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Gamescom News - Observer Mode + ESL Partnership

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Relic once again took over the Twitch.tv stage at Gamescom 2014 today to announce a slew of new features to the game. In addition to the previously announced Ardennes Assault standalone single player campaign for the US Forces, Relic dropped a few bombshells on the community by announcing big news for the E-Sports future of Company of Heroes 2.


Observer Mode Announced!


One of the most oft-requested features for the game, Relic announced it is developing an Observer Mode for Company of Heroes 2. The community has been quite vocal about the lack of an Observer Mode, which many have considered to be a must-have feature for a modern Real Time Strategy franchise. COH2.ORG Admin and Sunday Night Fights shout caster AmiPolizeiFunk wrote a detailed blog about the issue, which as of this writing has over 10,000 views. Where once the community saw only a gaping hole in our beloved franchise, there is now light!

Although the feature is still in Alpha, any news of this feature being developed is music to the ears of many COH2 fans.


E-Sports Program + ESL Partnership


In addition to the Observer Mode, Relic will also be partnering with ESL to host an E-Sports program later this year. While full details are unclear at this point, it was announced that there will be several cups, along with a final tournament. There will be separate leagues for North American and European players. For players in North America, the total prize pool is valued at $18,000. At this time, no European prize pool was announced, but the prize pool was said to be comparable.

!Company of Heroes as an e-sport title is something we've been talking about for years. It was on the radar but we kept pushing and pushing, but now we're there.Quinn Duffy, Game Director




Criticized by many for "ignoring e-sports" Relic has now taken a huge step towards support of what can potentially be a lucrative endeavor. There is no doubt that in todays market, games with compelling E-Sports gameplay will sell. When real money and the fame of being a big time winner are at stake, things start getting exciting. The prize pool that has been announced will be the largest yet for COH2, and is welcome news for fans.


Game Balance + Open Beta


The natural question after such E-Sports announcement: Is the game balanced for E-Sports? Often the most vocal of all COH2 related discussions, balance (in any game) is a never ending cycle. While there is always players on both sides of the argument, overall, the game is in good state of balance. There are a number of design choices that have lent themselves to balance issues, such as US Forces vehicle de-crew, OKW 5 level vet, OKW munitions penalty being lifted, long-range weaponry outclassing close range combat, and a host of other issues. While not entirely game breaking, the players have a right to expect continued diligence in balancing the game. On the topic of balance, Relic clarified their process, and also announced an Open Beta that is being implemented.

!We have an advisory committee, a private alpha we call it, of hardcore gamers. Its a good cross section of the community and they're advising us on balance.
We are also starting a live beta for players to check out new stuff.Quinn Duffy, Game Director


What do you think? Let us know!


What's your reaction to the news from Relic? Many players were disappointed with the single player campaign news. Does this satisfy the Multiplayer community?

Stay tuned for MilkaCows Blog!


COH2.ORG Senior Strategist MilkaCow was at Gamescom, and is preparing a blog about his experience there!
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