You already know that Retribution, Relic's just-announced second expansion for Dawn of War 2, is finally giving the series some proper Ork love--the franchise's first-ever Ork campaign will be the centerpiece of the expansion. We got Jeff Lydell, Lead Producer at Relic Entertainment, to talk about it.
PC Gamer: Why Orks?
Jeff Lydell: We've wanted to do an Ork campaign for a long time, and they bring a whole lot to the table in terms of tone and humor. On top of that, they're one of the iconic 40k races, and we are thrilled to have given them a chance in the sun.
More of this man's words, many of which reveal exciting information about the angry green people we adore, inside.
PCG: It's tempting to think that the tone of the expansion will be more lighthearted than the previous, due to the way Orks are generally thought of as the reckless hooligans of 40k, but does that make it harder to write a compelling or dramatic plot for Orks?
Lydell: Some parts are easier, some are harder. Getting a motivation for Orks to go and fight is definitely easier, since they are always looking for an excuse. The Ork campaign is definitely a lot funnier than anything we've done in the past, I think the players are really going to like it. As for what's more difficult, I know Ork characters are harder on our actors' voices, and they need longer breaks between sessions after doing them.
PCG: They do scream more than Space Marines, yes. A little further--are Orks going to be portrayed as the “misunderstood good guys” or will the players be unabashedly be playing a ragtag team of villains?
Lydell: The Freebooterz are definitely not the good guys. Of course, since this is Warhammer 40,000, there aren't really any good guys, there is just “your side.” The Freebooterz are in it for themselves, just like everyone else. That doesn't mean they can't be endearing though, I happen to be pretty attached to my Ork characters after playing with them this much, even though their primary motivations are murder, destruction and theft.
PCG: Those motives seem congruent with the "space pirate" aesthetic you're giving this group of Orks. How does the scale of the new campaign compare to the previous expansion? Will it be as long as the original Marine campaign? Will it have the same semi-open structure?
Lydell: The Ork campaign will be about as long as Chaos Rising, and have a similar structure. There are several branching and optional missions. You also have wargear, leveling, and lots of cool new stuff to unlock.
PCG: How does the way you play change as you progress?
Lydell: You start out with a small number of heroes with limited skills and abilities, then quickly unlock more and more abilities for them, as well as find new types of gear to use. In addition to this, you start out able to produce small numbers of sluggas and lootas, and eventually are stomping around with large numbers of orks and ork vehicles.