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Dean19 Sep 20168456
Things have been a bit quiet over the last month or so, both here and at Robot HQ. The silence is usually a sign of big news to come and this is no exception. Today Robot Entertainment has announced how the studio plans to move forward with Orcs Must Die! Unchained following the recent Open Beta. There is some important news here about the future of the game.
The big news
Open Beta is about collecting feedback from players, the community and looking at the data. As players play the game data is collected which tells Robot what people like to play and combined with feedback on forums and reviews helps shape the final game based on players needs. Unfortunately after very careful review the decision has been made to stop work on the PvP Siege mode. This is absolutely not the end of OMDU, instead the Survival mode will now get the studios’ 100% focus. Siege and Survival modes have long been battling against other for studio resources. Balancing the heroes abilities, traps for both modes was becoming very difficult and has been slowing overall development progress for the game.
However the research from the data, the players has shown that there is more demand for gameplay closer to the classic OMD1 and 2 tower defense style. Robot have been working on the Siege mode for a number of years, rest assured that after all this time this decision is certainly not one that has been taken lightly. It is unfortunate but by focussing on making Survival a great game mode ensures solid foundations for OMDU with a strong community of players who can pick up the game and have great fun. Something we all want to see. This is not necessarily the end of PvP play for the long term, it is still open to returning. It will not be in the form that we see right now though.
There will no doubt be many disappointing Siege players reading this news, especially those who have been supporting game from the outset where Siege mode was the main component. For those players I say stick with it. Stick with the game as Robot moves forwards with Survival. What we see with Survival today is not how the game will be looking next patch. The studio has invested all its manpower in the new Survival mode. It’s going to be a big push with a lot of great content coming up. OMDU is heading to its roots. With the foundations in place it is important to remember that OMDU is built to scale, to adapt to new ideas and game modes later down the line. Getting a great Survival mode in place is just the start.
Robot Entertainment continues to listen to the community to get the best outcomes for the majority of players. Be sure to check out the full blog post on the Orcs Must Die! website to learn more about the reasoning and the plan ahead. There will also be an Insider Access tomorrow with Robot CEO Patrick Hudson and Executive Producer Chris Rippy. That’s at the usual time of 3PM CT. Ian Fischer, AKA “Morther” will also be taking to Reddit with an AMA on Thursday September 22nd. You can catch the Reddit right here: http://www.reddit.com/r/OrcsMustDie
Siege mode will be removed from the game with the next update, which so far does not have a confirmed release date. Stay tuned for more news.Dean09 Sep 20168451
If you are a fan of the infamous Worms series, Team 17 have a treat for Orcs Must Die! Unchained fans. As part of featuring various indie and mainstream games, the new Worms game features three OMDU inspired Worms styles – Max, Gabby and Blackpaw plus an awesome unique attack called “Minions” where minions spawn on the map and take to decimating enemy worms. The game is plenty fun!
Check out the trailer below and you can pick the game up on pretty much any platform, console and PC via Steam, Xbox One, PS4.Dean12 Aug 20168444
Worms W.M.D the next title in the popular and long running Worms series by Team 17 will play host to a number of ‘all stars’ featuring skins and weapons from various indie games. Games such as Rocket League, Goat Simulator, The Escapists and more will feature in the new game. Along with these the Orcs Must Die! franchise will also be paying a visit.
Worms fans can enjoy playing as Maximilan, Gabby and Blackpaw all in worm form along with a sweet OMDU inspired weapon “minions” where a hoard of minions take to the battle field to attack your foes.
The game is available later this month, August 23rd and celebrates the 21st anniversary of Worms. The game has a new art style and engine tweaked to provide classic physics. To get a feel for the game you can check out todays stream on Twitch where the bots from Robot Entertainment went up against Team 17 staff. Check that out below:
The game can be pre-ordered right now and you can pre-order with the “all stars” pack to get the OMDU content and much more. Check out www.team17.com for the details!Dean12 Jul 20168430
Today, Orcs from all over the globe will be celebrating as their majesty Queen Bionka returns to the battlefield to support the Unchained. Players from the closed beta may recognise Bionka as “Ball and Chain” who appeared briefly in closed beta phase 1. Astute Orcs Must Die! fans may also remember her from Orcs Must Die! 2 where she was introduced in the “Family Ties” DLC.
Following the trend of other heroes who have returned to OMDU, she has been given the full re-design experience with a new set of abilities and skills. Similar to Bloodspike who works well being near to his minions, Bionka shares the benefit in a similar way but instead of feeding on their pain, the motherly Bionka supports her minions and gains up to 20% healing re-generation when around them. By singing a lullaby with her “shift” ability friendly minions reduce their damage taken as part of the damage is redirected to the queen herself. She also packs a wallop with her heavy mace which can be swing at enemies for wide area damage or slammed down for much larger damage in a more specific area. Her “E” ability, “BEAT DEM BACK” packs a major punch and allows Bionka to use her flail to knock-back enemies great distances. Your enemies will be in for a surprise, similar to Zoey’s “Book Bash”.
With her “Bionka Bounce” ability her weight comes to her advantage as she jumps in the air and lands on the ground causing nearby enemies to be thrown in the air, stunning them briefly. Great for setting up combos against minions or allowing others to finish off an enemy hero. This ability can be upgraded via weavers to for example, add damage.
Bionka is also equipped with an interesting glyph, the ‘Orcish Field Promotion” glyph. This is something different than what we have seen before. When placed this glyph upgrades any Orcs that pass over it to the next tier. For instance light orcs become medium orcs, and medium orcs become heavy orcs – a type of orc not otherwise available in PvP mode! The glyph has a limited number of promotions it can give before it disappears. It can be replaced, however. This is a good example of something a bit more different that can be achieved with glyphs.
Bionka overview video
To see more about Bionka’s redesign check out Nananea’s Bionka overview video below!
More more more…
Of course, Bionka isnt the only change coming in this patch, in usual Robot style its a jam-packed patch full of new content.
New survival Maps
5-star Skull system for survival maps
Remember those 5-skulls you could earn in previous OMD games for beating the level in par time without losing rift points? They make a return in OMDU in the form of the 5-skull system. Are you brave enough to try to 5-skull all the levels? Beware… 5-skulls might be harder than you think!
The first pass at a new guilds system is now in patch 1.3. Players can form groups of friends who can play together, chat and earn guild points which unlock special rewards.
With so much to see and do be sure to open you game client now and download this latest and greatest patch. See you in-game!Dean26 Jun 20168420
Following on from ‘The Baths‘ the next new smaller survival map heading to Orcs Must Die! Unchained is the ‘Throne Room’. As revealed on last weeks Insider Access the Throne Room is home to one famous Orc in particular.. closed beta OMDU players may remember a playable hero Orc ‘Ball and Chain‘ who looks set to make a return next patch with her own survival map. It will be interesting to see what new things lay in wait following her hero re-work. Fans should be sure to tune into this weeks Insider Access where details could well be revealed!
Her map not only features a throne room but also features a rather large swinging mace that can be triggered by both ranged and melee heroes by hitting a switch. When pressed the huge ball comes flying across the bridge, decimating any minions in its path.
You can see more of the map including insider details from Paul Slusser about the art and its design speaking alongside Justin “SixOkay” Korthof on last weeks Insider Access shown below.Dean18 Jun 20168412
In case you missed out on last weeks Insider Access, it has recently been revealed that the next survival map destined for OMDU will be a welcome return of an old favourite – “The Baths” from the original Orcs Must Die! This was an early level from act 1 and the level is split in two. It was the level where the famous Wind Belt was introduced.
The level is now making a return in Orcs Must Die! Unchained as a smaller survival map aiming to bring back the feel of some of those smaller OMD maps from previous titles. The Baths has been given a visual overhaul for Unchained. Nananea has produced a 360 degree video so that you can explore how the level now looks in the spruced up new engine. Check it out below:
And for more details on the the level including the reasons for bringing it back, check out the Insider Access with artist Paul Slusser below for the inside info. The Baths is one of a number of new Survival maps coming to Unchained which will pay homage to the smaller style maps from earlier games. There are plenty of survival maps in the works to fill up the survival level list from levels 0-100. The goal is to have as many diverse levels in their as possible, both big and small.
What about Siege maps?
Players who are craving more Siege maps should not fear, there are siege maps in the works. In order to accommodate the 5v5 players these maps have to be larger and take closely into account game balance and neutral objectives, understandbly these maps take longer to create as a result. Rest assured there are bots in the studio working on Siege maps and content to be on the lookout for news on these soon.Dean12 Jun 20168396
Ian Fischer, Design Director at Robot, or as you may better know him as “Mother” has taken part in another Reddit AMA to answer fans burning questions! From Orcs Must Die! to the gaming industry there were plenty of questions asked and some very detailed answers in response. A couple of highlights:
Love the franchise, having a ton of fun. Survival seems a ways behind Siege in terms of development, and the ‘account level’ focus for maps seems flawed as players end up passing over a lot of early content with no reason to go back (rewards/challenge aren’t there). Any plans for the following?
- “achievement system” a la OMD2 (5-skull rating on a map)
- “scaling down” so a L300 account can play a L30 map without blowing everything away
Things are coming online for survival, piece at a time. I’ve mentioned before that we felt like we understood survival better, so we started with siege and then moved to survival. Survival still has a ways to go before we’d call it “done.”
All three of the issues you mention are things we see as well. I’m not 100% certain what Six has announced or hinted at on these things already, so I can’t talk official specifics about them. However, I can say that, personally, un-officially, I think we really need a five-skull system, a way to downscale high level players so they can play games with lower level pals that are fun and rewarding, and an endgame that doesn’t involve three hour endless runs.
It’s worth noting that the five star skull system is returning to OMDU in survival mode as a 5 star system as revealed in the last episode of Insider Access and todays email newsletter. You are subscribed to the newsletter, arent you?
Another interesting question was asked by ElsakaS:
Are there upcoming changes to the end-game of Siege mode? For me in the end-game if you places your traps very well and a good played defence, it’s sometimes impossible for the minions to get to the core.
I had something in mind like reduced max traps, stronger minions or even that champions kills in some way decrease the points of the core.
Yes. I’ve already mentioned some bits of this (like not being three hours long and not being 80+ only). That’s one angle — the basic system. We also feel like these maps could be more interesting with some gameplay / challenge changes and we’re working on some of that now too.
Those players who have been advancing through the levels playing Siege can expect some interesting new content by the looks of things to shake things up.
Be sure to check out the full AMA on Reddit for more inside scoop from Mother’s mind on OMDU and more via the link below. Essential reading!