The only thing you collect in most RTS games are resources, but Servo‘s focus on the hero units and their equipment means you’ll be digging up loot to boot.
At GDC 2015, I got to sit down with the gentlemen from BonusXP, the studio behind the upcoming RTS Servo, to discuss exactly what their goals are with the game. I’m a big fan of genre-blending, and Servo wants to bring its RPG elements to the forefront of the otherwise-traditional RTS. WarCraft hero characters are a great example of a light RPG integration, but Servo wants to take it to the next level, with character classes, a Diablo-esque paper doll equipment setup, and between 500 and 1000 pieces of unique gear for you to hunt down while you play.
The story behind Servo is basically the gold rush in space, with Bloom being the resource that everybody’s trying to get their hands on. To get the Bloom, you’ve got to have some force, and that’s where Servos come in. Servos are basically piloted mechs the size of large buildings, which are the focus of your army. Rather than the “heroes” supporting the army, in Servo, the armies support the Servos. You’ve got three classes of Servo to choose from, which will decide the equipment options and abilities. Additionally, there are several pilots to choose from, each of which comes with its own special active ability. Finally, some of your gear will provide you with new or upgraded versions of your abilities. For example, you might equip a grenade launcher on one arm of your Servo, giving you a medium-range AOE attack.
With the focus being squarely on your Servos, unit production ceases to be your most important task, but it’s still crucial to have support for your mechs, so you’ll want to build factories and queue up a unit for production. It handles it from there, churning out that unit type until you tell it to work on something else. It’s a little weird for an RTS, but I can appreciate that they want you fighting with your Servos, not micromanaging your production queues.
Servo is designed to be consumed in bite-sized chunks, so, instead of a 45 minute match, you’ll play shorter, objective-based games that last 10-20 minutes, which allows you to more frequently tinker with your equipment setup and try out new options without too heavy a time commitment, in case it doesn’t work out.
Early access for Servo shouldn’t be too long now, with a nebulous “late spring” target, and should launch a few months after that, in Fall 2015. You can read the official announcement right here.