Herocraft  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Herocraft  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf Early Access Preview https://www.gameskinny.com/0xhla/warhammer-40000-space-wolf-early-access-preview https://www.gameskinny.com/0xhla/warhammer-40000-space-wolf-early-access-preview Sun, 26 Feb 2017 21:04:37 -0500 Ashley Shankle

There's something to be said for a developer bringing a mobile game to PC with the full intention of changing and balancing it for the PC audience. That's exactly what's happening with Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf, from developer Herocraft on Steam Early Access -- and it's worth noting they're already doing a great job.

Plain ol' mobile to PC ports have a bad reputation, but I probably don't need to explain that to you. A lot of mobile developers just lift the game off mobile do a nearly direct 1-to-1 conversion when porting to Steam, ignoring the tastes and requests of the PC community.

Lazy porting is somewhat understandable when it comes to casual games because the market for them is simply massive on Android and iOS. Not so much with more hardcore games, though -- and Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf definitely leans more toward that category.

In its PC conversion, Space Wolf has gained an actual price tag (no microtransactions here) in exchange for graphical and UI improvements, balancing changes, and additional playable content. That's a lot when compared to most other ports from mobile, and after pushing my way through most of the available campaign, I'm excited to see what Herocraft has in store for this iteration of the game despite its current issues.

The gist of Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf

Warhammer fans are well-acquainted with the Space Wolves and their place in the 40k universe. One has to state that perhaps a turn-based game was not the most suited to the notoriously battle-hungry chapter, but here we are.

Space Wolf is (get ready for a mouthful) a card-based turn-based grid-based tactical RPG, which in itself isn't entirely modern or considered to be a hardcore genre in this day and age, but is pulled off well enough in this instance.

Grid-based turn-based tactical RPGs are not entirely common these days, which in itself got me interested in the game. The card-based part of the description was added icing on the cake -- that combination of genres goes right down Ashley Lane.

Those familiar with tactical RPGs both free-moving and grid-based should be right at home with Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf's flow of combat and slower pace. You move a Wolf, choose a direction for them to stand, and (hopefully) attack in the direction they're standing. All the while you're managing action points and effort points, the former affecting how many actions you can take in a single turn while the latter affecting the turn order.

The cards themselves are your only means of performing any actions. Utility cards, such as those to heal, move, or summon companions are used solely for those actions, with some having passive triggers called "chains" for further effects on other actions. The far more important weapon cards are used not only to attack, but also to move or equip, depending on the card and what you need to do.

A big part of the fun of the game is, in fact, balancing the use of your weapon cards. Some can be equipped, but standard weapons are single-use. If you're not drawing movement cards, you have to decide which weapons you want to use to move that turn -- and that can be hard to decide.

But the balancing act doesn't end there. Beyond the cards are enemies with their own cards, chain actions, action points, and effort points. Past their actual actions is their spawns -- in just about every mission map, more enemies will be drop-podded down as you either push forward or simply take too long to reach the map's goal.

WTB balance

If this all sounds good, you'll probably have a good time. But with the game still in Steam Early Access and only on patch 0.0.4, you have to be aware there are balancing issues.

I mentioned enemies being drop-podded as you progress through a map, but there is no way for me to really emphasize exactly how often this happens. You take a few steps forward and there are more enemies. You take too long to kill or get to the objective, more enemies. Waves upon waves of them that just do not let up.

Please just stop dropping. Please.

One could argue that the sheer amount of enemies the game repeatedly throws at you is to shape a fight's pacing, but it gets so tiring struggling with wave after wave that it is very possible you may just ragequit. I know I have a couple of times so far, and chances are I'm going to do it again.

This isn't an issue in PvP matches, but it is a very real issue in the campaign. This is only compounded by the combat's slow speed. You have only a few Wolves at a time and the game spawns enemies in twos and threes, and you have to watch all of their actions. It really starts to drain your morale when you're sitting there with three or four of your own units waiting to take a turn while the AI marches around and attacks with its own seven or eight.

The balancing and the speed are two things that very much need to be worked on before Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolves leaves Early Access and are my only real complaints about the game. The actual combat system is a lot of fun but gets so bogged down with pretty much endless enemy drops and waiting for turns that anyone not already into card-based turn-based grid-based would be turned off from the game almost immediately.

The very first mission alone functions as a sort of test for new players, icily tossing them into a scenario with the game's hallmark enemy spawning and expecting them to be able to clear it.

I like hard games, I really do. I'm all right with having to do the first mission twice to clear it, because it's not like I really know how to play. Do it, lose, figure out pushing forward to trigger spawns then retreat to attack, all that jazz. But for the average gamer, PC or otherwise, the first mission is an unforgiving and brutal introduction that could very easily turn them off from the game forever.

The difficulty trend set with the first mission continues into the rest of the campaign, and each time it's a struggle not to get angry over the game throwing so many enemies at you. As you become a seasoned Wolf, you get less angry but continue to be perplexed at the enemy spawning.

You're going to get pretty upset more than once.

Considering the game is in such an early patch state, one can only complain so much. Many of Space Wolf's current issues will be ironed out as development pushes forward. Even in its current bone-gnawing state, it's a fun and rewarding entry to the genre, and it has some amazing music to boot.

You see so many typical CCGs trying to ride the Hearthstone train these days, but you do not see all that many actual RPGs using a card-based system, and that's what is here in Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf. The grid-based movement and choosing the direction a character is aimed is reminiscent of the type of CRPG that was popular over a decade ago, and that's not a bad thing. Especially when combined with the more modern card system it totes.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf is at a lower price point on Steam now while it's in Early Access than it's going to be at full release. If you're a Warhammer fan or simply a fan of turn-based tactical RPGs, don't be deterred by the difficulty as laid out above. Quality of life and balance improvements are guaranteed to come as Herocraft fine-tunes the port for the PC audience. Did they expect the PC market liked their games harder than they actually do? Probably. But that's what Early Access is for and Space Wolf could easily be shaped up to be even better than it is in its current state.

Disclosure: The writer was granted a review copy of Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf by the developer.

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Is Tempest the Pirate Game You've been Searching For? https://www.gameskinny.com/vu6ym/is-tempest-the-pirate-game-youve-been-searching-for https://www.gameskinny.com/vu6ym/is-tempest-the-pirate-game-youve-been-searching-for Fri, 26 Aug 2016 07:07:48 -0400 Richard Sherry

Tempest is a Pirate open world action RPG from HeroCraft, released this week on Steam. Having been in Early Access for 8 months, the game focuses upon naval combat on the high seas, pitting the player captain and their ship against cutthroat pirates and creatures from the deep. But is the game a tempestuous triumph or a light drizzle of disappointment?

Tempest attempts to mash up elements of Sid Meier’s Pirates and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, but falls short on both counts. Whilst collecting, looting, and upgrading ships and weapons is satisfying, ship-to-ship combat lets the experience down. Meanwhile Rare’s upcoming Sea of Thieves looks set to take the pirating crown, giving Tempest a very short window within which to fight for its relevance.

It would be something of an unfair comparison to discuss Tempest alongside Sea of Thieves. Sea of Thieves is created by a long-established developer whilst Tempest is helmed by a much smaller Indie company, and on top of this Sea of Thieves hasn’t even been released. Yet both are pirate games where you sail the seas in search of infamy and fortune; and whilst they differ in many ways, would likely appeal to many of the same audiences.

From what I’ve experienced of Tempest and what I’ve seen of Sea of Thieves' unique gameplay, I’d much rather be running around Sea of Thieves’s colourful, cartoonish, yet incredibly detailed world, getting drunk on tankards of ale with friends and playing Ride of the Valkyries on an accordion. It seems that there’s more fun to be had in Sea of Thieves, whilst Tempest is a little more subdued. It’s a different experience, so don’t discount it completely, but Tempest is also not as rounded, or engaging, of an experience as it should be.

Unfinished Experience

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some interesting ideas in Tempest - such as using your spyglass at a distance to gain information and combat bonuses on the enemy before engaging. But it still feels like an unfinished game that, even after its 8 months, was not ready to leave the Early Access phase. Despite a tutorial covering the basics of combat, Tempest leaves many aspects of its menus and systems unexplained. Whilst some things could be picked up quickly, others left me scratching my head for some time until trial and error revealed their purpose to me.

One such example of this is the rearranging of your crew for efficiency. Whilst docked in a harbour you can drag and drop your crew members to different areas of the ship, such as the top of the rigging or down below deck. This team distribution clearly served a purpose, but until I’d read this old but handy guide by a Steam user, I didn’t have a clue what it was. All of this means that the game lacks pick-up-and-play functionality and intuitiveness.

From the get-go you’re thrust into an open world with few boundaries. Once you’ve completed the tutorial, your ship is free to carry you wherever you so wish. Sounds cool, right? You have your crew, you’re ready to hit the seas and see where the adventure takes you! But no. A few short sorties from dock and you’ve been blown out of the water by a marauding crew with a much bigger ship. Sure, you can ignore many encounters - but what kind of pirate captain would you be then?! I doubt Blackbeard ever let silly things like overwhelming odds get in his way.

Death is just the Beginning

Being sunk doesn’t lead to a game over in Tempest; instead you wind up back at port with a damaged ship, injured crew and significant expenses to pay for repairs. Indeed money and plunder seem to get sunk into fixing your ruined ship and buying medicine to heal your poor injured crewmen, leaving little in the way for purchases of weaponry or other useful items for a long time into the game.

Once you get the hang of things the game is a decent experience, but combat remains simplistic. Each ship displays its aiming zones and arcs on either side and it’s a simple case of manoeuvring until your target is within those sights. Battles mostly consist of slowly floating around in a circle with the enemy ship, pulverizing each other until someone sinks. Realistic it might be, but engaging it is not.

Depth is added through a faction system that determines enemies and allies in a skirmish. If you’re heading into pirate waters, it’s best to drop that merchant flag of yours and raise the jolly roger to avoid being made an easy target. Obtaining flags for each faction allows you to select your battles, influencing ships of the same faction to come to your aid. Note, however, that this doesn’t always work. At the most inopportune of times you might be attacked by a supposed ally for no discernible reason.

The Good, The Bad, and The Tempest

Having dealt some damage to an enemy, it sometimes seems like a viable option to get in close and board the ship for some exciting close combat action. However there’s not much interactivity in these sections beyond watching both sides stand around shooting at each other. Often, a large wave periodically passes right through the deck and its occupants as if they’re all ghosts; which they shortly are as my ship slowly sinks beneath the waves, having been bested by the enemy’s defences, and I sit there cursing my inability to stop my men from getting shot to pieces.

Quests are fairly generic and don’t deviate much from a set pattern of defeating enemy ships and gathering their loot. On the other hand, the game’s RPG mechanics are solid enough. Gaining XP in battle allows you to train your crew, making them more effective, skilled and responsive to orders in the heat of battle. There are also numerous weapons and upgrades to buy, not to mention Captain’s skills to enhance. These include reducing weapon cool-downs and improving ship manoeuvrability, and are all useful in their own ways.

If destroying ships and fortresses isn’t enough of a thrill, the game also includes mythical terrors from the deep, such as the Kraken and Leviathan. Encounters with these beasties can help to shake things up, and they are genuinely surprising on first meeting. The fantasy elements of Tempest are extended by magical artifacts and spells: it’s especially fun to summon a giant squid to devour your nemeses, or rain death from above in a hail of meteors.

Authentic Experience

Despite its limitations, Tempest still manages to give me satisfaction upon sinking an enemy ship. It’s easy to get caught up in the game’s atmosphere, lurching through the broiling sea as the rain pours down and explosions of canon-fire thunder around you. The best part of the game is simply sailing through the ocean, watching the world go by with the wind at your back and eyes on the horizon. From the interchangeable third- and first-person perspectives to a well-designed pirates’ map of three large open world areas, there is a much greater sense of adventure and freedom in exploration than in combat.

I still find myself somewhat charmed by the whole thing, and whilst I have no doubt that Sea of Thieves will be the one and only pirate game I’ll want to play when it launches, this is a decent pirate experience on the high seas in the meantime.

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Warhammer 40K: Space Wolf gets new PvE mode https://www.gameskinny.com/rqccd/warhammer-40k-space-wolf-gets-new-pve-mode https://www.gameskinny.com/rqccd/warhammer-40k-space-wolf-gets-new-pve-mode Thu, 16 Jun 2016 05:29:10 -0400 Janiece Sebris

HeroCraft announced a content update for Warhammer 40K: Space Wolf called Survival Mode.

The company also released a trailer to go along with the new update.

The new PvE mode, where players can fight against hordes of Chaos Cultists, is available for Android and iOS players.

Players of the game will know that this is the second major update to Space Wolf, as the game was given a PvP mode last year.

In addition to fighting off the hordes of Chaotic Cultists, Survival Mode includes unique rewards exclusively avaliable to it. Along with this, you will have to learn new tactics due to constantly changing conditions.

Players may also redeem 3,000 credits, three Life Runes, and three Epic bolters with promo code "SWSURVIVAL". The code will be valid until June 26.

Warhammer 40K: Space Wolf is a free-to-play turn-based game, with character upgrades, squad management, single and multiplayer campaigns, and collectible card game elements.

It is available for download in the App Store and on Google Play.

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WarHammer 40,000: Space Wolf Coming to iOS https://www.gameskinny.com/esthm/warhammer-40000-space-wolf-coming-to-ios https://www.gameskinny.com/esthm/warhammer-40000-space-wolf-coming-to-ios Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:02:01 -0400 Amanda Wallace

Herocraft and Games Workshop bring classic tabletop game Warhammer 40K has new iOS App Store Release date on October 28.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf is a turn-based strategy game with elements of a variety of other games, including collectible card games. The game is set in the Warhammer 40K universe.

The App Store release is set for October 28 of this year, with the game available on iPad 3 and up, iPad mini 2 and up, as well as iPhone 5 and up. The game is free to play.

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It's a Pirates Life for HeroCraft with Their New Game: Tempest https://www.gameskinny.com/pw198/its-a-pirates-life-for-herocraft-with-their-new-game-tempest https://www.gameskinny.com/pw198/its-a-pirates-life-for-herocraft-with-their-new-game-tempest Wed, 10 Sep 2014 17:03:22 -0400 Jay Prodigious

It’s time to set sail in a new high seas mobile/PC game from Developer HeroCraft.

HeroCraft, developer of games like Zombie Derby, Majesty, and various Strategy and Tactics titles, has been producing mobile games since 2002 now the Russian game developer has their sights set on releasing a new title. Set in the role of a notorious pirate, in Tempest, a free-to-play online RPG where you will scour the high seas, in search of your fortune by the standard privateer means and intense multiplayer battles.

HeroCraft states you will be “seizing merchant ships, attacking forts, and battling warships.” The game will have an economy that can be funded by spice trading or for the even bigger Pirate Hauls, you can attack enemies and snatch their cargo. The battle system is a main focus point as was pointed out in their press release.

The majority of the game sees the player going head to head with various enemies, that’s why we paid special attention to the battle system in the game. As a result different battle tactics can be practiced, depending on the chosen ship type and its equipment.

Ships will be customizable from an aesthetic point to a more tactic friendly approach. Attaching cannons and certain sails could add an extra edge to combat, while making your vessel look like the Black Pearl will only make your death seem prettier. In addition to the basic customizations, you will also be given magic artifacts to keep enemies at bay with aid from mystical creatures from below the ocean surface.

Players will begin the game with the basic crew, ship, and a handful of resources but that will be able to be upgraded by participating in battles or quests, which also grant you access to the artifacts. All battles in Tempest will be ship on ship combat (or maybe sea fort vs ship) and will be reminiscent of the battles seen in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. These battles demonstrated an area of effect to display where mortar strikes will hit or where you want to send the fabled Kraken to attack. It also looks as if there is a reward system for special actions taken in battle, expressed by icons appearing in the lower section of the screen. No official confirmation on a reward system but it’s entirely possible based on what we can see, check out the video to judge for yourself.

Tempest will be a sand box/open world game, featuring co-op and PVP multiplayer, so the game has a good format to work with already. HeroCraft should be letting us raise anchor and fly the Jolly Rogers in Q4 of this year.

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