Fans of the Warhammer franchise can start marking their calendars for the launch of the Warhammer 40K: Eternal Crusade founders pack, as well as the start of weekend gaming sessions and eventually full early access, Behaviour Interactive's Miguel Cuaron told Polygon today.
The Founders Pack, which gives players access to the full game at launch along with other rewards, launches June 25, said Cuaron. Later, gamers will have the chance to play the game themselves in weekend access sessions scheduled to begin this fall. Then, come January 2015, the game will become available for full early access.
Behaviour Interactive is adopting a buy-to-play system for its massive multiplayer combat game, which will be similar to the system currently set in place for Guild Wars 2. Those who purchase Eternal Crusade for $40 will also receive 40,000 points in-game, which can be used in the Rogue Trader store.
The game will be fully free-to-play for those who take on the role of Orks, Cuaron added. The development team decided to offer this free option in order to balance out the number of players across the available factions following a poll that ran on the game's current website confirming 40.7 percent of players would take on the role of Space Marine. According to Cuaron, the free-to-play gamers play games in a style that is also similar to Orks in the Warhammer lore in terms of how they grief other users.
Eternal Crusade offers four factions which include the savage Orks and Space Marines, alongside mysterious Eldar and foul chaos Space Marines. Each faction offers different combat styles, as well as changes to the overall user interface. The main factor tying each together is twitch-style gameplay. Players can block, kick, roll, jump back, and impale enemy players on their chainswords.
In this sense, the game is entirely skill-based. Likewise, it's largely PvP-focused, while underground instanced PvE is also available. Behaviour Interactive is enlisting the help of the tech used by "MuchDifferent" a Swedish company that broke the world record for most players in a shooter in the same battle, as the basis of its single-server world. In Eternal Crusade, gamers have an open world the size of a planet, featuring numerous continents that are roughly 300 to 400km in size each. According to Cuaron, this means it would take players almost an hour to cross a single continent if they ran in a straight line.
The game will also have a narrative underlying its battles, which is currently being written by New York Times best seller Graham McNeill, known best for his work writing Warhammer novelisations.
The official Eternal Crusade will see a simultaneous unveil alongside the Founder's Pack on June 25.