• Ian Fischer answers players questions on Reddit

    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:

    dkah41 asked:

    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
    Ian responds:

    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.

    (Wink wink.)

    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.

    Ian responds:

    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!

    Ian Fischer’s Reddit AMA

    4th-Degree Burns – MikeLemmer’s Smolder Defense Guide

    MikeLemmer on the Steam Forums has put together an outstandingly detailed guide on how to play defensively with Smolder. If you play with Smolder alot on either Survival or PvP or are thinking about playing some more with Smolder, this is THE guide you need to read.

    The guide goes into considerable details about Smolder, her abilities and weaver upgrades and when and what might be best to choose. The guide also discusses Smolder’s unique trap, the Naptha Sprayer and also some details about other fire traps like Brimstone – making note that Brimstone fire damage does NOT stack.

    Playing Smolder

    Smolder is “a melee character with a ranged attacker’s health”. Although she has ranged fireballs, her most damaging abilities all require her to get into the thick of things. To play her well, learn when to charge in and when to get out.

    Read the full guide

    You can read MikeLemmer’s full guide on how to play Smolder defensively over on the Steam forums via the link below. This really is a fantastic guide – be sure to check it out!

    Vaelkryeen’s awesome Orcs Must Die! Unchained screenshots

    The artists at Robot Entertainment have done great work with Orcs Must Die! Unchained. Utilising the Unreal engine, OMDU is the best looking OMD game yet. With so much going on in fierce battles however you can sometimes miss out on some of the excellent environmental art in the game.

    Vaelkryeen from the OMDU EU community has taken the time to take screenshots of the level environmental design in OMDU so that we can take time to marvel at all the excellent work the bots at Robot’s art department have been doing. The screenshots look fantastic. A testament to the skill and artistic flair at Robot and also the keen eye of Vaelkryeen!

    A selection of his images can be found below. For full high-res and additional images check out Vaelkryeen’s post on the EU forums on the link below. They make for great background images too!


    Patch 1.2 is LIVE for OMDU Open Beta

    The latest patch for Orcs Must Die! Unchained open beta is now LIVE! Start your OMDU dashboard and the patch will begin to download. This patch contains a huuuge amount of changes including the return of Bloodspike the brutalYou’ll be sure to want to catch up on the patch notes for this release. Here is a very quick summary:

    • New Hero – Bloodspike. Great for Siege offensive play
    • Completely redesigned crafting system!
    • Survival mode has been completely re-balanced and fine tuned to feel more like classic OMD gameplay. Minions move faster and take more damage. There is also a brand new map too - Banquet Hall.
    • Unchained Fortress has a number of changes including re-positioned war camps and boss changes.
    • Surival traps now have 7 tiers of upgrades.
    This is just scratching the surface. Delve into the full patch notes to be fully in the know of all the changes. Or tune into Doug and Laura on Insider Access to get all the scoop on the VOD below!

    Watch live video from OrcsMustDie on

    Crafting Changes

    As part of the goal to simply crafting and the game meta following from fan feedback, the number of in-game materials has been reduced from around 20 to 10. This means some materials are being retired, but don’t worry – you’ll see these being returned to you in the form of other materials. The graphic below explains what will happen. (Click to enlarge).

    Click to enlarge

    Bloodspike ‘The Brutal’ making his return to OMDU

    Bloodspike is making a return to Orcs Must Die! Unchained in the next open beta patch. Bloodspike has long been on fans wishlist to make a return to OMDU following his removal at the end of closed beta phase 1. Having appeared in the most recent OMDU trailer he is now back in the fray following a comprehensive redesign.

    Meals meals meals

    They don’t call Bloodspike “The Brutal” for nothing, he has an interesting new passive ability which demonstrates his sheer brutality. He is able to attack and kill his own friendly minions, when he does he is able to consume them as delicious meals which can then be used to restore Bloodspikes HP. Think of it as sacrifices for the greater good. This sounds like an interesting mechanic and could be interesting in turning the tide of battle utilising Bloodspike to push instead of a sacrificed minion lost through his bloodhungry passive.

    Another interesting mechanic surrounding sacrificing your own minions – he has another ability called “Bloodbath“. This melee attack makes up his secondary ability . The more enemies (or allies) that Bloodspike hits, the faster he can power up all of his other abilities. This works in a stacking system similar to Oziel’s souls. Bloodspike gains  8% per stack – up to +80% bonus damage. Unlike Oziel however, Bloodspike’s stacks timeout over time so players need to keep an eye on his stacks to make sure they are getting the best out of Bloodspike at any one time, or if he needs a break to feast on some of those delicious meals.

    Powerful Attacks

    As a melee hero, Bloodspike wields two mighty axes, delightfully named ‘Bridget’ and ‘Delilah’ take turns as they can be used to slay enemy (or indeed, friendly) minions. Each hit that these axes makes also serves a secondary purpose – lowering the cool-down an Bloodspike’s E ability – Maiming Blow - A double-axe melee attack that deals damage and slows proportional to enemy hero HPs. Low HP heroes are dealt high damage but slightly slowed. High HP heroes are dealt low damage and significantly slowed.


    The Unchained can always do with a little bit of encouragement on the battle field – especially those Orcs. Luckily with Bloodspike around confidence is greatly boosted via his Inspiring Frenzy shift ability. When pressed Bloodspike calls out to his minions in close proximity, empowering them with increased attack and movement speed and temporary HPs.

    If this isn’t enough to wet your brutality appetite you can also check out Nananea’s excellent hero overview video below to see Bloodspike in action!

    Hero Overview Video

    You can also find out more about the design process for Bloodspike by reading Paul Hellquist’s blog on the Orcs Must Die! website via the link below which makes for interesting reading.!/en/blog/prepare-to-be-brutal

    Be on the lookout for Bloodspike next OMDU patch – date TBC!

    Orcs Must Die! Unchained impresses at PAX East

    Last week Robot Entertainment were out in full force at PAX East in Boston to show off Orcs Must Die! Unchained to the masses. Robot set up camp with a massive display with their OMDU booth along with 30 stations combined of 20 survival stations and 10 siege stations all equipped with the latest gear from the likes of Alienware, Cybertron and Razer. The large overhead display showed matches currently in progress and Marketing Manager Justin “SixOkay” Korthof provided running commentary of what was going down.

    The Robot team was further bolstered by Gameforge staff and also a number of community fans. Juicy, RoyalFino, Chel, RyuShinomori, Astraea, Taroth and Boom were at the booth providing additional engagement and support to help players. It’s great to see the community come together at events like this. Moltenink was also on the scene and provided some excellent additional match commentary with SixOkay. We hear he was quite the talented commentator!

    Art Drop

    The Art Drop was back from last year too. Harmonia and K2-D2 were on a mission to hide the various art pieces created by hand from Robot’s own artists around the venue. Those lucky enough to find one of the art drops were able to not only keep the fantastic art, but were able to pick up a swag bag is they brought it back to the booth. Here is K2-D2 subtly hiding this piece:

     Orcs Must Live!

    We all know that orcs must die, but did you know there is a group out there that actually supports Orcs? Thats right, there is the ‘Center for Orc Tolerance and Understanding‘ or COTY for short. This group specialise in helping raising the awareness or Orcs and how they can integrate into normal life. Check out this video by Rooster Teeth to help gain understanding on these interesting principles:

    The Orcs Must Live! campaign were in full force at PAX East holding placards and even breaking out into dance!

    Don’t worry though, they were soon sorted out courtesy of the Boston Police Department.

    Best PvP and Best MOBA at show

    With so much going on at PAX East from Robot Entertainment it is important not to forget about the game. The OMDU booth enjoyed constant activity and was always bustling with people wanting to play. MMO Games commented on OMDU by awarding the title not one, but two awards – Best PvP and Best MOBA. Here is what they had to say:

    Hands-on, OMDU has some of the most agile controls I’ve laid hands on, letting anyone jump in feet first and get to playing without too much trouble. The ebb and flow of the game kept players on their toes and the action high, and the overall sense of fun kept things competitive yet upbeat. Orcs Must Die! Unchained has the ingredients to become a stable of PvP gaming.

    Check out the MMO Games website to see more of their thoughts on the MOBA elements.

    Another year, another PAX East. This year was a fantastic success from the Robot staff on the PAX floor, the community volunteers, the marketing efforts from the team at Rooster Teeth and of course, OMDU being a great game. It all came together for a memorable event. Check out the blog over at for more information on the event!!/en/blog/PAX-East-2016-Wrapup

    Tundra returning to Orcs Must Die! Unchained next patch

    Did you catch the new hero reveal from this weeks Insider Access? Our icy friend Tundra is set to make a return to Orcs Must Die! Unchained next patch. A perfect compliment to the new Avalanche survival match also coming next patch, sticking with the ice theme.

    Closed beta players who have been playing OMDU during phase 1 of the closed beta may remember Tundra’s earlier appearance. He, like other heroes such as Bloodspike and Temper have been out of the hero select from the game whilst Robot’s designers give them a thorough re-work. Tundra has a number of brand new abilities and this is an example of great things coming to fans who wait! He has some great new kit to help him in battle.

    Perhaps the most impressive of his abilities is the “Avalanche” ability which sees Tundra turn into a giant snowball which he can then literally run over to decimate enemy minions. It also doubles up as a great escape option. This new ability is perhaps one of the most different abilities in the game. When in the snowball form, the controls are also adapted to give greater steering control. Tundra can remain in this form for as long as he has mana or until he hits into a wall.

    Tundra has an equally impressive unique trap too, the Saw of Arctos. This new trap looks devastating to enemy minions. The trap is long and thin with ice saws which launch at high speed dealing massive damage to minions. The saw is deployed twice, up and down the length of the trap. Another great new trap to add to the OMDU collection. The long and skinny nature of the trap will make players re-think the usual kill box strategies.

    Tundra’s passive ability Permafrost sees frozen minions take extra damage. Tundra’s other abilities such as his standard melee attack Glacial Sweep, where Tundra swings his scepter has a chance of freezing enemies. Or he can make use of his Flash Freeze ability to instantly freeze an enemy, no matter what. On his right click Tundra shoots three projectile ice shards with his Icicle Burst ability. This ability is perfect for hitting those opponents escaping.

    Another very unique ability that Tundra has to assist his team is his Wall of Frost. This ability lets Tundra place a solid ice wall which can block minions and enemy heroes path. Friendly heroes can still pass through but enemies cannot. This is an interesting ability as it can be used to urgent scenarios like enemies about to enter the rift, or can also be used strategically to redirect the path that minions take down a lane.

    Tundra’s impressive new abilities demonstrate the kind of sweeping changes we can expect to see for the remaining heroes that have been taken out of play for re-works. If Tundra is anything to go by the upcoming heroes to be revealed should be as equally as exciting. The avalanche ability is also a great technical accomplishment of additional tech being implemented in the game to support the ability. Expect lots of interesting new things coming up for heroes in the future.

    To learn more about Tundra, lead hero designer Paul Hellquist has blogged all about him on – check out his blog – The Ice Beat Cometh.