So what I'm going to do with this thread is post links to some articles, cherrypick some parts out of them that I want to address or mention and then open a discussion on these points.
Let's get straight in to it and look at this 'excellent' article by pcgamer.com. I say excellent because it does raise a few eyebrows over what exactly is contained within it.
Posted on 26th Jan 2016.
While the previous games focused on the Space Marines, leaving the other factions to muck around in Skirmish mode until they got expansion campaigns, the third game’s campaign jumps between the Space Marines, Orks and the Eldar, as they race to claim a superweapon hidden on a frozen world.
Okay so at least the writer has the self awareness to know about the previous games. We're off to a good start already in this article, I largely stopped reading sites like IGN and co many years ago due to their writers obviously being casual mobile app scum that only play games when their job requires them to. They very often didn't know anything about the series, its characters or the settings in question. So its nice at least that someone at pcgamer sounds like they played a previous DOW title (probably dow2 as you'll see).
"The Eldar are sort of the origin of the story," game director Phil Boulle tells me. "Our protagonist, however, Macha, she’s got her doubts about this prophecy. She represents the player’s cynical view. She’s the voice of reason."
Okay so if Macha is our protagonist we are going to be seeing the first Eldar centric campaign... ever? I can't actually recall a single instance of this being true before. Also shifting focus away from the blood ravens a little bit is a bold move seeing as they're the guys who made DOW famous but that's ok. Just don't commit the cardinal sin of making us finish the game as the wingman. Remember this simple advice: "if the backstory to one of your characters is more interesting than the tale you're trying to tell today, you're telling the wrong story".
Unfortunately, Macha’s not in charge, and must bow to the demands of her zealotic superior. In the Eldar campaign mission Relic fired up for me, set on the world of Cyprus Prime, Macha’s been ordered to assassinate her enemy-turned-friend-turned- enemy, Gabriel Angelos
This is something that I've always had an issue with, thematically. Last time I checked the eldar were originally on Tartarus fighting for control in order to stop chaos freeing the daemon in the macguffin. Gabe and Macha join forces temporarily to defeat chaos, then after they win Macha is trying to tell Gabe to just bury the thing again and seal it away so noone can mess around with it ever again, but Gabe derps out, smashes the thing: thus freeing the daemon and Macha has a seizure, curses Gabe for being stupid and runs away. They were NEVER friends. Shut up CS GOTO your books were awful.
While sheer numbers can win some brawls, it’s these extra-powerful attacks that have the might to turn the tide of a battle.
On a more serious note I could see some people having an issue with this. This is the line of writing where it confirms what I had strongly suspected which was that the average mook was just meat for the grinder and that the hero units would be pulling most of the weight. In order to make micro matter in a dawn of war game, Relic have opted to condense the micro down to using special abilities on a given number of units (in rotation I'd suspect) thus allowing micro to exist in DOW without it being some exercise in group selecting and blob moving your whole army at 120apm.
That’s why cover has completely changed, too. "We moved to larger armies, larger squads, with the camera pulled out, and it’s a lot more finicky if you have to line them up along walls," Boulle explains.
Okay I get it. I didn't like DOW2's cover system anyway so I got no real comment here.
The Space Marines’ plethora of knockback and stun attacks are important tools here
"What we’re going for is the fantasy of the faction," Boulle explains after I finally send Gabriel Angelos packing. "So it’s not always a direct manifestation of the ruleset, it’s more this is how they’re portrayed in the fiction, this is how they’re portrayed in all the art. This is the fantasy that they represent."
So these two quote lines were not beside each other however I do feel like they go together. Mechanically speaking they will work in a certain fashion probably inspired by the concept of what these units are doing in combat. It makes no sense that dire avengers would be stunning enemy units in melee, they don't have the raw strength for it. It does make sense that assault marines would, because they weigh over a ton each and are hilariously strong.
I'm looking forwards to digging up more articles and touching on the things they say in them. Obviously PCgamer wrote this article as a propaganda piece but then I suppose what else should I expect, the reciprocal relationship between media and developer practically necessitates it.