Waaagh! Dawn Of War 3 Rumblings/Hopings

At the very least, Relic are updating their Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War games to add Steam trading cards. That wouldn’t be too exciting. It’d be nice that they – and new publisher Sega, who picked the series up after THQ sank – still care about the series enough to do that, but it’s probably leading up to something, right? DoW 2 and all its gubbins are all on sale right now too.

Watchful eyes also noticed recently that Sega updated the long-held domain Dawnofwar3.com back in March. That isn’t at all conclusive, and I wouldn’t post either of these Dawn of War titbits by themselves, but together? Let’s dare to dream.

We know that Relic were definitely working on Dawn of War III years ago, and in June 2011 they were muttering about war galore and having “your own personal, custom army.” In the months that followed, though, Relic’s then-owner THQ shut several studios and killed several series as it tried desperately to stay afloat. The fate of Relic, let alone Dawn of War III, became uncertain. After THQ sank, Sega picked up Relic.

Relic have focused on Company of Heroes 2 in recent years, following up on its 2013 launch with a handful of multiplayer standalone expansions. Maybe they’ve been working secretly on Dawn of War III too.

The domain update means little by itself, mind. It’d only be sensible for Sega to sit on that, even if Relic aren’t working on Dawn of War III – they’d want to keep out domain squatters just in case. It’d seem strange if they abandoned Dawn of War, though, as it’s pretty great.

And they clearly aren’t abandoning Dawn of War. Last year, Relic stripped Games for Windows – Live out of Dawn of War II to replace it with Steamworks. Last week they added Steam trading cards to the first Dawn of War, then yesterday added them to Dawn of War II with steam chat emoticons, and profile backgrounds, and whatnot.

Couple that with the current Steam sale on DoW 2 – all 75% off, with a bundle of DoW 2, its expansion, and its expandalone for £9.99, or those plus The Last Standalone and reams of DLC for £13.49 – and one might think Sega are trying to stir a little excitement about the series. They could simply be trying to wring extra cash out of it, but it seems unlikely. I hope not, anyway. I do wonder what happened to Relic’s 40k license in all the mess but lawks, Games Workshop are hardly conservative with letting folks use it.

Gamescom in Germany in August is always a good place to announce a new strategy game. Just a suggestion, Sega.

62 Comments

  1. HeavyHarris says:

    I would be quite happy with a new Dawn of War which married the best aspects of the first and second games. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  2. Titler says:

    Just please, please Gork an’ Mork, no more trying to bodge together Dawn of War and MOBA gaming like DoW2 did; the original was perhaps one of the best RTS games ever, and a sequel could have been the closest we got to being able to play army sized battles without selling the internal organs of our families for unpainted plastic. I still have some of my epic replays for Dark Crusade, of 2+ hour battles of me against an entire enemy team of 4 players, where due to better economic management, clever base building and swapping production lines to shorten logistical trails as the battlefield changed, I was able to eke out a win over all 4…
    But where as DoW2 did some good things, like the eventually independent Last Stand game type, turning it into a hero focused button masher with virtually no battlefield level tactical meaning at all was a disaster… And now the players who love that kind of twitch based gameplay have an entire industry to cater for them, and it’s hard to see how a DoW3 can even think of competing there when DoW2 famously divided it’s own community at the start of the boom and so largely didn’t.
    If you’re reading this Sega, do something new and unique with the intellectual property! Maybe have dual scale battlefields, with Titans stomping around at one level and wee little Orkies goin’ WAAAGH beneath them.

    • DarkFenix says:

      I completely agree, DoW 1 remains one of my favourite games of all time, DoW 2 was a good game taken on its own merits but will forever be one of my greatest disappointments of all time.

      Frankly I want whoever thought up DoW 2’s changed design to piss off and die in a fire somewhere. Give me a sequel to DoW 1!

    • PancakeWizard says:

      I like me some classic RTS DoW style, but DoW2 was great for what it was, and it wasn’t anything to do with MOBA gaming *spits at the word*. It was a marriage of RTS/APRG. What I would like to see is a full sci-fi ARPG with similair mechanics (not 40k, though), and I’m surprised no one ever jumped on that opportunity.

      • PenguinJim says:

        DoW2 wasn’t a MOBA.

        Controlling a team of four enhanced super-soldiers through a non-linear mission path and upgrading your team between sorties?

        DoW2 was Syndicate.

    • Asurmen says:

      DoW2 gameplay doesn’t even slightly resemble MOBA gameplay.

      • Dawngreeter says:

        Maybe…

        Maybe MOBA is becoming shorthand for “I don’t like anything new since 1995”?

        • Titler says:

          Or maybe you could engage with the actual argument instead? A number of design decisions were made specifically to target the emerging MOBA market… which to be fair wasn’t then known as MOBA. Some of us were there at the time, you see, and know what they’re talking about. In particular, the changes included;

          * Dropping maximum number of players per team to 3, matching the standard
          * Converting Hero units from multiples per side to a single per faction.
          * Moving Heroes to much more central roles, along the lines of MOBA heroes. Upgrading already existed in DoW 1, but added the purchase of upgrades to the Hero itself instead of tech research buildings. Also the addition of out of game purchased Wargear so you could spec them before hand, just like in…
          * Simplifying maps, and this is the big one, adding Lanes just like the early MOBAs. Argus Gate is one of the most cited, and played maps for people who like their head to head Lane gameplay. Note the Wiki specifically mentions that feature.
          * Fixing the base in position, and giving them Turrets to defend them, just like a MOBA. The main difference is the turrets sit by the base rather than across the map like in a MOBA.
          * And here’s the next big one; Farming “Creeps” to level up. In DoW2 the majority of the game involves keeping your units alive so as not to “feed” your opponent. You can win a battle but lose the game simply because tactical deployments for the most part are irrelevant; giving levels to your enemy units is suicide.

          There are some differences of course; As I say, it was a horrible mish-mash of designs, rather than a pure grab at a pure MOBA. And I know you fans of that genre are sensitive souls and like to throw out pithy little comments about “you just don’t like MOBAs!”. No, I don’t really. And you still have huge numbers of games in that genre too, so what’s the problem? The problem for DOW 2 was that, outside of the very narrow audience that liked it’s spin on the genre, it just wasn’t that well liked online. Warhammer both in nature and audience just isn’t a MOBA sort of game.

          • Optimaximal says:

            A lot of these things you associate with MOBAs grew out of StarCraft and WarCraft 3, the latter which we know begat DOTA.

            Don’t rewrite history to make your point…

          • Dawngreeter says:

            Your actual argument, which I will now engage, is that some terminology and loosely connected features such as “letting units die is bad” constitute a MOBA design. This argument is, at best, hazy. What it actually is, though, is false as false can be. In fact, you sound like someone who wants every strategy game to be Dune 2 and every divergence from it is exactly the same, thus MOBA = DoW2. Yes, this is an uncalled for exaggeration on my part. Still closer to the truth than your MOBA argument, though.

            So, in response to your argument, which I engaged, I will say that not a single thing that you stated connects with my experience of the DoW2 game. I don’t play MOBAs because the experience I had with them doesn’t connect with me (sometimes I fell like I want to change this, but that’s beside the point). I played DoW2. Wasn’t particularly good at it, but I played it and I liked it. These two experiences are vastly, significantly, essentially different.

    • misterbung says:

      I quite liked the hero customisation in DoW2, but definitely missed the base building of 1.

      You know what I REALLY want though? A Warhammer 40k cum Battlezone game where I can build my base RTS style before hoping down and blowing away some orcs with my customised bolter. Oh lord that would be a beautiful thing.

  3. AriochRN says:

    It’d be nice if they also patched in some proper widescreen support for the first Dawn of War

    • PancakeWizard says:

      I agree, but fair is fair the updates it’s had in the last 2 years were kind of a bonus.

    • geisler says:

      If you aren’t afraid of some minor hex editing, DOW can be played widescreen and at whatever resolution you want in a matter of minutes: link to wsgf.org

      • AriochRN says:

        Aye, I’ve seen that before but it looks like a stretchy sideways solution. Are the graphics in the game window at the correct aspect ratio or do all the units just become chubbier?

        • geisler says:

          No they are not, and the UI doesn’t scale well if you force it through just the .ini edit, hence the need for hex editing. But it really isn’t a bother, just take 5 minutes and follow the instructions, and the game renders perfectly in widescreen resolutions (i’ve played it on 2560×1440 myself about a year ago).

          • geisler says:

            Didn’t realize your question was about “after” you apply the hex edits. To clarify: yes, after above linked adjustments, everything is in correct ratio, and renders as it should.

          • AriochRN says:

            Cheers, I shall give it a go when I finish my current 90’s game binge and move into my noughties phase

  4. Dawngreeter says:

    I loved DoW2. I loved DoW too, but DoW2 was closer to the heart. I would love to see DoW3.

    • sebmojo says:

      “You didn’t expect to ~survive~ this, did you?”

      “… No. No, I suppose I did not.”

    • Skeletor68 says:

      I felt the same way. Really enjoyed the DoW 2 campaign. Apologies for the heresy (I can’t remember the unit names) but the feedback on that machinegun ability from the mechaman was just THUMPY GOODNESS.

    • slerbal says:

      Agreed. I enjoyed DoW but Dawn of War 2 was much more enjoyable and far closer to the setting and miniatures game. The base building aspects of RTSs were never very appropriate to a universe where tech is a mix of archaeology and heresy. The story in Chaos Rising was surprisingly good and I loved the alternate endings.

      Some evolution of DoW2 would be awesome, assuming GW doesn’t nuke the 40k setting as well as the Warhammer setting….

      • CraftyBanana says:

        I can’t imagine that they will, given that 40k is their money-spinner. To extent, I understand why they felt the need to make such a drastic change with their fantasy line, but man…the loss of the Old World, and the hollow thing that’s replaced it, makes me genuinely sad.

        The tag line for 40k has always been ‘Only War!’, but in Age of Sigmar it seems like this is literally true. Set in the realms of magic, humans dead, worshipping Chaos or transformed into immortal warrior-angels. In a mad quest to ensure they can copyright everything in the line, GW have destroyed everything that made it distinctive. They’ve left a setting with no room for a smuggler sneaking into a city dock at midnight, her lantern picking out a path through the fog. No room for a mad genius Nuln engineer with burnt eyebrows and grease-stained fingers. No room for a rat-catcher with his small but vicious dog.

        No room for people, in sort.

        And ultimately, with no room for me.

  5. PearlChoco says:

    Now would be the perfect time to announce DoW3. With SC2 LotV almost among us, RTS fans have NOT A SINGLE GAME to look forward to.

    • RedViv says:

      [Somewhere in Paris, a Eugen Systems programmer twitches involuntarily, thoughts racing to committing an act of aggression unto whoever caused this twitch.]

  6. Kurokawa says:

    If this will be yet another new 40k game (provided it will be one at all) focusing solely on friggin space marines in its singleplayer, I WILL send my phantom lords through the warp to trample the flowers in whoever-made-that-decision’s garden!

    • Dawngreeter says:

      Imperium is the center of WH40K universe, and Space Marines are the gamey-est aspect of the Imperium. Is it really odd that most stories focus on them?

      • bleeters says:

        Well no, but there are just so many other and/or more interesting factions out there to play with. It doesn’t really help that whenever Space Marines turn up in a Dawn of War game they’re either Ultramarines or Blood Ravens, neither of which are especially interesting.

        • Dawngreeter says:

          Well, Blood Ravens were specifically created for Dawn of War so.. you know…

          • bleeters says:

            I know, but it’s not as if they were contract bound to create a chapter that wasn’t particularly noteworthy. They’re just a small chapter of bog standard marines with no apparent unique tactical strengths or adverse gene seed complications beyond a supposed high number of psykers, something that isn’t really discernible unless you read loading screens in DoW2. Which is fine, but not something that’s going to get me flustered at the thought of more of it.

          • Dawngreeter says:

            The high number of psychers is a design goal to make them prone to interacting with Chaos easily. Which is where they get their flavor from. Dark Angels took it a bit farther, but theirs is a story of treachery. Blood Ravens don’t have treachery, they have “power corrupts” themes, edging close to corruption for the sake of doing good, etc. Which is what Chaos Rising is chiefly about, but the theme is not limited to just that campaign.

          • bleeters says:

            But it’s not like you run into this abnormally high number of psykers, is my point. There’s, like, four in every game combined. And they’re librarians such, which makes them entirely unsuspicious. It’s not as if your standard marine characters ever exhibit it.

        • Optimaximal says:

          That’s due to GW licensing – they allowed Relic to roll their own Adeptus Astartes with the understanding they can do what they want with them, providing they don’t step on the canon factions.

          On the other hand, GW let most people use the Ultramarines because they’re essentially generic – they don’t have any specific or distinguishing traits like pretty much every other faction.

        • mattevansc3 says:

          But those factions are fun and interesting because they are alien. While the Eldar, Tau, Orks, Necrons and Tyranids have some grounding in Earthern cultures or fantasy tropes over the decades GW has worked to expand their cultures so that with every new bit of information it either adds new questions or further distances them from ourselves.

          This of course makes roleplaying them difficult, either the player has to bend their mind to understand these alien cultures or the alien cultures have to be humanised to assist our understanding. The Tau, which are arguably the most human, are hard to understand. Its a melting point of negatively drawn cultures forged into one positive culture. They are a North Korean dictatorship mixed with a feudal caste system that is equal parts fascism and communism yet they are the closest WH40K has too “good guys” yet by our standards they should be the most despicable of them all.

          Space Marines are easy to understand. They are warrior monks who’s sole purpose is to defend the human race against all odds. Chaos corruption is really the only thing that can cause them not to adhere to this path. They are also one of the more direct armies. There’s the enemy, there’s their weakspot, hit them hard and fast, move on to the next target. Rinse and repeat until either the enemies of humanity are dead or you are.

          • bleeters says:

            I suppose, though ‘good guys who by our standards would be despicable’ applies pretty aptly to the Imperium in general and the Space Marines most of the time too. They can and do wipe out entire planets.

    • FlipMooMonkey says:

      To be fair, they did that for Firewarrior and the response wasn’t great. They’re probably leery of getting their fingers burnt in a similar fashion.

      • FlipMooMonkey says:

        That said, I wouldn’t say no to something like Revengeance with a howling banshee/striking scorpion exarch (or thinking about it further a Callidus assassin), but only AFTER they make me a god damn mass effect style Inquisitor rpg.

  7. Volcanu says:

    I’m a big fan of both DoW I and DoW II, So I hope they can find some way to marry the best aspects of both together. Whether that’s having small scale ‘hero’ side missions, or just having the extra customisation for special characters in the bigger battles I’m not quite sure.

    On balance, I probably slightly prefer DoW I as its closer to the scale I want from 40k on a computer and in my opinion the setting was always at its best during the big ‘campaign’ events like the Third War for Armageddon etc. That said I’m always a bit baffled by how many people shout “bring back base building” in comments on the series. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy building a sprawling base in some RTS games, but DoW was always a very limited take on this anyway (i.e. few building choices, a limit on how many you could build, buildings were quick to produce) and was always very much focussed on forcing you to contest the map and get in enemies faces. Honestly, if I want to scratch the base building itch then I’d play SupCom instead.

    Besides it always felt wrong from a ‘fluff’ perspective to have Space Marines operating from a little base with unit producing structures and so on. Same goes for Eldar, Dark Eldar and so on. Admittedly Relic did make some effort to justify the structures- having vehicles dropped off via Thunderhawk or Eldar units arrive through a webway gate, but it still felt a touch off.

    Anyway, Id happily wave goodbye to base building and keep the customisation, characterisation and smart tactical play from DoW 2 but go back to the larger scale of DoW 1 with a Dark Crusade style campaign with all handcrafted maps, with multiple objectives (like the stronghold missions from DC).

    • Titler says:

      ” and was always very much focussed on forcing you to contest the map and get in enemies faces.”

      And you can do that a lot quicker if your construction buildings are near the enemies faces so your reinforcements have shorter distance to walk.

      What separated a decent player from an awesome one was that the awesome player would not only be aware of superior logistics, but could use the buildings to draw the enemy into traps using turrets or other buildings blocking movement (with dakka dakka hid behind it where they couldn’t get be forced into melee easily, say, if your opponent had not bothered building Assault jumpers), or turn around a losing situation because the decent player wasn’t thinking about the entire map, and was so focused on killing endless waves of completely free Moar Sluggaz! I didn’t care about, that they didn’t notice a set of Flash Gitz was wrecking their own base.

      I remember one amazing game where I went from having only a half completed Boyz Hut keeping me in game, and a single squad of cloaked Gretchin trying to avoid being found and shot, to beating the entire team again because I knew the value of building bases faster than they could (or would) find them and blow them up. Because I was fighting the actual war, not trying to win individual battles.

      I uploaded all my Dark Crusade replays a few years back here, if you want to see proof of what I mean.

      Where as in DoW 2 it all came down to your ability to micro manage heroes. And once you’d lost the initial fight, like in any MOBA, it’s just an unequal grind from there to the finish line. I got my Orks in DoW2 to Rank 60 so I played it a fair bit too, but I had maybe one or two games where actual thought was involved, and only then because my opponent threw the game away by falling for the “oh my poor army is going to get butchered” lure rather than watching the state of the map itself and allowing me to hold them off the Victory Points for just long enough.

      And that’s fine if you like your games like MOBAs, and to be all about twitch skill and metagaming. But the original DoW was wonderful because it got both the CHOP DEM INNA FACE and wider sense of the virtues of the Real Time STRATEGY model down perfectly.

      • Volcanu says:

        I should probably have mentioned in my post that I was talking primarily about the single player campaign experience (and my hopes for what a DoW 3 campaign would be like).

        Multiplayer was something I only ever dabbled in on both titles, so am prepared to concede that the nuances of base building matter more in PvP.

        • slerbal says:

          I heartily recommend playing the DoW2 campaign in coop mode. It is great fun :)

      • Asurmen says:

        You had to micromanage everything, not just heroes and I wouldn’t say you micro managed them anymore than in DoW.

  8. Monggerel says:

    Um. Yes. Quite. Waagh indeed. The emprah protects. Zeal and fury are rewarded with empty platitudes.

  9. Gyro says:

    epic plz

  10. Chiron says:

    I hope its like the Wargame series because seriously, kick ass vehicles, plus unit cards, plus limited force selection, plus 40k is my dream game.

    It probably won’t be, it’ll be a fairly standard RTS like the others and I’ll be bored of it within a few minutes

  11. XhomeB says:

    Agree with some of the sentiments here – more like DoW1, less like 2. DoW2 was, quite frankly, repetitive as all heck, all missions were the same and small scale battles just stopped being satisfying quickly.
    Had DoW2 been a turn-based squad game (see WH40K:Chaos Gate), it would have been infinitely better. As an RTS, it was simply mediocre.

  12. DompR says:

    I would say let’s hope, but hope is the first step towards disappointment.

    In all seriousness, it would be great if the series didn’t die. Personally I preferred the second game, the first one didn’t veer far enough mechanically from standard RTS tropes (though I remember the fact that buildings don’t just get built by a single guy with a hammer as breath of fresh air). A marriage of Dark Crusade’s campaign and location variety with the mechanics and story quality of Chaos Rising would be something I’d happily throw money/psykers at.

    As long as trying to quit will still be greeted by COWARDS DIE IN SHAME!

  13. lglethal says:

    Alright, I’m going to be the blasphemer here.

    Can I get DoW3 as a turn based strategy game please? You know actually give me Warhammer 40k as a computer game.

    Thanks. I appreciate it… Wait whats that? You’re afraid it will cost you sales if people dont need to buy the miniatures to have a game of 40k? Well you know I’m not buying any miniatures (now or in the foreseeable future), but a computer game of 40k. I would buy that… hint hint wink wink…

    • Volcanu says:

      Have you tried WH40k Armageddon? Its a turn based 40k game in the Panzer Corps mould. Its good, solid fun – albeit not spectacular.

      I often wonder how well a true virtual replication of 40k would actually work. As a lapsed player I do see the appeal but lets face it, 40k has never been the most balanced or even THAT strategic as a game. I cant help but wonder if the random factors might annoy rather than be part of the charm when its virtual dice rolls. Still, Id definitely but into it if GW ever did it (which they wont).

      Id LOVE a modern successor to Chaos Gate too. That was a fantastic X-COM alike and I still play it every couple of years. If you can find an old copy on ebay you’ d almost certainly enjoy it

      • XhomeB says:

        Man, they’re making a huge mistake by not releasing Armageddon on GOG at a decent pricepoint. It kind of got released on Steam and then immediately ignored.

        • Volcanu says:

          Yeah the price point is ludicrous. I actually got it on ipad which is much more reasonably priced at £15…

    • XhomeB says:

      Blasphemer? The more TB WH40K games, the better, I’d love to play solid spiritual successors to Chaos Gate or Final Liberation.
      When I was playing DoW2, I kept murmuring to myself: “this could actually be a pretty cool turn based game in the vein of Chaos Gate”. And I stand by that statement. DoW2 was boring, because it was an overly simplified RTS.

  14. mandrill says:

    What I have wanted to know for years is when is there going to be an Epic scale 40k game? (Mods don’t count)

    One helmed by Creative Assembly for preference.

    I want to crush millions of Orks beneath the feet of my Imperator titan, and send Squat Behemoths rolling over hapless Eldar.

    40k deserves bigger than the piddly little squad based DOW2, which I think they went in the wrong direction with.

    • Asurmen says:

      They simply went with the more popular version that has at least current rules. Not exactly surprised.

      • mandrill says:

        Rules? DOW and DOW2 have _very_ little to do with the rules of the tabletop game. The setting and factions, yes, the rules? No.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          I think he might mean that 40k is more popular, and the rules are more current, than Epic, so it would make for a more popular game. I’d prefer an Epic scale game too, though. To relive my mega-gargant days.

          • Asurmen says:

            Precisely this. The fact that they’re producing new rules for 40K means it’s the one they want people thinking about, and not that the games are based on the rules. It’s why we probably won’t see a Necromunda game (although that there’s a Mordheim and Battlefleet Gothic games does give hope)

          • mandrill says:

            They don’t need to call it ‘Epic’ (most of the younglings wouldn’t know what that meant in this context anyway) It’s just the setting of 40k at the scale of Total War. Call it ’40k: Total War’ if you like.

            The same factions that are current to 40k, but at a MAAHOOOSSSIIIVEE scale. Superheavies, Titans, _Thousands_ of troops, and a galaxy in flames.

            It doesn’t need to refer to ‘Epic’ at all from a marketing standpoint.

            I basically want Supreme Commander with 40k clothes on.

          • Asurmen says:

            Problem with that is branding.

  15. fuggles says:

    In Dow1 mod news, blood Angels is going well and witch hunters may finally have an announcement…

  16. Radiant says:

    I kind of really love Dawn of War 2.