The "pre-order beta" for Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2, the Warhammer 40K spaceship RTS, starts early next month, and this week players were given a closer look at exactly how multiplayer and skirmish modes will work.
The game will have 1v1 and 2v2 matches—both ranked and unranked—as well as skirmishes against the AI. In regular multiplayer and skirmishes, players will fight on a randomly-generated map with five capture points and various environmental effects, publisher Focus Home Interactive said in a blog post.
Some of those effects are the same as in the original Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, but many will be new—a fleet of space titans migrating through the area will deal damage to any nearby ship, for example, or pulsing solar radiation might render shields useless.
In skirmish and casual multiplayer you'll be able to customise the probability of each effect, the point totals of each fleet (basically how strong they are), and the victory conditions for capture points.
For ranked 1v1 multiplayer, environmental effects are turned off and player fleets are set to a maximum of 1,200 points—for 2v2, it's 600 points per player. That's higher than in the first game, which should enable "larger, more action-packed battles".
Capture point locations will be randomised "to make every battle different", plus logic under-the-hood will "ensure battles will never be unfair". You'll also be able to pick between pre-defined fleets that match different playstyles or build your own from scratch.
Lastly, publisher Focus Home Interactive said that the ranked-only progression system would give players both "cosmetics" and "new options for skills and fleet upgrades". This won't feel "like a power reward for playing more, but simply new options and ways to play", it added. We'll find out more in the beta. It will also have a campaign mode at launch.