As any of you who tuned in or listen after the fact to the EoN Vox from last week already know, I was at the Gamer's Day event in San Francisco last week and we were sworn to secrecy until today! So, I wanted to just take a few minutes to type up some of my experiences about the game and the event in general. A lot of the info we got is the same info the press got, so I'll try not to rehash the information you've probably read on any number of sites today. So, without further ado, here we go.
I landed in San Fran a bit after noon time on Wednesday and upon checking into my hotel I got to meet the other folks who were attending, as well as Myll_Erik, Zann, and Cindy (what is her forum name?!). We talked over lunch about how we got involved in the EoN community, a bit about what we were looking forward to with the game, etc. Soon after, we head over to the event itself and after a short presentation from Dave we got to sit down and actually play the game.
The first map we played was called Resource Hog, a 4v4 map. I played liberation front and decided to try a heavy tank based company (more on companies in a bit). The units I used were called the Titan, and a hero unit (company commander I think it is called - basically it is just a buffed version of a normal unit which costs more than the normal units and has a bit of flavor). These things are big, powerful, and SLOWWW as molasses. It was reasonable effective, and they seemed quite good against the SR artillery that was doing a number on some of our lighter units. This sort of unit isn't normally my style because I tend to like to move around the battlefield more quickly, and these guys were just way too slow to play that style.
Still, the action on this map was pretty fun. The victory point style map reminded me a bit of the Dawn of War 2 multiplayer, if that point of reference means anything to anyone.
The next map we got to play was Deep Hammer, which is a 12v12 map and since we had nowhere near 24 people we had some QA people from off site join the game to fill out the spots. I liked this map more than Resource Hog. In Deep Hammer you have to take points in a similar fashion to resource hog, but instead of building points towards victory, they unlocked abilities for your faction, or made the enemy base vulnerable to attack. There was also a forward drop zone you could capture so that you could respawn your units closer to the action. I played all Ares tanks on this map - which were slightly lighter tanks, but faster and I was able to field more of them due to their point cost being lower. As mentioned, one control point gave me access to a Nuclear weapon, which was really fun to use, and visually impressive. The first time I saw one go off all I thought was "what was that flash" before seeing the big mushroom cloud - it was pretty neat to experience.
We then switched factions, and I got to play the Shadow Revolution, again on resource hog. I played some fast and light units which let me plays a hit and run play style which is much closer to my normal RTS style - and I enjoyed it quite a lot. The map has a few pathways that seem generally less traveled which let me poke in and out a little more. It also let me punish enemies for being out of position.
Overall, I think I liked the SR faction a little bit more based on what I played there. I think LF had a lot more units I didn't try - so this is by no means a final judgement. It seems like there are a lot of different options so people who like different styles should be able to cobble together a company that fits their preference. Speaking of companies, I mentioned I would say more, and now I will. I think companies are maybe my favorite thing. Because there are not "builds" in this game the same way there are in something like Starcraft (in EoN you select your units prior to entering battle) tinkering with the company system and coming up with just the right mix of units is going to be a source of a lot of depth and interest to me. I know a lot of people just like to jump right in and play, but I can see myself spending a lot of time in the armory (which is where you can customize your companies).
The build we played was obvious still early - path finding occasionally felt a little wonky for example. But Dave mentioned they knew about the source of this problem, so I am hopeful that they will be able to optimize that in the future. I feel like the UI could use some work as well, but again we were told that is already on their to-do list.
Anyway, after we played for a bit we held the aforementioned EoN Vox event which I MCed and I think was pretty successful. During this time, Trion also interviewed us one at a time about our experiences. I am under the impression they are putting together a video from those interviews, but I have no specific information about what will be in it or when it will be released.
Finally, we all went out to dinner and had a chance to discuss the event with the other gamers and the community managers/Dave. I think the conversation over dinner was perhaps the most enjoyable thing of the entire event because it felt like we were just a bunch of gamers sitting around discussing our hobby and if I may be so bold as to say I think the quality of that discussion gave me more hope and positive feelings about the direction of EoN than even playing the game itself. I think some of that discussion we had may still be under an NDA we had to sign, so I'll hold off on details of that just in case.
Lastly, I'll be happy to answer questions about the event and what I saw/played there from the community. So, please feel free to ask away and I will to my best to either elaborate on what I've already written to say something new if I didn't address it at all in my initial summary.
Hope you enjoyed the read: