Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War 3 Shows Off Eldar

Everything we’ve seen and played of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III [official site] so far has focused on those corpse-worshipping spacethugs, the Space Marines. Now let’s class this joint up. Relic have started gabbing about the Eldar, the spaceelf dandies who are going extinct because they proper cocked everything up but still make time to look good. Also, they make mechs for ghosts to live in. Have a peep:

Yes, that is meant to be silent and a weird resolution – they’re wee clips made for the website.

Anyway, what are the Eldar up to in Dawn of War III? The usual! The blurb says:

“The Eldar are the last of an ancient civilization that once ruled the Galaxy. With fearsome psychic powers, sophisticated technology, and Battle Focus shielding, the Eldar are fighting for their ongoing survival as they use hit-and-run tactics to strike the enemy with speed and fury, before falling back to regenerate for the next calculated assault.

“Farseer Macha is a powerful psyker and veteran of countless battles. Serving on the Biel-Tan Craftworld, Macha is striving to find a way to avert the extinction of her people. A goal that will soon put her tumultuous history with Gabriel Angelos to the test once more.”

You might remember Macha from the first Dawn of War, where she teamed up with the Blood Ravens hero Angelos a bit but mostly he kept dicking about and releasing demons because oooh Space Marines think they’re so clever and nothing can go wrong because their dad will come save them. Anyway! This page says a little about her abilities in Dawn of War III, and will say more about the rest of the Eldar units as this big ol’ revealathon continues.

It’s the third faction I most want to meet: the Orks. I love those lads.


  1. Sigvatr says:

    Sound doesn’t work in the video for me :|

    • Solidstate89 says:


      Yes, that is meant to be silent and a weird resolution – they’re wee clips made for the website.

  2. DarkFenix says:

    From that video it looks very much like DoW3 really is just a MOBA where you have to build the trash units yourself, where the emphasis is on making your special snowflake hero(es) shoot lasers from their eyes and do backflips.

    • Danarchist says:

      This is actually a predecessor to MOBA called “RTS”. They were very popular but lacked the insults and rampant dickishness the modern gamer craves. You young whiper snappers do not know what you missed out on…..I am out of vespen gas indeed.

      • SaintAn says:

        Actually, this does look like a large scale MOBA instead of an RTS. If you need my RTS credentials my first RTS was the Cossacks 1 demo I stole out of a magazine in a grocery store and played probably a hundred hours of just the demo.

        • subedii says:

          Are we really playing this game? Your “credentials”?

          Fine then. My credentials are that I started off with RTS’s with Dune II. Back in 1993.

          Now that that completely irrelevant bit is out of the way:

          – I don’t have an issue with MOBA’s to begin with. They have some good design ideas…

          – …Which may be why DoW2 had vastly MORE of a MOBA influence than anything they’ve showed off with DoW3…

          – Which between massively upscaled battle sizes (watching the SP campaign looks larger than a DoW2 3v3 in scale), re-introduced basebuilding, and de-emphasis of the hero units, really does look more RTS than MOBA.

          But still, let’s think about a lot of the defining aspects of a MOBA. I mean:

          Creeps? Not present.

          Lanes? Who knows, that will depend on the map, but even most old RTS games I played had popular maps that were lane based.

          Items? I’m not even sure there’s selectable wargear for the heroes anymore, or if it’s there, certainly not to any kind of degree it was in DoW2 (which in itself was far below anything you’d see in something like Dota).

          Team based as opposed to 1v1 emphasis? Again, that was DoW2’s thing (which they gradually de-emphasised as the expansions rolled on). Again, who knows what this game’s going to be like, we haven’t seen any multiplayer. However if I were to throw my hat in, I’d be betting pretty hard on 1v1 being the main focus around which they’re balancing, mainly because of the army sizes in play.

          About the only thing I’m really getting is “hero units” and those have been around since DoW1 (and if we’re getting technical, way before then as well).

          • SaintAn says:

            My credentials are better than yours. Your comment is now invalid.

        • subedii says:

          If you say.

          Now would you care to discuss the points raised, or shall I just presume you were never interested?

      • DarkFenix says:

        I’ve been playing RTS games for a little over 20 years and have disliked MOBAs since before they were a ‘thing’. Now MOBAs have buggered off to make their own copy-paste formulaic genre, I wish they’d stay the hell out of RTS. Maybe if you want to be patronising you can go and hang out with those “young whippersnappers”, birds of a feather and all that.

        • Asurmen says:

          Well, when this actually starts to look anything like a MOBA, I’ll let you know so you can start to moan how they’re infecting RTS games.

    • Goldeneye says:

      1. The original Dawn of War had powerful hero units as well: DoW1’s Force Commander was the unit that called in *orbital bombardments*, and don’t get me started on Farseers and their Eldritch Storm. Dawn of War has always had powerful heroes as part of its gameplay, and DoW3 is no different.
      2. Building and controlling squads of units is a trademark of MOBA’s now? A MOBA is distinct from RTS by the fact that you can only control a single unit. If you’re also responsible for creating and controlling other units, then it’s no longer a MOBA, but an RTS.

  3. SupahSpankeh says:


    Looks more and more like a man-made reskin of SC2 with every video. Those dual sword melee things look very Protoss.

    I know, 40k inspired SC and blizzard/gw history, but thematically this isn’t looking very 40K.

    • Hunchback says:

      Fans made DOTA, based on an RTS by Blizzard. Valve made DOTA2, based on DOTA1. Blizzard made HoTS based of DOTA2.

      Fans made TF1, based on an FPS by Valve. Valve made TF2, based on TF1. Blizzard made Overwatch, based on TF2.

      And the beat goes on…

      • DarkFenix says:

        This is all true, but SC evolved in a distinctly different direction to 40k. Seeing a 40k game apparently unashamedly emulating SC2 and ‘insert generic MOBA here’ is a sad day indeed.

        • Asurmen says:

          I really wish people would say how this looks like SC2, because it really doesn’t.

          • SupahSpankeh says:

            > double power sword Protoss units
            > No retreat mechanic ala tabletop and DoW II
            > Unit health pips like SC2

          • Asurmen says:

            Double power sword Protos units? Nope. Not present. Two swords that glow blue held in the hand of a Wraithguard is like a power blasé from.the wrist of a Zealot how exactly?

            Retreat? Might be implemented yet. It’s lack doesn’t make it like SC2 though.

            Health bar? Seriously?!

            Talk about grasping at straws.

    • Goldeneye says:

      @Supah Spunkeh:
      1. StarCraft did not invent dual sword wielding.
      2. The original Dawn of War didn’t have a retreat mechanic either.
      3. StarCraft didn’t invent unit health pips either. In fact, health pips like that are more a generic RTS staple, and definitely can’t be pinned down to just StarCraft alone.

      • subedii says:

        Yeah the complaints about how it’s now Starcraft are seemingly related to fairly generic RTS concepts.

        I mean let’s presume that unit pips were invented by Starcraft. I mean I’m still not seeing what specifically makes that a problem or an issue there. It seems like about as relevant a complaint as “units can be selected by click-drag”.

        • Einsammler says:

          This wouldn’t happen to be a World of Warcraft clone, would it?!

  4. Creeping Death says:

    There is something very unappealing to me about this game going back to just 3 playable races. Maybe its knowing that the races I care about will inevitably get added in future expansions and I just can’t be passed with that whole song and dance anymore.

    I’ve also thought that, since seeing it at release, the scale of this game looks so small considering its the one that adds titans.

    I wonder if relic will ever make an RTS as good as coh1 again.

    • DarkFenix says:

      I have to wonder whether the same talent that gave us DoW1 and CoH1 is even at the company any more. DoW2 was arguably a decent game but it was certainly no sequel to DoW1, and the less said about CoH2 the better I suspect…

    • Asurmen says:

      It’s almost like you’ve never heard of the idea of keeping races back from reveal…

      You can complain about only three races when it’s released, and not now.

      • Creeping Death says:

        They confirmed when they originally revealed the game that it would be space marines, eldar, and ork. So how about you drop the condescension?

        • Mokinokaro says:

          They also only talked about the campaign.

          A lot of the early promo stuff hinted at necrons. I suspect they’ll in as the main antagonist and (hopefully) playable in MP.

        • Asurmen says:

          And yet my point still stands, because they’ve done that before, and they’ll do it again.

          Not condescension when the argument is invalid.

      • Hunchback says:

        Oh come on, you know very well what will happen with races, dlcs and stuff. We ain’t in the 00s anymore.

  5. Thurgret says:

    It continues to look a bit rubbish. :(

    Why is everything just lining up and shooting at everything else like some pike and shot engagement? Where’s the cover? Why does so much of it look like cardboard cutouts? Have they just not got round to animating properly yet?

    • Goldeneye says:

      If you played the original Dawn of War, aka the game that came out in 2004, then you’d see that DoW3 more or less plays out the same way: units standing out in the open shooting at each other.

      link to youtube.com

      DoW3 is more or less just going back to how the battles of the original game were, instead of the more Company of Heroes-like gameplay of DoW2.

    • Railway Rifle says:

      “Where’s the cover?”

      It’s Warhammer 40,000. Sensible tactics are for the weak.

      • mouton says:

        Next thing we know they will demand helmets on the heads of our glorious officers or suggest that engaging in hand-to-hand combat is a bad idea when you get tanks.

  6. subedii says:

    Man I just cannot get these complaints anymore. There are literally people simultaneously complaining that it’s become too much like a MOBA and too much like Starcraft 2 at the same time.

    I think my big issue with all the complaints is that DoW1 and 2 were already very different styles of RTS, and there are two primary camps simultaneously lamenting how crap it is that Relic have moved away from whichever one was their preferred iteration, as opposed to see whether the mechanics might fit the overall design in context (which in itself, is something we’d only really be in a position to judge when the beta hits).

    The so-called MOBA complaints especially. To be blunt, DoW2 was already HEAVILY influenced by MOBA design (but did its own thing with it), and this game appears to be, if anything, moving away from that towards the larger scale battles of DoW1, and de-emphasising hero unit micro (whilst still keeping them important).

    • Goldeneye says:

      Well said subedii.

      Most people who complain about DoW3 don’t realize that its gameplay as currently shown was pretty much how the original Dawn of War played, and I couldn’t care less about the graphics or high-jumping Terminator Angelos as long as the gameplay is good. Hell, even the much vaunted DoW3 cover system of shields, is actually more a modernized iteration of DoW1’s craters, given that they’re both circular areas that protect any units inside them, and that most of the combat occurs in out in the open like the majority of other RTS games anyway.

      I’m really just holding out for an expansion featuring the Imperial Guard at this point, because DoW3’s focus on larger armies is more ideal for them than what DoW2:Retribution tried to do. Also, I hope they bring back Basilisks, those were my favorite IG unit in Winter Assault and Dark Crusade (apart from the Baneblade).

    • mouton says:

      DoW2 was not a fukken MOBA. If anything, it was closer to ARPGs, with its leveling, equipment, color-coded loot. Behavior of AI-controlled units was certainly RTS style, with a high variety, autonomy and full map mobility.

      • subedii says:

        If we’re talking singleplayer, definitely hewed closer to ARPG.

        Multiplayer though? Sorry, but it’s pretty much undeniable. Heroes of Newearth in particular (which the devs themselves were constantly gushing about at the time) appears to have been a hefty influence.

        The multiplayer was primarily designed and balanced around 3v3’s (down to having a team mechanic where allied commanders could revive yours for free), with very heavy emphasis on hero units (3 per faction, and lots of wargear which DRASTICALLY changed how any one hero would play. Also sub-commanders and tier 3 mega units) and smaller army sizes (anything larger would have been very hard for systems to cope with in a 3v3).

  7. Duke Flipside says:

    Not sure I’m a fan of the mech animations (you can see Wraithguard/Wraithlords/Wraithknights and Dreadnoughts in the above); they’re too fluid, just like the squishy units – there’s no sense of being a big lumbering death machine :(

    • ElementalAlchemist says:

      That fits perfectly for poncy Eldar. If you want stompy, smashy mech units, you’ll have to wait for the Orks.

  8. Asurmen says:

    My only complaint is the animations don’t look like any of the units have weight or momentum. Wraithguard, Dreadnaughts and SM should not look lie they’re floating.

    Every other complaint I’ve heard has zero merit.

  9. Cerulean Shaman says:

    Damn Biel-Tan. Crazies that always charge forward and never wanna look behind them. That’s why my Iyanden bros left them to themselves (and then got raped by the Tyranids).