Amazing how time is fun when you're having flies.
It's refreshing to see that people are looking forward to more people to shoot. It means more regions open up; it means less wait for carnage, it means it's more likely that the particular Ork game you want to join is available, and up and running in your region.
Because we aren't going “F2P P2W”, we're providing a free version of the game, which has slower progression and class limitation, exactly so that free players are valuable to paying players, and vice versa. You still have to pay to get the full game.
Ork only, with only one class available would have messed up class, faction, and matchmaking balance on an epic scale. We now allow all classes except Air Assault; all progression is at 1/3 of the paying player, and you still need to pay either $20 or 20,000 RTC to unlock the full game.
This imbalance would mean that there is no value in the free player to the paying player. The free player is diminishing the experience, instead of becoming a vital part of it.
The free player won't stay around long enough either, as playing one class of Ork in Eternal Crusade, especially with that epic imbalance, would suck for them as much as it would suck for the paying player.
That's why we redesigned Free to Waaagh. To provide value to the paying player, and make the free player experience fun, without ruining the game.
That is a fundamental rule of a hybrid business model like this. If it adds no value to the experience of everyone adding a legion of free players, there is no reason to do it.
Now, “Free to Waagh” will increase the value and fun for everyone. Even us, the developer, as revenues means more investment in the game, to reach its ultimate potential. And with the love/hate relationship, we all have for the Eternal Crusade; I think this is what we all want.
That Eternal Crusade can become the ultimate playground, for your Warhammer 40,000 fantasies.
When is this all happening?
Over the next weeks, we will be sending out soft-launch keys to the free version. You can call it closed beta if you will. They are entirely valid keys and everything you achieve during the soft-launch transfers straight into the game after we launch the free version. You are in fact playing in the same world as everybody else. There is no reset when we go live.
Alienware is our first partner for the soft-launch as well as our very own newsletter subscribers. There are more partners part of the soft launch, and it’s about 250,000 keys, to begin. How many will activate we never know, but the key is free for you to use for yourself or give to friends.
We also haven’t forgotten our current players, early access, and founders.
You are already receiving 20,000 RTC* when you enter the game today. When we launch the new free version, the new $20 & $50 packages, you will also get a Steam giftable** version of the game.
Additionally, the long overdue removal of the Venerable pack weapons in the $50 version happens now. They will be exclusive to you forever, replaced by four regular store bundles, one for each faction.
What is your priority right now?
Our priority is very much the same as the player priorities and reflected in the future updates.
Client, Network and Server performance, all of which fall under “lag” as they are all contributing factors.
Improve, Monitor and Measure the path into the game for new players. Educating players makes a better experience for paying and free players alike. That’s the new tutorial, death tips and such. I originally replied with most on this on our forums to Anvil’s post – thank you :)
You. That’s your character, the combat balancing, melee, visual customization, veterans, and elites to name a few things and features we’re expanding around character evolution (some pleasant surprises planned here).
Goals. We continue to improve the world map and campaigns. Increase player agency, variety in types of campaign goals, personal and global.
Many ask for consoles and to address that, our resources are fully committed and focused on the above. Console development is on our roadmap but on hold till this phase of Eternal Crusade, and that we have more precise answers to cross-platform play. Then we will determine where consoles land.
This ties into the fact that the more people that are in the world, the more valuable the world is to players. It helps everything from matchmaking, to faction, class and campaign balance. It ties into everything.
We thank you all for your support in getting Eternal Crusade here, hope that you continue to support Eternal Crusade that we all love, hate, or both – we all see the potential. And that’s what binds us.