• Monthly Archives: July 2014

    Heroes on Tour – a trip to Gameforge – Day 1
    Dean
    7076

    Last weekend Gameforge held their first “Heroes on Tour” event for the Orcs Must Die! Unchained EU community. The event hosted by GameForge offered a raffle where by members of the community in the EU who were alpha players could enter a contest to win one of eight lucky spots on the trip. The winners of the competition were Shim, Alastaire61, Artimunor, Daeforce, apin and cptcrunch. REF was also invited to attend. Haggy was also a winner but was unfortunately unable to attend.

    Day 1

    From my side I flew out from Heathrow, London via Lufthansa to Frankfurt, Germany. Once in Frankfurt I had to catch a train to Karlsruhe. Luckily I managed to meet up with Artimunor and Daeforce on the train and we travelled south all the way down to Karlsruhe on the Deutsch Bahn. Upon our arrival FaTeReLLa greeted us at the station and we met up with Alastaire61 and Shim who had already arrived. From there we went to the hotel to relax for a bit before heading out to GameForge HQ!

    Looking slightly tired!

    GameForge have a huge office spanning multiple buildings. If you are unfamiliar about GameForge, they have over 400 employees and support a number of high profile games including Aion, TERA, Metin2, Runes of Magic, Wizard101 and S.K.I.L.L. Special Force 2. They are by no means a small operation. Founded in 2003 they have over 450 million registered users. Its well worth taking a peek at GameForge’s about us page to learn more about them.

    After enjoying some pizza and learning a bit about GameForge, we sat down with some GameForge designers and talked about some of their upcoming plans for OMDU. We are bound by secrecy here so unfortunately we cannot spill the beans, but rest assured they have some cool stuff coming. It was great to be able to talk openly about their plans and OMDU in general between the heroes on tour and GameForge staff. Following our discussion we were taken on a tour of the GameForge offices which included the Community Management office and the OMDU room.

    The OMDU room is where it all happens, including preparing patch releases and translation. The staff here work very hard (at all hours!) to bring us the best OMDU experience possible. After our tour it was time to get down to playing the game! We were split into two teams across the room and we battled out a few games.

    This team, the team on the left did well to win two times!

    Look at that level of concentration!

    Following the team games we went on to do some matchmaking games. As it happens by stroke of luck one team happened to find themselves on MrOithintfb‘s Twitch stream!

    Following the games it was time to return to the hotel to get ready for the evening antics. We took the time to explore Karlsruhe on the way back and did some shopping. We had fun negotiating the Karlsruhe tram system! We met up with FaTeReLLa right on time and then we proceeded to head to the Badisch Brauhaus for our evening meal and OMDU celebrations. We were joined once again by GameForge designers and ES community manager SiS.

    Celebrating to the long success of OMDU!

    We had a great meal here and portion sizes were certainly very big! The atmosphere was great with outside eating and biergarten feel. Following the delicious meal it was time to make our way to the evenings entertainment – the Mittelalterlich Phantasie SpectaculumThis was a fantastic festival event with many people dressed up in clothes from the middle ages. We saw some great music here and a fantastic fire spectacular act and it was a very unique experience definitely one of the highlights of the trip. Check out the gallery below to see some of the photos from the event.

    We also have two short videos from the event to give you an idea what the music was like.



    Following the evenings activities it was time for us to retire to bed, as you can imagine we were all very tired!

    Day 2

    Be on the look out for part 2 later this week where we look back on day 2 of the Heroes on Tour where the fun sure continued!

    A huge wave of streams are incoming!
    Dean
    7068

    Following on from Nananea’s appointment to Robot’s Community team as chief Twitch streamer, Robot have now announced a raft of Twitch programming to keep fans engaged a whole six days of the week! Not only that but most days have two streams per day – a huge boost in programming!

    The new fully comprehensive Twitch schedule features matchmaking game-play with “Meet your Match“, “Insider Access” where streams take place LIVE from Robot HQ with Q&A and interviews with the bots. “Developer League” sees Robots vs Robots as individual teams at the studio take to the battlefield against each other. A “Community Night” sees Nananea talking to folks from around the OMDU community. Finally, to top things off “Throwback Thursday” takes fans back to the fun times of OMD1 and 2 with Nananea demonstrating some of the most difficult fortresses and combinations.

    When?

    If all this exciting news wets your appetite you will no doubt be wondering when all of this excellent programming will be available. At REF we have updated the Twitch streams page with the full schedule. Conversions to your own timezone included! Plus you can always see which stream is coming up next by checking the “Upcoming Streams” box on the left hand menu on REF.

    >> Check out the Twitch Schedule

    See you in Twitch chat!

    Monday

    1PM CDT - Meet Your Match
    7PM CDT - Meet Your Match

    Tuesday

    2PM CDT - Insider Access
    7PM CDT - Community Night

    Wednesday

    1PM CDT - Meet Your Match
    7PM CDT - Meet Your Match

    Thursday

    1PM CDT - Throwback Thursday
    7PM CDT - Meet Your Match

    Friday

    2PM CDT - Developer League
    7PM CDT - Meet Your Match

    Saturday

    7PM CDT - Meet Your Match

    Ask the developers stream tomorrow
    Dean
    7065

    Just a heads up that tomorrows official Robot Entertainment stream will feature Q&A’s with some of the bots at Robot Entertainment. Players are invited to post some of the questions they would like to see answered over on the forums.

    If you have a burning question about OMDU head on over and let them know!

    The stream starts at 2PM CDT, 7PM GMT – for conversion into your time-zone and more details check out the stream details page.

    Spotlight On: SavageNL
    Dean
    7055

    We’re heading over to the EU for this weeks Fan Friday, all the way over to Den Bosch in The Netherlands infact to meet OMDU community regular SavageNL. Lets find out a bit more about our first featured EU player!

    The Basics

    • Name: Niels
    • Age: 29
    • Home Town: Den Bosch

    Questions

    • What is day job?
    I’m a software engineer, from the forums I gather that most people are nowadays so I’m going to specify that to that I develop planning software in Java and C++.
    • Aside from gaming how else do you like to spend your free time?
    I like to go to the driving range to play some golf. I also regularly meet up with some friends to play board games and I watch quite a lot of tv shows and movies.
    • Biggest life adventure so far?
    I haven’t had many adventures, but I the first thing that comes to mind is a budget holiday to Bali with a friend where nothing was really planned, just the plane ride there and back. Had a great time there and managed to get a roof over our head every night but it was a very different experience when compared to all inclusive beach holidays.
    Apart from that, skydiving and bungee jumping was also very cool.
    • If you could pick anywhere in the world where you would love to travel to, where would it be?

    I’m not really the traveling type, but I would love to visit the US at some point. I don’t have a clue to which part so if I ever go it will probably be a road trip to visit some the obvious touristic locations.

    • Favourite food?
    Pretty much anything that is unhealthy. I think that at the moment the Dutch dish Kapsalon (fries with donner, garlic sauce and lettuce) is pretty high up the list.
    • How did you find out about Orcs Must Die! ?
    A friend played the first game and liked it and made me buy it in a Steam sale. I usually only play co-op games so I tried it and didn’t really ever finish it. When omd2 came out we both bought it and loved it so the moment I heard anything about omdu I bought a founder pack.
    • Who is your favourite OMDU hero and why?
    I like Stinkeye the best. Up until the last patch he was a great hero to defend with and when you were set up with totems you could take down an attacking BlackPaw.
    Since the patch with the new way of gathering leadership I find that I lean more towards picking Ivy though.
    • What do you think should be the “ideal” length of an OMDU match?
    That’s a tough question. I think the 20 target that I think Robot is aiming for sounds like a good goal but the matches I like most are the ones that are a close call, they usually last longer.
    • Is there anything missing in OMDU that you would like to see added?
    Until the last patch I would have said group queuing. I know a lot of people want an endless game mode but I think I am mostly missing a required tutorial (or a different way to force people to learn how to slot cards etc) and a way to make leavers not ruin a match.
    • When can we usually catch you in matchmaking?
    Usually in the evenings somewhere between 8 and 10 CEST.

    Shout Out

    • Is there anything you would like to say to all the OMD fans out there right now?

    We have a great community in the EU so I’d like to thank them all for making the game a fun experience so far. And of course a special shout out to FaTeReLLa’s ‘dream team’

    The 24 hour OMDU stream is coming
    Dean
    7051

    Believe it or not there is a 24 hour stream of OMDU taking place tomorrow on Twitch. Streamer xN4LxHandyMan is going to be streaming Unchained from dawn until dusk tomorrow, July 24th. This will no doubt be quite an accomplishment! Be sure to pop by and say hello.

    Nananea hired by Robot to spearhead Twitch streams
    Dean
    7044

    Some excellent community news has been announced by SixOkay over on the OMDU forums. Robot have hired Nananea to spearhead Twitch streams going forward and I am sure you will agree that this is fantastic news. Quoting SixOkay from the announcement post:

    I’m excited to announce that we’ve hired Nananea to spearhead our efforts over on Twitch. Starting next week, we’re going to have a ton more streams, including new shows and new opportunities to interact with the game and the developers at Robot Entertainment. We’ll be announcing the new schedule very soon, and we’ll be back on the air before you know it.

    Nananea has been dedicated to OMDU with her community stream every Thursday and has also created those awesome hero and how to play videos that you can see on the OMDU dashboard.

    I’m sure all fans will be congratulating Nananea on this excellent appointment. Be sure to check out the thread over on the forums and expect more Twitch streaming coming soon!

     

    Huuuuuge patch for OMDU coming Tuesday
    Dean
    7034

    Robot Entertainment are lining up a massive patch for Orcs Must Die! Unchained this coming Tuesday. This isnt no ordinary Microsoft Patch Tuesday, Robot are dishing out some pretty major changes to OMDU. Lets dig in to some of the highlights that this patch brings.

    Account Wipe

    Yes, unfortunately there is going to be an account wipe. If you’ve been fighting hard to ascend through the levels, after this patch you will be set back to level 0 again and all decks erased. This is unfortunate, but has to happen owing to the number of changes made to the store (see more below). However, for those who have been diligently playing all is not lost. Robot will be giving those players additional skulls after the reset. It works out like this:

    • Levels 20-29 – 10,000 Skulls
    • Levels 30-39 – 30,000 Skulls
    • Level 40 – 80,000 Skulls

    So this isnt too bad. Remember after any wipe all gold will be refunded. So if you have been awarded gold by means of a founder pack or you have purchased in-game gold via the store you will get ALL your gold returned to you after the patch. This means you can go ahead and re-purchase heroes, vanity and of course, card decks!

    Store Changes

    So why the account wipe again? Well alot of the reason comes down the store changes. The good news is there are 40 new cards coming to OMDU with this patch. Thats a whole bunch of new cards! Here is a taster from the patch notes:

    • Boulder chutes filled with chunks of icebergs? Check.
    • Rapid fire wall blades? Yup.
    • Glory seeking… shock zappers!? You bet.
    • Good old Ring of Lighnting? Yes.
    • Ring of Last Stand? Gnomish Repair Kit? Frost Weaver? Arcane Weaver? More than a dozen new waves?

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

    Now thats certainly good news. In other changes card packs now cost lessBut.. now wield 5 cards instead of 6. This might initially seem like a negative, but actually its not because….

    • The chances of obtaining a hero in a pack are far more likely. (Still not guaranteed. Still not the primary way we intend people to get heroes. Still possible to open 200 packs and see zero heroes. BUT, far more likely.)
    • The chance of a Mythic is more likely.

    Overall, its all good news. For more details on this changes check the full patch notes.

    Card Grinder and Gib Store is here!

    Wondering what you can do about all those duplicate cards you’ve got building up in your inventory? Finding it a bit annoying when you get a card pack only to find you’ve got more of those same cards… Well things are about to get better on this front. The new Card Grinder system lets players grind up cards for gibs. Gibs can then be used to purchase cool things from the gib store. No word yet on what these things might be, but the patch notes indicate the things in the gib store are likely to change.

    If you are a Master Founder there is an interesting discussion going on about the card grinder and gib store over in the developers forums.

    New Heroes!

    Can you believe that after the recent announcement of the Ball and Chain, Prospector and The Master, Robot already have two new heroes to give us! Thats right, say hello to Sir Winston and the Kobold King. Both of these new heroes are of Unchained alignment. Sir Winston is an ex-Paladin of The Order who has now turned evil and joined the Unchained. He wields a cursed sword.

    Sir Winston was father to eight famed paladins, all of whom fell in battle serving the Order. Unfortunately, such loss has proven too much, even for one as stoic as Sir Winston, and now he has become… somewhat upset with the Order.

    Armed with a dark blade that weakens those it strikes, he can also curse minions and heroes (doing a pulse of direct damage to them that also heals his allies around the victim) and inspire mortal fear (preventing enemies nearby from using their abilities).

    The Kobold King is the ruler and leader of the pesky kobolds (or runners as you might better know them!). His primary attack is his whip. From the patch notes:

    The Kobold King is short, dark, and regal. He enjoys long walks on the beach, sunsets, and PRESSING Q TO TURN ANY KOBOLDS AROUND HIM INTO MINIATURE KILLING MACHINES.

    His turn-offs include seeing any kobolds die (each one killed near him increases his damage and movement speed for a short period of time) and being tied down (he is the fastest hero in the game and his second ability, Flee, breaks any CC for him and allies around him).

    A teaser of these new heroes can be found over on IGN.

    New Skins

    Everybody loves new skins! On this occasion Stinkeye, Midnight, Kobold King and Sir Winston will be enjoying a new wardrobe.

    Guardians

    Killing Guardians currently rewards players with 5000 leadership points. It was felt that this was contributing to an in-balance in the early game where by the team that kills a guardian first gets a significant leadership boost that the other team can find difficult to recover from. Therefore to help balance things in this patch killing guardians rewards players with no leadership. This doesnt mean killing guardians is worth nothing at all. Guardians are a key component of defence and once they are killed that team looses a significant aspect of their overall defence, this makes them still well worth killing and still very important to protect.

    The changes made here are just to balance and reduce the “snowball” effect where the team that kills the guardian first so no longer have such a huge leadership boost.

    Bug Fixes and Hero Changes

    There are a ton of bug fixes and alterations to heroes skills and abilities. Be sure to check the patch notes to see how your favourite heroes may have been adjusted. Some particular stand-out changes are:

    • War Mage has been reclassified as dishing out lightning damage rather than physical.
    • Hogarth – Now deals ice damage. Frosty!
    • Ivy –  Balm (Q) now heals Ivy for less, but heals minions and fellow heroes for slightly more.
    • Pride Hunter DPS has been reduced to 40 from 50. Additionally, their HP has been reduced to 210 from 230. (Bleed was not fully valued in the balance model.)
    • Dwarf priests and hobgoblin shamans will no longer occasionally freak out and start attacking one of their own.
    • Bots now use doors and gates.
    • Bots should now retreat if outnumbered.

    Get the full patch notes

    As always here at REF we just break down the patch notes to give you a summary. There is a TON of additional info on the full patch notes. Make sure you check those out, essential reading for avid OMDU fans!

    Remember the patch is landing Tuesday, July 22nd.