Initially revealed to the public in February 2007, the Warhammer 40k MMO has recently been given the subtitle Dark Millennium Online. Publisher THQ had entrusted Vigil Games (developers of the Darksiders franchise) with the development of the game. In a contract with Games Workshop, the company responsible for the fictional universes of Warhammer and Warhammer 40k dating back to 1983, the game was scheduled for live release in Q1 2013. However, publisher THQ recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and many of its assets were auctioned off on January 23, 2013. Publishers participating in the auction did not bid for Vigil Games or the Darksiders franchise. Consequently, the fate of Dark Millennium is currently unclear.
When asked about the financial aspect of the game and how many players would be needed in order to produce a profitable title, THQ CEO Brian Farrell let it be known that if they were to reach a million subscribers, they would be making "a lot of money." Although he would not give an exact number, well under a million players would make the game profitable. The budget of the game was stated to be that of a high-end, non MMO triple-A retail title, and features a low initial investment cost due to relying on a small development team and utilization of preexisting technology. Dark Millennium is being built on a modified version of the same engine Vigil used for Darksiders.
With huge, immersive battlegrounds, combat looks to take a turn from the more intimate action seen in most other MMOs. Coming from a universe where, “In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war” the encounters in the game are going to be a new experience for everyone looking to partake in the game. With plans for suppressive fire, flanking maneuvers, and cover implementation, firefights will be on a larger scale than the MMO set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Players will be given the ability to form groups, allowing for localized coordination within a larger encounter. Vehicles of all types are also planned to play an important role, from small space marine bikes to massive Titan warmachines.
All of the races important to the lore and are planned to be at least seen, if not played within the game. As befitting the universe, all classes regardless of what you play are going to be involved in some type of combat. Regarding characters, Joe Madureira (currently at Vigil Games, and former Marvel artist) says:
“It wouldn’t be Warhammer 40,000 without tons of stuff hanging off your character, including weapons, scrolls, chains, books, medals, and what have you! … I feel like we are going to have the coolest looking characters of any MMO, ever. Of course that isn’t all that hard to achieve being that everything in Warhammer 40,000 is over-the-top badass! Once we begin releasing images, feel free to call me on that remark.”
On March 29th 2012, THQ made the choice to refocus the game and its development, switching from an MMO format to an "immersive single player and online multiplayer experience."
No further word on the game's development has been heard of in over a year since the downsizing.
Dark Millennium Online takes place within the contemporary storyline of Warhammer 40k, well after the Horus Heresey. A teaser released at E3 2010 identifies the game's location as the Sargos Sector and will feature a conflict between the forces of Order and Destruction over control of the area.
Vigil plans to slowly release more information on Dark Millennium Online throughout the years leading up to the game's launch in 2013. Despite being far from release, the game is already generating significant attention due to the long history of the IP and the pedigree of the people overseeing the project.
Confirmed Races and Classes
|Imperium of Man|
The Adeptus Astartes or Space Marines are the elite of the Imperium's fighting force, being resilient and fearsome warriors they are a force to be reckoned with. Most Space Marines are armed with the holy Bolter (an automatic rifle) and close combat weapons, although some favour heavier weapons. They also wear thick power armour, making them resilient to most attacks.
The most senior ranking members of the Imperial Inquisition, Inquisitors fill the roll of secret police for the Imperium, forcefully maintaining stability within the realm. They are the first line of defense against the taint of Chaos, making sure that humanity will never cease being the domineering intelligent species throughout the Warp.
Psyker Those with the mental capacity and ability to use Psychic Powers by tapping the Warp. With such constant mental intimacy with the Warp, Psykers are extremely prone to Mental Instability and are subject to the taint of Chaos. Their powers are represented many ways - from predicting enemy movements, to hurling pure psychic energy in bolt form on the battlefield, to aiding the troops around them.
Imperial Guard The Imperial Guard are the backbone of the Imperium, they are numerous, well disciplined and trained for combat. Favouring the Lasgun as their primary weapon a number of Imperial Guardsmen can provide a challenging fight, providing a hail of lasfire. Something that would slow the most determined of assaults to a stop.
Techpriest Techpriests are part of the Adeptus Mechanicus, a technological cult. They are there to support their brothers in battle, and being formidable engineers they are very proficient at repairing vehicles and machinery. Their servo-harness makes them much more effective in combat situations, whilst also improving their ability to repair.
Rumors and Scuttlebutt
While nothing below is to be taken as concrete information, Giant Bomb should be a place where one can get the latest on a game. Since this simply to be taken as speculation until concrete information is to be gotten, Warseer is to be credited with revealing this at this point in time -
Game Design Notes:
- Relic is lending a very small hand in the overall development of dmo. Winking, a chinese based developer is also on board. They helped with Spacemarine as well.
- Vigil is doing 90% of the work. Most of the shared work load is art, and animation.
- Spacemarine is built on the same engine as darksiders (and darksiders 2 respectively)
- Dmo is using the same engine, with gameplay (at least combat) akin to Spacemarine.
- Contrary to what I was told, the art style is NOT like Spacemarine, rather the whole game is more like darksiders (1 & 2), very stylized. The videos released at the last E3 are fairly accurate to the current state of the art style. Less realistic.
Class related notes:
- Revision to what I was told by the rep, is that Spring 2012 is unlikely... maybe for more announcements on the game's progress. Though a Darsiders 2 release in spring is likely, Vigil is working on both.
- Races broadly put into forces of "Order" and "Disorder" similar to 40K World-wide campaigns.
- The "spacemarine" is a class, with a chaos counterpart.
- Tactical, heavy, assault as specialties.
- Each class starts as something familiar, and through progression changes.Ie. Scout to Marine
- Other classes include: psyker, techpriest, and assassin
- The assassin starts as a guardsman-esque character.
- Chaos have similar counterparts, cultist themed.
- Instead of an assassin, think demon host.
- Orks are with Chaos (disorder), Eldar are with the Imperium of man (order)
- Ork class rundown: Nob, mekboy, runt herda, mad dok
- Eldar class rundown: Scorpion, Avenger, Warlock, Reaper
Gameplay related notes:
- Expect Tau & Dark Eldar later, likely an expansion, though dark eldar npcs will be present on release, as well as Necron, and Tyranids. (Interesting idea, going for the 'faceless' races as NPCs, though I suspect you won't be getting quests from the Swarmlord!)
- A crashed space hulk will be one of the zones.
- Another zone will take place on an Imperial Cruiser, and Chaos Cruiser.
- Expect several instanced missions much like WoW, as well as open world.
- It will include instanced & open world pvp.
- Players will be able to dual weild things like pistols and melee weapons... yes that means two chain swords.
- The featured chapter is Black Templars. (As evidenced by the banner art)
- The featured chaos god is Khorne, at least for playable
- Word Bearers will also take a major role in the Playable chaos faction
- Nurgle & Fabius Bile will have a big Chaos NPC presence. (I suspect not Nurgle himself, but perhaps Typhus?)
- Possible shooter/RPG mode controls, like StarTrek Online.
- Third person action, plays like Gears of War/Space Marine mixed together for shooting.
- Melee is more like Space Marine/Darksiders, with the target lock on.
- Blocking melee attacks is a maybe, sheilds may be NPC only.
- NPC creatures vary from: Necromunda like humans, Chaos Cultists, Dark Eldar; from Grotesques to Warriors, Chaos Daemons and beasts, Orks, Grots, Guardsmen, defected Guardsmen, most of the minor Demons, Dreadnoughts, Tyranid Warriors, Genestealers and more.
- Forgeworld things may be present. Thunderhawk, terrain sets, Aquila landers, FW-esque equipment on vehicles.
- Environments range from snowy mountains, to the innards of a crashed space hulk... from cities destroyed, and orkified, to ancient eldar cities, overgrown with nids... from ancient battlefields, littered with the carcases of Titans and tanks, to a hive city, nostalgic with necromunda.... from the halls of Imperial Cruisers, to tge desecrated throne rooms of Chaos.
- Everything is large, beefy, and sticks to 40k very well. People already invested in the background and game will progress at a snails pace, as we will be distracted by everything.
- Left mouse uses the weapon in your character's left hand, Right mouse uses the weapon in your character's right hand. Rather cool mechanic.
- All abilities have a cooldown... No spamminh your "3" key like most MMOs. This will likely annoy WoW diehards. This pleases me.
- Melee combos - dual weilding gives new moves
- "Guilds" will be present.
- Team/party/squad size is 5
- "Raid" size is 50... subject to change.
- Ranged weapons have infinite ammo, but there is reloading, overheating, venting, and reloading.
- Weapons rarely get to take full advantage of their range when inside... lots of cover and turning corners, it's very dynamic.
- Hero classes are possible, unlocked once you get a character high enoigh level.
- Ork: 'Ard boy or Weird boy
- Hero classes will begin at higher level...
Lv. 0: an adept, think a marine wearing just carapace armor.
- A player progressing as a marine will do so as follows:
Lv. 10: more or less a scout.
Lv. 20: equipped like the marine character in th sm codex... forgot his name.
Lv. 30: a standard marine
Lv. 40 honor guard or Sergeant, some decoration
Lv. 50 sternguard, maybe captain.
Lv. 60 artificer armor, iron halos, the whole sha-bang.
Grey knight fits in fairly well at around 40.
Other classes progress similarly.
- Tech priest are very, very pure adeptus mechamicus themed...Backpacks with a robot arm.
- A cover system is implemented.Waist high cover and standing cover.
- Cross platform is very possible.
- Shooting mechanics will have aim assist
- Similarly, melee attacks will lock on.
- Abilities work similar to Warhammer Online. A common resource, then each class has a unique resource used with abilities.
- Weapons inxrease in "coolness" as far as progression is concerned.
- A lv. 1 autogun may be it's familiar form in necromunda and early IG... by lv 60, sone autoguns look cool enough for inquisitors to be using, lathered in fancy trim, aquilas, etc.
Each class has 3 specialties.
- Same goes for other weapons.... think Call of Duty, as you unlock the various weapon upgrades, you guns start looking cooler.
- Marine: Tactical, Devastator, Assault
- Assassin/guardsman: the major assassin type, callidus, vindicare, eversor (however you spell it)
- The Marine is by far the most flushed out.
- most abilities are still very WIP.
- Jump packs- not sure how they'll work