Tag Archives: Ian Fischer

Moving forwards with Orcs Must Die! Unchained
Dean
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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.

Keeping engaged

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.

Ian Fischer AMA and Jerome Jones to preview a new OMDU map
Dean
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The Robot Entertainment AMA (ask me anything) series continues on Reddit. The latest bot to take part is Design Director – Ian Fischer, you may better recognise him as “Mother” on the forums. Check out his answers over on his AMA. Plenty of interesting discussion about his industry past and the current state of play with Orcs Must Die! Unchained.

You’ll also want to be on the look out for Jerome Jones tomorrow. He’ll be joining Justin “SixOkay” Korthof on the Insider Access twitch stream at 3PM US Central time to talk about a brand new map coming to OMDU. Be there, or be square!

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

First OMDU phase 2 gameplay footage shown with Insider Access
Dean
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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!

Catch up on Insider Access
Dean
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Over last few weeks there has been some pretty interesting Orcs Must Die! Unchained insider access streams taking place over on the OMDU Twitch channel. These shows have given fans a good insight onto what kind of things we can expect to see in phase 2 of the closed beta.

Show #1 – Tencent announcement

The first insider access was a biggie, it was where we found out that Robot has a new partnership in place with Tencent Games in China to bring OMDU to the eastern audiences. It was also where, much to fans excitement we found out that barricades are returning! Other traps were discussed along with some ideas about changes to the gameplay and in-game economy.

Show #2 – Bosses and levelling

In this Insider Access, Mother (Ian Fischer) took the hot seat to discuss the cool ideas the studio has about implementing bosses. We saw a ton of artwork for potential bosses and we learnt about the plans to introduce daily challenges, specific goals that players can work towards.

Show #3 – Meet Doug Houserman, balance designer

In this show we met Robot’s new balance designer, Doug Houserman who talked to us about some of the plans and ideas he has for game-balance. Not only that but we got to see a whole ton of new trap ideas fresh out of the box from Doug’s mind!

Show #4 – Hero rewards, experience, bosses, XP and rewards.

Shoop (Shovaen Patel) and Shade (Doug Houserman) join Justin for a detailed look at how things like experience, XP and rewards are changing in Phase 2. We learnt that there are plans to track victories for individual heroes, allowing players to level up on a per hero basis. Bosses were discussed again, and we also found out that at the end of each game players can choose a card from a random set to get a random reward.

Reveal #5 – New Map!

Something we have all been waiting eagerly to hear about, a new map, this time with a much darker Orcish map to give contrast to the two current fortress based Order maps.

Catch up show - Tuesday, January 27

With so much that has been covered in the last few weeks, it can be tricky to digest all the new ideas that Robot is working on. Luckily Robot’s community team have this covered with this weeks show going to be a “Reveals Overview” show where Justin “SixOkay” Korthof will be going through the key highlights of each of these five big reveal shows to give us the low down on the key changes that will be going into Phase 2.

Its definitely a show not to be missed so be sure to check out the next Insider Access Tuesday, January 27 at 2PM Central Time on the OMDU Twitch channel. If you have a burning question be sure to come along and ask it in the Twitch chat.

See you there!

Robot talks OMDU Phase 2 with Insider Access
Dean
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This week was the first of five big Insider Access twitch streams where we tune in to Robot staffers revealing some of the plans and details about Phase 2 of the Orcs Must Die! Unchained closed beta kicking off early next year.

In this weeks episode we learnt a number of things. Perhaps one of changes that will be sure to excite fans will be the return of the much missed trap – Barricades! Thats right, barricades will be coming back in phase 2. Robot have worked out all the niggles that have prevented them appearing so far. Barricades add a whole new layer of depth for defenders. Of course, barricades is just one example of the things being discussed on Insider Access. There was also discussion about trap caps, which will now be capped at the team level and not individually.

Be sure catch up on this weeks Insider Access with Justin Korthof and Ian Fischer to hear more about thats coming up in phase 2!

Watch live video from OrcsMustDie on Twitch

The next reveal will be December 16, 2014

OMDU Patch 1.7 is coming. Plus news about phase 2 of the closed beta
Dean
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Did you catch the Insider Access stream earlier this week? If you have not had a chance yet you will surely want to watch the VOD. Community Manager SixOkay sat down with our friendly Mother, OMDU’s Design Director to discuss the state of the game. The stream started with Q&A from things posted in the forums and on the stream chat.

As the stream progessed we began to talk about patch 1.7 and “phase 2″ of the beta. The 1.7 patch is expected to land pretty soon and it will contain a number of things in similar vein to the kind of things we saw in patch 1.6, though there is no word on any new heroes, maps or specific detail at this time. Though expect Guardians to change a bit. More details will be revealed later next week.

In even bigger news we learned about the projection for OMDU’s development over the next few months. Following patch 1.7 Robot is going to take a break from regular patches over the holiday season. Instead they are going to focus on delivering a much bigger round of content in changes in what is being called “Phase 2″ of the closed beta.

There’s been a lot of great discussion going on lately in the meeting rooms and hallways here at Robot. We’ve been digging in deep to review the mountains of detailed feedback we’ve received from Closed Beta players. You guys are really good at this. As we’ve continued to play the game and to watch you play, we’ve come up with a long list of ideas that we think greatly push the game forward. We’re eager to start adding these ideas to the many plans we’ve already outlined to you on the forums, and some of them are pretty big. Like, Mountain Troll big.

Robot are going to be spending time looking closer at the overall game and working on some much bigger core changes to the game. Taking into account both internal feedback and feedback received from the community. Phase 2 of the closed beta is expected to land some time in February 2015.

Whilst we await patch 1.7 to be released and whilst we wait for details on Phase 2 of the closed beta the community will no doubt have a ton of questions. Robot are very keen to keep the community engaged as we enter this longer stretch of content releases. As such the studio has announced five important dates for our diaries.

  • December 2, 2014
  • December 16, 2014
  • January 6, 2015
  • January 13, 2015
  • January 20, 2015

These dates correspond to the Insider Access streams which take place each Tuesday. Be sure to make a note of these dates as each will contain an exciting announcement about OMDU. In the meanwhile check out this weeks Insider Access VOD below and the forum post on the community forums to read more about what is happening with OMDU over the next few months.


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