Everything we know about Stormgate

EsportsHeaven 2023-08-18 01:40:53
  After what seems like an eternity, another RTS with competitive promise is on the horizon. Frost Giant Studios has released footage, art, and images of pre-alpha Stormgate. Having covered StarCraft since our inception, our excitement is through the roof. That said, it’s our duty to be objective, so let’s take note of the good, the bad, and the neutral that we know of in the upcoming, promising Stormgate. Disclaimer that many conclusions were drawn from Pre-Alpha, so a lot can change, and we don’t have the full breadth of tools, maps, and resources to work with.  

Map & Resources

  We’ve only seen one map (watch the pre-alpha presentation here), but from what we’ve witnessed, it does seem a little cramped. Time will determine variety in terms of layout and size. There are unique methods of traversing the map, though. For instance, it appears that smaller unit types can natively pass through trees, whereas larger units get blocked. We do see, though, the trees get destroyed by the larger mech units later in the video. Stormgate The map also has two resources (not counting food), which is par for course for an RTS title. The UI shows “Workers 0/4” and “Workers 0/12”, with the latter seeming to function more like a WarCraft III goldmine, and the other what we can only assume is “gas”. The pre-alpha video demonstrates ranged units shooting from a cliff as well as in bushes. While we can’t determine what advantage there is to it, we can only assume “it’s good to put units here when you can.” At the start of the presentation, we see 8 workers at roughly 1:30 on the gameplay clock, so we can assume you start with roughly 6 workers. This is a healthy intermediary between the 4 in Brood War and the 12 of StarCraft II— the latter of which many argue really diminishes early game creativity.  

Gameplay and Presentation

  Much like Humans in WarCraft III, the race shown was able to expedite build times by using multiple workers. Along the same lines, there also seems to be a "militia-esque" function to workers shown. However, without other races on display, it's difficult to know the different combat capabilities. The next thing to consider is the UI and keybinds. Binds have come a long way in RTS since the 90s.  No longer are we stretching our fingers across the entire keyboard and wrecking our hands, but the keys are in logical, reachable range. It appears the binds are almost "Moba-esque", (mimicking the “Grid” configuration), but undoubtedly there will be multiple configuration presets, and probably full key customization.

As far as combat units go, we see similar archetypes to what you’d expect in an RTS along the evolution of the tech tree - infantry, siege units, aerial fighters and transport, and so on. What did stand out was the complexity of spellcasters on display. Artosis has a good video below on the Medtech, as one such example. In terms of game pacing, from observation, it seems somewhere between StarCraft II and WarCraft III, with the flow of what you’d expect of a modern, QoL focused RTS design. This, in theory, should make skirmishes more interesting than in StarCraft II—where many games ended in gigantic death balls clashing at nearly all levels of play besides the tip top level. Zombiegrub was fairly critical in a review video that the game didn’t necessarily feel “crisp”, but again, we are in pre-alpha. That said, art style is a big factor in distinguishing what is happening from both a gameplay and esports spectator perspective, so clarity is something we hope gets a lot of attention as the game develops.  

Development plans and release time

  As excited as we are, there’s no announced release window as of yet, but closed beta keys are starting to make their way into our inboxes. However, we did get a glimpse into what to expect outside of strictly the 1v1 esports appeal. For example, the game will have a campaign, and a 3v3 game mode confirmed in addition to the 1v1 mode, with the campaign advertised as “ever evolving.” Furthermore, Stormgate will be offering the campaign as a co-op experience—a monumental deal for many RTS fans, particularly those who enjoyed the co-op mode in StarCraft II. The game also is confirmed to have a map creator, as well as features in-game for grassroot events, tournaments, and professional esports matches.  The game is currently planned for a F2P (Free-to-Play) launch.
Keep an eye out on our Twitter @EsportsHeaven for more Stormgate coverage going forward!

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