Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution

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Dawn of War II Elite Mod Beginners' Guide
By Impregnable The Dictator
I found lots of people who struggle to begin playing DOW II Elite Mod because there are very little info about it on the web. This guide is about how to start playing Elite Mod as a new player and get in touch with its community. Contains info on how to get games going faster.
Source: http://www.moddb.com/mods/dawn-of-war-2-retribution-elite-mod
Dawn of War II: Elite is a multiplayer mod for Dawn of War II: Retribution. Originally envisioned by Caeltos (a competitive player with a wealth of experience spanning through vanilla to Retribution) as an experimental balance mod for high-level players, Elite evolved into making bolder changes as THQ cut the official support of DOW 2 in their dive toward bankruptcy. The addition of new abilities and units became commonplace, from Space Marine Sternguard Veterans, Eldar Fire Dragons, Chaos Raptors to the Ork Flash Gitz, finalising in the introduction of an entirely new faction - the Grey Knights, based on Bloodravage’s Destroyer 40k mod – all designed from a competitive PvP angle. Coupled with continuous development and an active community dedicated to casts, coverage and regular events, the Elite mod continues to preserve and enrich the de facto Warhammer 40K RTS to this day.
Elite Mod Forum
Clicking on pictures enlarge it just in case you do not know.

The link is www.dawnofwar.info

If you wish to get in detail information about Elite Mod, sign up in that forums and get in touch with Elite Mod community. Below is a brief discription on how to use forum. After reading through this guide, feel free to browse through other functions of main site and forums.

This is the main page you will see once you go through that link above. You can enter forum through that forum menu as shown in the picture.

As a new player, you are recommended to be interested in Strategy discussion section and Technical issues section of the forums as marked in the picture.
1. Strategy discussion section
For any Learn to Play Issues go to the Strategy section. There are lots and lots of people who will help you to get better at this game. They may even be willing to do a play together session so feel free to ask lots and lots of questions there.
2. Technical issues section
This is where you will get help for any and every installation and tech related issue regarding Elite Mod. Do not hesitate to ask questions here if you have tech problem. Usually people will answer it within 24 hours after your question is asked.

3. Registering
Once you click that icon on top right as shown in picture above, below pages will emerge. Fill them up and you are free to use forums. The ID cannot be changed unless you ask admins directly so please becareful about type errors when making an ID.

4. Balance discussion
This is probably the least attractive part of the forums and definitely not recommended for beginners to visit. I am warning you in advance that people do not look kindly upon people leaving OP please nurf blah blah posts in this section. Stay away from it until you played at least half a year worth of game. Below explanation about Freedom of Speech is a good point to consider before dealing with balance related issue.
Follow below steps
1. Go to the forums as shown above
2. Get to the Release section of the forum.
3. Go to that post
4. Click that link to download installation file. You do not need to register in the forums to download the file.
5. Once installed, you will get an exe file looking like this

6. Start installation by opening that exe file

7. If you have not installed retribution in default location you will have to tweak settings here

8. Once installed your will have a shortcut that looks like this.

It may not look like that but its the same thing so do not worry.

You can always switch between launching Mod and Retribution. Installing Mod by no means prevent you from playing original Retribution.

Use Elite Mod short cut to launch Elite Mod. Original Retribution will have a separate shortcut or you can just go to steam library menu and start game from there.
How to get games going faster?
One thing most new people on DOW II suffers through is the lack of rooms and similar level players to get game going faster. Below is the Q&A I did last year to answer for that.

It is always good to see new people joining in. Judging from the post you must be really new. I have seen too many people stop playing this game because they cannot find games at right levels. Here are some quick tips in finding a game more to your liking.

1. Don't enter the game named Private

- Currently private game creation is impossible due to some bug so those people in that kind of rooms will kick you out without explaining anyone who is uninvited or unknown to them

2. Ghost Rooms

- These are rooms without hosts which are created by server problems or disconnections. There is no one inside and you cannot enter it either. It just piles up on top of each other in public game list screen so don't even bother trying to enter them

3. Try to play games at weekends

- Well, there are very few people online during weekdays if you turn on DOW 2 after you return from your work or school in the evening time. This means usually less people for each skill levels and quite a bad news for new guys because it is really hard to get a game going and those precious few people you get can possibly be way out of your skill level. It is really different during weekends and you will find plenty of people with similar skill level even if you are new

4. Judging skill levels of players

- Currently there is no reliable way of exactly pinpointing a opponent's skill level in DOW 2. Ranking system is broken beyond imagination so it is no use. There are two sources you can somewhat rely on which are army levels and steam profile playing hours

- Army levels are gained separately for each faction you play with and you gain exp points after end of each game whether you lose or not. You gain larger amount of exp by winning and it is automatically used for unlocking decorations for your units. The max level is 60 so if you see someone with level 60 in a faction that means he has quite adequate amount of experience with that faction and won't be steam rolled so easily. You can see it by left clicking a player in in game lobby screen and left clicking on statistics option that pops out underneath

Currently there is a bug that makes all of a players' army levels to be shown as level 1. Solution is simple, just shuffle through that players other army levels and that bug will stop.

- Steam playing hours is more useful source. You gain it by playing long that all that is about it and it can be viewed by left clicking a player in in game lobby screen and left clicking on profile page. This will bring up a steam screen that shows profile page of that player and you can see how many hours he played for each of the game he purchased. If you are not so confident about your own skill level, then do not play with people who have more than 200hrs of play ahead of you. Beneath that it should be manageable. Of course you can extend that range if you get more confident with the faction you are playing

- Both of those sources are not exactly accurate I warn you though. It is not a ELO rating system. You do not know whether the opponent has played this game 6 months ago and came back just today and is sucking with the controls. Beyond army level 60 there is a crazily wide range of skill level groups that cannot be measured. In case of playing hours, they can make their page private or only visible for their friends which makes it impossible for people to know their playing hours. Army levels will eventually reach max level no matter how many times you lose and playing hours can be gained by just turning on the game and not playing it or just observing. However, despite all these shortcomings those two sources are best tools you have that allows you to judge a opponent's skill level in somewhat reliable way. Those shortcomings are not a hindrance to newly starting players so you can worry about that later when you become very good at this game

5. Hosting a game

- Waiting for the game in the lobby screen indefinitely is not such a good idea especially when you are new. Those rooms that pop up can be only for high level players and they will kick judging from army levels and such without a word sometimes. It is better to make a lobby for yourself and name it with restrictions on army levels or playing hours. You can choose the map you want and also can kick those people who have high army levels or playing hours than your liking Ex) 3 VS 3 for noobs below 200 hrs / 2 VS 2 for noobs below army level 10

Multiplayer -> Custom Games
Custom Games -> Public
Click Host
Make your own room

6. You need to get more steam friends who play Elite Mod
- I will explain in next section of the guide in great detail because this is very important.
Get More Friends!!!
Get Friends, Get Friends, Get Friends like there is no tomorrow!!!
This is super duper important if you want to get game faster. There is no other way.

You check profile of every single player who enters your room and if his playing hour is similar to yours send friend invitation to him.

No one the hell cares if your invitation gets ignored and you shouldn't care either. Don't take it personal and don't you even care to befriend him closer. Just explain if he ask for a reason that you want to get games going faster by getting more friends and that is more than enough explanaiton for an invitation spam. If a person choose the option to ignore invites from you, your invitations will not get through in the future so don't even worry about that and keep spamming to everyone who you see. Try playing games in different times and send invites to different people. Play in the morning, lunch, afternoon, night, late night, very early morning and get more people from differing timezones around the world.

There is the other trick too.
Get to below steam groups and join them and go to member's section.

DOW II: Elite Balance Mod Playtesting

DoW2 Elite Begginers

FA | Dawn of War 2 Elite

Check everyone's profile there and send friend invites to anyone with similar playing hours to yours.

Fill the list until it is full of people of similar playing hour to yours!!!

Once your invitation list is full like as shown below, you will have no problem in getting games going faster.
How to get better faster? Watch Youtube Streams!
Below are the list of famous youtube DOW II Elite Mod casters.
In total they have more than 2000 videos of Elite Mod casts piled upon ever since the start of 2013. Footage of 1 v 1, 2 v 2, 3 v 3, point of view, 1 v 1 tournaments, 2 v 2 tournaments are all there in overwhelming amount.

Watch them in your free time. Learning this game becomes much easier if you watch these casts and try being a copycat of an expert player. Copy everything they do from comboes, to builds to unit group keys. If you continue to do this copying effort for a long time, one day you will get bored and will start to have an ability to come up with your own creative play.

Indrid Casts

Maestro Casts

Red-Rupee Casts

BbBoS Casts
Commonly asked Q & A
1. Hi y'all! I just bought this game from humble bundle, and I was wondering how large the MP community is?

- Quite large enough to sustain intensive game play. It is comprised of players from all over the world mostly from Europe and North America. Since, all of them live in quite radically different timeline all over the globe, you will need to find out during weekdays in which time there are most people around based on your own timeline. Try playing games in morning, launch, afternoon or late night and figure out for yourself when there are most people around. Of course, no need for such a thing during weekends.

2. Also, do more people play vanilla game or this mod,

- Most of the pro players who do 1 v 1 came over to the mod but the rest of casual players play both and switch over when they feel like so you will find plenty of people in both the vanilla and mod. IMO though, I daresay I saw more people in Elite Mod. So, all in all, try both.

3. and is one of those communities much more skilled than other, because I wouldn't like to get my butt kicked 24/7 when I come around to playing multiplayer :D

- Frankly speaking, I won't say one community is better than the other since people switch between them freely all the time. The real concern for you would be as you have said you are afraid of getting your ass kicked 24/7. That is quite understandable concern. Well, who would want to play multiplayer getting their ass kicked all the time? In order to avoid this, you need to first understand a few things about relationship between mod and retribution.

- The developers of Retribution went bankrupt and game was unpatched ever since autumn of 2012. They did an additional patch after the game franchise being sold to SEGA in 2014 but not much changed about the actual game play. Basically vanilla and the mod have quite drastically different game play balance. IMO I say stick to the mod and switch to Vanilla only for fun. Vanilla has a lot of abusive game play which is not going to be patched at all and is impossible to counter these abuses like spamming a unit etc in many cases. The game play is about similar in low learning curve but if you become better, which you will eventually do, in high-mid levels the required understanding and skill settings are completely different. That is why I recommend you need to choose one and stick to it and only switching to the other side for fun in the long run and I have given the reason for choosing the mod over vanilla version earlier.

Hope this answer is sufficient to improve your understanding of the dow2 community and gameplay.
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Impregnable The Dictator  [author] Sep 1 @ 9:54am 
@NARC Yes, only require Retribution.
NARC Aug 25 @ 1:22am 
Do I only need Retribution to play Elite?
Assassin Unknown Oct 8, 2017 @ 7:10am 
Great guide answered questions i had about elite mod and general game play. I to wish to express my apperaciation of your time to put it together.
BridgetFisher Jul 13, 2017 @ 1:06am 
This guide is very helpful, thanks for taking time to make it to share with the community :D
Plump Duckling May 7, 2017 @ 12:53pm 
great post! thanks!
QuantumJay Mar 20, 2017 @ 8:14am 
This is a great post, glad someone has addressed this mod fully! :D

*Side note: If anyone fancies playing sometime, feel free to drop me a friend request! :steamhappy:
Orduhan Mar 16, 2017 @ 10:16am 
thank you :)
Impregnable The Dictator  [author] Feb 28, 2017 @ 6:05am 
It breaks single player camapaigns so please turn on retail when you want to play either Last Stand or Campaign. I do not know what is "Community Patch". People play with Elite Mod soley. It can be found on www.dawnofwar.info forum's release section as I have written on the guide.
Parry Jackson Feb 28, 2017 @ 1:04am 
Does the Elite mod affect anything in Single Player campaigns? Does it break them somehow? Do people also play with the "Community Patch" that is on moddb or Elite Mod solely? Thanks!
Impregnable The Dictator  [author] Aug 13, 2016 @ 3:13pm 
Thanks for supporting this guide guys. You can ask me questions here. I will try my best to answer.