That's not an announcement of any kind, I'd just like to talk about some ideas. Very long time ago, on RelicNews forums, when I was playing and using this site to talk about DOW II, certain someone vaguely mentioned this idea of putting W40k on XCOM rails, and I think this is very brilliant idea. With right approach it can really make next big think for our beloved license. You might give an example of Armageddon or even Regicide, but that not it by a long shot really.
I'm gonna confess, I never enjoyed both old or new XCOM games. Not so long ago I have finished EU and EW but didn't have much fun with it, reasons are brutal random (which XCOM series are infamous for) and some other small design decisions, but premises are VERY solid. I mean, look at XCOM 2 and War of The Chosen in particular. I haven't experienced this first hand yet, but all the material I read and watched on this matter indicates quite clearly how improved and vastly expanded mechanics and pretty much everything from first game became.
Now just imagine Warhammer 40k game built on XCOM 2 design with several big tweaks to be proned for specific gameplay and for making game truly competitive in MP as well as fun and diverse SP experience:
- 4 races on the start, say SM, Orks, Eldar, Chaos. Up to 6 more races added with big expansions.
- Huge reduction in RNG, since it won't be XCOM and we need game to be fair in multiplayer.
- Each race has specific number of troops (customizable) to deploy, say standard SM force will consist of 6 units total + 1 commander of your choosing. That would make spots for 1 heavy vehicle (say Walker/Tank/Artillery/Transport) 2 slots for either heavy weapon teams or light vehicles and rest of the slots occupied by infantry: Tacticals/ASM/Scouts with any different wargear you can imagine to prevent situation where you go in battle with 6 Dreadnoughts, lol. Of course you can swap heavy armor or light vehicle slot for normal infantry if you wish so. With every unit having clear downsides and advantages (will need tremendous balancing, but possible).
- Not having only full turn based mode as XCOM does, but maybe something like active battle phases, f.e. each player gives orders and when all hit Ready, all units perform given orders in real time to cut down on each player having to act on his turn (might work out or not though).
- More ideas...?
Everything DOW (II in particular) players are asking for:
- Endless customization possibilities you can imagine (with full mod support) including various wargear, cosmetics, different types of fluffy armor/outfits for all races (can be introduced with mods to avoid license ripoff from GW) etc, etc.
- Real and useful directional cover system.
- Fully destructible environment.
- Useful Melee/Ranged combat of any possible type, magic, artillery you name it.
- Glorious Synckills that do not butcher balance or pacing.
- Many different armor/damage types.
- Many different win conditions from holding/capture specific points to just simple "kill all" objective and many more.
- Truly tactical combat with small force and somewhat TT-like combat system, yet lifelike and impressively bloody violent to watch and lore-friendly at the same time (with few exceptions for gameplay).
I think that would be DOW II done right, albeit turn based, but these ideas obviously would fit more into TBS than real time, no? XCOM 2 Engine (modified UE3.5) would fit brilliantly and you can easily see all the capabilities from the lists I made already used in XCOM 2 with great success: cover works, animations are fantastic, some kinds of magic effects used, melee is vastly improved and is useful, etc, etc, but biggest concern would be art direction. Game should look gritty and grim, just as many of us imagine W40k world in video game adaptation. Game set in somewhat cartoonish XCOM visual style would be a BIG letdown. So, if done right, I think it could occupy decent niche on the market, maybe not super popular like MOBAs, but by looking at XCOM 2 reception, sales and popularity, I don't think there is more to ask. Plus considering how widely known and popular W40k licence is, not to mention how starved audience is for good, solid 40k games...
What do you think about it, folks? I mean, yeah, having good strategy in real time with massive battles would be great, but since we lucked out on it, maybe try something else? And also, who you would trust development of such project to? Do you think Firaxis is up for the task? They have great experience in turn based, as it is known, plus huge resources, but can they really capture the feel of 40k universe in the right way?