The announcement of Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade this week was quite confusing, both because it was light on details and because, well, it's made by the folks behind Wet and Naughty Bear. But, new details: it'll be a free-to-play PlanetSide-y PvP fight for control of planets, with a splash of AI Tyranids on the side to add extra trouble.
The Space Marine, Eldar, Chaos Space Marines and Orks will duke it out for control of planets over three-month campaigns, MMORPG.com reports. Elected players are in charge of the war efforts, issuing orders which aren't mandatory for players but will offer bonuses. Armies will capture territory across the world, breaking fortresses then refortifying them to fend off the inevitable counter-attack. They'll also need to collect resources to make everything they need to wage a war: weapons, armour, vehicles, ships, armaments and whatnot.
A winner's declared after three months, then the war moves to a new planet.
The free-to-play model is an interesting one, only offering a single class for free: the weedy Ork Boyz. Five of those punks are needed to take down one single Space Marine. Behaviour reasons that freeloaders will always outnumber paying players, and this nicely balances the numbers while providing good incentive to start paying. The other races and rest of the Ork classes will open up for money, so, well, you probably won't want to freeload forever.
Eternal Crusade also has a fifth faction, the swarming Tyranids. These AI-controlled hordes are there to provide a splash of PvE to players who want it, and can interfere with the war effort by, say, infesting a mine, but the game's focus is certainly PvP.
But is Behaviour equipped to make an MMORPG? Studio head Miguel Caron was CEO of Funcom Games Canada, launching MMORPGs including The Secret World, and TSW's dungeon lord David Ghozland is creative director on Eternal Crusade. Behaviour also told Rock, Paper, Shotgun that it's picked up "some of the best MMO tech employees from all the recent layoff in Montreal," referring to the trouble at Funcom one imagines.
Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade is due on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in "late 2015." It's still weird that this is happening, but gosh, the dream does sound promising.