E3 2012: End of Nations preview
With over three years of development, Trion has been working diligently on End of Nations. This free to play game will bridge the Real Time Strategy genre with the MMO genre. While keeping elements from classic RTS game modes, such as 1v1’s, 2v2’s, and so on… End of Nations can have up to 56 players in one match – 28v28. When not playing against players, you can play vs AI and cooperatively with friends as well. This game wants to bring massive scale combat to your PC.
End of Nations will run on persistent servers. You’ll be able to log in and out whenever and hop right back into what you were doing. Currently there are two playable factions with plans to introduce many more in the future. One faction is known as the Liberation Front. This faction reminds me of the Command and Conquer’s GDI faction. They have the big tanks and the big weapons. The other faction, the Shadow Revolution, user the faster, stealth, hit and run tactics; similar to the NOD. These two factions fight each other and the common enemy known as the Order of Nations.
The MMO aspect of the game comes in with your commanders. These hero type troops have special abilities, unique combat vehicles, and gain experience. This experience allows them to gain levels which allow them to put points in talent trees. These trees allow more offensive game play, more defensive game play, and even allow you to take a more supportive role. While you can have multiple commanders, only one can be on the battlefield at a time.
When you start, you will have a few premade companies to choose though but you can also create and customize your own. When I say customize I do mean customize. You can pick what commander to use, what units are in your company, the paint job of your units (bacon is an option), what support buildings you can have, and what abilities your commander can use. Once you get more familiar, you can really make your companies exactly how you want them.
The gameplay works like an RTS without building management. There are buildings that preexist which can be upgraded to allow better troops to constantly join the battlefield, but you don’t manage them. In the game mode that was demoed to me, the player had to take two victory points to lower the enemy’s shield around their base and then crush them. Say you win but three of your units get destroyed, after the battle they come back. If you lose and all your units are destroyed, you get them all back at the end. There are more rewards in winning than losing of course, but the game is very forgiving for losing with no major penalties.
On the server you’re on, there is a meta game where your faction is battling the other for world dominance. Every few weeks or months, one faction will win then reset. There are rewards to all of those who participate; more to the winners. The game has a few non-conventional RTS modes, such as capture the flag. The devs are going to watch which games work and which are more popular to see where they should put their future time. In End of Nations, the community will have a lot of sway.
As I said previously, this game will take on the free to play model and include micro-transactions. Before you cringe, real money can never give you an advantage over your opponent. The only aspects of the game that be bought with real money that can’t be bought with in game money are cosmetic things; the developers don’t won’t those dishing out money into the game to run around invincible. On a personal note, I went from knowing nothing about this game to being highly excited for it. I won’t have too much longer to wait. I definitely recommend checking this game out, it’s free after all.