Behaviour Interactive’s Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade isn’t a free-to-play game. It’s meant to be a one-time purchase with microtransactions but no subscription fee, akin to Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2.

But it will have a F2P option (“Free-to-Waaagh!”) for players looking to try the game out and get their killin’ on in open-world, four-faction warfare. However, the only faction that will be available to players looking to sample the game will be the Orks, and that’s something we here at MMOBomb had a few questions about.

Behaviour’s being more transparent about their game’s development than just about any MMO developer in history and we were graciously extended an interview opportunity to ask about Eternal Crusade’s F2P option. Lead Designer Brent Ellison took time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.

MMOBomb: Free-to-play players will only be able to roll Orks. Won’t that upset the factional balance, even if those Orks are underpowered (as we’ve heard) compared to most characters?

BE: First of all, the free Orks (the Ork Boyz) class are not intended to be underpowered. Free Orks have full access to several of the same classes as players with premium accounts, and since Eternal Crusade is a PvP game built around horizontal progression, their skill will decide their success. Free characters don’t have access to the advanced classes like Meganobz which are more powerful, but even premium players have to use an in-game currency to spawn as them and other players get more XP for killing them.

As for the balance issue, we’re assuming that there won’t be balanced populations in this game. Four factions is just a start, so when we design the systems we’re designing them for a potentially infinite number of factions at once. This means we’re planning for ways to not only give small bonuses to the small factions and extra challenges for the big ones, but also to change the goals for factions over time to meet their needs. As a faction, you won’t feel like you’re losing if you don’t control 51% of the world, instead you’ll be presented with tailored objectives that give you a chance to advance your goals.

Finally, we’re not actually sure if this will result in more Orks than anyone else. A LOT of people want to play Space Marines!


MMOBomb: Why not let F2P players be any race?

BE: Eternal Crusade isn’t actually a free-to-play game, it’s a premium game where we’ve chosen to include a free-to-play option to improve the experience. If we just treated the Orks like everyone else, there’s a good chance that they simply wouldn’t feel like Orks. The Orks are defined by their numbers, and by taking steps outside the game to ensure that they have that, they’ll be more fun for Ork players and more like the terrifying green tide they’re supposed to be when they come swarming across the field toward your stronghold.

That said, we haven’t ruled out limited trials for other factions. We may allow free access from time to time if a given factions’ population is low.

MMOBomb: According to your FAQ on F2P Orks, “If you like it but still don’t want to pay the full price, you can unlock some of the missing options with microtransactions.” About how much will I be able to unlock? Will I be able to make him as powerful as a “paid” Ork? Or will there just come a point where it’d be better/cheaper to buy the box?

BE: Yes, through microtransactions you can get the same things as a premium Ork, but as you’ve surmised, after a certain point it makes more sense to just convert to premium.


MMOBomb: In general, what will you be able to get with microtransactions? Will they be strictly non-combat (like cosmetics or loadout slots) or will there be an option to purchase gear (even if said gear can also be acquired in-game)?

BE: The launch store philosophy is “pay-to-be-cool,” which is to say that it’s primarily cosmetic and convenience (booster) items. Where there are gameplay differences it’s just to serve the identity of the weapon/character you buy. These are sidegrades and not balanced to be better than in-game versions. At the moment, we intend to have a complete separation between gear that’s in-game, and gear you can buy in the store – the only possible exception are consumables.

Everything in the store is focused on personal goods; we don’t want the faction that spends the most money in the store to have any real advantage in warfare.


MMOBomb: The ubiquitous question: What’s your schedule look like? Early Access, beta, launch. Be as vague as you need to be 🙂

BE: We’re trying to make Early Access ASAP – the sooner we can get something in the hands of players the better it is for everyone! This is particularly tricky for an MMO so we need a little more time to nail down that timeframe of course, but I can say that we’re pushing to make it even earlier than we had originally planned. The actual launch is currently planned for the end of 2015, but this is a live game with a persistent world so we want to make sure we have time for a long and healthy beta period.

You can preorder Eternal Crusade via five versions of a Founder’s Pack ranging in price from $40 to $450, so you can follow the development more closely and get early access to the game.

By Jason Winter

Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009. In addition to contributing First Look videos and news articles, Michael also serves as the Community Manager for the upcoming MMORPG, Skyforge.


  1. Space marine is still being played , not by as many people as a year ago though. This will be a truly great game, I´m having high hopes for it.

  2. This is nothing more than an expanded version of Space Marine…. which everyone quit playing about a year after it came out.

  3. i wish people paid more attention to teh articles posted before they comment on it XD

    In anycase, i like how they approach the f2p/Premium F2p model. I played MMos since Lineage 2 and personally i do like the P2P model, because once subscribe the developer more or less guarrantees the experience of the will be as promised, but that model is not working because people are not willing to commit anymore, because frankly, games arent good enough to pull that gem out. what they did here not only will give people a chance to try and play the game for free, for however long they want, but they even include the possibility ( no matter how slim) that other factions will before f2p for a limited time, determined by how are the populations of each faction relative in size to one another, which is very Lore-Centric and i like it. They picked the right payment model for this game. I dont know whether this game willbe a success, but i hope it does. I paid for a founders pack just cuz im a huge WH40k fan, and wanted to give something to hopefully make this work. For all others, that may comment after my post, i Say onto you, read the damn article before you post anything lolXD

    Eager Future Space Marine

  4. You know the F2P crowd popping on for a bit just to mess around actually lends itself well to the Ork’s fluff. 😛

  5. Well the idea is good maybe too much 😛 maybe only me that is thinking this way but if i try the game out as brainless ork with f2p and like it u naturally though oh fuck it i like the game lets buy it
    b2p is Favored by me ^^ even with the option to try it out first Good Job on the idea ^^

  6. SHould just make it a P2P. This structure for microtransaction only exists to make the players with money more powerful and leave the rest of us who work for a living in the dust. One day there will be an MMO that doesn’t cater to 12 year minded kids who have the time to player MMOs 10 hours a day while the rest of us who work support their habits.

    • Dude… screw P2P. I’m not paying monthly to access a game that I pay for. The idea here is an open world shooter where you pay access to the other races, essentially buying the game. No one wants to hear you whine about your super elitist “I pay monthly so I’m special and I get access to the game” vs your outright hatred of a system that doesn’t charge you a dime, yet lets you progress faster than others for your money.

      It’s self-defeating and hypocritical of you. You’d literally want them to demand pay for access to the game at all, monthly even, than have the game accessible to all but getting perks for buying the game. Seriously dude, stop screwing up my favorite past time with this Pay 2 Play bullcrap. The advent of the internet was supposed to make gaming better, not find new ways to milk morons like you, and punish smart people like me!

    • Hell, no!
      P2P is in the past. If EC were P2P I guarantee you that a lot of people wouldn’t play it. I’m not gonna pay 15-20$ a month to play a game that I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for. And this is coming from a huge 40K fan.

      “This structure for microtransaction only exists to make the players with money more powerful and leave the rest of us who work for a living in the dust.”

      Did you even read the article? The microtransactions are purely cosmetic, nothing that can make you more powerful in the game.

      “One day there will be an MMO that doesn’t cater to 12 year minded kids who have the time to player MMOs 10 hours a day while the rest of us who work support their habits.”

      In what way does EC cater to kids? It’s a grim-dark, brutal, bloody world. Honestly, it’s mostly focused on catering to 18+ people than kids. I’ve been on the EC forums ever since they were created, not once did I say immature or childish comments.
      Everything is accessible once you buy the game (which you can do for as low as 40$, which is cheaper than the usual 60$ for AAA games). So, people who work like us are in the same boat as the ones who play all day long or give hundreds of dollars to the game. Which is also apparent from the fact that it’s a skill-based game. It’s not an “I have better items than you so you can’t beat me!!” game.

      Wake up, dude. Studios are avoiding P2P games more and more for a reason. The last few games that tried a P2P model failed miserably and transferred to a B2P/F2P model soon after their launch.

  7. it is a good plan there is no doubt about that,i only advise that we dont rush it and buy the premium stuff right away,but better to wait for more content and races.DAMN THEM FOR NOT ADDING TAU EMPIRE! its a warhammer game with 4 races…so i advise waiting for cheaper stuff or even a way to get in the other races for free

    • they have said that they are planning on releasing more races after launch, until all races are in, so its just a matter of waiting and playing/paying so they feel its worth trying to put them in

  8. Wicked stuff! BE has this well thought out. Especially the F2P bit. Making only the Ork race as the F2P is amazing! For those that don’t know the WH40k lore… Orks are these massive green creatures that have a MASSIVE number as their armies. basically 40 orks for 1 space marine.

    I can;t wait to slaughter as an Ultramarine. :3

  9. this payment plan at its very essense is ingenius. it enforces the feel of the Orks faction as endlessly large, as most people will choose to limit themselves with f2p.

    • We will probably be seeing a divide with all the F2P’ers playing Orks and most of the B2P crowd running as space marines.

      I’m really looking forward to this game even though I’m expecting it to be a failure.

    • Why would it? knowing that you cant play as other factions and most of the ork classes, makes the f2p option feel like a demo. most people probably wont limit themselves since it would cost alot more money to limit yourselves to that.

  10. And i tought that BE saw what happened to a warhammer game that EA molested,and they will go f2p (all races,classes and other things) to be unlocked with level or in-game currency,or even achivments or something like that,but this sucks,they need to start to concidering to change their “f2p” model,or this game is going to suck hard

    • @Madrox….The Mountain must ask with your plan how will the developer recover the cost of making the game? How will they pay for updates and new content? Please please share your plan with us!

      Mean while I MOUNT YOU! You are welcome!!


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