You all should head over to our official news on Steam to check out the latest State of the Crusade. http://steamcommunity.com/games/375230/announcements/detail/1643119540013513083 Happy new carnage everyone! Who would have thunk that we’d still be alive in this fresh hell of a new year? We’ve gotten the wrath of all the gods deservedly; we’re not happy where we are, you’re not happy where we are. Yet we don’t give up because of the potential. If you give up, you can be certain you will die. I joined EVE Online when we were 30,000 players. When I left we were more than 400,000. I believe because I’ve seen the turnaround happen, more than once. Death is forever, so since we’re dead, we can do what we want As we return from the holidays and revisit our plans for the year, we can start sharing what’s ongoing. Some of this isn’t new to you, some of it is. Some of it sounds crazy, some insane, some useless. However, we have UAT – the public test server - as our working development server, so we are going open and wide on testing things earlier, sometimes just “hey this sounds crazy,” and we try it out. Come join us if you want in on the game. This is because we work with what we have. Some of the things we think of are simple to materialize as we have shelves full of material in various finished states, and our strategy is tools to create content, rather than hardcode content. With tools, you don’t need nearly as much engineering time to materialize even meaningful changes, new maps, even new game modes. Initiatives this year for the crusade of the ded We’re still waiting for answers, confirmation, and approvals on some of these, as well as being blocked technically, so this is what our intent is for 2018. They will be covered in more detail as we get closer, and we see that we won’t get bent over by a god in the last meters before launch, ruining plans yet again. There is more, but I figured it would be better to get some of the information out and reveal later. Steam Workshop We weren’t clear when we told you we had finally gotten the green light to have a workshop. What wasn’t clear is that it meant we could start the work, preparing it. This is still ongoing, and it will open as soon as I can. I’ve been working for more than a year getting this through all channels, and yet there is always more, some tech, some legal, some just because they can. Join the community Workshop discord channel, I hang out there on occasion, and there is super cool stuff there. New game modes We have experimented with game modes, we have some who are working, missing only bits and pieces, as well as the ever wonderful UI changes to display the state of the match. Right now we’re wrapping up our take on 5v5 team deathmatch as this was a low hanging fruit. There is, of course, a king of the hill kind of mode, the ever famous battle royale variants, and mixing up things in our current modes. Good thing with new game modes is they don’t always need a new map. Our system allows for multiple modes to exist on a map. New maps, variations of maps, and map buffing We have maps that are in a progressed state we can finish up, we intend to cut up some of our current maps to make variations as they have large areas unused today, and we intend to try to utilize those unused areas in the original maps. Perhaps with capture points which are for other classes? Scream while dying ™ and other drastic balancing Screaming after you died in a way not clear to you, in milliseconds, is not fun. Screaming while dying is at least having some fun until you die. This means drastically increasing survivability, which can be done through quite a few ways. It should also result in more epic battles. After all, we’re supposed to be a tactical squad shooter of superhumans and Xenos. So why not try it all out? We can always change back. Fewer but far more durable vehicles are part of this. A tank rolling in is supposed to be epic. Infantry taking it out is supposed to be epic. Shooting infantry with anti-vehicle weapons is not epic, but being the person shooting the tank with the anti-vehicle will get the cheers. You can participate in the discussion here on how to achieve it. http://forum.eternalcrusade.com/threads/in-development-scream-while-dying-tm.70151/ Volunteer Teams We’re starting volunteer teams. In online games, this is common as a source of feedback. We have some groups already, the latest to open is the Campaign and storyline writers group that just delivered a series of 6 campaigns for each faction, that we will now process. It’s fantastic. We should start the same formal volunteer groups for the workshop, and for general development on our test server – and probably used discord as we hang out on the informal Eternal Crusade discord, and the workshop. Jump in. Want to be part of leading them? Post on the forum and show that your milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. Partnerships When we talk about funding, never having had an ad campaign, our steam reviews suck the genitalia of crossbred quadrupeds, and as it only costs 100 dollars to publish a game on Steam now, our visibility is none. Publishing and partnerships are where we, after having our rights back from Bandai Namco, can find worldwide partners for co-development and co-publishing, except with worldwide rights. Right now, most are working on their own games and don’t have funds or time to do this, especially after big name launches crashing so hard lately. We’re in talks, and these things take a long time, but it is still active. Finding a partner, and funds flowing, opens up for reviving our console builds. We had them ready for final certification when their publishing was pushed out. Imagine that. So getting them back could be low hanging fruit for a new partner. Partners also include “wholesale,” where you have platforms that either has a very special purpose. This can be a Humble Bundle for charity, but it can also be like the Intel gaming bundle partner program. That means Intel partners go in and select in bulk, games to have in a bundle. We’re there, and other similar ones. It also means we’ve added three more digital retailers, where they have our most recent products, and we’ll do special promotions with them. Epic Games is also a partner. We use their engine, just like PUBG and Fortnite. One day we will be able to update the engine we use, version 4.12 – and get the latest updates. As you may know, these games are quite similar at their core. So when games with more than 10x our revenue and size need stuff getting done, we’re hoping this will end up in the Unreal Engine for the benefit for all. There is more out there that's still in the starting phase and will become huge. Amazon / Twitch Prime, GOG getting bigger, and we are almost non-existant in huge Warhammer markets. We have the download stats, player stats etc. and it is amazing how many territories and countries don't know about us. Yes, seriously. Only 60,000 downloads from Russian territories? I think there might be a couple of more players over there. Three years after joining, and here we are, so let's reflect No, we’re not Planetside 2, no we’re not Skyrim with 1000 player battles, no there isn’t open world maps yet, no it most certainly is not what you signed up for, many years ago. Addressing larger issues on the Top 10 lists, or even gods forbid, getting to start work on the open world gameplay maps hasn’t happened either. Because it’s all about the money. The money I get, we use to operate and develop. Yes, we have had a lot of changes and moves to sister teams, I'll let them post if they want to. They are still just next to us and we get them assigned for specific projects so it's not all bad. They pay them instead of us! KEK I’ve seen lately a strong undercurrent in the community that is “what can we do?”. And you’ll end up with something like the Eternal Crusade Clan initiative. Saturdays from 2 PM to 8 PM EST, the clans are going to focus their playtime to increase online concurrency, allowing for more matches in all factions and generally a good time. I’m going to broadcast this on all our media. There will be enough servers, they always automatically fire up new hardware based on players. This year is the year of nasty-nice. Bring the criticism, bring the initiatives, help us on the test server deliver the new combat experience of Eternal Crusade, be nice, but stay your nasty selves. Toxicity is not welcome, so let’s all surprise our cold dead hearts this year, with nasty-nice. If I suddenly disappear after I post this, you will know why. Nathan "Frank" Richardsson and team.