Archive

End of Nations - The Countdown to Launch

Posted Thu, Jun 07, 2012 by Sardu

End of Nations has undergone some fairly radical changes since it was first revealed. Originally it blurred the lines between RPG and RTS a bit too much, resulting in a very cool game, but one that complex enough that gamers didn't quite know what to make of it. Over time, some of the RPG elements have been downplayed, while the RTS hooks have been refined to the point where I would describe EoN as being an “RTS-Lite” experience.

To expand on what that means a bit, consider it this way. Part of why MOBA games such as DotA and LoL have struck such a big chord with gamers is that they game type distills RTS gaming into the more action oriented components, leaving the repetitive and redundant process of base building on the cutting room floor.

End of Nations Screenshot


In a similar way, End of Nations turns many standard RTS conventions on their ears, and cuts directly to the part where you’re having awesome combat experiences. Not only that, but you’re never going to hit that point where you realize you should have scouted better and just wasted 20 minutes building up an army that isn’t viable against your opponents troops.

Checking in with the game at E3, it was interesting to see just how far the game has progressed since I had the opportunity to play it last summer. At that point the gameplay felt solid enough, but the UI was still in a pretty awkward place. On the one hand, shortcuts were readily familiar for hardcore RTS fans, but the overall UI was simply unintuitive for people who lack experience with the genre, or have only dabbled in that style of play.

Now, however, things have been polished up and tightened to the point where I’d even go so far as to say the entire interface is not only incredibly slick, but hints at a direction I wish the rest of the genre would take notice of.

End of Nations Screenshot

The layout of key elements are formed in hex patterns – a visual queue that carries over across other parts of the game such as map regions and even the advancement systems. The on-screen display during matches is still a bit larger than what MMO players may be used to, but streamlined enough that it provides just the right amount of visual feedback to keep you focused on the action rather than playing the UI. Typically I find it pretty irksome to ‘play the UI’ in RTS games, but don’t really feel that will be an issue in End of Nations.

Things have been polished up and tightened ... I’d go so far as to say the entire interface is not only incredibly slick, but hints at a direction I wish the rest of the genre would take notice of.

According to Petroglyph president Michael Legg, End of Nations will be entering beta in a few weeks, and from there it’s simply a matter of making any necessary balance tweaks and polishing things up in preparation for an August launch. Based on what we were shown this week, I definitely thing the game is in pretty good shape at this point, and can’t wait to see what the larger gaming world makes of it during the beta.

Another thing that stood out for me is how far the Armory interface has come along since this time last year as well. Last summer the armory felt a lot more like an oddball take on player housing found in fantasy MMOs, albeit with a very distinct military flavor, and one that encompassed multiple structures rather than a single interior.

End of Nations Screenshot

Now the armory looks and feels a bit more like the docks and fitting screen found in EVE which I consider to be a good thing. All relevant aspects of your units, upgrades and customization can be accessed from a single source, with larger display of highlighted units in the center of the screen. So as you excitedly apply the awesome bacon skin to your troops you can get a real sense of what an amazing spectacle a bacon tank truly is.

As always we’ll be keeping a close watch on End of Nations heading into the summer. It’s easily one of the best examples of thinking outside the genre box I’ve seen in quite a while, and would recommend it to anyone who likes RTS on a conceptual level, but would prefer a lot more action and less micromanagement.


"would recommend it to anyone who likes RTS on a conceptual level, but would prefer a lot more action and less micromanagement."
You've just described me exactly. I've always loved the idea behind RTS games but could never quite get into them due to the amount of time managing the UI and building things rather than enjoying the action combat and making on the fly strategic decisions. I've been keeping an eye on this game for a while, and am really happy to read your impressions on it which have got me even more excited to try it out now. Thanks for a great writeup!

I too really enjoy RTS , including base-building, but I generally hate micromanagement. I don't feel like a general if I have to order every space marine to shoot the "correct" target - these are highly trained troops, they should have some understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, role in combat, and more. StarCraft and other hyper click-fests don't feel like Strategy or even Tactics to me, but just another sort of twitch muscle memory based game. I'm very pleased that End of Nations is going another direction as it shows some real innovation in the genre.

It is important to note that besides Petroglyph and their RTS experience, the big developer/publisher for this title is Trion Worlds, of RIFT fame. They're known for being very swift to update, giving tons of free content to the playerbase, listening and responding to players at a level unheard of with most AAA MMOs, and respecting our wallets. They're one of the very few "player focused" MMO publishers/developers that aren't treating the populace like money-filled washrags, and on that alone I can recommend that players check out End of Nations. The game is looking to come together great according to previews such as these.

EoN-Explosion.jpg

The once promising MMORTS turned MOBA has been shelved again by Trion Worlds to allow the developer to focus its resources on other projects.

News
Tue, Mar 04, 2014
Martuk
Trion-Worlds-Logo-Black.jpg

Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman offers up a blanket statement for monetizing YouTube videos for RIFT and Defiance.

News, Official Announcements
Mon, Dec 23, 2013
Martuk
Trion-Logo.jpg

The shakeup under the new Trion Worlds CEO continues this week as the EU publishing office is the next to get canned.

News
Thu, Aug 15, 2013
Martuk
Trion-Logo.jpg

Trion Worlds confirms the closure of its San Diego studio and shifts game operations and development over to its studio in Redwood City.

News, Official Announcements
Thu, Aug 08, 2013
Martuk

News from around the 'Net