The latest expansion for Dawn of War 2, which will be in Beta form early next year, has officially dropped the Games for Windows Live support in favor of Steamworks. Dawn of War II: Retribution will make use of the Steamworks community features such as matchmaking, achievements, guest passes and chat capabilities.
What does this mean for owners of previous expansions and the full Dawn of War II game? Nothing will change for you. You’ll still have to log in to Games for Windows live, as well as steam for your friends list. This system feels a bit unnecessary for PC users, thus initiating the shift to Steamworks only for Retribution.
Because of this drastic shift, Retribution will carry the title of an expansion, but it will really be its own stand-alone game. That just basically means that anyone who wants to jump into the series late can do so without buying the original game. Sounds pretty sweet.
Here’s relic explaining the shift, and what it means to gamers:
This new back end will allow players to invite friends into matches from their Steam friends lists, and take advantage of the full set of Steam community features including groups, achievements, and Steam overlay chat channels. We are also going to include an all new matchmaking and ranking set up, built specifically for Dawn of War II – Retribution
The move to Steamworks will also allow us to provide features like guest passes, free multiplayer weekends, pre-loading and the ability to provide fast turn-around on future patches and updates.
To accomplish this transition, Dawn of War II – Retribution will be a completely stand alone title in the series and will provide multiple campaigns to play, as well as all six multiplayer races, with new units for each of the existing five races and one new unannounced one. In a change from our previous strategies with expansion packs, we will not be patching this content back into Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising.
Owners of Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising will get the chance to try out the full set of Retribution’s Steam features in a multiplayer beta that will take place in the new year. More details on the beta will be announced at a later date.
Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising will continue to operate on Games for Windows Live, in order to preserve the owners of those titles ability to earn Live achievements as well as their established friends lists.
But why the wait until after the expansion titled Chaos Rising? Relic also explains that shift, and why Retribution is different.
We couldn’t do the switch on Chaos Rising because of the method we used to link campaign progress by importing save games. When we started work on Retribution we had a different plan for the campaign content. Rather than continuing with the exact same characters and progression, we’ve added new campaigns for different races and new stories. This meant we were free to change up that aspect of the game.
New race campaigns in Retribution? Sign me up. This sounds like a great shift for the better, while not dropping support for the original title and expansion. So far it sounds like Relic is doing everything just right. There will be more news on this as we get closer to the Beta release early next year.