We finally received some Stormgate news in January, with a brand new Stormgate Pre-Alpha playtest interview!
Courtesy of Stormgate Nexus, BeoMulf, and Neuro (and of course Frost Giant) we got to hear all about Stormgate Pre-Alpha, covering the feel of the game, the races, units, maps, heroes, and much more. Let’s take a look at all the key details.
Stormgate Feels Incredibly Fast and Responsive
The first, and most important, thing that is covered in the interview is the overall feel of the game and the engine. It’s vital for a game to feel good to play, in terms of responsiveness, for a game to succeed.
Stormgate seems to hit it out of the park immediately. Neuro claims that Stormgate is “like an F1 race car… it’s fast, crisp, and responsive.” He even took time to do nothing but simply move units around and see how they all move, which turned out to be very impressive. In fact, he claims it’s “on par with Starcraft 2” which is an amazing achievement for any game, especially one in a Pre-Alpha state.
Frost Giant Implemented a “Clear and Obvious” Design
Moving onto the gameplay itself, one of the biggest things is that a guiding hand has been implemented into the game. Neuro states that “everything is obvious, like how to take your base, how to tech up – obvious. You can mouse over stuff and it’ll tell you what to do next.”
This is a huge feature that will greatly benefit all new players. A key issue of RTS in general is the massive learning curve, so it’s great to see that there is some new player onboarding. This will be a big help for getting new players to actually continue playing instead of getting confused or lost and giving up.
There Are Unique and Original Units
Even though the game is inspired by Blizzard RTS, it’s no Starcraft or Warcraft. The units are unique, with Neuro saying that he “didn’t see any units or structures that I already knew.” There are some similarities, for example getting higher quality units as you advance up the tech tree, but overall it’s good to hear the game will be original.
Neuro was pretty tight-lipped about specific details, but we do know of one unit. There’s a “cute little unit” on the Human Resistance which can be made early on and serves as a scout. It can do a bit of damage and run around, but it seems that the main strength of the unit is gathering early information.
On top of this, the models for the faction are “hecking sweet” and everything is visually distinct so there’s a lot to look forward to!
Stormgate Features a Different Command Card
One interesting bit of design, again aimed at helping new players, is an advanced command card (the area on the bottom right in Blizzard RTS where you build, train, and give commands) which allows the player to train units without selecting buildings.
This would help remove a confusing or difficult step for new players, allowing them to easily build units, while still not lowering the skill ceiling, as it may be better for players to still choose which buildings they want to build out of (e.g. if one is closer than the others).
There May or May Not Be Heroes, But They Definitely Won’t Have An Inventory
One of the biggest splits in the Stormgate community so far is heroes. Some fans love them, other fans hate them, and it seems impossible to please both sides.
Neuro confirms that there were no heroes in the Pre-Alpha playtest, although he only tried the 1v1 mode. This means that heroes may just not be ready, may only appear in certain game modes, or may not be in the game altogether.
However, the Frost Giant team did seem to hint that heroes could play a role in the team modes. Neuro states that “[Frost Giant] did say that they wanted some role differentiation when it comes to teamwork… where you can have someone who’s like more of the defender, someone who’s more of the healer or support, and then someone who’s like more managing attack units and stuff like that.”
This is where heroes could come in, as they could help their factions specialize in a role. This could come in the form of training heroes in game, or maybe even starting with a hero which directs you into a predetermined role.
Last but not least, the Frost Giant team confirmed that if heroes were in the game, they would not have an inventory and therefore no items.
Maps Will Have Unique Features
Moving onto things that have a direct gameplay impact, there will be a big focus on maps in Stormgate. One key thing that maps will aim to accomplish is tone down the strength of flying units, with Neuro confirming that Frost Giant are making “collision issues for air” in an attempt to not allow flying units to have complete reign over the map.
In addition, there are unique features added to maps, such as “forests that force units to be squished through a tight path.” This could lead to some maps favoring certain playstyles or races and create an overall interesting balance dynamic.
Those are the main points from the interview. Make sure to add Stormgate to your Steam wishlist and we’ll hopefully get more news soon!