• This weeks OMDU streaming schedule

    This week is a great week to tune in to OMDU on Twitch to soak up some of the new awesome phase 2 game play.

    Remember here at REF we do the time-zone conversion for you so there is no need to miss out on a show. You can find all the details on our Twitch Stream page.

    Phase 2 is now LIVE!

    The Phase 2 expansion patch for the North American Orcs Must Die! Unchained region is now LIVE!

    Open your client to begin playing and enjoy! Be sure to post your feedback on the forums.

    Phase 2 is coming this week – March 24th. Behold huge patch notes!

    Good news for OMD fans, the wait is almost over for the next big OMDU beta release. Phase 2 of the closed beta is kicking off this Tuesday, March 24th in the US and soon after in the EU.

    Its been four months since we last saw an OMDU update from Robot, back in November where we saw the Apprentice being added to the hero roster. Since then the studio has been working very hard over these last few months to make some big changes to make the game even more awesome. As you can imagine all these changes over these few months is sure to result in one biiiiig patch list! Indeed – Robot has now made available the almighty patch notes for Phase 2 highlighting the signficant amount of changes that we will be seeing.

    Some of key changes in phase 2 is the pace of the game has been slowed down, heroes move slower, hero abilities have animations that take a small amount of time to play out and some abilities now need to be unlocked via weaver upgrades before they can be used. Speaking of weavers, they have been completely re-designed in Phase 2 as shown in a recent Insider Access stream. The weavers now unlock over time in a match and players can choose certain upgrades at that point.

    The weavers are just one of many things that have been changed and added. There are now bosses, new traps, and a re-worked minion and currency model. Heroes are now assigned clear and defined roles (offence / defence) and they now get an appropriate type of currency at the start of the map depending on their hero type.

    There is just so much new and changed stuff it is difficult to cover everything here. However Ian “Mother” Fischer has provided us with a handy summary on the patch notes to help us get in the picture for those not brave enough to soak in the full patch notes.

    There are a couple of additional things worth highlighting – not all the heroes will be playable in the first phase 2 build. These heroes are still being worked on and will show up later down the line. The heroes confirmed for the first build this week are:

    • Smolder
    • Stinkeye
    • Cygnus (Master)
    • Maximilian (War Mage)
    • Gabriella (Sorceress)
    • Midnight
    • Ivy
    • Blackpaw
    • Hogarth
    • Dobbin (Prospector)

    You may also notice they some of the Heroes now have names. This is to allow the clever minds at Robot to build in some back story for the heroes.

    The trap limits per card have been abolished. Now when you own the card you can place the trap as many times as you like, subject to currency and overall trap count cap. Also heroes no longer take damage from traps. (They only took negligible damage in the first place). This also means heroes can no longer set off traps, too.

    The traps available in the first phase 2 build are:

    • Anti-Magic Field – This Trap removes glyph effects from Minions that cross it and silences passing enemy Heroes briefly.
    • Arrow Walls – A number of the old variants have been removed. The normal Arrow Walls, Fire Arrow Walls, and Glory Seeker Arrow Walls are active.
    • Ballistae – A number of the old variants have been removed. The normal Ballista, the Cursed Ballista, and the Glory Seeker Ballista are active. All Ballistae target in a full 360 degree arc now, rotation does not matter.
    • Barricade – An old favorite that makes a huge difference in the design of your killbox. Be careful using too many of these and not enough damage Traps. Original versions and the Great Wall (2×1) are in the game.
    • Boulder Chute – Triggered and does more damage with higher placement. The damage is a shorter duration now. The default version and the Iceberg version are in the game.
    • Brimstone – Variants have been retired, only normal Brimstone is currently in the game.
    • Cursed Ground – No more Greater Cursed Ground but this one still does Arcane damage to Minions atop it. This Trap now uses charges.
    • Floor Scorcher – Directional, pop-up floor Trap that does fire damage. (Note that it does not flip Minions atop it when it fires.)
    • Floor Spikes – All variants of this Trap have been retried but the default spikes are still around (and fairly important in many early games).
    • Grinder – Anything close gets a good grinding.
    • Hammer Drop – This Trap requires a 2×2 ceiling space to place but only does damage in a 1×1 corner of the Trap. Good against larger, higher health Minions.
    • Healing Well – Allied players near this Trap regain health.
    • Ice Vent – Floor Trap that does frost damage (remember, frost stacks and can freeze enemies).
    • Mana Well – Allied players near this Trap regain mana.
    • Pounder – Normal and concussive pounders are currently in the game.
    • Powerups – These Traps occasionally drop powerups that can be picked up by allied players. There are shield (armor) and attack (damage) variants of this Trap.
    • Shock Zapper – The regular and Glory Seeker versions of the Shock Zapper are currently in the game.
    • Speed Pad – This is a support Trap. When charged, allied players moving across it gain a movement speed increase for a brief time. Excellent for speeding up movement between lanes.
    • Steam Vent – Slows larger Minions but launches smaller Minions skyward.
    • Swinging Mace – As before, but now capable of hitting things and doing damage.
    • Tar Trap – Normal and Viscous variant are currently in the game.
    • Wall Blades – Normal Wall Blades and the Charged (electrical damage) variant are currently in the game.
    • Web Spinner – Wall Trap that fires webs, slowing enemy Minions much like a Tar Trap.

    Hero Victories

    Hero Victories are a new feature for phase 2 and encourages players to play with other heroes. Players now get rewarded as they play with heroes and each victory counts against a running total. Depending how many victories you have with a hero depends on the rewards you can unlock. This sounds like a great incentive for encouraging variety with the heroes people choose to play as. Players unlock a unique skin at 100 victories as that hero too. The rewards you can get are as follows:

    Full patch notes

    We’ll be covering off some more highlights in the almighty patch notes over the next few days. If you can’t wait until then be sure to check out the full patch notes over on the OMDU forums for both NA and EU.

    See you all on March 24th! There will also be an Insider Access twitch stream at 3pm CST on March 24th as well, be sure to tune in!

    Orcs Must Die! Unchained board game coming to Kickstarter

    Eagle eyed fans who have been keeping track of the Orce Must Die! Facebook page this week may have noticed that there is a new game coming to the Orcs Must Die! series.

    Can you see it? Just look to the bottom right hand corner. Its the Orcs Must Die! Board Game!

    Thats right, Orcs Must Die! is coming to table tops! The board game will be a new Kickstarter project which will be launching soon headed up by Sandy Petersen of Petersen Entertainment. We can’t think of anyone better to run this project than Sandy. He has very close ties to the studio and many fans of Ensemble Studios will remember his name from his many “Ask Sandy” features he did for the Age of Empires community.

    It’s great news to hear Sandy is working with Robot Entertainment on this addition to the Orcs Must Die! brand. Sandy has had great success launching board games on Kickstarter. His Cthulhu Wars board game Kickstarter achieved funding of $1,403,981 from its original goal of $40,000. That’s a huge success.

    The board game will consist of two different versions – one for the Order and the other for the Unchained. Describing the game on the Petersen Entertainment website:

    Orcs Must Die : The Boardgame  actually consists of TWO separate games! One is based on the heroic Order, while the other is for the Unchained. Both are complete stand-alone games. In Order, you’ll play your favorite heroes such as Maximilian the War Mage, Gabriella the Redeemed Sorceress, and others, while fending off the villainous orc onslaught. In Unchained, you play opposing heroes, such as the Kobold King or Midnight the assassin, facing down assaults by human soldiers, lions, elves, bears, dwarfs, and the like.

    If you or your friends own both the Order and Unchained versions of Orcs Must Die : The Boardgame , you can go head-to-head, leading your armies into the citadel of your enemy! Up to 8 players can team up against each other in the combined game, which boasts well over a hundred large-scale high-quality figures.


    To find out more about the game and how to play be sure to check out the website. We’ll let you know as soon as this project lands on Kickstarter. I’m sure we’ll be able to reach some very cool stretch goals!

    Tencent invests in Robot. OMDU Phase 2 coming March 24th

    Exciting news for Robot Entertainment fans across the globe as yesterday the studio announced that they have secured a minority investment from Tencent, a large Chinese publisher who recently also announced that they would be publishing Orcs Must Die! Unchained in China. A minority interest means that Robot maintains control over its operations, this is an investment which secures additional funding / capital for Robot’s endeavours.

    “Taking on Tencent as an investor gives us additional financial flexibility but, more importantly, it creates a long-lasting and valuable partnership with the world’s premier publisher and operator of games”, said Robot Entertainment CEO Patrick Hudson. “It’s a very exciting time for Robot Entertainment. We’re looking forward to showing Orcs Must Die! Unchained to fans at PAX East in Boston and releasing the game to market later this year on PC and PlayStation 4.”

    This is great news for the studio and will help the studio grow and maintain its already great record at delivering fun games. The future is looking very bright indeed for Orcs Must Die! Unchained. It’s shaping up to be a big 2015 for Robot Entertainment. You can read more about this investment news at the Robot Entertainment website.

    Phase 2 and PAX East

    Fans who have been eagerly awaiting news about the release of the OMDU phase 2 closed beta can now be informed that Robot will be releasing this major update on March 24th in the US and shortly after in the EU. Feel free to join in on the pictorial discussions happening on the forums!

    We are also just weeks away from PAX East taking place from March 6th. Robot Entertainment will be attending with their own OMDU booth. Representatives from Gameforge will also be in attendance. Those who come to Robot’s booth will get an exclusive chance to play Phase 2 OMDU gameplay, and as always, will be able to walk away with some sweet swag as well as closed beta access and a new skin for the War Mage.

    This years PAX skin will also be available for anyone who is currently participating in the closed beta. The scarf you see being worn with the War Mages approval will be given out to attendees at the PAX booth. If you’re heading to PAX be sure to pop by and get your scarf and first Phase 2 gameplay!

    First OMDU phase 2 gameplay footage shown with Insider Access

    Did you see the OMDU Insider Access stream yesterday? If not you missed out on seeing the first stream showing phase 2 game play with Drew playing War Mage, Hogarth and Smolder through three matches with other Robot’s in the playtest area. Justin “SixOkay” Korthof and Ian “Mother” Fischer were on hand as commentary and Q&A with the stream chat.

    We get a look at some awesome art improvements to the two lane map, the art team at Robot have really done a fantastic job improving the already excellent visuals. New UI for various things including a new weavers pop-up selection box and war camp UI. Weavers have been re-worked where by each hero now has a set of weavers that players can choose from and the upgrades are unlocked as you a play a match. They are unlocked in levels. Its well worth checking out this in the stream.

    Be sure to catch up on the video-on-demand below to see this not to be missed Insider Access.

    Robot bringing OMDU phase 2 to PAX

    Something that was also let slip during the stream is confirmation that Robot Entertainment will indeed be bringing Orcs Must Die! Unchained phase 2 to PAX. Good news if you are attending!

    Smolder gets her red hair back, Paul Hellquist on Insider Access

    Good news for all the fans of Smolder’s previous red head look. The Orcs Must Die! Unchained! Twitter account recently revealed that she will be returning back to her original red hair look. For those who might not know Smolder had her hair colour changed to red to blonde post alpha. Here she is with her fiery red hair ready for phase 2 of the closed beta.

    Community artist Moltenink celebrated the return of red hair Smolder with his own awesome fan art:


    Paul Hellquist on Insider Access

    Last weeks Insider Access was not to be missed. If you havnt seen it already be sure to catch up with it via the link below.

    Justin “SixOkay” Korthof introduces us to Paul Hellquist who recently joined Robot Entertainment as Lead Designer. Paul has previously worked on games such as Bioshock and Borderlands 2. Having had an opportunity to delve into Orcs Must Die! Unchained we hear about some of the changes that we can expect to see in phase 2 of the closed beta.

    Slowing things down

    One of the interesting things we find out is that Robot is trying to slow down the overall gameplay of OMDU by doing things such as adding cast times. This has been done to help players better understand what is happening in the gameplay and not feel too overwhelmed by all the things going on at once.

    Bigging things up

    Paul and the team of designers have also been working closely with Robot’s art department to look at making things like effects such as hero powers bigger to pack a bigger punch on screen than what they did before. For instance here is a screenshot of Ivy’s root ability which now has alot more presence.

    Because hero abilities now also have a cast time players will be able see heroes like Ivy power up her root and the area of effect it will be targeting, giving players a chance to get out of the way and avoid the root.

    Here we can see Smolder trying out her new visual effects for her Phoenix ability.

    Another hero ability that was well in need of being amplified was of course, Hogarth’s flying hatchet “E ability”. This has often come up in conversation as the somewhat invisible attack as often it would be very difficult to see this hatchet being thrown on screen in the midst of battle with everything else going on. Now however, this has been re-worked and Hogarth will now freeze his full size axe, throw that and then re-form his axe from ice. This results in a much bigger visual display as below, which is an excellent improvement.

    War Mage is having his abilities re-worked. As the main face of Orcs Must Die! it is reasonable to assume that players may well pick the War Mage when starting playing OMDU as a familiar face. However his current abilities are a little confusing, especially for new players and these were in-need of being simplified. Thus both abilities have now been changed. One of his new abilities allows him to shoot his crossbow and then the arrow will shatter into many arrows affecting a wider area.

    If you check the Insider Access stream there is some video footage of these new effects for the Ivy and the War Mage around 22 minutes in.

    These are of course just some of the changes coming in phase 2. It will sure be interesting to see what else we see on Insider Access over the next few weeks to see more exciting changes for Phase 2.