End of Nations - PC

End of Nations
  • Publisher: Trion Worlds
  • Genre:Strategy, MMO
  • Developer: Petroglyph
  • Release Date:Dec 31, 2011
  • # of Players:51 players, 51 online
  • ESRB:T - Teen (Mild Suggestive Themes, Mild Violence)
  • Platforms:
Game Description:Anarchy followed in the wake of the economic collapse of the 21st century, but a new superpower, the Order of Nations, emerged from the shadows to restore order -- by force. Armed with an array of advanced technologies, this new world order promised it would never allow another global disaster, but the price was unquestioned obedience. Benevolence quickly turned to tyranny as individual freedom and cultural identity were crushed under the tank-treads of the Order of Nations. Revolutionaries everywhere are now banding together to challenge this totalitarian enemy in the ultimate war for the future of mankind. End of Nations brings real-time strategy (RTS) and massively multiplayer online (MMO) games together for a gaming experience that is a revolutionary leap forward. End of Nations takes place on an unprecedented scale, where your strategy on and off the battlefield can mean the difference between victory and defeat. Play solo or team up with thousands of gamers to combat the Order of Nations as you develop your Commander class and grow your forces. Quickly join the battle and deploy units, weapons, and technologies you've acquired through combat experience, manufacturing, and research to fully realize the strategic possibilities of deploying a constantly evolving army. Watch as the geopolitical map of the persistent world changes with each battle, and increase the influence you and your allies have with each victory. End of Nations thrusts you into a world where your enemy today could be your ally tomorrow. Key Features Cooperate & Conquer: Team up with legions of fellow Commanders and take part in a game-wide cooperative effort on a massive scale. Complete large-scale missions and experience true camaraderie on the battlefield as you campaign against a foe too great for any one Commander to handle. Persistent RTS Action: Whenever you want, engage in ongoing conflicts where you can join, leave, and play in a massive persistent world. Take on the Order of Nations independently or with a group of other Commanders; or clash with rival Commanders in faction-versus-faction battles. Command Through the Ranks: Battle alongside both new recruits and veteran commanders, where every shot fired, mission completed, and battle won will grant your Commander experience points. Increase your rank, unlock new units and abilities, and expand your headquarters over time. Design the Perfect Strategy: Whether you hand-pick individual units from the battalions you’ve acquired, or deploy entire battalion sets for their powerful bonus abilities, you can design the perfect battlefield strategy from a vast array of unit combinations.
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End of Nations Gamescom 2011 Preview -- "Risk on Steroids" Meta Game and Unit Customization

End of Nations Gamescom 2011 Preview -- "Risk on Steroids" Meta Game and Unit Customization

By Sinan Kubba - Posted Sep 05, 2011

At this year’s E3, we got our first hands-on with End of Nations, a massively multiplayer real-time strategy game being published by Rift creators Trion Worlds and developed by the team behind the 2006 RTS game Star Wars: Empire at War, Petroglyph Games. We came away from that hands-on a bit worried that the game’s high level of ambition was making it pull in too many directions.

Just before this year’s Gamescom conference, Trion announced that End of Nations will be free-to-play. One could look at that as a vote of no confidence from the board, but I traveled to Cologne with my mind open and heart hopeful. In Germany I got a deeper look at End of Nations’ meta-game angle and some of the MMO-like customization that will be available to budding strategists.

End of Nations

First, the meta-game, which in the Gamescom trailer one Petroglyph developer describes as “Risk on steroids.” I’m always a bit apprehensive of any “X on steroids” description but when I see it in action I get what he’s saying. When players log in for PVP battles they’ll be greeted with a world map split into Risk-like areas. Depending on the mode, these areas are being actively contested by different factions over hours, days, weeks, or maybe even months. In the World State mode, in which different factions have up to three weeks to gain total world control, a faction requires three wins in a row to regain control from another faction. You’d think in Cologne that the battle might take place on German soil, but instead the Gamescom battle is set in Australia. It was, however, being fought between developers in the business area and fans on the show floor across a number of 8v8 games.

Before diving into battle, I take a look at the more MMORPG-like parts of End of Nations, and the emphasis there is on RPG. Players take on the role of commander, and as they play and progress they level up like you would in a MMO. Every five levels they’ll receive tech points, and tech points can be spent in tech trees. These trees will differ from faction to faction but will generally allow players to mould their armies into defensive, tanking, or damage-dealing archetypes. The one I saw for a Liberation Front commander was split into three trees: Zone Control, Area Denial, and Mobility. Example Area Denial powers included armor depots and nuclear strikes, while spending points in Mobility granted access to the hover-powered tank-come-helicopter Ragnarok.

To ensure battles are balanced with the MMORPG disparity in levels, there’s a points-limit on how many units you can send out, with stronger units worth more points. The cannon-carrying Guardian mech is a scary-looking hulk of metal, but that’s reflected in his high points score. Petroglyph were keen to remind us that there was a 16-foot replica of him for fans to sit in on the show floor, but failed to mention the scantily-clad lady (not to be found in-game) who helped them up to the seat.

End of Nations

Back to the game and to customizing individual units. Another MMORPG-like aspect to End of Nations is found in unit modifications. Each unit has three mod slots, and these can be filled with attribute-boosting modifiers. They can boost speed, power, resistance, armor, etc, and some are better than others; Petroglyph likened the rarer modifiers to “purple drops.” Personally, I liken the whole thing to World of Warcraft’s socketable gems, but I think it’s a neat inclusion nonetheless as long as players can chip-and-change their modifiers from battle to battle. That way the choice has tactical implications from battle to battle and player to player, and that sounds interesting to me.

I then got a look at the cosmetic side of unit customization. Units could be denoted with primary colors and secondary colors, or they could be clad in special skins like tiger stripes, blue waves, or, as they were on the show floor, in the German flag. As far as I could tell no stars-and-stripes option yet. Joking aside, it’s a significant aspect as it’s this kind of cosmetic customization that will separate the game from free-to-play players and those willing to pass on a little bit of money to Trion. Everything that will cost players money in the game will be cosmetic rather than something that will affect play. As Petroglyph explained to us in Germany, they see how players have invested years in RTS games like StarCraft II without paying for anything except the box, and as such, they don’t see a traditional MMO subscription model as competitive against that. Fair enough.

That’s the thing with End of Nations; strip the MMORPG stuff away and beneath there seems to be a familiar, traditional RTS game lurking beneath with good old rock-paper-scissors style play to exploit. Yes, that’s probably easier said than done for both developer and player, but with such an ambitious hybrid to master maybe that’s exactly what End of Nations needs to be.

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