We recently had the chance to speak with Nathan Richardsson, Senior Producer for Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade, on PvE and Tyranids in the game. While WH40k: EC is primarily a PvP focused game, there will be a PvE mode where you fight against the Tyranids and possibly other enemies for the glory of your faction and for the ongoing campaign. While Eternal Crusade doesn't sound like a PvE focused game at all, the Tyranids will provide a more casual play mode while allowing you to continute to contribute to the campaign in the game. We've asked a few questions on how PvE will implement at the launch of early access and what the future will hold for the game mode.
I'm pretty excited for the game, which should be hitting early access this fall, and personally can't wait to take out some 'nids with a heavy bolter. The questions follow the renders below.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can we get a quick rundown of how PvE is currently planned to be implemented for early access launch, or the soonest it'll make it into the game?
Nathan Richardsson: Right now our focus is entirely on doing the “shooter” part of “massive online shooter” fun, before we take anything else on. I’d therefore say it’s quite a while till you see any serious amount of PVE content in either closed alpha or beta.
That being said, we will either work with the territories, where they are affecting a territory controlled by a faction and invading it – or we’ll take the opposite route, where we’re focusing more on the instanced group co-op modes.
It all depends on which direction closed alpha takes, the founder’s feedback, what we feel is needed to bring a consistent and closely tied together experience forward. We’re very much in the “this is our direction, lets test it and get feedback, implement feedback, continuously improve” kind of mode.
The PvE portion of the game at launch looks to be a horde survival mode with you and your team vs. a swarm of Tyranids. Is there a chance we'll see other non-playable races like the Imperial Guard and Daemons make their way into horde mode? Playable horde style races like Orks?
Horde survival is definitely an established small-player co-op mode we’ll adapt to our environment, but we have more ideas. The thing is that all those game modes to fit the Tyranid quite well. You know, except the psychic hive mind aspect.
Regarding other non-playables, we’ve absolutely discussed that with Games Workshop and done investigations. But that’s a bit far back on our list to do and certainly not before launch. But with the universe being so immensely rich, there are so many minor “brutal towards everybody” factions out there to choose from that we’ll have plenty of opportunities.
If I was primarily a PvE player, would I find the PvE aspect satisfactory on its own, or is it more ancillary like pirates in EVE where to most players it's a boost, but the real enjoyment is PvP.
I’d rather say that like with EVE, they both tie together in very different ways. PVE contributes to campaign as well as PVP. Would you be a PvE only player? I find that very unlikely to begin with. There are so many great games out there that focus on that, and our goal is more to have options, which all still tie together in the larger scheme of things.
If I'm an avid PvP player and decide to drop into a PvE match, will the same general concepts apply?
Yes, we don’t really want to create a huge divide between how PVP and PVE is within the game. Your weapon and gear loadouts, abilities etc. will always have a flavor to be better in different situations, but that doesn’t eliminate that the goals in PVE won’t be entirely different and use your class abilities entirely differently.
As it has been suggested to work so far, the Tyranid capillary towers will arrive on various hotspots and if left unchecked, will capture the land and disrupt the faction's ownership. Will they then spread out from there, like an infection, or will it be contained to that specific node.
Not that I’m particularly in favor of messing to much with a largely player-drive world – but yes, I would most certainly look into a spreading infestation if they were left unchecked. The Tyranid are like that, in lore and in action.
I find it only natural that if we’re giving power to the players to make the world more lifelike and dynamic, that the non-player counterparts aren’t so static and stupid.
Similar to the previous question, will there be a maximum amount of the map Tyranids can control? If everyone logs off for the night, will it be safe to assume very little will happen overnight?
We haven’t started to discuss the plans we have for overnights, the pacing of territorial conquest, how campaigns affect that and so forth, simply because we’re focusing so much on the shooter aspect – but these are constantly living worlds, so why should you not wake up to some more Tyranids in your face? I find it kind of charming actually. Finally you can blame someone else for dribbling on your pillow.
Are there any other modes outside of Horde mode planned?
Yes, we’re looking at quite a few modes, which would fit with our universe, make sense in the larger scheme of things as contributors to a theater of war, but how they will be is too early to discuss. Even the number of modes at launch will be determined by playtesting. We’d like them to be fun. There are a lot of established game modes out there which could fit quite well, if adapted to our universe. Just use your imagination, we are :)
Will rewards for PvE be far less than PvP maps or comparable?
Great question – because it actually depends on the circumstances. Is the PVE part of the global campaign and are you contributing to the war effort? Or are you more behind the scenes and hunting remnant, which aren’t part of the campaigns? If you are contributing, PVE rewards quite well. Not as much as PVP would that’s part of the campaigns, but not far from it either.
While the open world experience won't be at launch, is anything PvE planned right now for the OWE?
Yes, everything we do, we try to do modular, in a pragmatic way, which we can apply more easily to the future expansion of Arkhona and the surrounding area. So not just dynamic PVE encounters but also new dynamic PVP encounters. Or even three-ways. What?
Any base building type plans for the PvE component, for example, spawning turrets or boarding up windows in a building to hold out in?
Those are all post-launch dreams right now. We’re quite fond of housing in the future after we launch, be that anything from personal or quild quarters, on a cruiser or in a dungeon, or mechanics in PVE which are more long-term. It all sounds very sexy but right now, it’s out of our scope.
Would like to thank Nathan for taking his time out of his schedule to answer a few of our questions on PvE. You can purchase a founder's pack for the game now, on the Eternal Crusade website, with early access starting sometime this fall.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade Game Page.