Relic: no “major content” planned for Dawn of War 3 after it fails to hit targets

dow3-knight

There will be no “major” expansion content for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III and the studio has turned to other projects, Relic confirmed to us today, despite intentions to the contrary discussed last year. The Games Workshop-themed strategy game was met with a divisive response due to its abandonment of real-time strategy mainstays in favour of more of a hero unit approach, in addition to an overly-formulaic singleplayer campaign.

DOW’s active players have slumped in the ten months since release – to the point that there were, over the past 30 days, twice as many people playing the original, 2004 Dawn of War and its expansions as there were last Spring’s Dawn of War III.

Relic sent us this statement in response to our questions about the game’s future:

“While Dawn of War III has a dedicated player base, it didn’t hit the targets we were expecting at launch, and it hasn’t performed the way we had hoped since. It’s been tough for us as professionals who want to make great games for our players, and for us as people who care a lot about what we do.

When a game underperforms, plans need to change. With Dawn of War III, we simply don’t have the foundation we need to produce major content. We’re working in close partnership with SEGA and Games Workshop to determine the best course of action, while shifting focus to other projects within our portfolio. “

Project lead Phillipe Boulle told PC Gamer last March that “we’ll see an expansion of some sort” for DOW3, and that the DOW1/2 trend of expansions which added new factions and campaigns was “definitely something we’re going to revisit.” The Necrons were teased for DOW3 in a post-credits sequence, but it seems the space-ghouls will not now join the fray.

The current situation for Dawn of War 3 certainly doesn’t look good. Steamcharts, which uses Valve’s own APIs to measure the concurrent players in every game sold via Steam, reports that, over the past 30 days, Dawn of War III had an active average player count of 403 at any one time. To put that in context, the 100th most active game on Steam, Space Engineers, had an average of 2,199 players over the past 48 hours.

Then there’s case of Soulstorm, the 2008 standalone third expansion for the original Dawn of War, which by itself has 541 concurrent players. When all four versions of the original Dawn of War are added together, the average number of concurrent players over the past month is 870.

When all three versions of 2009’s Dawn of War 2 are added together, their 541 also outpaces DOW3’s 403 concurrent players.

For a more contemporary comparison, there’s Total War: Warhammer 2, a game which shares a publisher, a license and to some extent a genre with DOW3. TWW2 boasts an average of 15,700 concurrent players over the past 30 days, again against DOW3’s 403.

SteamSpy‘s educated guesses about sales figures can vary from eerily close to wildly inaccurate depending on who you ask, but for the record, it puts DOW3 at 575,000 sales, against 2.7m for Dawn of War II. Not out and out disastrous, perhaps, but low for a big-name release.

The last update for DOW3 was a set of free unit skins released in November. Outside of that, there has been no DLC whatsoever, which is unusual both for such a multiplayer-centric game and for a Games Workshop-related one. Until this week, its last patches were in October, one of which outright removed DOW 3’s unpopular multiplayer unlock system.

All patches stalled from then until this Monday, when a 700MB download was released as a “small but important update to some back-end systems“. Though this update adds nothing visible to the game, some players have speculated that it might lay the groundwork for something more meaningful, such as new buildings or the addition of Dawn of War II’s popular Last Stand survival mode.

By comparison, stablemate Total Warhammer 2 has seen 4 rounds of DLC since its September launch, alongside a steady stream of patches.

The sense that all was not well with Dawn of War 3 was heightened by the discovery that project lead Phillipe Boulle parted ways in September not just with DOW3, but with Relic as a whole. According to LinkedIn, he is now ‘Senior Narrative Producer’ at Capcom Game Studio Vancouver, which has been making Dead Rising games in partnership with Microsoft since 2010.

85 Comments

  1. shinkshank says:

    I anticipate Dawn of War 4 (or, what it’s more likely going to be called, “Dawn of War”) will only have Space Marines and Orcs, the way this is going. Surely launching with only 3 races, and the 3 bog standard vanilla at that, would have been expected to not go over too well.

    Plus, y’know, the whole “Basically a MOBA” thing. You watch, the game’s gonna go Free2Play in a month, and then two months after that they’re gonna release a battle royale mode.

    • Chromatism says:

      For me it was the pre-match load out and progression systems that really killed it. Dawn of War (original) did a fair bit to pump out a reasonably expansive unit and tech tree, while Company of Heroes refined that by letting you choose DURING THE MATCH which of the available trees you wanted to head down.

      The hero character system aside (never been a fan) that was the bit I found massively disappointing.

  2. FizicsMcmanus says:

    I kept this installed on Steam, didn’t play it much but I kept it in the hopes that they would give me Last Stand (DoW2: Retribution). It’s the curze of the DoW franchise.

  3. Xelos says:

    What killed any interest I was in DoW3 was the multiplayer focus. I know those games always had a strong multiplayer players are, but combined I,be put hundreds of hours in Dark Crusade and DoW2 and it’s expansions, the first one was some of the few truly great singleplayer rts,and the second one was basically Company of Heroes but WH40k, which I loved as well.

    • Xelos says:

      Holy hell, autocorrect was brutal on that comment. Sorry for this mess.

    • Nokturnal says:

      This exactly. I don’t get why developers think they have to shift focus entirely when a game gets a strong multiplayer following. Surely they should realise the game became popular in the MP scene as the game stands, despite it not being MP focused. It’s not a hit because people anticipated that in a year or two the sequel would be more MP focused and cater to their needs…It was a hit because it was great AS IS.

      It boggles the mind. Why didn’t they just stick with the formula that worked, and adapt/add on to the game once they see what the players think in the current climate. Giving people something completely different, assuming they knew what people would want, was just destined to fail.

      Instead of having a fun SP game which MP folk could enjoy, we get a terrible SP game which MP fans passed on anyway.

      Sorry but I have no sympathy for these guys, they have to stop trying to reinvent the wheel with odd shapes.

      • Gothnak says:

        The problem is risk vs reward. Popular single player games certainly are viable and make ‘some’ money. Popular MP are huge and make hundreds of millions in comparison.

        They also generally require completely different content.

        Relic decided to go MP, rolled a dice and lost.

        These days it’s the indie studios going SP and the bigger companies going MP, personally i just want to play against AI where i can set the difficulty rather than getting randomly matched against someone who might be rubbish or smash me to pieces, neither of which is fun.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          But these days going MP focus in an RTS is suicidal, the audience has all committed suicide at the Starcraft altar and nothing else matters.

          • Sargonite says:

            I bet every other RTS dev thinks that if they find the right angle, they can peel off a bunch of Starcraft’s audience. They’re almost certainly also wrong.

          • DatonKallandor says:

            The irony is that there is no big Blizzard multiplayer audience. Even Blizzard has said that only 20% of their player base plays multiplayer at all and the vast majority of those only play coop.

            And this is absolutely consistent with all the data we have from all other RTS and RTS-like developers that record those stats.

            90+% of the player base never touches multiplayer. They don’t care about it all. Even if you make a moba – if you give it a bot mode, people will play that. The vast majority of the people that BUY YOUR GAME do not care about your multiplayer.

            Yet Publishers and RTS developers keep ruining the experience of the 95% of their customers to appeal to the <5% of their player base that plays PvP. It's absurd and if there's anything killing the genre is that (and the slavish devotion to crappy UI and idiotic AI of Blizzard RTSes).

            They’re going after an audience that doesn’t exist while giving the finger to the people that they know would buy their games.

    • Ur-Quan says:

      But the problem is that even though it was focused on multiplayer they didn’t even manage to get that part right.
      The multiplayer felt nothing like Dow1 or 2 but rather like a really generic RTS.

      Also that weird escalation phase system they added made me feel like every game played out exactly the same making the experience even more generic and boring.

      • Archonsod says:

        I don’t think single or multiplayer focus would have helped in this case. I refunded the game prior to the first patch, but it seemed to me in my limited playtime it was like they’d wanted to combine MOBA and more traditional RTS gameplay but completely failed to understand what it is that makes those genres work to begin with (to the point they seemed to have drawn those mechanisms from either genre which tend to conflict rather than support each other). The end result was a game that didn’t seem to know what it was trying to do.

  4. muro says:

    No surprise – it’s just too boring.

  5. Tholesund says:

    Next time, maybe they should put the guys who made the trailer in charge.

  6. lrbaumard says:

    This was a straight up bad game.
    I remember playing it in beta at a press event and getting up and leaving half way through the demo.
    Hopefully this is a lesson to publishers who wish to turn games that have massive niche appeal into populist games a la SupCom 2, Planetary Annihilation, Age of Empires 3 and others that faded into irrelevancy

  7. Hoot says:

    The dev team were just so out of touch with what people actually wanted.

    If they had remade DoW2 with updated graphics, UI and matchmaking. Toned down sync kills (but left them in for flavour, just not happening every single engagement), kept the cover system intact and balanced the game well, it would have been a mega hit.

    I put 600 hours into DoW2 multiplayer because it was fun as hell. The best “team” experience I’ve had just about.

    Instead we get a tepid MOBA clone with WH40K skins. Pretty damn weak. I am so glad they had that open beta weekend as it convinced me that buying the game would be a mistake.

    • Asurmen says:

      I think you overestimate how appealing repeating the same game again for an RTS is. It would have needed to be more than just a prettier DoW2 to work.

      • Hoot says:

        Perhaps, but there are any amount of improvements / optimisations that could have been made to the DoW2 formula that would have been far, far superior than what they actually released.

        I mean they gutted the game, totally and utterly.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        A HD upgrade to DoW1 would’ve sold better than DoW3 did, or any new MOBA on the market would now.

        Also DoW2 wasn’t really an RTS.

        • Hoot says:

          DoW2 was definitely an RTS, mate. It was also far superior to DoW1 in my opinion. I know the community are split on this, which again was part of the reason DoW3 sucked.

          Trying to please everyone always ends in the least amount of people being pleased. They should have went full old school with base building, big maps, etc à la DoW1 or refined the smaller squad based gameplay of DoW2.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      “The dev team were just so out of touch with what people actually wanted.”

      Rumours are they’re about to make the same mistake with Age of Empires 4.

      • CronoRay says:

        I have personally given up on Relic Studios, they are not the developer they use to be nor I doubt will they ever be again at any point. They have lost a lot of there original team that made the first Dawn of War and have deviated from the kinds of games they use to make.

  8. Axolotl says:

    The first game in the series was one of the best RTS’s I’ve ever played. The second game was fun and overall good, in my opinion. This third game was so disappointing to so many people I never bothered buying it, despite liking the 40K universe a lot. To think the same company that developed this poor game had also developed the first 40K game as well as CoH.

    • Rich says:

      Yeah, but they also made CoH2, which people complain about all the time.

    • Artist says:

      Have to subjectivily agree. DoW1 brought me back to RTS-gaming and I left again afterwards. Since DoW the devs went further and further from their main selling point.

  9. fuggles says:

    Still, the unification mod for soulstorm is all but finished which will combine all mod races.

    Space wolves and renegades mods will be on moddb as soon as I get access to the pages. 13th company, ultramarines, emperor’s Children and imperial fists are also on the way in various states of completion.

    Soulstorm!

    • Megatron says:

      Ultramarines and Imperial Fists not in yet? Damn, I can’t relive my Space Crusade battles until they are, lol.

      Didn’t know this Mod existed. Thanks for mentioning it. Looking forward to giving a whirl. For the Emperor!

      • Thudmeizer says:

        Ultramarines alone will be one of the most comprehensive for that Chapter for any 40K game ever. I seriously doubt anything will ever come close. We’re in the 5th week of testing.

      • fuggles says:

        Yeah, the issue is we are few in number and have delivered maybe a dozen race mods. We work hard to make them distinct, rather than just red marines, yellow marines.

  10. Rich says:

    How about next time they just make Dark Crusade in a modern engine, with a few of DoW2’s mechanics? While DoW2/CoH cover mechanics probably don’t make sense for WH40K (unless we’re talking about Imperial Guard), it was far more compelling than the weird cover zones in DoW3.

    • Imperialist says:

      What?
      The cover mechanics in DOW2/COH were a perfect fit for 40k.
      Unless you bought into the weird marketing for the Space Marine game, youd know Space Marines absolutely do use cover,as does everyone else. Theres cover mechanics in the tabletop game for barricades, ruins, forests, etc. So having your Marines line up behind some shattered imperial statuary is totally fitting, as was the way heavy weapon deployment worked.

      I actually think DOW2 was a bit closer to the both the lore, and some aspects of the TT game, though the sheer amount of content and factions from Dark Crusade/Soulstorm was also a big plus. I like them all…even DOW3 to some extent (i actually thought the Hero aspect as the best part of the whole game, somehow)

      • Asurmen says:

        Based on the rules at the time of DoW2, no it didn’t make sense.

        Even with the rules now, it still doesn’t make for compelling gameplay. Few units stay in cover for all that long given usual objectives in the game, and the current meta of buff bubbles.

        The area cover from DoW1 and DoW3 makes a better 40k game.

  11. KDR_11k says:

    I liked DoW2 mostly for the singleplayer but skipped 3 after hearing the SP campaign was just tutorial-grade stuff.

  12. SaintAn says:

    Should have made the game people have been wanting rather than the game no one wanted.

    • Xocrates says:

      It baffles me how common this sentiment is considering how blatant it is that the game was trying to give the DoW community exactly what it asked for.

      The game was clearly trying to marry the gameplay of Dow 1 and 2, and making it more competitive focused to boot: all of which are common community requests.

      If anything, their problem was listening to what people wanted too much.

      • Eightball says:

        Is that really what people wanted? I thought the DoW was split pretty clearly between those who wanted more of DoW1’s base building and more units, versus those who wanted more of DoW2’s characters/cover/loot. I may be out of touch but it seemed to me like not a lot of people were asking for a compromise between the two.

        • Xocrates says:

          Which is the crux of the problem. True, people weren’t asking for a compromise between the two, but they weren’t telling them not to do that either.

          So relic could choose between trying to please all of the fanbase by merging the two, half of it by choosing one side, or none of it by doing something else entirely.

          From a business perspective their approach made sense. And even then the final product doesn’t make a bad job of it, but suffers from being an ok game in a series of great games.

          Dow 3 is relic trying to give the community what it wanted. It failed, true, but let’s not pretend it failed because they ignored the community – quite the opposite happened.

          • DarkFenix says:

            From a common sense perspective, trying to please everyone only ever results in pleasing noone. DoW3 exemplifies this notion.

          • meskus says:

            I am not so sure you got it. No members of DOW community asked or wanted MOBA and poor SP. It might be that they were thinking that their idea would please all sides but it is way of the mark. More believable is that they tried to grab a piece of MOBA cake and audience counting on fans buying a game for old glory and “new age” MOBA players getting in for the sake of having MOBA with WH40K skins. Well it didn’t work, poor bandits got shot up. Only harm is that DOW will not be back so easily after this . DOW3 simply wasn’t even OK game buy any objective standard for what it should have offered. If it were some game from greenlight on Steam it might just come to OK, for DOW it was downfall/ betrayal of epic proportions.

          • Xocrates says:

            I find the MOBA argument to be vastly exaggerated. They added a couple MOBA mechanics, sure, but by and large it still plays overwhelmingly like a RTS in general, and Dow in particular.

            They did try and make it more multiplayer/competitive focused however.

      • Ur-Quan says:

        Can you tell me which part of this abomination plays anything like Dow or Dow2?

        Ohh yeah the turrets and shield generators obviously.

        • Xocrates says:

          Early game plays like Dow 2 (small armies and hit and run tactics, generally with one hero running around) late game plays like Dow 1 (large armies of expendable units). With the escalation mechanic being used to transition between the two.

      • Skandranon says:

        I disagree. The worst parts of it weren’t pulled from either game.

        The heroes being ridiculously OP compared to the army wasn’t part of Dow 1 or 2. They were strong in 2, but not “the entire army centers around them strong” like in 3. The way cover works being super simplified wasn’t from either. The art style being crap was new. The speed at which units die (especially compared to heroes) isn’t from either, when both previous games encouraged you to retreat and conserve your units as much as possible. Not to mention the unlock system, the crappy single player (coming off the amazing pseudo-RPG SP of the DoW2 games), removal of sync kills…the list goes on.

        The things people hate about this game weren’t pulled from trying to marry the two older games; they were from Relic trying to chase the tail of the esports/MOBA crowd.

        • Xocrates says:

          The strength of the heroes varies wildly, some are stronger than Dow 2, some are weaker, with the stronger ones feeling like replacements for the super units from Dow 1. And even then considering the armies are larger than 2 the heroes need to be stronger to remain relevant.

          Sync kills were contentious from the start, with the more competitive side of the community (which is generally amongst the most vocal part) asking for its removal since Dow 1.

          Frankly, I found the speed units died to be about par to Dow 1, but maybe that’s just me since I was used to play Imperial Guard.

          The art style, and indeed the game overall feeling a lot darker, feels like an attempt to make the game more grimdark and closer to the lore – which is definitely something the community would ask for.

          There was a stronger multiplayer focus, which lead to the unlock system and weaker campaign. This I won’t deny.

          But all three races being playable in the campaign – likely leading to an overall weaker and less focused story and gameplay – is certainly a community request.

          • meskus says:

            Imperial guard did fast dying OK but even that had some sort of scale to it. More to the point Space marines, Orcs and even El’s ARE NOT IG. Also style of the thing didn’t come closer to the lore, maybe to some of miniature pantings. Orc “Tarzan” Warlords, flipping Terminators and so on are not much in the lore. Also making races and maps look like they come from Star Craft doesn’t help. I liked idea of Scrap for Orcs and few other things true but to few of them. As for an overall weaker and less focused story and gameplay – that certainly IS NOT a community request. Multiple races being playable in the campaign was done better ( Winter Assault comes to mind) but I (and most of people I talked to) don’t see problem with separate campaigns or ones you should play in certain order (it worked for StarCraft, ST Armada and many others).

      • KDR_11k says:

        As Henry Ford said, “If I asked people what they want they’d ask for a faster horse.” You can’t just take what people tell you at face value, you gotta dig deeper to figure out what they actually want and how you can best meet that desire.

        Plus if you only listen to the people who complain on a forum you’re missing out on all the people who were happy with what you delivered.

        An annoying example is Rogue Stormers. At some point it got turned into a Roguelite because people on the forums asked for it… Then all the kickstarter backers went WTF, that’s not what we pledged for and the dev was confused. Of course the people who liked the initial pitch don’t show up on a forum demanding changes.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        Only a gigantic fool of a developer listens to the people on forums. Because only a gigantic fool of a developer wouldn’t look at their sales data and realize that the number of people on forums is less than .01% of their playerbase. People on forums for RTS games who call for more multiplayer focus are statistically the people you should not listen to.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        They may have been trying, but everything I saw and read (prior and after release) indicated that they didn’t understand what they were doing in that regard. Nor that they understood what made those older games fun.

        But, honestly, I believe they wanted to add DOTA-like features to draw in a different crowd in addition to keeping the old fans.

  13. spunkmeyer says:

    The cover system really sucked. When I saw it in action during the beta, I couldn’t believe how it could have regressed from DoW1/2. Make an updated version of DoW1, or maybe Company of Heroes in the Warhammer universe!

    • Asurmen says:

      They never left. They were waiting patiently to strike at people’s knees.

  14. GuillaumeJ says:

    I’m wondering if I was the only one to think that this game was over-sold on this site ? With lots of positive coverage ?

    • Titler says:

      No, you aren’t wrong on that.

      In fact, most of the major media were shockingly willing to act as PR for the game; at one point I considered doing a video review of the coverage, and I had page of quotes from RPS, Eurogamer, Polygon, the lot where they ALL had opening paragraphs trying to discredit the community disquiet that the game was basically a MOBA, but then as the review progressed you’d see “Like a MOBA… inspired by a MOBA…” creep in when describing individual features.

      By the time the Beta was out, there should have been no denial of what the game was built like, because everyone could see it for themselves. And how badly the game played, and the poor level of content. It had what, 9 maps at launch for multiplayer? All in dull grey industrial settings, with a single MOBA gametype. With pre-order skins and a F2P style economy grind on top of that.

      I’ll give Relic the credit for running it as a free trial, and even that they possibly didn’t understand what the public reaction to it would be; maybe they thought, having been covered mostly by fans, that they had a good product on their hands.

      But then again, they should also have known since DoW TWO that the majority of the community was already uncomfortable with genre shift even back then. A lot of people liked the second game, and good for them if they did, but it never hit the numbers of the first… and by the time of the third, Relic’s forums themselves had but a tiny number of fans let.

      Unfortunately most of those fans seemed to be in the media, who seemed to think like most irrational fans everywhere, that drowning out criticism is the same as making people love it just as much as you’re desperately trying too.

      It doesn’t. It just drives people away faster because they feel suffocated and lied too.

      DoW3 was a MOBA. DoW3 is now effectively dead. What a sad end to a glorious series.

      • meskus says:

        I totally agree.

      • Vandelay says:

        Wait, people are still calling this a MOBA even after playing it? Did that myth not die after it came out?

        It is not a MOBA, as was clear from the pre-release material. It features heroes units, which were put together with influence from MOBAs. There is a target building to destroy, like a MOBA but also like many other RTS games that task you to destroy an HQ. Similarities and influences are no doubt there, but if you were going to compare it to any game it would likely be the RTS Warcraft 3.

        I can only think that those still claiming this just don’t really know how a MOBA plays.

        Not to say DoW3 is a good game. I played a little in the beta and it was clear that it was in a bit of a mess right down to some fundamentals. It didn’t look like the issues could easily be fixed with patching. I have the full game from the Humble Monthly a couple of months ago, so I will be playing that soon, but sounds like they haven’t improved the game much since the beta.

        • Asurmen says:

          This. I wish the MOBA myth would die.

          Heroes? In each game. Abilities? In each game. Lanes? Plenty of maps in DoW1 and every map in DoW2 had lanes. Destroy HQ? In every game.

          • Titler says:

            Yeah, I remember you from the original coverage too. And you’re still saying the same things today; “Like a MOBA, Like A MOBA, BUT NOT A MOBA!!” and still arguing from some weird personal need to escape the label, rather than argue actual facts and the reality.

            Heroes?

            Heroes that are slightly tougher than standard units but balanced by being taken out of DPS by sync kills are not the same as units that can kill entire armies solo (DoW3 at Beta). Again, you’re arguing about labels, this time that they’re both “Heroes” and refusing to honestly address the nature of the thing itself.

            Abilities?

            No one said having abilities IN GENERAL made the game a MOBA; but having the entire gameplay revolve around heroes and their abilities does help define the MOBA genre. When the Big Mek procs his stun in DoW1, at best he’s changing the balance of a single unit in a much larger fight, a fight which could still be being lost if your opponents army is in your base…

            In DoW3 at beta units were basically the creeps of the game, there to level up the heroes so they could take down the MOBA towers. Using abilities there were game winning essentials.

            Lanes? Plenty of maps in DoW1 and every map in DoW2 had lanes.

            Well if we exclude the ones that WEREN’T laned, and pretend history never happened and the fact you just quoted about DOW2 was criticsed AT THE TIME for taking MOBA influences and was WHY it was less popular… You’re right!

            Of course, in reality DoW1 was liked better BECAUSE it had map variety. I know because one of MY maps was distributed with Winter Assault in Poland. It was a trench warfare map.

            Destroy HQ? In every game

            And that’s just flat out incorrect. DoW3 didn’t even launch with that mode. It didn’t have it. You won the game by the MOBA conditions ONLY; destroy the 3 towers. If the base was still standing, or the army on the field, it didn’t matter. Game over.

            What was the standard victory condition of matchmaking in DoW1 and DoW2? Was it Annihilation?

            No, it wasn’t. It was Control/Victory Points. It’s true DoW1 LAUNCHED with multiple victory conditions, including Annihilation (base AND units), as well as “Assasination” (kill set hero)… but the default gameplay mode was Control Points.

            Myths? Ha. I wish this Fanboy gene in the gaming population would die; it does more harm to genuine progress and entertainment than any other flaw in human nature; when you can’t even talk about basic facts like a game didn’t have a feature you’re claiming it did, because of wounded, irrational devotion, how are we ever going to build games people less blinded will actually enjoy?

            I adored the first game. But things change, my dear.

          • Asurmen says:

            And I remember you from before as well, doing precisely the same things you’re labelling me as doing.

            Heroes were far tougher than normal units in any of the games, having hitpoints and damage output far higher than other units. Sync kills balanced them by dropping DPS? Don’t make me laugh. Sync kills broke the game, allowing units to tank huge amounts of damage during the sync. That’s a far bigger gain than DPS loss.

            As for army being creeps, maybe if you’re poor as using your army, sure. Everything except the top tier stuff absolutely does die to an enemy army.

            Abilities? That’s funny, because I’ve seen several people argue that abilities are what makes it a MOBA, while utterly ignoring Tier 3 battle changing abilities in DoW1.

            As for lanes, did you bloody read what I wrote? DoW1 Had maps which weren’t lines. I acknowledged that, so calm your tits. DoW2 didn’t. Every map was designed to funnel people down lanes.

            Sigh. Not flat out incorrect, seeing as we’re talking about the previous games compared to DoW3. Get a clue. DoW3 destroying a HQ doesn’t make it a MOBA win condition. I never said Destroying HQ was the standard, but you’re being utterly disingenuous to act like A) it didn’t exist and B) wasn’t massively popular. More games were played for Destroy than Control. Simple as.

            Not a fanboy, but thanks for being a judgemental ass. I’m just pointing out where you’re simply wrong.

  15. Vacuity729 says:

    With so few players actually playing, it’s understandable that they won’t release any DLC for the game. I wonder how much time’s been spent on content that will now never see the light of day.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    It was honestly the move from cover and positioning based combat to… what, moba micromanaging? that killed this for me.

    I mean the game looks great. But cover is just magic shields that poop out of the ground in certain places now, not destroyable, no changes to the map are possible, just run down the lane and punch the enemy generators.

    Eh. I really, really wanted to like this game. But instead I played an hour and dropped it forever.

    • Asurmen says:

      No positional combat existed in DoW1. DoW2 required loads of micro. DoW1 has bubble cover, and now energy shields which have always been a part of 40k lore are now magic?

      • Titler says:

        Did you ever actually play Dawn of War 1? Again, you’re just outright making things up now. It NEVER had bubble cover.

        I’ll repeat again; I made maps for DoW1, one of which was published with Winter Assault. You marked individual terrain as either Light, Heavy or Negative cover. It wasn’t destructable, like DoW3’s bubble. It applied only to the unit standing on the square the terrain was painted.

        It was thus Positional, and you could easily win by taking advantage of that and your opponent not having the sense to get out of a river painted negative, say.

        What you’re presumably talking about is the DIRECTIONAL cover that Dawn of War 2 had. And no, it didn’t have that. But DoW3 had NEITHER version. It was objectively worse than BOTH previous games.

        • Asurmen says:

          I played it extensively. All cover in DoW1 worked in bubbles, and not directional like DoW2. Ignorant of the game much?

          Positional, as in requiring to be in the correct position in terms of direction of attack to gain from it. DoW1 did not have that. DoW2 did.

          DoW3 is pretty god damn similar to DoW1 system. How you can argue against hat, I don’t know.

          • DatonKallandor says:

            DoW 3 does not have cover – it has garrisons. They are buildings you enter that you can shoot out of and that have a fixed health value that gets depleted before the entire structure goes away.

            It’s not dynamic like in the post CoH games, it’s not directional like (some) cover in the post CoH games, it’s positional like in DoW 1 (there’s just much less of it) and it’s not varied and interesting like DoW 1 cover (no light-heavy-negative, just one-size-fits-all forcefield-structures)

  17. doodler says:

    You didn’t mention that this was also in a Humble Monthly which makes the player count even more disappointing imo. I played the beta, saw it for the MOBA-like trash that it was and stayed away. Got it through that bundle and couldn’t find a game while the single player was so terrible I quit 4 levels of tutorial in.

    • Titler says:

      That’s where I finally got it from, yes.

      I completed the campaign on the hardest mode first time through; it was dull, badly written, and I can only recall two interesting elements in the entire thing, one of which turned out to be instantly hand-waved out in the final level.

      I’ve managed to play TWO games online only, because matchmaking is dead, and its a struggle hosting matches as you can wait up to 30 minute sometimes just to get 6 people. The first game I joined, someone thought it was funny to trash talk me for being new. Doesn’t bother me, but I did ask if he expected to get many more games by driving away anyone who tried to play it. (People like that know, and don’t, or are incapable of caring, as they can always move on to a new game and continue being abusive)

      I’ve since only started the game to idly use the Grinder custom maps to level up my Ork heroes. Was a top 100 player in the first game, levelled them to max in the second… I kind of felt like finishing their journey in what was obviously their last Dawn of War. But even when you’ve got a map designed to allow you to shoot mobs from complete safety, for a good number of units you’re looking at 20-30 hours of letting them sit there, which just shows how out of whack the economy was previously.

      Just by way of illustration, Steam tells me that only 0.33% of DoW3 owners have ever mastered the Mad Dread… and that’s one of the EASY ones to level up. But the game cratered so badly, it shows as one of my rarest Achievements on my Steam profile because few people can be bothered.

      • fuggles says:

        Come back to soulstorm, we have an orc mod that I know you’ll love.

        • Titler says:

          I was involved with the Grot Fest mod for a while, made a map for it too… is there Runty Fun in this Orc mod of which you speak? Runtz iz best.

  18. TotallyUseless says:

    Relic’s statement doesn’t indicate any ownership on their part that the game failed due to their own shortcomings. It’s most obviously not the playerbase’s fault that the game failed because it was uninteresting, boring, and extremely dumb downed.

  19. Jodomar says:

    Well when you dumb down your game to the point that you piss off all previous fans, yeah your game will not sell well. I did not buy it, nor did any of my friends who are heavy into warhammer. No cover system, units that vaporize right away, a silly refund system on units, AT infantry weapons where crap, just infantry in general was poop, compared to the last game. They should have just reskinned company of heroes 2 and it would have sold like hot cakes.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    While we don’t know the exact sales of Humble Monthlys, it’s a lot, which means a lot of people got DOW3 in that and the actual, anywhere-close-to-full-price sales were well below the Steamspy number.

    • Titler says:

      Except… you get the Steam version from Humble Bundle, so no, every sale through it will appear in the SteamSpy/Charts figures.

      The potential inaccuracy is how many players have private profiles that the Steam API trackers don’t pick up; it attempts to estimate that in weighting its results, and can vary from game to game. But in general it’s usually about 1% from the true figures.

      And there aren’t individual Steam lobbies for multiplayer either. The player base you see online is the total, and if the lobbies are dead, it’s dead across all copies of the game.

      The game has just cratered, even WITH being the lead game in the Monthly Humble Bundle…

  21. UKPartisan says:

    “We’re working in close partnership with SEGA and Games Workshop to determine the best course of action”

    Let Creative Assembly take over the mantle. TW: Warhammer II is by far and away the greatest Warhammer game I’ve ever played. Just imagine a TW: 40K?…I just let out a little bit of pee just thinking about it!

  22. MrUnimport says:

    I haven’t played this game, but a lot of people seem to say it’s “like a MOBA”. What do they mean when they say this specifically?

    • DarkFenix says:

      There are several reasons for the MOBA comparison, most egregiously in my opinion is that the general combat gameplay was made MOBA-like, and by that I mean the regular units (ie. your actual army) takes very much a back seat in DoW3, the emphasis being on controlling a few super-powerful heroes who will plough through regular units like they aren’t there.

      Map design and base mechanics are also very MOBA-ish, pretty much all boiling down to three lanes between your base and the enemy base. The objective is the destroy the enemy’s core, to get to that you need to beat down the turrets first. It’s so MOBA-ish I’m surprised anyone could ever deny the comparisons with a straight face.

      Then on top of adding MOBA elements, they also castrated beloved RTS elements from previous games. You’ll see people mention the cover system a lot, which is so mutilated it may as well have been removed altogether.

      So yeah, it’s a mix of adding and heavily emphasising MOBA elements, while simultaneously dialing back on RTS ones. Add a sprinkle of drastically reduced content quantity, and you’ve got a recipe for rage.

    • Titler says:

      DarkFenix explains in more detail, but there are a few more subtle issues too, in that all the things he mentions has knock on effects with regards to actual gameplay. There’s absolutely no tactical or logistical element to the game, because the maps were built for the MOBA style gameplay instead.

      Quick illustration; the Control Points were originally designed around unlocking heroes later in game, what it calls “Waves”. The maps they’re on are small, and laned to encourage micro-vs-micro Hero fights. They have towers which you need powered up heroes to take down. So you have a linear, escalating, tug of war style gameplay. Move across the map, farm creeps to level up, get to win conditions quicker than your opponent.

      In an RTS, the whole battlefield is important; simply from having bases your opponent might not know about, or a shorter reinforcement / travel time to vital points. Games were often won or lost on the basis of a flanking maneuvre someone didn’t see, and attacks coming from unexpected directions.

      And the points themselves count, in DoW1 especially because the Victory timer is tied to controlling them. As these in turn are spread out, you need to constantly be thinking about the state of the battlefield as a whole, and where your enemy is focusing at any one time.

      Now DoW3 tried to rebalance later in it’s short life to make the units more like the traditional RTS… the problem is, you can’t USE them like one, because the maps aren’t set up to allow it. They’re too small, and the only valid tactic remains just blobbing as big an army as you can, rushing forward as fast as possible, and then just sitting outside the base until you have the power to smash the towers. In Annihilation you don’t even need that, just sit outside the base and smash it.

      You can’t flank, the maps aren’t big enough and are designed for linear battles. You can’t force your opponent to move even if you got around them, the control points aren’t tied to a Victory point timer. There’s no map based cover to use tactically to lure people into ambushes in between points.

      Perhaps if the community had made such maps, the game might be a bit more fun to play; but the game just was no fun at launch, and despite Steam Workshop support, much of the content available was designed to get around the atrocious Skulls grind economy the game also had.

      Again, influenced by a MOBA, they planed to sell Skins and new Characters later. That is also now gone, and the new heroes they had built have been patched in for free. But it’s too late.

  23. Mojavi Viper says:

    Oh come on and just remaster the original DOW series.

  24. Boraes says:

    That’s as they went away from the gritty dark future Warhammer 40K is supposed to be…. fools

  25. Universal Quitter says:

    “The Games Workshop-themed strategy game was met with a divisive response due to its abandonment of real-time strategy mainstays in favour of more of a hero unit approach”

    I’m one of those people, but I remember complaining about it with DoW II. Perhaps the war for sales was already lost before the game was even made?

    • runsondiesel says:

      Perhaps you just like to complain lot, Perhaps the game sucks and you just have bad taste. Perhaps reality is not for you and you should end it up.

    • RandyBacon says:

      I, too, had the feeling they veered too far off witht the Hero approach since DoW2. That and blobbing through the map became staples of MP ever since.
      You didn’t have blobbing on good ol’ DoW, not when the artillery started flinging your precious army units halfway across the map, oh no, precious!

  26. runsondiesel says:

    So I signed up for this comments section because clearly the stupid devs went “mass market” with this game. They wanted Moba popularity with ultra stupid hero focus and dumbed down the graphics so it wouldnt scare the poor little womenz. I am so glad this failed, it sucked, it was boring, and every coward who surrenders to making things for retards like casual games or safe space graphics for the cowardly losers, deserve to fail. I really enjoy the democrats who played this game saying it “didnt really fail” “it just had tough competition”. Democrats/socialists hate reality and create their own delusion. LOVE IT.

    • NordicLight says:

      I created account just to write few things. You commentary doesnt make much sense. What democrats have to do with Relic Enterteiment and marketing? Are you… What’s wrong with you?
      Me personally, I don’t liek this game at all. Relic went for mass auditory with it and it was, of course, one of their most stupid moves. Because of it I respect them less now. If they would be like Paradox Interective or Creative Assambley, because this two studios I really love and respect and they are really ones of most succesful and respected in whole game indsutry. If you are making stretegies, you need to make them. If you will keep doing it, you will have good and big sales. Like CA with their TW. Or if you want sales like CoD, go and make shooters. Or something. Or games for smartphones.
      Relic were pioneers of strategy genre. And now… pff

  27. Jmnea says:

    They should have a made an RPG hybrid that made DoW2 and the expansions so great, instead of making another tired traditional base building RTS. There’s a reason hardly anyone makes those anymore