Community Announcements - Relic_Noun
Last month we began the process of transitioning the original Dawn of War and its expansions from the GameSpy servers that hosted the games, ensuring that players continue to have access to Dawn of War’s multiplayer features after the shutdown. Moving the original game to a combination of Steamworks servers and our own Battle Servers allows us to continue to support the game.

We are committed to providing the same long term support to Dawn of War II and its first expansion Chaos Rising. Thus we are beginning the process of moving these games to the same server systems that we are using for Dawn of War, Company of Heroes and Company of Heroes 2. We thank Dawn of War II players for their patience while we work to transition the Dawn of War servers.

The first step of this process is an Open Beta of the new Steamworks version of Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising. This Beta is open to all owners of Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising.

To join the beta:

• Right Click Warhammer 40,00: Dawn of War II in your Steam game Library
• Select “Properties”
• Click on the “BETAS” tab in the Properties Menu
• Select “openbeta” from the list of betas
• Download the new Beta

The Beta is a work in progress and currently there are some features that are not working, or are in progress.

Here are some known issues we are working through:
• Statistics, Win/Loss Counters, & Leaderboard data.
• AI Multiplayer Behavior.
• Referee Functions (May remove completely).
• Team Free For All related issues.
• Observer mode.
• Chat Mute/Unmute does not function.

If you come across an issue that causes your game to crash we would appreciate if you would submit a bug report. This process is automatic and will launch after the crash. Doing so will allow us to discover potential issues more quickly.

The re-launch of the Dawn of War products comes with the introduction of the Battle Servers. This technology solves the connection and latency issues associated with peer-to-peer game play. Lagging players will no longer affect your multiplayer experience since each player connects directly to the Battle Server. This technology will allow you to experience multiplayer with a wider audience than was previously possible. As a result of the new Battle Server implementation we intend to remove LAN and peer-to-peer multiplayer.

Features removed:
• LAN / Direct Connect
• Ability to “Pause” during multiplayer.

Other:
• Games For Windows Live Removed.
• Previously Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising Shared the same Leaderboards & Achievements. These have now been separated per title.

These removed features are unfortunate side effects, but we strongly believe that continuing to support the multiplayer and online features of Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising outweighs this loss.

We thank everyone in the Dawn of War community for their support of the game over the years, and are excited that we are going to be able to keep it running into the future.

Thank you.

- Relic Entertainment
Community Announcements - Relic_Noun
Last month we began the process of transitioning the original Dawn of War and its expansions from the GameSpy servers that hosted the games, ensuring that players continue to have access to Dawn of War’s multiplayer features after the shutdown. Moving the original game to a combination of Steamworks servers and our own Battle Servers allows us to continue to support the game.

We are committed to providing the same long term support to Dawn of War II and its first expansion Chaos Rising. Thus we are beginning the process of moving these games to the same server systems that we are using for Dawn of War, Company of Heroes and Company of Heroes 2. We thank Dawn of War II players for their patience while we work to transition the Dawn of War servers.

The first step of this process is an Open Beta of the new Steamworks version of Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising. This Beta is open to all owners of Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising.

To join the beta:

• Right Click Warhammer 40,00: Dawn of War II in your Steam game Library
• Select “Properties”
• Click on the “BETAS” tab in the Properties Menu
• Select “openbeta” from the list of betas
• Download the new Beta

The Beta is a work in progress and currently there are some features that are not working, or are in progress.

Here are some known issues we are working through:
• Statistics, Win/Loss Counters, & Leaderboard data.
• AI Multiplayer Behavior.
• Referee Functions (May remove completely).
• Team Free For All related issues.
• Observer mode.
• Chat Mute/Unmute does not function.

If you come across an issue that causes your game to crash we would appreciate if you would submit a bug report. This process is automatic and will launch after the crash. Doing so will allow us to discover potential issues more quickly.

The re-launch of the Dawn of War products comes with the introduction of the Battle Servers. This technology solves the connection and latency issues associated with peer-to-peer game play. Lagging players will no longer affect your multiplayer experience since each player connects directly to the Battle Server. This technology will allow you to experience multiplayer with a wider audience than was previously possible. As a result of the new Battle Server implementation we intend to remove LAN and peer-to-peer multiplayer.

Features removed:
• LAN / Direct Connect
• Ability to “Pause” during multiplayer.

Other:
• Games For Windows Live Removed.
• Previously Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising Shared the same Leaderboards & Achievements. These have now been separated per title.

These removed features are unfortunate side effects, but we strongly believe that continuing to support the multiplayer and online features of Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising outweighs this loss.

We thank everyone in the Dawn of War community for their support of the game over the years, and are excited that we are going to be able to keep it running into the future.

Thank you.

- Relic Entertainment
PC Gamer
Dawn of War 2


I recently strapped on my bulkiest, most improbable armour in order to again attempt the vast campaigns of the Dawns of War 2. The reason being that I wanted to play them in co-op, and, with Games for Windows Live potentially shutting down in July, wasn't sure if that was a thing I'd be able to do. It looks like I can rest easy on my seemingly unending Tyranid defence, as Relic have announced that Dawn of War, Dawn of War 2, and both games' various expansions will all be transitioned over to Steamworks. In doing so, the Warhammer 40K series can dodge whatever ill fate is in store for GameSpy and GfW Live.

"On May 22nd, the original Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and its expansions underwent a major update in order to preserve multiplayer gameplay for all these titles," writes Dawn of War design lead Philippe Boulle.

"Since their launch, Dawn of War and its expansions (Winter Assault, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm) have relied on the GameSpy service for multiplayer matchmaking. Since they are about to shut down their services for good it would otherwise leave these games without any way to play multiplayer. That is not an outcome anyone at Relic would want to see."

Dawn of War 2 and the Chaos Rising expansion, meanwhile, are slightly more complex beasts. According to Boulle, the migration is currently in progress, with Relic planning to reveal more details in the near future. The second DoW2 expansion, Retribution, is already a Steamworks-only title.

"In the short term, there are likely to be some technical issues with the new setup," Boulle writes. "Recreating the multiplayer infrastructure for seven titles is no small feat, and there will be bugs. Ultimately, we felt that it would be better to get the update out in a slightly imperfect state in time to prevent an outright interruption in multiplayer play. So, bugs."
Community Announcements - Relic_Noun
Hello all –

On May 22nd, the original Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and its expansions underwent a major update in order to preserve multiplayer gameplay for all these titles.

Since their launch, Dawn of War and its expansions (Winter Assault, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm) have relied on the GameSpy service for multiplayer matchmaking. Since they are about to shut down their services for good it would otherwise leave these games without any way to play multiplayer. That is not an outcome anyone at Relic would want to see.

Dawn of War II and its first expansion (Chaos Rising) also rely on other external servers so we also intend to take this opportunity to migrate them over to Steam in order for a consistent multiplayer experience across the entire portfolio. This migration is in progress and we’ll have more details soon.

So, all titles in the franchise are being updated to use the same matchmaking and backend developed for Company of Heroes 2. This will not only mean multiplayer can continue on these titles, but the matchmaking experience will be improved. Matchmaking/login and so on will thus all be through Steam.

In the short term, there are likely to be some technical issues with the new setup. Recreating the multiplayer infrastructure for seven titles is no small feat, and there will be bugs. Ultimately, we felt that it would be better to get the update out in a slightly imperfect state in time to prevent an outright interruption in multiplayer play. So, bugs.

We are committed to tackling these bugs and getting all titles to be fully Steam enabled.

This update – and continued further support for DoW and DoW2 – is a big step for us at Relic. It’s a concrete signal of support for the Dawn of War franchise from us and from SEGA as a whole. Ever since SEGA acquired Relic we’ve been working on continued support for the Dawn of War back catalogue. It’s great for some of this to see the light of day at last.

I came to Relic in 2005 to work on the product that became Dark Crusade and went on to run narrative and campaign on both Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising. To be working on these titles again is a joy, and on behalf of all of us, I’d like to thank the fans who have continued to keep DoW in their hearts. You guys rock.

For the Emperor!

Philippe Boulle
Design Lead, Dawn of War Franchise
Community Announcements - Relic_Noun
Hello all –

On May 22nd, the original Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and its expansions underwent a major update in order to preserve multiplayer gameplay for all these titles.

Since their launch, Dawn of War and its expansions (Winter Assault, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm) have relied on the GameSpy service for multiplayer matchmaking. Since they are about to shut down their services for good it would otherwise leave these games without any way to play multiplayer. That is not an outcome anyone at Relic would want to see.

Dawn of War II and its first expansion (Chaos Rising) also rely on other external servers so we also intend to take this opportunity to migrate them over to Steam in order for a consistent multiplayer experience across the entire portfolio. This migration is in progress and we’ll have more details soon.

So, all titles in the franchise are being updated to use the same matchmaking and backend developed for Company of Heroes 2. This will not only mean multiplayer can continue on these titles, but the matchmaking experience will be improved. Matchmaking/login and so on will thus all be through Steam.

In the short term, there are likely to be some technical issues with the new setup. Recreating the multiplayer infrastructure for seven titles is no small feat, and there will be bugs. Ultimately, we felt that it would be better to get the update out in a slightly imperfect state in time to prevent an outright interruption in multiplayer play. So, bugs.

We are committed to tackling these bugs and getting all titles to be fully Steam enabled.

This update – and continued further support for DoW and DoW2 – is a big step for us at Relic. It’s a concrete signal of support for the Dawn of War franchise from us and from SEGA as a whole. Ever since SEGA acquired Relic we’ve been working on continued support for the Dawn of War back catalogue. It’s great for some of this to see the light of day at last.

I came to Relic in 2005 to work on the product that became Dark Crusade and went on to run narrative and campaign on both Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising. To be working on these titles again is a joy, and on behalf of all of us, I’d like to thank the fans who have continued to keep DoW in their hearts. You guys rock.

For the Emperor!

Philippe Boulle
Design Lead, Dawn of War Franchise
Announcement - Valve
In celebration of Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team releasing on Steam, save 50% off the Warhammer Franchise as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

*Offer ends Monday at 10am pacific.




Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% on Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution!*


Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Sunday at 10AM Pacific Time
Community Announcements - Relic_Noun
<a href="http://blogs.companyofheroes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/smokey_village.jpg"><img class="alignnone wp-image-245" alt="Smokey Village" src="http://blogs.companyofheroes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/smokey_village.jpg" width="614" height="436" /></a>

&nbsp;

This weekend new troops are being sent to the Eastern Front as <em>Company of Heroes 2</em> is having its first ever <a title="Steam Free Weekend" href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/231430/">Steam Free Weekend</a>.

Starting today and running until Sunday January 19th all Steam members will be able to play <em>Company of Heroes 2</em> for free. No conditions, no catches, it’s the full Company of Heroes 2 experience and it’s a click away for all Steam members. Players will be able to experience the full single-player campaign, the single player and co-op Theater of War experience in Operation Barbarossa and of course the <em>CoH2</em> multiplayer.

Veterans of <em>CoH2</em> will not only have new allies and enemies to faceoff with in multiplayer this weekend, but as an additional bonus we are unlocking all of the game’s paid DLC commanders for four days of play. So if there’s been a Commander you’ve wanted to try on the battlefield then this is your chance.

As an additional bonus multiplayer automatch games will be awarding ten times the experience all weekend. Yup, that’s right 10x XP all weekend long for any automatch game.

Have a friend who you think would love<em> Company of Heroes 2</em>? This is the weekend to get them playing the game. And as an added bonus the game will be <a title="Company of Heroes 2 on Steam" href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/231430/">66% off on Steam</a>, allowing everyone who loves playing it for free to keep it for a very low price.

Welcome to <em>Company of Heroes 2</em>, we’ll see you on the front lines.
Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Warhammer 40,000 fans, your prayers to the Emperor (or Gork, Mork, Isha, or whichever vile daemon you heretics worship) have been answered. A turn-based strategy adaptation of Games Workshop's grimdark tabletop wargame is coming, but not from the usual source. While Relic developed and THQ published the 40K RTS series Dawn of War, this is by specialist strategy developer and publisher Slitherine.

We don't know much, though. Yesterday's announcement said it's being made for multiple platforms with "best talents in design and development" available to Slitherine. And that's about all.

"Slitherine are clearly established and successful masters of their genre of games, and there are many fans of their work here at [Games Workshop]," head of licensing Jon Gillard said in yesterday's announcement. "It's a pleasure to work with such like minded individuals who share our passion for strategy games of all types."

As well as the Slitherine brand, the Slitherine Group includes Matrix Games and Ageod.

This isn't the only turn-based 40K game in the works either. Space Hulk is in development for PC, Mac and iOS at Frontline Tactics dev Full Control, complete with co-op.

Relic was working on a Dawn of War III, but it ended up sidelined while the studio focused on Company of Heroes 2. Relic was bought by Sega in the great THQ shutdown sale, and it's not yet clear what will happen with 40K there now.

[That image up top is from Relic's Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution]

PC Gamer
Warhammer


We learned recently that the creators of Total War, The Creative Assembly, have scooped Games Workshop's Warhammer fantasy license. This is tip-top news. Warhammer is all about massive battles, Creative Assembly are really, really good at massive battles. It's a great match.

CA have set up a new develop team to produce games for the "multi-title" deal, but what would such a series look like? We're rather fond of Games Workshop's game of little fantasy men doing dice-war on tabletops, so we've rounded up a few features we'd love to see from an proper, epic Warhammer fantasy videogame.

Massive armies



When it comes to depicting clashes between thousands of men, the Total War series has few rivals. The Creative Assembly have steadily increased the detail and fidelity of Total War's skirmishes, and for Rome 2 they've built a massive mo-cap studio to make soldiers' movements more realistic. This makes them a perfect fit for Warhammer, which has always been about massive battles with massive units massively killing each other without remorse or restraint. They've got the tech to push well beyond Mark of Chaos' scraps, let's see it happen.

Powerful heroes



Warhammer generals wade into battle wielding weapons that have slain demigods, clad in armour that can turn aside cannon fire. Why would an ordinary soldier turn up to fight such a being? Extreme drunkenness, probably. Whatever the scale of the battle, it wouldn't be a Warhammer barney without some absurdly powerful power dressers taking out entire units single-handedly. The Creative Assembly worked some hero units onto Shogun 2's tech trees to mixed reaction from fans. An extension of the loadout functions on show in Shogun 2's profile avatars could be a good way to work in hero customisation. Relic's Dawn of War 2 heroes are a good model for gear systems that keep champions interesting and powerful over a long campaign.

Unit customisation and champions



Painting Warhammer's tiny models takes bloody ages. Tabletop armies are commonly fielded half-daubed in undercoat, shedding flock from poorly layered bases. Putting the time in to field an army that you're invested in really pays off in the long run, though, so let's have some of that. Virtual paint jobs can be applied with the click of a button in a game, and there should be room for players to design their own banners and name units.

I'd like to see Total War's the unit veterancy system leveling up unit champions, picking out heroic individuals from squads as a campaign progresses. If they become accomplished enough, you should have the option to promote them to General, giving players a way to foster new leaders in the heat of battle instead of a tepid menu screen.

Mega units



This is a greater daemon called the Bloodthirster. He's like a giant cow with wings, an axe and a flair for the dramatic. According to Games Workshop, "the skies turn the colour of blood" when he appears and "the ground erupts with skulls and fountains of gore around it." He's the angry, fighty embodiment of a heavy metal album cover, and he's pretty much the reason you play as the corrupted race of Chaos.

Warhammer stretches familiar fantasy cliches to absurd extremes. That's a big part of the appeal. These monolithic juggernauts of mass destruction aren't just show pieces, though. They embody the personality of the race they represent. The Bloodthirster is a living avatar of the the bestial rage of his kin. The Wood Elves deploy a ten foot tall green hobo because they have spent years consuming Athel Loren's kaleidoscopic selection of mushrooms and don't know what's real anymore. Lizardmen fill a box full of dinosaurs and then bolt it to the back of a giant Triceratops. Creative Assembly strapped cannons to the backs of elephants in Medieval 2, so they're almost there already.

Randomised campaign twists



Rome: Total War worked a game-changing twist into its campaign that kept its twilight turns interesting. CA have experimented with similar ideas in Fall of the Samurai, which required factions to settle down and declare allegiance for nationalist or renegade forces for a final all-out territory scrap. This is good stuff, but it funnels the campaign into a prescribed final scenario. This is useful if you're trying to maintain a degree of historical authenticity, but a fantasy license should allow for boundless outcomes. The Wood Elves should be able to break out of their wood and occupy Brettonia. The Skaven should have the opportunity to consume and spread disease across the entire map, as is their wont. My favourite Total War stories are the ones I made myself in the vast, glorious sandbox that is Empire: Total War (much improved since launch thanks to CA updates and work from the terrific TW modding community). It'd be a treat to have similar opportunities on the Warhammer world map.

Those game-changing campaign twists may still have a part to play, mind. Terrible things can happen quite suddenly in the Warhammer universe. An unnoticed Orc WAAAAGH (an unstoppable angry green mob that grows bigger then more it loots and pillages) could roll in from the mountains and start washing through territories. A necromancer could get his hands on a long-lost item of power and start raising the dead in your homesteads. The incidental social events and scenarios that popped up in FotS could be expanded to deliver exotic challenges with more tangible rewards (claim territory X to gain a heart-seeking sword for your general), introduce new antagonists, and convey more of the exuberant character of the Warhammer universe.

A sense of humour



What has two legs, two tails and a thousand teeth? A LIZARD ON A DINOSAUR. Look, it has a MACE. And the dinosaur is WEARING A HAT. Warhammer is famous for its grimdark portrayals of eternal war, but it's often hilarious. Orcs and Goblins are considered to be the race of choice for generals who enjoy ridiculous, unpredictable battles, but the sense of humour that gives us units like Squigs and the Doom Diver Catapult can be found throughout the Warhammer universe. It's tough to work in wisecracks when you're presenting the brutal historical meat grinders of Rome and Shogun, but the Warhammer license gives Creative Assembly good opportunity to cut loose a little. Lizards riding dinosaurs. LIZARDS RIDING DINOSAURS.

ONLY WAR



I'm all in favour of a complex meta-game playing out on a strategic world map, but much of what makes Total War's infrastructure management interesting just doesn't fit into the Warhammer setting. If I'm in control of the Empire, I don't care about taxation rates, or ideological niceties like education and wellfare, I want to build the biggest damn steam tank my engineers can think of.

Many of Warhammer's races are just too weird to conform to the economic norms of a historical strategy game. Does an Orc Warboss tax his Goblin workforce? Of course not. If someone asks him for a pay rise, he'll probably just eat them. Do Dark Elves build schools for little Dark Elves? How efficient are they at mining ore? Nobody cares.

The only infrastructure we should be concerned with is the infrastructure of WAR. I want to build better spies to figure out where I should do war next. I want to research new tech to do war better. I want to find out how to breed demonic steeds so that I can do war faster. I want to build sacrificial pits and pledge souls to Nurgle to do war dirtier. Even when you're not waging war, you should be preparing for war, which is why you also need...

Fragile alliances



Everyone hates everyone else. This is a central tenant of Warhammer fantasy and GW's futuristic edition, Warhammer 40,000. Nobody has any real friends, but uneasy alliances can be wrought, and should. Some races, like Chaos and The Empire, are mortal foes who just can't be in the same room together without someone smiting someone in the name of Sigmar/The Mighty Khorne, but you should be able to tag along with a roughly aligned group to put down threats, and it'd be especially nice if they fought alongside you in battle from time to time.

The alliances should feel painfully fragile. If a spell goes awry and wipes out an allied unit, there's a chance they could turn on you there and then. Imagine if the process of cementing treaties had your generals marching out in front of opposing armies to seal the deal, giving both armies present the opportunity to betray their would-be friends and get in a surprise attack. That'd move those diplomacy screens back into the battlefield, letting you hash out terms in the fraught atmosphere of a military standoff.

Magic that backfires



Magic is extremely powerful in Warhammer. Mages can move scenery around to crush their enemies, speed up entire armies with a word and tear chunks out of the earth with great lashes of elemental energy. There's a twist: Warhammer's spell casters are incompetent.

According to the lore, magic is a wild force that can be directed, but not tamed. A pompous High Elf mage can miss a syllable and send that hill crashing into his own knights. Goblins shamans can get carried away and physically explode, taking out friends and foes nearby. Chaos sorcerers who misjudge a demonic pact can melt into a fleshy puddle or become warped beyond recognition by a possessing spirit. A streak of luck can decimate the battlefield, or gift your foe a great advantage.

There will be a temptation to tone down magic in the name of balance, which is probably wise, but part of me wants to experience the full, chaotic representation of Warhammer's magic system. The wonderful, crunching impacts of Fall of the Samurai's off-map bombardments could be incorporated into some delightful spells.

Alternatively, just make Mordheim



Perhaps there is no grand Total War-esque RTS on the way. Maybe The Creative Assembly are working on something smaller and more manageable with the Warhammer fantasy license. That's okay. It'd be great to see a proper High Elf force dice up the Empire en masse, but Warhammer presents good alternatives for smaller scale conflicts.

I've been a nerd for quite a while, and I reckon that Mordheim is the best thing Games Workshop have ever done. You control a small squad of about a dozen characters as they scour the ruins of a cursed city in search of precious Wyrdstone. Your warriors gain personality traits and terrible injuries as they level up between battles. If your general takes a terrible beating he can become horribly scarred and cause fear among is foes in future fights. Your men can lose arms and legs, or perform courageously enough to be promoted. As you amass a bit of coin, you can start hiring freelance mercenaries with their own strange back stories.

Imagine XCOM, but with much more emergent character development between missions, set in a dark, ruined city full of giant rat men, devout witch hunters and battle-hardened glory hunters wielding flintlock pistols. It was a bit of a pain as a tabletop game, as you needed a ton of scenery to represent the city. A game would do a much better job of representing Mordheim's warped, sinister cityscape and the evolving state of the treasure hunters camped within.

Those are our thoughts. What would you like to see from Total Warhammer?
...

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