28 January 2009

The second Dawn of War

Since tonight (European Time), the Dawn of War II Beta (DoW II) became public.
If you want to participate, you'll need a steam Account, and a 'Games for Windows live' account.

I downloaded the DoW II beta, mainly because i really liked DoW I, and i don't regret playing the beta.

Besides the improved graphics, DoW II features many improvements and changes.
The first thing you'll notice when trying to play online, is, that you choose your race, which are either the Space Marines, Orkz, Eldar and Tyranids.
After selecting your favoured race, you'll need to decide between 3 commander units.
Usually, the main difference between these commanders are, that one commander is mainly for offensive, defensive or supportive tactics.
Space Marine example:
The Force commander has a stronger melee and better defense (but i didn't paid attention to his special abilities). The Apothecary is the Space Marines support commander. He has medicore melee abilities. His special abilities consists mainly of passivly healing nearby allied units, or activly with his special ability. Lust, but not least, is the Techmarine. The Techmarine can, like your Scout squads or its equivalent, repair allied vehicles and structures. He is not focused on melee, but you can use some tricky, but expansive, tower rush-a-like tactics.
Unlike DoW II's nature, the tech marine can build structures, which are turrets and 'teleport relais'. Turrets, of course, shoot incoming enemies, but make sure to position them wisely, because they are expensive and only have a about 90° angle of attack, which makes about 270° of blind spots. The relais heals nearby units, and can be used to reinforce your squads.
If you played previous DoW titles, you might want to level your commander units by research, but in DoW II, every unit has a levelsystem, which improves health, damage and armore and all those stuff. Additionally, your commander can buy equipment, which can improve different stats of your commander unit, such as defense etc.
After you selected your commander and race, you'll get to the matchmaking screen. At least in this beta version, there is no server browser, so you either let the matchmaking system assign you to a game, or you invite some friends if you want to make sure to play with them cooperatively. After you joined a game, there will be a 20 second timer for the time to launch the match.

Match launched? Excited to build up your base? well, as you'll see now, there is now base building anymore. In Skirmish/Multiplayer, you only have your command center, where you can purchase new units and unlock a new tech tier, which will help you to get new tech and units available for purchase. Well, now let's get started crushing your enemies.
If you played DoW I earlier, you that you've got to capture strategic points. In DoW II, you have requisition points, energy nodes and victory points.
Requisition points are like the one you know from DoW I, with the difference, that you can't build listening posts to secure it and increase your income. Power nodes are used to gain energy. Capturing one allows you to improve it's output. at first, you can 'activate' it, which secures your power node an increases it's output. After that, you can build up to 3 generators, which will again increase your power income. If you happen to find an unprotected power node, don't get distracted by it's generators nearby, ignore them, and go for the node itself. After capturing, you'll capture it's generators automatically.
The Victory Points work like the flags in good ol' battlefield. The more you have, the faster your enemy will lose his points.
After you captured a few points, it might be a good idea to purchase either a new squad at your HQ, or equip your squad with new weapons. Upgrading your squad works like DoW I - select your squad, and then, select the upgrade you want to purchase. Now, with fresh new reinforced equipment or manpower, it's time for a assault. Attacking a enemy point reckless is suicide. if an enemy squad is guarding the point, they are most likely to have taken cover. Everything can be used as cover. Walls, crates, trees etc. .
Hopefully, after you killed the enemy, and not the otherway around, you saw some red numbers, (at least if you play Space Marines). Those numbers are zeal points. They are used for special abilities, which can be a Space marine squad, a terminator squad or an orbital bombardment.
If you have real problems taking a enemy out, which has taken cover, it'd be a good idea to to use jetpack equiped units, in order to engange them in a melee combat, or upgrading to tier 2 an purchasing a vehicle.
Walker vehicles can crush a few obstacles, have great melee combat abilities, and can be upgraded with long range canons against infantry. Tank vehicles can crush almost everything in their paths. a Unit behind a wall should flee, since those are no obstacles for a tank.

Well, now it'll be a struggle for the victory points, and now: did you miss the base building aspect of DoW I ? well, i did not. I Already preordered DoW II

Finally a few words to the singleplayer (source: wikipedia)

Singleplayer won't have any base at all, you'll need to decide, which units you want to use, before the actual mission. If you played Chaos Gate, you should be fine.
Without playing the Singleplayer in DoW II, it somehow sounds like a real time chaos gate.

well,... there's only one thing about DoW II that i dislike,...

probably, my next post will be made at 7th february,... hopefully (depends on how fast my SAL shipment from HLJ is this time)

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