Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Eternal Crusade - Founder's Packs And The Great Devourer

Released in their latest newsletter, the developers behind Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade have given a bit more insight into what is to come. While they've been fairly open about what will follow, and inclusive of any suggestions made by the community, this one gave a few interesting details to readers.

The big point of interest here is the first proper look at the Tyranids. A force of hyper-evolutionary space locusts who served as a major inspiration to Starcraft's Zerg, they will be appearing in the game as an NPC faction. While the Orks, Space Marines, Chaos Worshipers and Craftworld Eldar battle one another, swarms of Hormagaunts and the like will pose a constant threat to each side. It's hoped by many that this will encourage more defensive and garrisoning actions by factions in order to prevent the relentless advances which are so prevalent in the likes of Planetside II

What is most interesting however is what the artwork shows. Every artwork thus far has depicted something which will be present in the game and revealed much about the factions. The presence of Terminators was first solidly confirmed with the Chaos poster which was released and the four sub-factions to each group are only ever truly confirmed once people see art of them. Here we see the Tyranid units which will be involved along with a few unexpected things. 

The cannon fodder Hormagaunts are naturally at the forefront along with a Tyranid Warrior at the back, but right there in the middle is a Hive Tyrant. These monstrosities are the leaders of the Tyranid Swarms, second only to the Swarmlords and Norn Queens. This suggests that major organisms will be a part of the game and opens up a wealth of possibilities about the Tyranid swarms, the least of which is that this could be a full scale invasion. Or perhaps it could even lead to major objectives where factions need to hunt down and kill the beast before the Tyranids become a true threat to them.

What is even more interesting is what is lurking behind the Hive Tyrant. Just visible if blurred thanks to the background is some massive beast which even dwarfs the Tyrant itself, roaring. The letter confirms that this is a Tervigon, a massive beast which spawns Hormagaunts onto the battlefield in swarms as it advances. Its presence alone means that players will be forced to effectively fight advancing spawn points which can move to wherever they are needed. Not something to be taken lightly with a force which specialises in waves of cannon fodder.

However, best of all is this little gem in the letter stating something else may well be in the game:

"Yes, Crusaders- Tyranids make up the bulk, but not all, of the PvE threat in Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade. 
You’ll face the Tyranids in three different areas of the game. You and your closest friends will encounter them directly in the shifting, labyrinthine Underworlds, where they make up most (but not all) of our PvE opponents."
Necrons anyone? How about going back a few editions and throwing in some Ambulls then? Or hell, perhaps even some Squa... technologically adept Ratlings.

Moving on from the subject of Tyranids we next have the Founder's Packs at long last. Long hinted at, the letter revealed that the player will have access to all four factions and full access to the game on launch. Atop of all this, here's the full list as given in the newsletter:

  • Identity – Enhance your character’s core identity with unique Founders-only squad emblems, Heroes, and background-related titles, biographies, and cosmetics 
  • Weapon Skins – Unique cosmetics for each race 
  • Armor Skins – Unique cosmetics for each race 
  • Space Ship Decorations – Unique cosmetics to dress up your Squad or Strike Force Cruiser’s interior the way you want 
  • Miscellaneous – Unique execution animations and pets, both utility and non-combat 
  • Vehicles – Unique Founders-only vehicles 
  • Consumables – Extra ammunition, grenades, and other convenience items 
  • Accessories – Unique equipment pieces

Still fairly vague at the moment but it does give some indication of what to expect, with a vast number of cosmetics and lore over anything utterly game-breaking. Though you have to wonder what Chaos Space Marines would keep as pets.

Atop of all this we have been told that over the coming year the developers will be "adding content to each of these categories to increase the value for everyone who purchases a Founder’s Pack." This is also in addition to purchasers gaining access to purchasable modules far in advance of their full release within the game. Not too shabby at all.

The letter can be read in full on here and it gives further information behind the game's development. Citing a number of new additions to the team including level designers who have worked on The Secret World and Rainbow Six Vegas, both of who will be in charge of fortifications.


  1. Poor Tyranids can't catch a break even in videogames.
    I'm not quite sure why you'd make them most of the PvE threat though, if they're there, then the planet is being consumed (and you should leave immediately), if they are attacked then they just send out more (and bigger) tyranids.
    Also 40K has tons of threats you could use as PvE without limiting it to a major faction, there's Catachan Devils, Grox, Silt Walkers, Lesser Barking Toads, Slasher Beasts, etc.

    I'm probably just judging it too harshly though, the areas with tyranids are probably where a splinter fleet landed and is trying to absorb enough biomass to turn into a new fleet.

    1. Sorry for the late reply to this but things have been hectic of late. While usually i'd agree with you on this, here it actually makes a kind of sense. The tyranids themselves are perfectly suited to the role as they are not simply PvE but a faction in of themselves. They can double as an environmental hazard and foe to be encountered in the tunnel networks while at the same time providing an additional side to the conflict to force players to remain semi-defensive. Something which will hopefully avoid Planetside 2 blitzkrieg syndrome. While this is admittedly short changing the tyranids to a degree, it's at least an understandable choice and gives the orks a chance to be a playable faction for once. If anyone deserved a break from being AI fodder for players, it was definitely the Waaaghs! of the orks.