Warhammer: Mark of Chaos Interview (con't)
FiringSquad: What are some of the team's favorite units to play with in the game?
Chris Wren: I’ve been playing Skaven and Chaos lately, so I’ll focus on those. For Skaven, I like the Warp Jezzails, which are two man(rat) “rail gun” units that have huge range and high damage. They are the enemies at the gates who can snipe from across the battlefield but in melee they are fairly useless, so you need to keep them safe and far from the enemy. The Rat Ogres are fun too. They are very slow units, but if they can get within melee range they can tear up just about any unit in the game. The Rat Ogres travel with Skaven Packmasters, who keep them in line. If you can take out the Packmasters, the Rat Ogres will go out of control and start attacking their own units as well as yours. On the Chaos side, I really like the Undivided Sorcerer and the Hellcannon. The Sorcerer has got this creepy mad scientist voice, and his spells are all particularly evil. He also has a spell that lets him teleport around the battlefield making him a great hit and run unit. The Hellcannon, is basically a cannon, but in addition to iron it’s also made of demon and other body parts. It shoots fiery cannonballs made of iron, demon and other body parts, which even if it misses the enemy, tends to demoralize them.
When these things are stacked up on the walls of a keep it is awesome to see them light up the sky as they rain hell down on the units below.
FiringSquad: What will the missions and maps in the game be like?
Chris Wren: The campaign follows the story, with several offshoots and side missions available throughout each chapter of both campaigns. You will progress across our campaign map going from town to town, and to different events and battles when you encounter a hostile force, you will enter into our battle mode, which is the heart of this game. Each mission you go on is custom made, there are no generic missions or “go collect 50 rat whiskers and report back to me” missions. Each one was made to be a compelling experience unto
itself and not just a grind to get your army to the next level. Early in the campaigns we will start you out with a smaller force and we will drop you into scenarios where you will learn to use that force effectively -- sometimes you will acquire new units on these missions to expand your battle portfolio.
For example, you might come across a mage battling some enemy troops, help him out and he may join your ranks, let him perish and he’s lost forever. We have many types of missions throughout the game; we have siege defending/assaulting missions, caravan protection/destruction missions, Seek and Destroy missions, Hero challenge missions, Resource gathering missions and many others. You will never get to a mission in this game and say “Oh great, another one of these” as each mission has its own flavor and many different strategies to try out to conquer them.
The maps themselves usually have a lot of room to battle on them. Some of the keeps and cavern missions are a bit more confined, but most of the missions have some open ground to let you run around and get involved in big conflicts. The maps are all styled after the region of the Old World that they represent. There are swamps, mountains, snowy alpine levels, dark underground crypts, green forests, big lakes and rivers and even some levels twisted with the taint of chaos.
FiringSquad: What sort of multiplayer modes will the game have?
Chris Wren: The Multiplayer is mostly centered around competitive play and skirmishing. We have implemented a detailed stat tracking system to record personal profiles of your online record. This will tell others what your favorite maps and armies are, as well as your wins and losses. We have built in clan support that allows players to form their own clans, recruit and promote members as well as clan statistics tracked as a group. The customization really comes into play in multiplayer. Online, players can create their own armies any way they want, and they can also customize the looks of these armies down to the insignia on their shields or the type of beard they want their troops wearing. Among the types of online skirmishes we support are siege maps, capture and hold maps, 2V2, 3V3, as well as the traditional 1V1 battles.
FiringSquad: What other important gameplay features are in Mark of Chaos?
Chris Wren: The Champions are one of the most significant features in the game. Every major army in the game has many to choose from and each one can be customized to meet your needs. Every champion comes with a unique skill tree that in single player will develop over the course of the campaign, allowing you to earn experience and spend that advancing one of your hero’s three skill trees. All heroes share the three skill disciplines of Command, Combat and Dueling. Command is centered on your champion’s ability to lead your army and give benefits to other units within your army. The Combat skill tree is focused on skills which are useful in regular combat; many of these are powerful magic attacks. The Duel skill tree is specific to fighting other Champions on the battlefield. There are many types of champions, some are good at melee, others range and still others magic. Each champion can not only build skills, but they can pick up and equip items. Enemies and Destroyed buildings will often yield loot which your champion can then go pick up and add to their inventory.
Among the items that can be found are potions and scrolls, which can be used in battle to raise you hero’s health or stir up the winds of magic. There are also magic relics which can do any number of things from spawning magical allies to fight for you, to unleashing a powerful magic spell. These relics are often one time use but are a nice thing to keep with you to surprise your enemy or get yourself out of trouble. There is also equipment which can drop from your hero -- things like shields, weapons, armor. This stuff can be equipped by your champion to give them an added bonus to movement speed or armor, or even increase their resistances to magic.
Champions lead your army. In single player, they are the stars of the show, who will be doing a lot of the damage out there on the battlefield. But, they are also the driving force of your army and can use their powerful attacks to drive down the morale of the enemy for your forces, making the average grunt’s life a lot easier, or they can challenge enemy heroes to a duel, forcing them into one on one combat and taking them off the battlefield for a while. When your champion wins a duel, it will give your whole army a morale boost, not to mention you will get to loot the corpse of your defeated enemy champion for resources or items.