Yo Dawg: SpellForce 3 [official site] is almost ready to once again put an RPG in your RTS and let you play both at the same time. Double feature!
We'd barely heard from SpellForce 3 since its announcement in 2014, but now a new Steam page promises a 2016 release for this prequel. Jump the break for all the details, while I go beg Alice to not fire me for opening my post with memes from the last decade [Ah jeez, I can't resist appeals to my illusion of power -ed.].
If you haven't heard of SpellForce before, it really is just that: a blend of traditional real-time strategy and RPG mechanics in a fantasy setting. You'll be building your base, managing your resources and controlling armies, but one of the units at your disposal will be the hero you'll create and customize throughout the campaign. The micromanagement of the RTS side of things is less demanding than in other titles precisely in order to let you focus on your hero and their party, each with their unique skills.
Nothing of that is going to change in SpellForce 3. The devs promise a long single-player campaign - at least 30 hours. Folks will be able to enjoy the storyline even without knowledge of the previous games, though the plot takes place 500 years before the first game and will explore the circumstances that lead up to it, so fans will obviously get more out of this third game. The multiplayer side of things will offer both cooperative and competitive modes.
On to the gameplay changes then: SpellForce 3 is doing away with the "global economy" model of most RTS, that is, when you can harvest resources somewhere and immediately use them on the other side of the map. Space will be divided into sectors, and players will only be able to create settlements next to the ones they've already established.
Each sector, then, will act as its own independent base, with its own population limits and its own economy. To share resources between outposts you'll have to manually transfer them by cart.
That's pretty much all we know so far, aside from the images of the world of EO, which you can see here and on the Steam page.
SpellForce 3 is scheduled for release before the end of the year.