Tue, 12/22/2009 - 3:00pm | by Thunder
He's got antlers and a jolly laugh, so we thought we would take this festive opportunity to introduce this new unit in Chaos Rising to you all. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
The Great Unclean One
Walking mountains of rotting flesh. Jovial grandfathers of the legions of Nurgle. Repulsive and gregarious in equal measure.
The Great Unclean Ones are the mightiest daemons of Nurgle, the Chaos God of Plagues and Death, and they are perfect avatars of the Lord of Decay's own dichotomies.
Horror Made Flesh
In terms of physical presence, these mighty daemons are utterly revolting. Manifest on the physical plane, they inhabit tons of necrotic flesh. They tower over the battlefield, shambling and oozing forward on stout legs that seem unable to support their massive girth.
This fleshy mountain contains all the rot and pestilence that is Nurlge's to command. Gaping, gangrenous wounds expose organs writhing with maggots. Colonies of flies buzz within the terrible miasma that rises from the daemon's body. Smaller daemons called Nurglings crawl between the great folds of flesh, suckling on weeping sores and cankers. Powerful arms wield daemon blades dripping with poisonous death.
And atop it all sits a wide, leering head. Cracked horns rise among welts; eyes ablaze with vile intelligence leer from behind seeping wounds; an impossibly long tongue lolls out and licks the ichor from the daemon's own flesh.
The Charms of the Grave
The daemon's personality seems at complete odds with its nightmarish form. Instead of the inchoate rage or cackling sadism one might expect, the Great Unclean One chuckles with the deep laugh of a benevolent grandfather.
Like the Dark God he serves, the Great Unclean One is genuinely affectionate toward the legions of daemons and heretics he commands. After all, they have seen the truth of Nurgle and have received his gifts.
The Great Unclean One can even be charming toward those who oppose him. With a redolent laugh, the daemon may thank an enemy who has killed some of his agents -- for in delivering death to them, the enemy too does Nurgle's work.
The daemon's gregarious nature quickly falls away, however, when an enemy genuinely impedes Nurgle's grand plans. Then, an apocalyptic rage wells up in an unstoppable torrent and whole worlds can shatter with the Great Unclean One's fury.
The Weapons of Decay
Sitting at the apex of Nurgle's hordes, the Great Unclean One wields tremendous power. His physical form, though riven with rot and decay, is extremely powerful, allowing it to smash and rend any enemy foolish enough to come near.
The daemon may also expel some of the endless reserves of bile and toxin that roil within its endless bowels. From raising plagues of flies, to toxic clouds of poisonous gas, to great fonts of acidic vomit, the daemon is always happy to share Nurgle's gifts with its enemies.
The most honored enemies may even be privileged enough to see the full might of the daemon's flesh -- as they are drawn in through its gaping orifices and are utterly consumed.
Fri, 12/18/2009 - 2:51pm | by Thunder
Not long ago we posted that Gamasutra had chosen Dawn of War II as one of their top five PC games of 2009, which is quite an honor! With the end of the year coming up, other websites and media outlets are looking back at 2009. We found out last night that Yahoo! selected Dawn of War II as their choice for the Best Strategy Game of 2009:
"A real-time strategy game with no base building? Unlikely as it sounds, by stripping the genre down to its basic elements, developer Relic created a fast-moving, aggressive strategy game that captured the feel of its dark sci-fi universe perfectly -- and its pizazz-packed graphics engine made it one of the best-looking strategy games ever. Its RPG-like character advancement system sold us on the single-player campaign, and the intricate multiplayer kept us coming back for months. If this is what dawn is like, we hope the sun never sets." - Yahoo! Games
It's always a great feeling to be singled out for an award like this, especially as we are hard at work on making Chaos Rising a worthy expansion! Lots of extra hours are going into that game right now, so this is a great bit of encouragement.
Tue, 12/08/2009 - 4:25pm | by Thunder
Relic Designer Philippe Boulle looks back at the Blood Raven's previous clashes with Chaos...
Chaos Rising marks the return of the dreaded Chaos Space Marines to the forefront of the Dawn of War franchise. Although absent from Dawn of War II's initial campaign, these dark reflections of the Space Marines have a long history with the franchise.
A History of Battle
In the original Dawn of War, the Blood Ravens fought across Planet Tartarus against Orks, Eldar and the ultimately, the forces of the Alpha Legion, one of the Space Marine legions fallen to Chaos. Although these traitors were under the command of the Chaos Lord Bale, the true mastermind of the Tartarus campaign was the Chaos Sorcerer Sindri Myr. This dread heretic corrupted the Blood Ravens Librarian Isador Akios and sacrificed Bale himself in a quest to obtain a foul artifact called the Maleficium. At the climax of that campaign, Sindri Myr achieved dark ascension and was briefly reborn as a Daemon Prince -- briefly, because Gabriel Angelos and the Blood Ravens slew the newborn fiend before he could summon his full power.
In Dawn of War: Winter Assault, the Imperial Guard's 412th Cadian Regiment joined elements of the Ultramarines in an attempt to recover the mighty Titan Dominatus from the Chaos and Ork infested planet Lorn V. Chaos Lord Crull of the World Eaters legion led the heretic forces on Lorn V and he dreamed of using the Dominatus to drown whole sectors in blood for his patron, the Blood God Khorne. Crull was ultimately defeated, betrayed and killed by his Ork "ally" Gorgutz.
In Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, seven armies clashed over Planet Kronus. The Blood Ravens, under command of Davian Thule, ultimately prevailed, but the battle was long and hard. Eliphas the Inheritor led the Chaos forces of the Word Bearer legion on Kronus, and they ravaged large sections of the planet. When the Blood Ravens drove into the Chaos stronghold on the Deimos Peninsula, Eliphas was torn asunder by his own daemonic masters.
Now, rumors have surfaced that Eliphas survived Kronus and is hungry for vengeance.
Finally, in Dawn of War: Soulstorm, the Alpha Legion returned to plague the Blood Ravens as part of the massive conflict over the Kaurava System. The Blood Ravens suffered tremendous losses in the Kaurava campaign, many at the hands of Firaeveus Carron, a Champion of Khorne.
The Blood Ravens have fought valiantly against many heretical cults and Chaos warbands. The Alpha Legion and Word Bearers have both suffered at their hands. Yet, chapter records reveal several missed opportunities for the Blood Ravens to oppose the Black Legion, perhaps the most fearsome of the Chaos Space Marine legions.
Why the Blood Ravens would pull back from conflicts with the Black Legion is unknown. The truth is sure to come out soon, however -- a Black Legion warband under the command of Araghast the Pillager has its sights set on Aurelia and the Blood Ravens.
Tue, 12/08/2009 - 2:33pm | by Thunder
Kicking off Gamasutra's look back at 2009, they have published their choices for the top 5 PC games of the year. Dawn of War II was included at #2 on the list, which is quite an honor given how many great games came out this year:
"2. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (Relic Entertainment) ...
The single-player campaign, which can be played solo or cooperatively, offers an engaging persistent loot and leveling system informed by Diablo and its ilk, with the map and control mentality of an RTS -- a formula that pays off. And the multiplayer mode is a heavily teamwork-driven action-strategy experience that can seem initially unfamiliar, but whose fast pace and roots in well-established gameplay underpinnings lends it to quick learning.
Like a couple other games on this list, Dawn of War II is an admirable reminder that design risks can pay off, and there's no such thing as permanent standardization for a genre." - Gamasutra
Believe it or not, 2009 is coming to an end, so there will no doubt be quite a few people looking back at the big games that left a lasting impression on them.
Tue, 12/01/2009 - 12:33pm | by Thunder
A primer for those unfamiliar with Chaos...
The Powers of Chaos
In the 41st Millennium, Mankind has discovered that the universe we know is but one of two realities. Ours is the physical universe. The other is the Warp, the plane of the immaterial. By slipping through the Warp, space vessels can travel across the Galaxy; by tapping into the Warp, psychics and miracle workers change the physical with the power of their minds. The Warp makes countless other things possible. . . including damnation.
The Warp is a plane where all thoughts, instincts and longings are real and powerful. And for all Mankind's accomplishments, the number of base and venal thoughts far outweigh any thoughts of tranquility or community. Thus the Warp roils with great floods of fear, anger, avarice, hatred, lust and more -- enough so that most humans who find a way to tap into the Warp are driven mad.
But simple madness is not the worst of it. Like attracts like within the Warp, so these urges and emotion agglomerate. Perhaps these agglomerations somehow gained sentience, or perhaps creatures were able to tap into their power, but since the dawn of time, there have been dark and terrible Gods who embody and feed upon these emotions. These Gods and the vast seas of base emotions they sit within are Chaos.
Each of the Dark Gods also has a legion of lesser and greater daemons who likewise both feed on emotion and are made of it. They all have an interest in fostering the emotions that empower them, and for this reason they seek to corrupt Mankind. By sharing the tiniest fragment of his power, a daemon of the Blood God may spur a human to countless murders -- returning the daemon's investment a hundred fold. So while the Dark Gods can and do war among themselves, they all debase humanity and the rest of the physical universe.
And even the noble Space Marines are subject to the temptations and trickeries of Chaos.
The Dark Gods
In the crazed hierarchies of Chaos, only a few creatures sit above all others as Dark Gods.
Khorne is the Blood God, patron of murder, violence and rage. He sends his minions ever-forward on crusades of slaughter and destruction, shouts of "Blood for the Blood God!" always on their lips. Worshippers of Khorne gain potent combat advantages, all the better to spill the innards of their foes.
Nurgle is the Lord of Decay, patron of plagues, entropy and death. He knows the living long for the release of death and is delighted to provide it to them with a fetid smile and phlegm-filled chuckle. He grants his worshippers fearful resilience and the infectious touch of his plagues.
Tzeentch is the Changer of the Ways, patron of sorcery, dark fate and hidden conspiracy. His minions operate in secret, unlocking foul powers and mastering the Warp itself. Worshippers of Tzeentch gain advantages of stealth, powerful ranged attacks, and other means to eliminate their foes before the fools even recognize the danger.
Slaanesh is the Prince of Pleasure, patron of lust, depravity and temptation. Youngest of the Chaos Gods, Slaanesh feeds on the hedonism and passion of the living, calling them to explore ever deeper and darker wants.
For ten centuries the planet Aurelia, has been lost to the warp and was the playground for the Dark Gods Khorne, Nurgle, and Tzeentch. In Dawn of War II – Chaos Rising it is up to your Blood Ravens to reclaim the Planet in the name of the emperor and drive back the Dark Gods foul minions.
Tue, 11/24/2009 - 12:39pm | by Thunder
Producer Jeff Lydell talks about the campaign in Chaos Rising, and some of the things that sets it apart from the original DOW II campaign:
As many of you know we have been working on Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising for the past year. The videos we released have talked about much of the content we have added. Today we are going to talk about some of the work that has gone into producing the Chaos Rising campaign.
We had several big design goals when making Chaos Rising's campaign. The first one was to add more of everything that players loved about Dawn of War II. We found that players really enjoyed leveling, upgrading, and equipping the cast of Blood Ravens, and we wanted to continue giving more toys to play with. We increased the level cap to 30, which let us add more trait unlocks to pursue. We also added new wargear options, including Lightning Claws and Melta guns, on top of newer higher level wargear. Lastly, we added an entire new character, Jonah the Librarian. He brings a new dimension of gameplay to the Blood Ravens, adding powerful offensive psychic spells, supporting abilities, and more. He can customize his abilities with the wargear he equips, which makes him a very interesting character to work with.
The second big goal was to make sure the flavor and theme of Chaos was very prominent in the game, and this led to the development of the corruption gameplay. Corruption adds an entirely new layer to customize your squads with, and directly ties back to choices you make in the campaign. Your squads can become corrupt (or redeem themselves of corruption) by completing specific objectives, capturing crucial structures, making specific choices about mission deployments, or even just by following the example your Force Commander sets. We also tied a number of new wargear pieces to corruption. Some pieces of gear will require you to be corrupted, others will require you to be pure. Others will be easy to equip, but cause you to become corrupt. Becoming wholly corrupt or remaining wholly pure is difficult, but neither is a penalty- they both come with unique rewards and playstyles. The choices you will make around corruption will sometimes be challenging, sometimes tempting, and always interesting.
The last major goal was to add more variety to the campaign missions. To accomplish this we made more types of objectives, and added new exciting moments in each of the missions. The environments themselves are incredibly memorable and dynamic- the new planet, Aurelia, transforms over the course of the campaign from a barren, ice-encased city into a shattered range of fissures and floating plateaus. Each of the missions are now unique, from the enemies you face, right down to the corrupting objectives. As a result the missions are longer, so the 15 mission campaign will be quite substantial in playtime.
Overall the campaign is shaping up quite nicely, and we will be excited to let everyone get their hands on it next March.