WH40K: Dawn of War 3 adding Dawn of War-ier modes

Relic Entertainment say they’ve been listening to what players think of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3 [official site] since its launch almost seven weeks ago, and they’re going to make some changes. They’re adding new multiplayer modes they say are closer to the first Dawn of War, which will “challenge you to wipe out every last Waaagh Tower and Webway Gate to earn that victory screen.” They’re also reintroducing buildable turrets through Doctrines, for turtlefolk. Hey, don’t look at me: they say this is what you wanted. These won’t replace the the old multiplayer modes, sitting alongside ’em. Look for the launch in a free update next week.

“[. . .] we’re proud of the innovations we’ve made within the genre, and we think the game is full of potential,” Relic said in yesterday’s statement.

“But… we’re humans who have the internet. We know there are lots of you who don’t feel the same way. That matters. We make these games for you, and we need you in order to keep making games.

“Dawn of War III was meant to reunite our Dawn of War and Dawn of War II fans with a bombastic, action-RTS packed with incredible heroes, giant space lasers, and whole, new planets made of things that go BOOM. While we’ve checked those boxes, it’s clear that those weren’t the only things that you were looking for. So, what now?”

Well, they haven’t revealed the full plan but they will start by adding Annihilation modes.

Annihilation Classic will require players to destroy all their opponent’s core structures to win, rather than just their Power Core. Accompanying it will be ‘Annihilation with Defenses’ mode, which starts players with several turrets already up on the map – “buying you more time to build up your army”, Relic say. Annihilation modes will work on all maps.

As for buildable turrets, they’ll be a Doctrine available across all multiplayer modes (not the campaign) and given free to all players without a need to pay the ‘Skull’ virtuacoins.

This update is due next Tuesday, June 20th. It’ll also bring a new map, Mortis Vale, and free new skins for the Imperial Knight Paladin, Wraithknight, and Gorkanaut.

Relic do have more plans to rework and improve Dawn of War 3, but they’re not talking about those yet.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I loved DoW and DoW2, despite how different they were from one another.

    I played DoW 3 for maybe an hour.

    I dunno. Just wasn’t fun. I’d offer more interesting feedback if I had it, but I just don’t.

    • Eightball says:

      Yup, I think the compromise between the two managed to be worse than both.

      • Hackett says:

        I’m still playing Dow1 with my friends, I’ve played Dow3 during Pre-Beta and Beta, but Dow3 failed to deliver. New updates maybe will help.
        But who’s great idea was it again, adding a game mode with pre-built turrets? Why stop here? Let’s make pre-made gates as well, and also, space marines could spawn from the barracks every two minutes and attack the enemy turrets while our hero unit could help them, gain XP and level up! And you could add camps too! When you have done it, call it Heroes of the Storm, it’s almost there now.

    • Ariakkan says:

      I finished all of DoW 1 and 2 with all expansions. Pretty good damn games for a Warhammer 40k fan. DoW3 I played for a couple of hours and is currently uninstalled from my drive.
      For me the biggest pain point is the removal of the cover system. Its what made Relic RTS a marvellous niche and set them apart from the mindless Starcraft RTS nonsense.Putting a magical bubble and expect gamers to be fine with it is ridiculous. I really hope they fired the guy that proposed the idea.

      • Premium User Badge

        Drib says:

        The removal of the cover system (especially destroyable cover, and created cover from barrages) removed a tremendous amount of dynamism from the maps.

        Now, nothing changes. The map is always the same.

        Before, if an opponent seemed to enjoy holding an area that was fortified, drive tanks through! Blow it up! Now the cover is worse, and it’s harder to hold!

        Now they just retake the shield bubble, and back you go.

        The terrain doesn’t even look much different after sustained battle.

        It’s just such a step backward.

      • Harmless Sponge says:

        This is me too, Drib on the money. The worst part for me is that I *really* want to go back to it, but then I sit in front of my PC and ask why, and I can’t find a reason.

        I did however boot up DOW2 again and enjoyed it. It’s feels as though it has got weight, where your marines are powerhouses with heavy weapons instead of paper people spitting gravel at people in a line in an open field.

        And christ Asurmen we get it, you didn’t like DOW2.

        • Vayra says:

          I honestly don’t understand the criticism on DoW 3.

          It looks amazing, it runs butter smooth, and the gameplay is surprisingly deep once you get to grips with it.

          The learning curve however, is super steep. Similar to Starcraft really, or Warcraft 3, which DoW 3 is very much similar to – much more so than it being similar to a MOBA like everyone is parroting about. This is a game of heavy micro and rock-paper-scissors and if you ever thought it is similar to pushing the lanes like we do in DOTA, well, educate yourself abit more.

  2. Sp4rkR4t says:

    One step in the right direction, about 10,000 more to go.

  3. Eleven says:

    DoW 3 is now significantly less popular than both the Company of Heroes games in terms of players per day, that’s got to be embarrassing.

    DoW 3 was not a bad game, but I felt like the wrong audience for it. I really enjoyed the DoW2/Chaos Rising single player, but DoW3 really wants you to ignore the campaign and start streaming your 1v1s on Twitch.

  4. gtb says:

    Man, sales must have hurt for them to be doing this already. I wonder how shocked they were that apparently nobody wanted another MOBA. Like.. how were we to know? It’s a completely untapped market!

    • Sian says:

      Man, am I getting sick of people parroting the idea that DoW3 is a MOBA. It simply isn’t. The fact that you’re commanding an army instead of a single hero alone is enough to show that, but let’s add to that:
      – Despite popular opinion, there are no more lanes in this game than in other strategy games. There are chokepoints, certainly.
      – Consequently, there is no jungle and there are no neutral mobs, including bosses.
      – There are no minions.
      – There is no shop and no equivalent to one that lets you improve your characters during a match.
      – Hero units have all their abilities unlocked as soon as you call them onto the field, and the abilities can’t be leveled up.
      – Unlike most MOBAs, DoW 3’s multiplayer can be played 1v1, and teams go up to 3v3 at most.
      – And finally the one that people base this silly idea upon: Defensive structures. Of the three tiers you have to destroy, exactly one can fight back. There is also little incentive to destroy more than one set of them, as no extra minions spawn to help you push when you’ve destroyed the last one. Even if I grant you this one, defensive structures alone don’t make a game a MOBA.

      The game doesn’t interest me enough to actually play it, but for fornication’s sake: It’s an RTS, not a MOBA.

      • Seth_Keta says:

        Sian, I think that you may be looking at the game from a different perspective than others when they accuse it of being a MOBA. I feel that Dawn of War 3 is an RTS that borrows heavily from the MOBA genre, and the game suffers heavily for it.

        In Dawn of War 1 and 2 you could micromanage your forces, but it wasn’t vitally necessary to have fun. In Dawn of War 3 they have built the game to rely heavily on micromanaging your forces. This is similar to StarCraft in that you need a high APM to be competitive in Dawn of War 3, but not DoW 1/2.

        That isn’t exactly similar to a MOBA, but this is the point at which it starts to gain similarities. The way I describe Dawn of War 3 to most prospective players is: Imagine you’re playing League of Legends in 3v3 mode, except that you’re playing as all three heroes, as well as the minions.

        DoW 3 may not have lanes, but there are very clear paths in the map that could be viewed as lanes. Heroes may not have to level up, but they are functionally similar in that they’re exceptional units and have abilities that can have a large impact on the battle. Your forces are effectively minions because they’re very weak compared to your heroes and they’re meant to be disposable as they don’t last long vs anything. Finally, the amount of micromanagement you need to utilize all of your abilities mirrors the amount of attention required for a MOBA. Just now you have to split it between three heroes and an army of gumbies.

        • gtb says:

          This. No, it isn’t 100% a MOBA, but the end result is something that plays an awful lot like a MOBA. On a scale between say, Command and Conquer or Starcraft one one end, and LoL or DOTA on the other end, DoW3 shares a lot more characteristics with the MOBA side than the other.

        • Asurmen says:

          Sorry, but you had to have high APM in 1 and 2 to remain competitive. Anyone who simply grouped up and attacked lost. You had to micro. More so in 2 than 1 given nearly every unit had an active ability and the importance of heroes.

          That instantly defeats your point.

        • LagTheKiller says:

          U man u see those imperial guard any infantry? Then throw a plague grenade. In dow3 evrything got wiping skills. Infantry jumps are off the detection range.

          The fact that u CAN customize ur hero gear/ abilities were fun! U want unkillable melee beast ? Or maybe flamer +let he galaxy burn for wipin time? U want ur techmarine anti tank? Or maybe boost to all shooting? It adds a lot of flexibility and game shift.

          Now after 5th maybe 10th minute of the match ur line units feel irrelevant. They are to slow/skill/give enemy hero something to slaughter early. U can have like 15 marines shooting lascannons? More like eldar waaaghed boogie lights. It does nothing to normal units. In 2n1 hit with lascannon or rocket launcher to da fc’s face strikes half hp (small target hit unlike). Now Gabe can dance disco to the boogie lights bcs he is not a tank.

          It IS hero war.
          Also bring back command skills other than nuke. U have no additional skills. And only upgrade excluding other upgrade is flamer vs plasma (better spam trillion assault marines from outer space). The meta is stiff n still like enperors bony face on a golden throne. Dreadnoughts without range weapons? No dedicated eldar anti tank team? Dragons are home or extinct? Cant produce wraithlords?

          • Vayra says:

            Gotta stop you there buddy.

            – You can produce a Wraithlord, its just an elite now, similar to a Terminator Squad.
            – When you’re shooting lascannons at infantry, yes, they are shit. Try a bolter sometime… or learn the difference between Normal and Heavy armour.
            – The rank and file units of each race have mildly influential abilities, not ‘wipe unit’ stuff. There is active use of stealth and the advantage of range. There is additional mobility and there are stun grenades.
            – If you’re playing the big hero battles, you’re playing it wrong. Rank and file units are super influential when used right. Position a couple of cheap Scouts in between the enemy and let em toss out grenades as you charge in with your heavies and watch the magic happen.
            – Unit customization yes, gotta give you that one. But the available units DO cover all bases, more customization would only create a stat and ability mess, which already is the case as it is.
            – Your line units after the 5th or 10th minute are your meat shield or your wildcard. Either way, they are required.

            TL:DR – learn to play?

    • Asurmen says:

      I cannot roll my eyes hard enough at this post.

  5. Hoot says:

    After the open beta this went from a “essential purchase” to a “not even if it’s 90% off” game.

    They actually made massive strides with DoW 2 toward a genuine, competitive RTS. All they had to do, was update the engine, get rid of sync kills and keep more or less everything else the same. I would have spent a thousand hours on it, instead of the 2 that I actually did.

    DoW 1 was good but very much a product of it’s time. DoW 2 was the closest they came to online RTS excellence. In that game the units had serious weight. In DoW 3 everyone fires pea shooters that do varying degrees of damage, not to mention no retreat mechanic, no squad longevity.

    If I want a purely economic-control based RTS, I can already play the best example of that within the genre, Starcraft 2.

    What made DoW 2 so enjoyable was the squad system, the cover system, the epic 3v3 clashes and the hero mechanics. How the fuck did they lose sight of this?

    • mavrik says:

      The fact that they went to focus on multi-player is probably the reason why it’s dying out there right now.

      Relic was known by excellent single-player RTSes (with good MPs on top) and copying a crappy MOBA won’t make their fans buy this thing.

    • Frog says:

      That’s what I wonder. How clueless are the committees that make these decisions. Kinda reminds me of some of the game-movie adaptations like Doom. We’ll take out everything that people associate with the franchise and hope for the best.

    • Asurmen says:

      Everything you like about DoW2 I disliked.

  6. Frog says:

    So I’m a fan of the ME franchise, I really felt burned by Andromeda. So, given that I truly enjoyed DOW and DOW II, I decided to wait and see. And, reading the reviewes, I’m just not interested. It’s not the game for me.
    I mention Andromeda because I’m amazed at the devs of both games. To me, Andromeda has a repetitive, unbelievable, boring story and largely forgettable characters. And so, of course, the patches released are largely about making more characters amiable to a homosexual relationship and the accurate portrayal of trans characters. Right. No more of my money going there.
    And so, DOW III. They ignore the story, characters and single player aspect. That pretty much excludes me. And the big patch they tout changes the multiplayer victory conditions and allow the player to build turrets? The game is not selling well, reviews are mixed, the official statement is that they are “proud of the innovations”. Right.
    Maybe they were really aiming at the next LOL or DOTA. Fine, why sell it as the next DOW game? Call it League of Spacemarines and sell it to the people that get excited by that genre.

    • mavrik says:

      Yeah, those moves are baffling to me as well. Most people STILL play games ex clusively in single-player (stats for Starcraft 2 of all games show that like 70%+ players never pressed the multiplayer button). Why did Relic think that switching from SP/RTS to a MOBA clone will go well with their fanbase? And why did they think we really need another MP MOBA clone?

      • Xocrates says:

        They took some MOBA elements, this does not make it a MOBA.

        Saying DOW III is a MOBA, e like saying LoL and Dota are RTSs. They share some mechanics, this does not mean they’re the same thing.

        • mavrik says:

          Well game journalists keep saying that MOBAs are replacements for RTSes and that (apparently) have the same audience. And then wonder why games that follow that trend don’t sell ;)

          • Xocrates says:

            What game journalists? (honest question)

            I see that in comment threads, don’t recall reading articles on it.

    • Bing_oh says:

      This is exactly my problem. Purchased both DoW and DoW2, plus multiple expansions. Despite their differences, I enjoyed both through multiple play-through’s.

      However, I simply don’t get into multiplayer RTS’s…they’re simply not my thing. With reviews saying that DoW3 focuses so heavily on multiplayer while almost totally ignoring a single player campaign, I skipped it…which was a real downer for me, because I was really looking forward to another DoW game.

  7. Ethaor says:

    I like how their statement is admitting the absolute minimal amount of error with carefully postitive chosen words while still managing to focus on praising what they ‘achieved’… To announce something that they absolutly didn’t want to do.

    It doesn’t matter anyway, it’s too late. DOW III is now known as another video game disaster that will stain Relic for a good long while and serve as yet another ‘exemple’ in the industry.

    What where they thinking… It should have been sold as a completely new IP.

  8. goon buggy says:

    I guess now that Denuvos been cracked for the single player, they think they had better make the rest of the game.

  9. Xocrates says:

    You know, I get the criticisms tossed in DOW III direction, but even so I’m surprised to just how negative this comment thread is, including from people that didn’t play the game.

    DOW III greatest problem is that it is a good game on a series of great games. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with it, it simply doesn’t stand out. It’s a game that at worst I would expect people to either outright ignore or sight in disappointment and walk away.

    Frankly, to me the biggest problem is that the game felt like it had a fraction of the budget of 2. There is less content and the content there is isn’t as polished or interesting. None of it is bad, but I do feel DOW III is being pilloried for failing to live up to its predecessors.

    • Vandelay says:

      I only played a few games in beta, but I can agree with this. The worst criticism you can level at it is that it is average.

      It kind of feels a bit like one of those 90s RTS games that had most of the core features of its bigger cousins, but failed to include anything extra or just feels off in some way.

      That doesn’t mean that it is impossible to make it a very good game. New game modes is a great place to start, hopefully along with extra maps. I don’t see mention of it, but I would also ditch the escalation mechanic. That just feels like a way to artificially extend matches. At most, that should be an upgrade you have to research, much like Axis have to in CoH.

      I’m sure others with more experience of the game can come up with other idea too.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      I think you’re mostly right there. I mean I commented up there saying that the game isn’t fun. I stand with that.

      But there are moments where it’s almost fun. Where I could see fun around the corner, blocked off by a fence.

      But the singleplayer is dry and boring. The amount of micro is absurd beyond comparison. It’s not a MOBA by any stretch, but it’s also not a good RTS.

      Maybe it would have been better received if it wasn’t “Dawn of War”. But it still wouldn’t really have been good. It wouldn’t have been screamed at as much, probably, but only because it would be unremarkable.

      As it stands, people are mad and disappointed. I think it’s reasonable, if not entirely fair.

      But the game still isn’t fun. I don’t know.

    • Eightball says:

      I wonder how Retribution did in comparison to DoW2 and Chaos Rising. It had the same muddled, cut-down single player and seemed to be more aimed for multiplayer. Did it do worse than DoW2 and CR?

      • Xocrates says:

        Acording to Steamspy, it did slightly better than Chaos Rising. The base game did better, but that’s to be expected.

        It also has the highest user score of the 3.

        EDIT: Christ, DOW III has 10% of the sales of DOW 2

        • Sian says:

          “EDIT: Christ, DOW III has 10% of the sales of DOW 2”

          Well, I’m not sure how much that actually tells us, since DoW2 has had eight years to get sold, including several sales.

          I’ve little doubt DoW3 isn’t doing as well as 2 did in the same time, though.

        • Eightball says:

          Shows how much I know. I found Retribution to be a serious disappointment, though I guess that’s not reflected in the numbers since I still bought it…

    • Seth_Keta says:

      The biggest problem is not the comparison between DoW 1/2 and DoW 3. The biggest problem is that DoW 3 is marketed toward fans of DoW 1/2, and it is not designed with that market in mind.

      DoW 3 plays closer to a mixture of a MOBA and StarCraft 2. It’s an economy based RTS with heavy reliance on disposable units and incredibly powerful heroes, which is reminiscent of StarCraft 2’s disposable units, and a MOBA’s reliance on disposable minions and powerful heroes.

      • Xocrates says:

        DoW III is very blatantly an attempt at merging the gameplays of DoW 1 and 2 while trying to become more competitive by emulating stuff from Starcraft and Mobas.

        It very much was designed with the market of Dow 1 and 2 in mind, it just misread what that market actually wants… probably by listening to it.

  10. FreshHands says:

    The Dawn of War Franchise seems to be a perfect example for no one really knowing what they’re doing:

    “Let’s not make a singleplayer RTS, doesn’t sell. But let’s also not make a MOBA. Then let’s take the not-MOBA/not-RTS and make it more like the other one (although hybrids don’t sell). If that does not work out, we can always add a little bit of the opposite later. ALl hAIl thE aLLMigThy GodS oF ChAoS!”

    The answer however is probably: Capitalism :)

    • Cederic says:

      It confuses and disappoints me.

      DOW was awesome, and led to Company of Heroes which is one of the finest RTS games I’ve ever played. And I go back to Populous.

      DOW2 switched to a different game style, but was a good game and was fun to play. CoH2 switched less but just wasn’t anywhere near as fun.

      DOW III looks like it’s got caught between the game style of DoW and DoW2 without offering the compelling gameplay of either – or the single-player campaigns.

      That’s a massive market that surely the success of DOW, DOW2 and CoH has highlighted exists, and that Relic just didn’t try and service. I don’t get it.

  11. Bing_oh says:

    Honestly, if they really insisted on altering the base game mechanics, I would have rather preferred to see them go Diablo-esque ARPG with DoW3. I mean, they already had a bit of ARPG in there with DoW2’s wargear. It wouldn’t be a difficult transition…concentrate on a single “hero” character (or even a small squad), utilize the cover mechanic for a slightly different flavor to the gameplay, and it could work.

    • Asurmen says:

      You mean an entire re write of the game?

      • Bing_oh says:

        I meant from the beginning of development…obviously, at this point, they’ve chosen the path of the game and have to stick with it (though they could still add a solid single played campaign if they chose to).

      • NetharSpinos says:

        Well, why not? It would hardly hurt the game’s image at this point. Perhaps it would stop people like you mindlessly attacking other people for daring to voice their opinion on DoW II being a better game.

        • Bing_oh says:

          Uh…huh. I rather liked DoW2, actually, and never “attacked” anyone for liking it. But, hey, whatever dude.

          • Asurmen says:

            They’re talking about me I think, because apparently they’re not aware of the blatant hypocrisy of accusing me of attacking people for their opinion via the method of voicing my opinion.

          • NetharSpinos says:

            Sorry! Bit of confusion over the reply. Was referring to Asurmen, not Bing_oh!

        • Asurmen says:

          Because that’s a huge amount of time and is dumb?

  12. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    What kind of baffles me in the quote by Relic (apart from them saying how well they’ve done) is this bit:

    “Dawn of War III was meant to reunite our Dawn of War and Dawn of War II fans with a bombastic, action-RTS packed with incredible heroes, giant space lasers, and whole, new planets made of things that go BOOM. While we’ve checked those boxes, it’s clear that those weren’t the only things that you were looking for. So, what now?”

    It looks like they only looked at Dawn of War 1 and 2 from the surface.. or perhaps they’re just choosing to be oblique.

    Dow 1 and 2 drew various types of players, of course, but what drew me is the representation of Warhammer 40k with squads, cover, sync-kills and every unit matters (well, unless they’re gretchin). Now, I prefer DoW 1 over 2 because that representation of 40k worked better for me in the first title.

    In the third, which, to be clear, I haven’t played, it is like they just took the idea of an rts and a 40k look and chose to make it more appealing to a different audience. I’m not sure how many old Relic people still actually work at Relic after the fall of THQ, so I’m not exactly surprised. But disappointed, yes. DoW 1 and 2 stand the test of time for me. I doubt 3 would have (although that’s a bit of a cheap shot, I’ll admit). Maybe I’ll be able to get it cheaply one day and verify that supposition.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Okay, it looks like I had a code malfunction. You’ll notice that only the first quoted paragraph is by Relic, the rest is just me blabbering on.