan says:

      Did you not see shit like GREY BLOCK all over the world? Anyone who judges the graphical quality at this point in development is just being daft. The Space Marines were all almost featureless, the movements jerky, etc. I don’t think I am going way out on a limb when I suggest that maybe, just maybe, these are place holders.

    • DekArosaro says:

      Well, its just came out of pre Production so yea..wait some months and see it in the beta not in the pre alpha :D

  4. shinkshank says:

    Man, all I want this to be is Planetside, but with Spess Mahreens. If that description even marginally fits the finished product, I will be a happy, happy man.

  5. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Wow. That IS early production stuff. While it’s nice not to see late beta stuff passed off as alpha for a change, right now they’ve got only marginally more than a whiteboard easel with SPACE MARINES written on it and circled repeatedly.

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      To be fair, that would be a pretty good place to start.

      • RedWurm says:

        Draw a giant skull below it and you’re basically ready for early access.

  6. Eebahgum says:

    Glad I waited to see footage. Money saved.

  7. TWChristine says:

    I had hopes when this was going to be a Warcrafty thing that I might get some Sisters of Battle, but if we’re going the Planetside route I imagine it’ll just be Space Marines vs Orks vs Chaos maybe?

    • bastard says:

      No Sororitas in the near future I’m afraid. So far it’s SM versus CSM versus Orks versus Eldar.
      Then under consideration for after the release are the Tau and the IG.

      • Rindan says:

        One would assume that Sororitas wouldn’t be there own side and just lumped into the same team as all the God-King fearing humans.

  8. bastard says:

    Woo, actually alpha footage. Not that fakey beta stuff, that’s supposedly alpha.
    Also to anybody whining about bolters taking down Rhinos:
    1. Rhinos are relatively lightly armored compared to other vehicles sharing the same chassis.
    2. Bolters fire bloody rockets. Although only Storm and Heavy Bolters are fully automatic though.

    • Bull0 says:

      Dunno where you’re getting that from; they’re rapid firing weapons in the rules, and frequently referred to as being automatic in the fluff. They fire self-propelling explosive shells, which penetrate a target and explode within, rather than ‘rockets’ that have multitudinous other characteristics they don’t share with bolt rounds.

    • Volcanu says:

      Besides fluff wise a bolster isn’t supposed to be able to chew through Rhino armour. Even in the tabletop the only way you could kill a Rhino with one would be firing into the rear armour and getting extremely lucky twice as it required a 6 to get a glancing hit and another 6 to destroy it. Which represents a very lucky shot. Not eating through its armour like butter.

      And you don’t know what bolters are if you think they fire rockets. Bull 0 has it right

  9. Nenjin says:

    This game has red flags all over it. Their initial pitch sounded pretty ambitious and time has not made it any less so. Plus, they’re wrenching pretty hard on monetization, to the point where it’s making MWO seems rather reasonable. Their desire to tie F2P griefers to their monetization scheme, and how pleased they were with themselves, left me feeling slightly queasy.

    And they will have a lot of tweaking to do in response to player behavior. Their pitch makes it seem like they’ve got it all figured out, but the numbers and time are probably way way off, as are what they think the average player will pay. (Their initial pitch was basically 100% directed at the whales of F2P games that blow hundreds of dollars on it. And the research has shown those people make up about 1 to 5% of a F2P game’s playerbase.)

    Grats to them if they can make it all work by end of 2015, but something tells me when that time comes there will be a lot left undone.

  10. Sic says:

    Am I going mental, or have they used the same model as the paladin guy in the intro for Mark of Chaos (which, incidentally, is the best cinematic in the history of gaming)?

  11. lowprices says:

    Man, both of today’s 40K stories have left me underwhelmed. Saddening stuff. On the other hand, I did get the not-great-but-worth-the-£2.50-I-paid Space Hulk in the sale, and I now own the entire Dawn of War saga, so I’m hardly bereft of 40K stuff. Every cloud, etc.

  12. gulag says:

    Wow. What’s a dev team to do?

    40k game footage too polished? No good! We demand actual in game footage!
    40k game footage not polished enough! No good! We can’t make any assessment until everything is finalised!

    As a young boy, I seem to recall hoping that the bears would eat Goldilocks…

    • lowprices says:

      Both complaints seem entirely consistent to me. We would like to see footage that represents the actual game we would be playing. Shiny cinematic footage shows what your game would be like if it was a film (which it isn’t), alpha footage makes your game look cheap and unfinished (and is only really worth showing if you are doing some kind of open development project, a la Nuclear Throne). Neither does a good job of communicating what the finished game will be.

  13. Daemoneyes says:

    Bonnikel uom ual crkelize mon-keighs

  14. czerro says:

    How come no one that understands the GW universes bothers to get ahold of the licenses? Let’s face facts, GW’s games are more driven by the artwork and world-building of the framework, than the kinda clunky and often broken and unbalanced gameplay. Someone needs to capture THAT aspect correctly…and every game gets it wrong. The art is over-wraught and over-gritty. Don’t reduce it to these clownish bits of ridiculous shoulder pads and goofy muzzle. The art of the game needs to be as over-wraught and intricate as the concept designs. Secondly, GW has probably the most comprehensive mythos of any platform…and yet none of these licensees want to take advantage of that. They seem to be utterly unaware of it. Space Hulk seemed like it could DO that, but failed. Why is this so hard to get? The mechanics suck. Forgo those when they don’t work in a PC game. It’s insane that developers are so entrenched in providing a 1:1 PC/Board experience, but focus on the elements that don’t translate, and lose the greater bit of the entire equation in the process. It isn’t right that there isn’t several huge franchises based in 40k or Warhammer that aren’t just toppling everything in every other genre: FPS, Strategy, RPG.

    It’s the saddest thing ever…