PCG: Dawn of War 2 was about very small-scale, tactical squad combat, and Orks tend to be about very large-scale hordes of troops--how did you reconcile those?
Lydell: Great question. We have a brand new feature for Retribution, where we let you build squads on the battlefield in addition to the heroes you bring down. We've also raised the limit on the number of troops you can control at once, so if you want a pile of Sluggas running around the map, be our guest.
PCG: Building! That's a major change. Will that affect how familiar or analogous the Ork squads feel compared to the Space Marines? Will their weapons and abilities rely less on tactical timing and more on filling the air with Slugga bullets?
Lydell: There are some similarities between the races' from a purely academic view. In reality, the Orks have a unique twist on everything. Mr. Nailbrain the mekboy, for example, can field lots of weapons similar to Avitus' heavy weapons, but he also has access to lots of gadgetry. He can teleport and repair, use disruptive shields, but he isn't very tough in melee. The Warboss is capable of calling in other Orks once you upgrade his Waaagh ability.
PCG: Can you give any examples of alternative weapons we might find later in the game?
Lydell: Yes! Spookums the Kommando Nob can equip a grappling hook. It's not the most precise device, but it does let you fling him a long distance and quickly get him into or out of trouble. Alternatively, you can use it to revive a fallen hero, and pull him towards you, or at least in your general direction.
PCG: The Orks' love of looted tech does make opportunities for that kind of messy, scavenger personality. Will we see a looted dreadnought or vehicle as one of your squads?
Lydell: You get more than one. When you locate an Ork Teleporta Platform, you can field deff dreads and tanks by building them. You can also unlock upgraded weapons for them over the course of the campaign.
PCG: In DoW2 there didn't seem to be much point in leveling certain stats on certain characters, like melee for Avitus or ranged for Thaddeus. Is that still the case, or are there squads where very different stat distributions lead to equally viable builds?
Lydell: I've been told by some that ranged Thaddeus could be really powerful, but getting back to your question, one of the changes coming is the melee/ranged trees are being merged into a single offensive tree. We also make a point of unlocking a new ability with every level, guaranteed. This means you are get to choose a new ability or trait every time, and the rewards are always meaningful.
PCG: Were there any squads in DoW2 that lots of players used, or that lots of players benched? What did you learn from the squads players chose in DoW2?
Lydell: Funny that, Cyrus was the least selected squad in DoW2. He was also capable of soloing entire levels on his own, and a ton of players swore by him. The big takeaway from DoW2 was people liked having options on how to play, and we are preserving that in Retribution. For example, if you are facing a suppression team, you can sneak your way up close to it and ambush it with your Kommando Nob, or you can grab the Warboss and several squads of boys, activate the Waaagh ability and completely overwhelm them.
PCG: Considering all the work that went into animating and voicing them, should we expect a cameo from any of the Space Marine heroes in Retribution?
Lydell: Yes. The details would be a spoiler, so I won't say who.
PCG: Drat. I hope it's Cyrus. Cyrus wearing an papier-mâché Ork mask as a disguise, going undercover. What about Last Stand mode, then? You'll be adding something to DoW2's wildly-popular, free DLC, right?
Lydell: We don't have anything to share at this time.
PCG: Awwman. You're killing me here, Jeff. Last question: if you're focusing on the single-player, will Relic be adding another race to multiplayer? If not, I'm pretty sure this will be the first Dawn of War expansion ever to not add one.
Lydell: We don't have any information we can share on multiplayer at this time.