One of Trion Worlds' upcoming games that we've had the chance to experience hands-on recently at E3 and earlier in April is the RTStastic offering, End of Nations. C'mon -- heavy machinery, a dystopian setting, RTS elements, high-explosives.... What's not to like? Well, when they offered us this exclusive developer Q&A on End of Nations, we couldn't resist. We knew we couldn't be the only ones interested in what they have in mind for the future of this fun title. (Editor's Note: They've written the questions and answers, not us. ~Sera)

For those who, like us, hunger for a game that will involve large chunks of twisted metal and the ability to play RTS-style with a bunch of friends -- all at the same time -- then you'll definitely enjoy this batch of questions. From their plans for live world events to the burning question of why RTS players might be willing to pay a monthly fee for this game, the development team at Trion Worlds have given us a very solid first Q&A to read. You can check it out in full behind the break, or poke through the gallery of shiny screenshots offered for your eyes below.
What kind of world-wide events will End of Nations have inside of the game?

Some of the world-wide events the player will experience include shifting NPC alliances (truces and declarations of war) or other story events that result in unlocking battlefields, vehicles, and loot, territorial control that shifts in response to the outcome of player verses player team battles, and an endless stream of new content released after launch.

How much of the game is RTS and how much is RPG?

End of Nations is mostly RTS, but also integrated with the best parts of existing MMO games, including player progression, world persistence and guild functionality. Maybe it could be characterized as 75% RTS and 25% MMO.

Why should RTS gamers want to pay a monthly subscription free?

End of Nations provides a gameplay experience not possible in existing stand-alone RTS games. To name a few features, social and cooperative environment where many (50+) players can battle together simultaneously, large team based player verses player battlefields, dynamic world state that can change on a day to day basis, and the ability to watch any game and (if invited) drop into the battle in progress to provide assistance.

RTS gamers like to build mods and play them. How will EON support that RTS tradition?

You can customize the look of your units and the layout and content of your secret base HQ, but general open-ended alternation of visuals, game balance, and story content are not currently planned as something a player can affect upon the wider game world.

What kind of social features will be in the game? Can I co-op with a friend that's not the same level?

The game supports many of the established MMO social features such as chat channels, guilds, friends lists, messaging, and cooperative gameplay. End of Nations uses the concept of point limited battlefields so that player of different levels can play together effectively. A point limited battlefield is one where players can only bring in units that total no more than a certain limit and where each unit is given a point value roughly corresponding to the unit's power. A higher level player will likely have more choices of vehicles to bring to battle and will also likely have more tactical options because they are higher in their tech-tree, but will be close enough in power to lower level players in the same battlefield, that meaningful cooperation occurs.

Is the Order of Nations the only NPC enemy in the game?

The Order of Nations is the primary, and supreme, NPC enemy faction within the game, but there are various sub-factions you will be fighting. In addition to these enemies, there will be other allied and neutral factions that you will encounter that give you missions and other benefits.

What will traditional MMO players find interesting about End of Nations?

A traditional MMO player will be familiar with the concept of a persistent world that provides a nearly endless amount of things to do that advance the power and prestige of the player. However, within this familiar structure the traditional MMO player will have a chance to play RTS tactics and strategy. In essence, End of Nations allows player who enjoy RTS combat to experience a game that incorporates the best parts of existing MMO games.

How do you think traditional RTS players will respond to the "MMO-ness" of End of Nations?

I think traditional RTS players will appreciate the long term meaningfulness of their battles and the sense of power growth over the course of months and years that is missing from traditional RTS games where victory in one battle has (other than maybe leader boards) no long term significance.

Explain the loot and consumable system in End of Nations.

You can loot raw materials from defeated enemies. These raw materials are in your base HQ to create various consumable and permanent items. Some examples consumables would be packs of ammo that have special characteristics and can be applied to the units you choose, repair kits to facilitate in-battle repair, mines, demolition charges, and even special weapons that can be launched from your secret base HQ to land, with great effect, in the battlefield.

Previews have mentioned Puzzle elements. Can you explain how puzzles will work in the game?

By "puzzle elements" we mean tactical challenges that require thinking out a plan of attack in order to defeat an enemy that would be impossible to defeat by mindless brute force. An example of a simple puzzle element would be to time advancing into enemy territory so that you can avoid wandering patrols of enemies. More sophisticated tools to solve tactical problems come from the commander abilities at your disposal (such as laying down covering smoke, scrambling the enemy's communication, issue false orders, or using camouflage at the right time, to name but a few. In addition, the kinds of units you bring to the battlefield will also give you different tactical options you can use to employ strategies to defeat the enemy. We want players to have the ability to and take pride in defeating enemies that would otherwise be unbeatable if the player just mindlessly charged in with all their units.

This article was originally published on Massively.
Newest DDO screenshots depict "A Small Problem"