Dune Spice Wars preview: RTS blends with 4X on Arrakis


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Dune Spice Wars is the primary Dune sport to launch in over 20 years, paying respect to the style it spawned many moons in the past. Solely this time, the RTS style has developed significantly, and what higher strategy to make a return than with a mix of RTS and 4X gameplay. 

The developer studio, Shiro Video games, answerable for the hit RTS Northgard, is behind the brand new sport. The devs are utilizing the formulae that introduced them success with Northgard, besides bringing it to Arrakis. Anybody seeking to get in on Dune Spice Wars’ early entry or future launch ought to know what to anticipate.

Dune Spice Wars Preview: 4X technique with RTS gameplay

As with 4X video games, your job is to handle your models, cities, buildings and extra to provide the absolute best benefits on the market. Instantly on beginning a sport, you’ll be able to zoom out you get a area mode. Listed here are the territories you need to conquer. As you get deeper into the sport you’ll be able to see the sources that the area possesses, together with the colour of the faction that owns it. It’s that basic Paradox 4X vibe. Pay attention to these areas, as that is the enlargement 4X technique function, detailing all of the totally different areas you need to broaden for that fascinating 4X grand technique that may convey you victory.

Not like different Grand technique video games although, Dune makes use of a function referred to as spice. The principle goal of the sport is to gather spice, similar to the factions on Arrakis in Frank Herbert’s Dune collection or within the movie variations. Each faction might want to accumulate it to maintain the house emperor completely satisfied. Failing to take action means you get punished, and finally, issues will begin to collapse because the God-Emperor is livid at your tax resistance.

It brings a depth of technique to the map. Solely sure areas can present spice, so anticipate to colonise areas, conquer villages, and shield your spice commerce in opposition to warring factions or mischievous rebels. One different factor to notice is that the tax requirement scales the later within the sport you get, that means there’s increasingly more stress to get extra spice. It gives those that get pleasure from army conquest one thing to deal with. You should utilize it to starve an enemy faction out and watch them crumble in opposition to the may of the house emperor’s penalties, or simply management your complete spice commerce your self and reap that candy money and paid tax invoice.

Like all 4X video games, there’s a situation to win the sport; in Dune Spice Wars, that’s hegemony. The hegemony system is a meta rating that each one factions contribute in the direction of. You may get hegemony via some ways, similar to paying your taxes, claiming villages, buying and selling, getting CHOAM shares, or taking part in diplomat on the Landsraad display (the democracy display the place the factions vote on random edicts, debuffs and buffs). This helps you specialize your playstyle and provides to the truth that the whole lot you do helps you edge nearer to victory. It implies that army, enlargement, diplomacy, financial and scientific gameplay focus all have an effect, fairly than specializing in a single win situation.

4X administration

Dune Spice Wars Siege
4X type troops alternative however in a real-time siege setting.

There are many 4X points within the sport. The diplomacy display appears like a Civilization sport. You click on a faction, after which a dialog. You possibly can then discover an settlement of expertise, or commerce sources utilizing a weighted bartering system. You possibly can even get random vignettes of faction leaders admiring or hating you.

There are additionally loads of sources to handle. All through the desert planet, you will see that a extreme lack of water. It’s good to discover zones with robust winds you can accumulate water from, to assist provide your faction with water. Water is essential, as that helps to create greater armies and assist extra villages, serving to you retain your faction afloat.

As well as, you need to keep watch over particular sources. Most areas within the sport have a particular useful resource you’ll be able to accumulate. Some assist your Gas Cells, a strategic useful resource you spend on buildings and models. Maybe one other zone helps you with Plascrete, the useful resource you must construct and preserve models. Others provide help to generate Solari (cash), which you spend on models and varied types of maintenances. Typically you’ll end up in loads of provide to make use of your buying and selling benefits, when you might end up quick if in case you have gone on a constructing marketing campaign.

RTS points

Dune Spice Wars Sand Worms
Act quick, in any other case, your Harvester may give a Sand Worm its iron consumption for the last decade.

Whereas the sport makes use of numerous common methods inspired via typical 4X parts, you’ll largely expertise the gameplay utilizing a pausable real-time technique. Once you begin the sport, your most important mission is to beat a village that gives spice. It would be best to begin constructing models to assault the close by village whereas utilizing your scouting Ornithopter to disclose new area sources, villages and different factors of curiosity. The usual RTS construct order expertise.

One of many different issues you must take note of is Sand Worms. These beasts journey via the open sands and seem randomly in areas the place the sands are disturbed. It implies that massive scale armies and battles should be cautious, as do your harvesters on spice fields. One in every of your necessities in real-time is to cease your armies or harvester from turning into worm meals. Except you’ll be able to set a entice for an opposing military and allow them to get eaten as a substitute, or experience them should you’re taking part in the Fremen.

One different real-time hazard to observe for is Sandstorms. These sandstorms can seem anytime, and you must shelter within the metropolis to keep away from them. These items will take down any plane, and forestall Harvesters or your models from getting redeployed whereas they’re lively over airports or harvesters. Once more, you must react to real-time map results, which may assist your technique or catch you unexpectedly.

Lastly, the fight is finished in real-time. Have your models struggle whichever unit you need to struggle. Some models are extra melee oriented, whereas some ranged my assist via quite a lot of methods. Heavy weapons squads might destroy enemy armor, so your melee models do extra injury. Different models might play ambush. All of it is dependent upon what you need and the way you need to execute your plan in real-time. RTS followers will recognise that right here, and people who play Northgard will see the similarities shine via.

Dune Spice Wars Factions Preview

Dune Spice Wars Fremen units
Each faction has totally different models. Picture by way of Funcom.

The final main level of the Dune Spice Wars preview is the factions. On the launch of early entry, there are 4 factions:

  • Atreides
  • Harkonnen
  • Fremen
  • Smugglers

Every faction has distinctive mechanics, models and extra. For instance, the Atreides are extra peaceable and diplomatic and have a peaceable annexation provide on impartial villages. In the meantime, Harkonnen is extra military-focused, getting extra from raids and oppressions and has ‘higher’ army models. Alternatively, the Smugglers play a larger deal with espionage with their hidden underground outposts and financial focus, whereas the Fremen have higher diplomacy with neutrals and play extra nomadic with their caravans, invisible models, and the good function, worm driving.

Additionally, every of the factions will get a barely totally different buff every sport. When making a sport, you’ll be able to select two characters out of 4 to passively buff you in numerous methods. This lets you choose a spotlight making totally different elements of a faction’s playstyle really feel barely totally different on every marketing campaign.

That is the overall abstract of what you’ll be able to anticipate from our Dune Spice Wars preview. For extra info, check out the sport on Steam and maintain your eyes peeled on updates as the sport goes via early entry growth.


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