Posts

  • Chaos Trials on route to OMDU with patch 2.2
    Dean
    8623

    Patch 2.2 for Orcs Must Die! Unchained is just around the corner, landing June 20th. This new patch will bring a brand new mode to the Survival gameplay – Chaos Trials. What is this and how does this work, you ask? Well as players are playing OMDU in the Survival, Sabotage, Endless, and Weekly Challenges they will now have a chance of chaos key being dropped. These keys can then be used to enter a chaos trial challenge.

    Each key will have an assigned difficulty level (Apprentice, War Mage, Master, and Rift Lord) granting them access to that level of trial. However, these keys will additionally have ‘modifiers’ attached. These modifiers alter the gameplay in certain ways. For instance there might be “No health potion drops”, “More mana potion drops”, “More expensive floor traps” just as an example. These interesting modifiers will mean players will have to think carefully about the hero and set up they will be bringing to the match.

    Like other modes, Chaos Trials can be played with 1-3 players. Winning a chaos trial will cause the key to be upgraded so that players can move on to the next trial which will have a new set of modifiers. Each key only have three lives, so be careful and losing all your lives means you will need to find a new key to restart the trials. However, completing as many chaos trials as possible will yield better rewards.

    Chaos Trials are looking to be a new interesting way to play OMDU with great rewards. Chaos Trials are not the only thing of course coming to OMDU in patch 2.2. There is also a raft of balance changes and fixes and additional new features including….

    New Mercenary – The iMage

    The iMage is a new mage merc who has the unique ability of splitting into multiple variations: Arcane, Fire, Frost, and Lightning. Each mage packs a punch with its own unique elemental ranged attack. However, only one of these mages is the real mage. Destroying the real mage will cause the others to be eliminated – but which one is the real iMage?

    Full Screen Dash

    The first iteration of the long requested full screen dashboard will be available in this patch. There are additional future improvements coming in the future to make the dashboard more suitable for full screen. However, for now it will be possible to make the dash full screen and it will scale appropriately. There is also a redesigned play screen for selecting matches and modes.

    Sabotage

    The Academy Sewers map is now available for play in Sabotage and there are new consumables with the Polymorph Chicken sounding particularly amusing:

    • Polymorph Chicken: select one enemy hero and turn him or her into a chicken.
    • Immolation Staff: places a staff on the enemy team’s battleground that damages barricades, decoys, and summoner trap retainers.
    • Armored Giants: Summons a medium-sized army of armored giants.

    Full Patch notes

    The above is of course just a taster of the main changes coming in patch 2.2. To delve in to all the balances changes, fixes and small improvements check out the full patch notes on the official website on the link below. This patch will be landing June 20th – see you in game!

    Full patch notes:

    http://forums.orcsmustdie.com/discussion/13416/release-2-2-chaos-trials

    Patch 2.1 lands for OMDU, brings Premium Shoppe and more!
    Dean
    8608

    Robot Entertainment has this week released patch 2.1 for Orcs Must Die! Unchained. This patch brings a number of balance changes and fixes along with some new features including the fan requested Premium Shoppe for new content once traps have reached tier 7. Here is the low-down on some of the changes:

    Premium Shoppe

    This is a new store in the dashboard targeted specifically to high level players who have reached tier 7 on their trap upgrades. These dedicated players in the past would have been receiving duplicates in chests of potentially cards that were already at tier 7. This wasn’t very fun so now these duplicate cards will be rewarding players with gibs. These gibs can then be exchanged for cool things in the new Premium Shoppe, such as rare cards and special vanity items.

    Sabotage – more cards, map and rank changes

    More cards are now available in Sabotage for more multiplayer mayhem. These include:

    • Ability Disable Spell: disables a random enemy hero’s abilities.
    • Drain Unchained Spell: drain the enemy teams’ Unchained meters over time.
    • Crogon Hatchlings: summons a large army of small crogon hatchlings that spit health-draining and slowing poison at heroes that can stack up to 8x.

    The “Falling Folly” map is also now in the pool of maps that can be played in Sabotage.

    One thing to note about Sabotage is that after your game is updated your Sabotage rank will not be shown in the game. This is because the ranking system has been adjusted and players will need to play 5 placement games for the rank to appear again. Your previous Sabotage progress will be considered in the adjusted rank following the placement matches.

    New mercenary

    The Gnoll Breeder is the newest mercenary to be added to the game. This fearful merc releases smaller “teacup” gnolls onto the battlefield who like their older counterparts target heroes on the map. Players will want to take out the Gnoll Breader quickly to stop the map filling up with more and more teacup gnolls!

    Delve into the patch notes

    For more details on this weeks update you can take a look at the full patch notes below. The  full patch notes include the details of individual hero changes as well.

    https://forums.orcsmustdie.com/discussion/13064/patch-2-1-premium-shoppe

    Staff changes at Robot Entertainment
    Dean
    8583

    We have some sad news about some staff changes taking place at Robot Entertainment following the release of Orcs Must Die! Unchained. Speaking on the ‘Orcs After Dark’ twitch stream this week, Community Manager, Laura “Harmonia“ Barrett commented that several staff are sadly leaving the studio following lay-offs that are taking place. Readers may be aware that in the gaming industry lay-offs sometimes happen after games are released.

    Typically as games are being finalised there is a big push and need for resources to get a game out the door and then when a game does go live a studio may find itself with a larger workforce and needing to distribute those resources onto other projects which may be in early stages. Kotaku has an informative article on this topic. It is unfortunate that Robot Entertainment finds itself in a similar position of a scenario that is all too common in the gaming industry, the post-ship downsize. Robot is a smaller independent studio and no doubt managing striking these balances is incredibly difficult.

    Speaking to REF, the studio commented:

    Over the recent years, we have staffed Robot Entertainment to focus almost exclusively on Orcs Must Die! Unchained. After a tremendous effort from the entire studio, last month we launched the PC version. We are incredibly proud of it and are really excited about our plans to support the game, along with the upcoming PlayStation4 version, with new content and improvements. However, our studio demands are different now than they were during the core development of the game, and today we made the difficult decision to let go of 16 full-time employees and six contractors in order to better fit our current direction. These employees are our friends and we are doing all that we can to support them in their future endeavors.

     

    SixOkay is among those leaving

    It is with sadness that REF can report that one staff member affected includes Justin Korthof, Marketing Manager – aka SixOkay. Justin who has worked for the studio for around seven years following the announcement of Age of Empires Online, has spent the majority of his time at the studio as Community Manager and has been the main bot talking and engaging with the community and fans directly throughout those years. Justin’s hard work and dedication during that time has fostered a great relationship between the studio and its fans. Fans will miss him greatly on the forums and on Twitch streams. We have no doubt though that his legendary reputation and legacy will take him to big places in the future and we will keep an eye on where the future takes him.

    Laura “Harmonia” Barrett will continue to support the community moving forwards as Community Manager. Robot will continue to engage with the community and its fans. Twitch streams such as Insider Access and Orcs After Dark will continue.

    K2D2 is also departing

    Other staff members include Kirst Kahler, aka K2D2, Associate Producer (localization) who previously worked on all the OMDU lore was a popular face on the twitch streams and Mitchell Waudbaurer, aka MitchellW, customer service is also departing. Mitchell was often found around the forums helping players with technical issues. Winter will continue to provide support for players. All staff affected will be sorely missed.

    The studio moves forward with the continued development of OMDU and Hero Academy 2. Expect to see news on both these soon. This week is another episode of Insider Access with Shade that will cover the patch notes for the upcoming update. Be there!

    Orcs Must Die! Unchained has launched!
    Dean
    8578

    Orcs Must Die! Unchained has now officially launched and is available free to play from www.orcsmustdie.com and Steam. It has been a long road to release and the game has undergone alot of changes since it first became available on the beta programmes. Player feedback during the beta has been the heart of the design decisions made in todays release of Orcs Must Die! Unchained. The game is takes forward that classic formula from OMD1 and 2 and expands on it with new maps, minions, heroes and abilities. Plus introduces for the first time the new head to head mode “Sabotage“.

    OMDU is free to play, if you have not already head on over to Steam or the OMD website to download and play! Be sure to leave your feedback on the game and the new Sabotage mode in the comments or forums!

    Trailer

    There is also a brand new launch trailer to check out below. The Orcs are back!

    Orcs Must Die! Unchained release date set – new game mode!
    Dean
    8565

    It has been a long road to release but it seems now the release is just in sight! Robot Entertainment have announced that Orcs Must Die! Unchained will be launching with patch 2.0 to the masses on April 19th 2017! That’s less than two weeks away! The game will be launching on Steam first with a PS4 release to follow later this year.

    There are more goodies up Robot’s sleeve too. The OMDU launch will also feature a brand new multiplayer mode called Sabotage!

    This mode sees two teams playing on the same map however, they don’t play together per se, instead they play in another dimension. Both teams main objective is to defend their rift as per normal but additionally they can make life hard work for the other team by choosing and sending in minions into the opposing teams waves. Consumables can also be used as well such as causing a mana drain or minion speed buffs for example. There a bigger minion cards like bosses and powerful spells at players disposal as well. The key to victory will be the teams that communicate well and harmonise the minions and spells that are being sent in to the opposing teams waves.

    This new mode tailors to new and advanced players, there is a new tactical map which can be used to see the activity of the other dimension to plot further for the best ways to out-wit them.

    Video

    To help explain Sabotage more, Nananea is on hand with a useful introduction video taking players through the new concept. Check it out below:

    Sabotage is about head-to-head fun, its not a direct replacement for the now departed PvP mode. Speaking on the Orcs After Dark stream this week, designer Jerome Jones commented that this mode is designed to be light hearted fun in similar vain to games like Mario Kart. Where Mario Kart is an “elastic” racing game where players who fall behind gain bigger and better items, in Sabotage a similar effect will happen. Be sure to also check out the commentary on the stream below, but beware the audio issues with volume. I recommend pressing the button to skip the audio issues segment.

    Not long now

    With the release now less than two weeks away its time to get excited about OMDU becoming ready for the masses come April 19th. Tell your friends!

    Hero Academy 2 in development with BonusXP
    Dean
    8549

    Hero Academy fans rejoice! The turn based tactics game which proved very popular when it launched in early 2012 is set to get its sequel! The original marked Robot Entertainment’s first mobile game and was not only a hit with players but proved critically successful too, winning the “Best Mobile Game” at the DICE 2013 awards. It will soon be time to return to the Academy with Hero Academy 2 which is being developed by BonusXP.

    Bonus who?

    You might be wondering who these folks at BonusXP are and you might be interested to know that the studio shares alot in common with Robot Entertainment. BonusXP was founded by Dave Pottinger, John Evanson and Jason Sallenbach who have all helmed from Ensemble Studios. The studio is based in Texas along with Robot Entertainment. BonusXP also has legendary game designer Bruce Shelley on board. This commonality and highly trusted studio staffers makes BonusXP a great partner to deliver Hero Academy 2 whilst Robot continues to work on Orcs Must Die! Unchained.

    What’s new

    Hero Academy was a great formula and its looking like Hero Academy 2 will retain the core gameplay but will be taking it to the next level. The most notable change is that Hero Academy 2 will be using real-time matches. This means there will be no more long waits for players to make their moves. Instead players will be making moves there and then, this should greatly speed up the pace of games.

    It also appears there is a new card collecting mechanic with players choosing the cards to bring into battle. This should mean more diverse matches with wider ranges of strategies. Mechanic improvements like this should really take the game to the next level of additional depth. The visuals have been given an overhaul too. According to the official website:

    Hero Academy 2 builds on the original’s amazing tactical gameplay. We’ve added exciting new characters to the familiar fan favorites, all done in full-3d environments. Matches are real-time now. You can also customize your teams by collecting cards and building your own decks.

    The game will be coming to both iOS and Android and will be launching some time in 2017. Get excited with the brand new teaser trailer below!

    Trailer

    Orcs Must Die! EU service transitioning to Robot Entertainment
    Dean
    8542

    Some important news for Orcs Must Die! Unchained players in the EU. It has been announced today that from March 14th GameForge will be transitioning Orcs Must Die EU services to Robot Entertainment. This means that on that date it will no longer be possible to play Orcs Must Die! Unchained on the EU client.

    Never fear, however, EU players will be back up and running from the 21st March on a new unified account with Orcs Must Die NA players, managed by Robot Entertainment. All players currently on the EU client will have the option to migrate from their Gameforge account to a new Robot Entertainment account from March 21st.

    Gameforge Producer, Andy Duthie comments:

    This has been a very difficult decision for us to make but we believe this is the best for the future of the game. Robot Entertainment have proved to be excellent partners in getting to this stage and with the game now coming into fruition it is best for them to continue shaping it moving forwards.

     

    What does this mean?

    For the community this means that the EU and NA player base will now be combined, growing a new single, unified community between these new regions. This not only includes the in-game player base but also community forums and such like. You’ll now be able to add friends in-game for all players between these regions. The new blog on the Orcs Must Die website indicates:

    We are still working out the specifics, but we fully intend to maintain EU and NA communities on the Orcs Must Die! website. Our goal is to foster one big, happy OMDU community as much as we can while still making sure we pay specific attention to regional communities.

    There will still be actual servers in the EU region, so there should not be an impact on network performance.

    Transferring your account purchases, account level etc

    The migration tool that launches on March 21st will guide players through the process of transitioning to a new Robot account. All in-game purchases, gold and account level will be transferred to your new account. Gold will be converted at the correct Robot Entertainment rate. Players will not be losing out on anything via this conversion in terms of purchases and game progress.

    However, unfortunately friends list and other social features cannot be transferred to your new Robot account. Additionally, if your username is already taken on the Robot account system, you will have to create a new one.

    Week long maintenance also brings new patch

    There will be one week long maintenance from when the EU servers close on the 14th until migration opens on the 21st March. This maintenance will enable Robot Entertainment and Gameforge to prepare for the upcoming account migrations. There is more good news to this maintenance, it will also see a new patch release for the game too. Mark the 21st in your calendar as a day to watch for new OMDU content and unified player-base!


    It’s been a good ride on the OMDU EU servers. We have much enjoyed the excellent streams from FaTeReLLa before her departure late last year. The community forums have been full of useful discussion from Siege through to Survival. Good times await the unified playerbase and community. Thank-you Gameforge for supporting the EU players for the last three years.

    To read more about this announcement be sure to check the new blog by Robot’s VP of Production, Chris Rippy on the link below:

    https://na.orcsmustdie.com/#!/en/blog/robot-global-publishing