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Stormgate - new F2P/no NFT RTS From Ex-StarCraft ll/Warcraft III Devs, update: recent developer videos, PC Gamer articles, and Open Beta Playtest available on Steam


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Stormgate® is a free-to-play PC real-time strategy game set hundreds of years in Earth’s future. Take command of the human resistance, the demonic invaders, or other factions yet to be revealed–solo or cooperatively.


Build your base, harvest resources, and lead mighty armies in battle to emerge victorious.

 

The First Truly Social RTS

  • Customize your army in the three-player co-op vs. AI mode or tackle cooperative campaign missions with a friend.


Next-Generation Esports

  • Play 1v1 ladder games with matchmaking or squad up for team-based 3v3. Compete in grassroots tournaments and embark on your personal path to progress.


Ever-Expanding Universe

  • Additional chapters in Stormgate’s ongoing sci-fi and fantasy campaign will be released regularly alongside new units, maps, game modes, and more.

 

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Stormgate, from a team of ex-Blizzard developers, was revealed earlier this year.

 

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Upcoming RTS Stormgate(opens in new tab) will use an engine that incorporates rollback netcode, the tech that has become a standard in competitive fighting games over the past few years. In a new video talking about technology and revealing some new concept art, Frost Giant Studios talks about their RTS engine SnowPlay, and how it incorporates modern tech like rollback in order to make the game more responsive.

 

"Rollback allows us to reduce the lag a player feels playing the game over the internet," says Frost Giant's Chief Architect James Anhalt, "Rollback works by allowing us to simulate the game, even in the absence of player input. And if we receive input later, we can roll back to that time that the input happened and then simulate forward really quickly to catch back up." 

 

"It'll be the most responsive RTS game I've ever worked on and I've worked on a few great ones," says Anhalt. Anhalt is a veteran developer, and worked on the network programming for Diablo 2, Warcraft 3, and World of Warcraft before becoming first a programmer, then a lead engineer, on Starcraft 2 and several of its expansions.

 

 

 

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  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Stormgate: New Free to Play, NO NFT, RTS From Ex-Starcraft Devs (Beta Test Scheduled for Mid 2023), update: game engine will use "rollback netcode" just like fighting games
  • 6 months later...
  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Stormgate: New Free to Play, NO NFT, RTS From Ex-Starcraft Devs (Beta Test Scheduled for Mid 2023), update: "First Gameplay Reveal" trailer (PC Gaming Show 2023)
  • 2 months later...
  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Stormgate: New Free to Play, NO NFT, RTS From Ex-Starcraft Devs (Beta Test Scheduled for Mid 2023), update: "Infernal Host" faction first look video
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Stormgate, the upcoming RTS game from Warcraft 3 and StarCraft 2 veterans, aims to invite players of all experience and skill levels to enjoy it together.

 

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Stormgate is a game that wants you to have a good time, whatever your experience level may be. Developer Frost Giant Studios, which includes minds behind some of the best RTS games including StarCraft 2 and Warcraft 3, is intent on building a game that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re a long-time strategy veteran, or completely new to the genre, Stormgate wants you to know that you’re welcome, and PCGamesN spoke to assistant game director Brett Crawford about how it’s achieving that goal.

 

I had the chance to get some hands-on time with Stormgate’s closed beta recently, and it immediately felt comfortable in my hands. It’s most directly reminiscent of StarCraft 2 at first, but when I mention that my skills in that game were never anything to write home about, I’m told that Frost Giant wants to steer the conversation away from the usual RTS chatter of, “I think they’re fun, but I’m not very good at them.”

 

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4 hours ago, PaladinSolo said:

I take that to mean they're going to remove army annihilation units that got out of hand in SC2 with each expansion.

That's the best part tho. It's a callback to broodwar when no one at Blizzard expected players to play the game like it eventually became.

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Stormgate, the new RTS game from developers of Warcraft 3 and StarCraft 2, wants to build a rich world in the style of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

 

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After having an opportunity to try out Stormgate’s Human Resistance faction during its latest round of closed beta testing, I asked Crawford what surprised the team most from the test feedback. “Perhaps the biggest one has been how quickly the meta is evolving and adapting,” he tells me, “shifting over the course of hours as testers observe each other’s matches and share information.

 

“We see this as a very healthy indicator of the success of our game from a competitive standpoint,” he remarks, “as things haven’t gotten stale or predictable yet, despite thousands of hours of matches played.” That’s great to hear, as the true lifeblood of any RTS game – or competitive game in general – is in the variety of tactics available. No matter how fun any one matchup meta may be, if you see it every game it’ll quickly grow old.

 

Part of that variety comes from the camps that are strewn across Stormgate’s maps. Rather than simply being able to claim map tools elements such as watchtowers by walking up to them StarCraft 2 style, you’ll have to fight a set of monsters in the style of creep camps in Warcraft 3. I’m also reminded of Heroes of the Storm, where defeating monsters can reward you with temporary AI allies to fight alongside you, so I ask Crawford if that’s a possibility, and whether the team is generally looking to expand on the mechanic.

 

“Creep camps like those do a great job of forcing engagements out on the map, while also discouraging players from turtling,” he explains. “We are currently experimenting with their rewards and it might be possible that we create a ‘merc camp’ of sorts that would reward its capture with AI-controlled allies. In fact, we are prototyping one right now!” In my time playing, it certainly encouraged me to push out of my base more actively early on beyond basic scouting, so I’m hopeful for how this system can expand.

 

 

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  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Stormgate - new F2P/no NFT RTS From Ex-Starcraft Devs, update: recent developer videos, including Frank Klepacki soundtrack involvement
  • 1 month later...

 

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Is that brimstone I smell? It seems like the forces of the underworld are a bit upset we didn't get any StarCraft news at BlizzCon this year. But Frost Giant, where many veterans of Blizzard's now-defunct RTS team have banded together, is giving us the closest thing we'll probably ever get to a StarCraft 3 with Stormgate. And over the last few months, I've gotten up-close and personal with its second major faction: The Infernal Host. These are the bad boys of the upcoming RTS, and if you were a Zerg main in StarCraft, I think they'll make you feel right at home. That home might be covered in spikes and actively on fire, but I'm not here to judge.

 

Much like StarCraft's Zerg or Warcraft 3's Undead, the Infernal Host is Stormgate's spread-corruption-across-the-map faction, with a new mechanic called Shroud that swirls in a radius around your main base building and defensive towers. Unlike the Zerg and Undead, you don't have to build on Shroud. You can plop structures down anywhere you want. But Infernal units standing on it will slowly fill up a secondary health bar – what the devs are currently just calling "white health" – that makes them extra tanky. This is a great natural deterrent to early harassment, since even your workers get access to it. White health begins to degrade when you're not standing on Shroud, though.

 

 

 

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  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Stormgate - new F2P/no NFT RTS From Ex-Starcraft Devs, update: Infernal Host (i.e., Zerg) faction preview from IGN
  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Stormgate - new F2P/no NFT RTS From Ex-Starcraft Devs, update: "Inside Stormgate: Ex-StarCraft Devs Use Unreal Engine 5 For Brand New RTS" (Digital Foundry)
  • 2 months later...
  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Stormgate - new F2P/no NFT RTS From Ex-Starcraft Devs, update: recent developer videos, PC Gamer articles, and Open Beta Playtest available on Steam

For those who may not know, Stormgate is from ex-StarCraft II and WarCraft III devs, not StarCraft/Brood War devs. I don't think that means anything (those games were great) but founders/developers Tim Morten and Tim Campbell joined Blizzard after StarCraft/Brood War came out. This still looks good, though ZeroSpace may be looking better. This game also has some old school Command & Conquer alumni as well.

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Hands on with Frost Giant's promising new RTS.

 

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I recently got a chance to play the closed beta of Stormgate in both three-player co-op mode and single player (PVP without heroes and PVE versus AI), plus preview the new material launching this week in preparation for Steam Next Fest. What I found was an RTS that didn't stray far from its big-name strategy roots: Stormgate distinctly resembles its StarCraft and Warcraft predecessors, and that's not a bad thing. 

 

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Stormgate's core gameplay: StarCraft and Warcraft get an update 

 

The Stormgate basics will feel familiar to anyone who previously played StarCraft 2 or Warcraft 3. I enlisted a couple of friends with history in both of those games to help with my beta test, one who played almost exclusively singleplayer and campaign, the other who had more in-depth experience.

 

Campaign chapters are not yet available to play. The free-to-play game's long-term funding will be based on the sale of new campaign chapters, heroes and the like. The map editor, which is essentially the tool that Frost Giant is using to build Stormgate, will be available to players after full launch but was also not yet available for testing.

 

The look and feel of the UI (at least in the last beta build) is very much like StarCraft 2. You build buildings, rally new units directly to where you want them to go (resources, defensive positions or an offensive group), build a death blob and go in hunt of your enemies. Or at least that's what we did, successfully. The final meta might actually be closer to the smaller groups of Warcraft 3, given how difficult it is to micromanage so many units in a pack.

Packs of enemy creeps attacked our positions and units. Every so often, a convoy came through that had to be killed to prevent our AI enemy from fatally bombing our camps.


SC2 was a great step up from the earlier StarCraft: Brood War expansion, which required enormous amounts of micromanaging of your units and buildings. Stormgate takes that streamlining even a step further, auto-allocating units to build your new buildings, and giving you a chance to really focus on the core gameplay: combat, unit positioning, what you're building and where you're building it.

The building mode evokes Command & Conquer and its sidebar. It made one of my team wonder whether the third faction might include more C&C notes. Selecting multiple units or buildings all at once was easy, and MOBA-style opportunities to kill neutral mobs made my units stronger. (Vanguard units have levels, similar to C&C veterancy.)


Stormgate picks up where the RTS genre left off about a decade ago, directly iterating on the Blizzard and Westwood classics that first defined the genre.

 

 

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Stormgate is shaping up to be a great RTS stew made from the ingredients of previous genre successes—it includes a few twists of its own, but it's definitely being formulated for fans of classic RTSes who are hungry for new challenges.

 

It needs a lot of refinement and tuning, which isn't a surprise at this early stage in development. It's far too easy to build up a giant death blob, which then takes forever to complete battles—that health-to-damage ratio feels really high. Those big groups also tamp down the tactical Warcraft 3-like fun of those battles, because it's too hard to micro the actions of so many units.

 

 

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In terms of tech, Stormgate's 64Hz tick rate is substantially higher than previous RTSes. It also makes use of rollback technology, clock synchronization and adjustments frequently seen in first-person shooters, to reduce lag. We experienced zero lag in any of our gameplay sessions in this limited closed beta (two of us were in the Midwest, while a third was playing from Quebec, all using a game server that was likely in California).

 

 

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Frost Giant's RTS was the top videogame Kickstarter of 2023.

 

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The Kickstarter campaign for Frost Giant's fledgling RTS Stormgate met its $100,000 goal in 15 minutes. It hit $1 million in under 48 hours. Now it's crossed the $2 million line. But Stormgate isn't a brand-new project: Its development was fully-funded prior to the crowdfunding campaign.

 

I recently spoke to Frost Giant communications director Gerald Villoria about the campaign, and why the company decided to go ahead with a crowdfunding campaign for a free-to-

play game that was already privately funded through its early access release this summer.

 

Before it became the number one videogame Kickstarter of 2023, Frost Giant had already raised $35 million in its initial round of funding for Stormgate, Villoria said. That strong investor support is not surprising, considering that the company is run by previous development leads on such games as StarCraft 2, Warcraft 3 and Command & Conquer.

 

 

 

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The first Infernal Host hero will debut in the next beta build alongside new units and other updates.

 

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The upcoming RTS Stormgate has three factions, two of which have been announced: Vanguard, with the previously-released hero Blockade, and the Infernal Host, which gets its first hero this week in a new beta build (codenamed "Elephant").

 

That new build will be available to those who purchase the $40 Kickstarter tier or higher. It'll introduce Infernal Host hero Maloc—voiced by Chris Metzen of Blizzard fame—and several new units including the Fire Giant and Burned One. (Coming later as part of the Infernal Host campaign: Warz, a character voiced by Marvel “Shang-Chi” star Simu Liu.) The UI also gets a refresh, which should be sharp, since it was already in pretty good shape.

 

Frost Giant has shared some exclusive details about Maloc with PC Gamer ahead of the new build. He's a primary antagonist of the Vanguard in the first chapter of the game's campaign: a tanky fire-caster who's slower than Vanguard hero Blockade, with a basic single-target fireball attack and ranged damage.

 

 

 

 

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Stormgate is an upcoming real-time strategy game from a company with a great RTS development pedigree going back to StarCraft, but not one you'd necessarily expect to attract big Hollywood actors. Sometimes, though, big Hollywood actors happen to be huge StarCraft fans.

 

At The Game Awards tonight, Marvel star Simu Liu added a Hollywood twist to Stormgate when he appeared on stage to introduce a new trailer; Liu is voicing a major character in the RTS. The trailer also revealed that Stormgate, which went into closed beta this week, will hit early access this summer.  

 

Before The Game Awards, I spoke with Tim Morten and Tim Campbell, the heads of Stormgate developer Frost Giant, about Liu's role, and it turns out that their big get happened somewhat organically. "We didn't set out to go recruit a Hollywood cast for the game," said Morten.

 

The star of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and bestselling author of We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story just happens to be a skilled StarCraft 2 player.

 

 

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  • Commissar SFLUFAN changed the title to Stormgate - new F2P/no NFT RTS From Ex-StarCraft ll/Warcraft III Devs, update: recent developer videos, PC Gamer articles, and Open Beta Playtest available on Steam
2 hours ago, CitizenVectron said:

But the important question...will it have a Use Map Settings / custom mode? I just want back those golden days of Amazing Turret Defense and Diplomacy Gold 7.1.

 

 

They've confirmed they'll have custom modes like the StarCraft/Brood War days, but not sure how robust it will be yet.

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