||evilbobthebob - December 18, 2017
Below is a summary of changes to v2.0, as well as notes regarding what will be included in the demo version, coming soonTM
- Rewritten AI to be more intelligent and challenging
- AI now has some factional differences in style
- AI will correctly build units and structures based on its planetary bonuses
- Improved AI in tactical mode
- Rebalanced tech trees
- Functional CSA faction (full release only)
- Sweeping optimization improvements
- Addition of “light” campaign options for those who prefer high performance
- Many quality-of-life improvements
- Tooltips for all units contain all the statistic information you need
- Improved advisor hints to introduce you to the mod’s features
- Building and shipyard tooltips tell you what they can produce
- Improved research display
- Difficulty levels:
- Easy: AI gets 10% fewer credits and takes 10% longer to build units
- Normal: AI is exactly on par with the player
- Hard: AI gets 10% more credits, takes 10% less time to build units, and units have 20% more damage, 20% more health, and 25% more shields.
- Rewritten galactic conquests (Demo featured: Operation Skyhook)
- All hyperspace travel now done via hyperlanes, with bonus speed and income from different sizes of route
- Starships now cost population proportional to their crew requirements
- Complete overhaul of planet locations, bonuses, and abilities
- Planets now provide population carefully calculated from their statistics
- Bonuses are rebalanced and clarified with improved tooltips
- Planet info screens notify you of environmental or population conditions that affect production
- Many new planets added
- Overhaul of planet icons and base level display
- New planet textures
- Over 50 new ground maps for v2.0, many new space maps
- Restoration of classic EAW sandbox missions (full release only, not demo)
- Rebalanced freighters
- Both land and space skirmish are available (though land skirmish is still unfinished for the CSA)
- Space skirmish has been completely rebalanced to be more of a competitive experience
- Units build faster and are cheaper
- Income scales better with station level
- Unit costs and build times balanced per unit and per unit class
- AI greatly improved compared to v1.2
- New armor/shield/damage system for space combat, bringing it in line with our ground combat changes from v1.2.
- Damage is now applied after armor subtraction e.g. laser damage 16 vs armor 12 does only 4 damage to a starship hull.
- Torpedoes and some other weapons can pierce armor.
- This means that light craft can barely damage capital ships. All weapons do a minimum of 0.5 damage if armor is equal to or greater than weapon damage.
- Shields absorb a percentage of damage from incoming fire based on unit class
- New space units (* = buildable in demo): Lictor-class Dungeon Ship, Providence-class Destroyer*, Belbullab-22 starfighter, Defender Starfighter*, TIE Vanguard, Diamond-class courier ship, Manka-class war Frigate*, G-1A Starfighter, Sheathipede-class Transport Shuttle, Y-85 Titan Dropship*, YV-100 Light Freighter, YV-330 Light Freighter, YV-929 Armed Freighter
- Rebalanced starship and starfighter weapons for the new combat system, rewriting thousands of hardpoints
- Space Colonies are now armed with turbolasers at all levels, and provide minor fire support to defending fleets
- New ground combat bunker system, with many civilian structures available to hide your infantry
- New ground vehicles (* = buildable in demo): AAT, HMP gunship, MTT, OG-9, S-1 Firehawke*, V-Wing Airspeeder*
- Improved weather system and atmospheric effects- don’t let infantry get stranded on planets with a Type IV atmosphere!
- Infantry carry appropriately-modeled weapons in most cases
- New ground structures: Bank, Listening Outpost
- New hero system with consistent hero ratings and upgrade paths
- Space heroes now require a flagship to attach to in many cases
- New heroes (* = playable in demo release): 4-LOM, Adar Tallon, Andoorni Hui, Apailana, Appo, Barrow Oicunn, Bevven*, Blitzer Harrsk, Bror Jace, Clyngunn, Cody, Comeg, Corran Horn, Crueya Vandron, Devlia, Erisi Dlarit, Evir Derricote, Gavin Darklighter, Ghorin, Haashn, Havet Storm, Hurst Romodi*, Kirtan Loor, Kosh Teradoc, Laryn Krefey, Lujayne Forge, Male Dee, Mawsh’iye, Meena Tills, Morteos, Nawara Ven, Odd Ball, Onara Kuat, Ooryl Qrygg, Osted Wermis, Peshk Vrisyk, Ragab, Rhysati Ynr, Riv Shiel, Rojahn, Sander Delvardus, Shaak Ti, Shea Hublin, Talon Karrde, Tensiger*, Terrinald Screed, Thaneespi, Theol Drost*, Treuten Teradoc, Tundra Dowmeia, Uwlla Iillor, Verrack, Zel Johans*, Zsinj, Zuckuss
Operation Skyhook- Demo Release GC
- Experience the lead-up to A New Hope from both sides of the Galactic Civil War, as told in the Legends universe
- Selection of missions provide guidance in the early stages of the campaign. The later stages are up to you!
- Command the Rebel Alliance from hidden fighter bases, striking against Imperial convoys and trying to discover the location of the Death Star construction site
- Lead the Galactic Empire to victory, protecting the Death Star and crushing the Rebellion across the galaxy
- The Galactic Empire is recommended for first time players of Phoenix Rising.
|State of The Mod
||Ghostrider - October 26, 2015
First of all, I would like to apologiese to all of the fans for the total neglect and lack of news in the last year.
You may be mistaken in thinking nothing is happening with the mod. - You would be wrong; progress has actually been quite positive recently, but real life cuts back on modding time for most of the team.
Before detailing some of the more exciting developments in the mod, it's probably worth a recap of what has happened to date, as this has profound implications on my particular area of focus - the campaigns.
The entire basis os space comabt has been rebuilt to match the land mechanic, with a detailed and comprehensive armor and shielding system. Shileds now absorb laser fire, ranging frmo 20% to 45%, depending on unit class. Armor grades range from 8 points in fighters to 32 points for capital class warships, and all the weapons in the mod now have different damage ratings. HP are considerably increased.
The biggest change in tactical battles, is that laser cannons, and especially light laser cannons, are unable to penetrate heavy armor. This does not mean that your fighters are redundant, far from it. A cloud of snubfighters and transports can strip off the shields of destroyers and capital-grade warships, making them much more vulnerable to turbolaser fire, but you can't kill a star destroyer with snubfighters alone - you have to have turbolaser support. Bombers get proton rockets and proton bombs, and can be pretty nasty.
We have also added space population. The idea is that in order to crew and maintain a space-based unit, you need a support base. Your planets provide population and without spare population you can't build anything. This explains why the Acclamator and other crew-heavy designs, such as the Dreadnaught rapidly became obsolote. The Imperial class is much more effiecient in terms of deliverably combat power vs population support required.
On a strategic level this adds a new dimension to the campaign scenario. You need credits AND population to build warships. As a result, we have rebuilt the entire economy from scratch, with new pricing and a detailed planetary model that calculates planetary economies based on population, tech level, agricultural base, mineral resources, underworld and manufacturing capability. Agricultural wolrds are particularly important to feed and grow your fleets.
Proximity Jumps and Trade Routes
We have removed proximity jumps from the mod, so all space-based travel is based on the trade route. This makes strategic planning much more interesting, and you will find that key planets that lie at the junction of major trade routes are extremely important strategically, as these act as choke points to access different regions of the galaxy.
For example. Brentaal IV, which lies at the junction of the Hydian Way and the Perlemian Trade Route, is now probably the most imporatant piece of real-estate in the galaxy and is defended accordingly!
All coloneis, from levels 1 to 5 are now armed with turbolaser cannons, and are heavily shielded and quite difficult to kill.
You will need cruiser support to take on a level 1 or level 2 colony, and multiple cruisers for a Level 3 Colony.
Level 4 colonies are extremely challenging, and need a large fleet, with at least destroyers, if not capital-class warships to have a chance of destroying the base.
Level 5 colonies are exceptionally challenging.
And if you think these are bad news, the asteroid bases are worse, so it is vital to send out expendable scouting parties to see what you are facing before you attempt an invasion.
Heroes no longer come with elite warships. They now have command abilities but are just that - indivudal beings that need to be attached to a fleet to make a difference. So Darth Vader IV on his own is just a pilot in an TIE, but with a fleet he commands on the bridge of the largest warship.
Back to Basics
If we now wind the clock back to early 2014, we are in the process of updating all of the old campaigns with these points in mind. We have always had a goal of adding new campaigns to each release, but had no idea of the change that was about to take place.
Our concept at the time was to create a new campaign to show the difference in strategic planning due to the lack of proximity jumps and have a campaign based on the 5 Super-Hyperrroutes of Perlemian Trade Route, Hydian Way, Rimma Trade Route, Correlian Run, and the Corellian Trade Spine.
60% of the campaign was completed when the campaign crashed on install and it soon became apparent that nothing was going to fix it. The problem was simple - too many planets and too big a campaign. The EAW engine simply couldn't handle it.
So we made the critical decision to break up all the existing campaigns into smaller chunks, each with fewer planets.
So - Core Worlds lost the Expansion region and shrunk back to the Core Worlds and the Colonies. This was highly successful and led to a better campaign with faster frame rates and quicker load times and much less lag.
The roll-out pulled appart the entire campaign set and rebuilt everything from scratch.
Prelminary testing of all 12 campaigns is now complete and the results are rather exciting.
I'll let you have more news, in detail, about each campaign in due course....
|Prepare For Ground Assault
||Phoenix Rising - November 30, 2011
|In December 2009, I received an unexpected message from a fellow mod leader here at Revora that would alter the path of v1.2 development. Nertea, from The Dwarf Holds, offered his expertise on vehicle modeling. This set in motion a course of events that would come to define the release. What v0.1 was for space combat, v1.2 will be for land combat. In effect, this will be our Land Mini-Mod.|
The last version was a false start for ground battles, more raw specs than mechanic. While there is still much work to be done before we can declare a PR v2.0, the essence of Land is here now. We have a robust framework in place that is just waiting to flourish into a complete game mode. Our goal? To bring epicness and accuracy planetside. And to do it even better than we did for space.
There are obvious drawbacks in our decision to delay ground development, but one of the benefits is veterancy: we're all better at this than we were five years ago. Given the opportunity to start again essentially from scratch, I'm certain we can craft a superior experience.
The difference between land and space, however, is more than a matter of gravity. There is a real dichotomy here for a number of reasons, at the root of which is the science fiction axiom of "why bother with land battles when you can fight in space". We know relatively little about ground combat during the Galactic Civil War - it just isn't written about. This leaves us with a fairly open canvas.
While depictions of army battles in our era are few, we fortunately have some phenomenal roleplaying material from which to draw individual units - great concepts that have been perpetually trapped in stat blocks and two dimensions. Given the movie models we had on-hand already from EaW, our most dire need was clear: the Armored Freerunner. That was the unit Nertea first set out to recreate that winter, thus commencing our renewed take on land combat.
The Freerunner is the product that put its manufacturer, Kelliak Arms and Armor Company, out of business. This nefarious distinction had little to do with battlefield performance - the medium repulsortank features great speed and fire coverage. Rather, it was the result of walker bias beginning to take hold on the Imperial Army following the Clone Wars. The Armored Freerunner never entered general deployment with the Empire and KAAC went bankrupt, forcing the units to be sold off to anyone who would pay. Ironically, the versatile Freerunner quickly showed up in the hands of dissidents, where it would become the foundation of the Alliance cavalry.
As the model neared completion in February 2010, I began jotting numbers down on my whiteboard, starting with damage values and recharge rates for blaster archetypes. The roleplaying literals used in v1.1 failed for us because that genre is handicapped for player characters; the new format would be customized and exclusive to PR. Small arms got weaker, while cannons became more powerful. Recharge times, which used to mimic relative cyclic rates, would return to the familiar two-second cooldown of space combat, with two notable exceptions: carbines and repeating blasters fire 50% faster; turbolasers fire 50% slower.
The next step was to come up with armor and shield classes. Normally, this is where EaW applies its rock-paper-scissors logic, but that's not us - our armor works by subtracting from damage received, while shields offer protection in terms of percentage. The mistake I made last time was allowing units to become invincible if armor exceeded damage, so a half-point minimum is now in place for any regular hit. The exception to this is special damage, which is tied to armor type: Organic, Droid, or Vehicle. An Organic attack, such as a poison, ignores armor reduction when used against Organic armor; however, it does no damage to other armor types and generally should not target them, in practice. Non-lethal effects, such as stun, are also largely based around armor type.
Ranges then rapidly fell into place. From v1.1, it was clear that literal distances and speeds would not work in a game that rarely represented more than 200 meters of a planet using its own scale. Authentic values could still be used for small arms, but they would need to be condensed. The range of cannons, which can even exceed the size of our biggest land maps when done exactly, would best be planned around the camera and how much can fit on-screen at a time. Once I decided that blaster accuracy should be inclined towards infantry and laser accuracy should be inclined towards vehicles - similar to the laser/turbolaser dynamic of space - the basis of combat was established.
Before anything could be put in data though, it would be prudent to go back to the source materials and reevaluate mechanized armaments under our new framework. Problematically, different titles use "blaster" and "laser" interchangeably, or seemingly at random. On top of that are RPG damage values, which tell another story of how the gun works, separate from the caliber descriptor. These inconsistencies were largely mediated by role and context, so while our armaments may not match every official claim, we stand behind their legitimacy.
At this point, I began updating the damage-to-armor matrices, projectile code, and hardpoints - enough to get vehicles running. By March, the new ground mechanic was ready for its first real test. I built Freerunners and headed for Brentaal. The ensuing battle was one of the most rewarding moments I've had as a developer. Land was playable again. And, for the first time ever, we had an exclusive unit that we alone took from paper to game, fighting on a map made for this mod.
With vindication came distress: the number of land models available to us was still terribly limited, perhaps unbalancingly so, and there was no quick way to remedy that. The best option, we decided, was to delay the release and commence work on upgrades, essentially adding the functionality for what we dub a "mini-mod". That meant that Ghostrider would more or less have to scrap the ground portion of the campaigns that were already finished. Nertea moved on to the next model and I went back to the whiteboard.
Just as space upgrades were originally metered by the prolific X-wing series, the AT-AT would serve as our gauge for land. Everything we needed to accomplish with a unit - both historically and for depth of gameplay - could be done in four variants. Breakthroughs for armies seemingly progress at a slower rate than they do for navies, so this represents only half the improvement of a fully upgraded space unit, but also costs half as much.
Once again, I've tried to ensure a niche role for each faction unit; however, in a departure from space, abilities are no longer mostly class-based. Instead, we have some innovative powers that might only be available to a single unit: self-healing armors, repulsorlift jammers, point-blank EMPs. Pure combat abilities in the style of Power to Weapons are less common and have been reserved for true battlefield juggernauts.
Dealing with upgrades gave me a chance to clean up unit tooltips as well. Obviously anything would be an improvement over the non-descriptions in current use, although the space unit block text isn't ideal either. I had naively thought that EaW would parse newlines for popup strings when I first started writing them for space; of course, it doesn't, and the format just stuck. The only way to get text on different lines is to use multiple strings, so I trialled a modular format this time to take advantage of that. The stat blocks are much more clean and readable now and buildable land units have even begun to show prose descriptions, for those that prefer words to numbers. Progress!
Hitpoints took a while to calibrate. We've normally used strict conversions from official figures to determine the amount of punishment a unit can take before it's considered destroyed. Those numbers were in place from the previous release and were immediately quadrupled for all vehicles. That gave them the longevity that was missing, but certain units still felt off during testing. On paper even, some of the canon stats just didn't make sense - speeder bikes were rated tougher than skyhoppers. It became necessary for us to find our own way. So, while I haven't abandoned our sources if they can fit, I will supersede anything that does not with a value that works in the engine. And the game plays better for it.
The vehicle focus up to this point is intentional, as infantry had suffered from longstanding coding complications dating back to retail EaW, when most land units and all infantry had perfect aim by virtue of non-working XML accuracy tags. This is the default implementation and was never acceptable to us. The alternative is to use hardpoints, which were not meant to go with containers, the "circles" that form infantry into squads, since they create a disconnect in targeting, among other issues. The jury-rigged fix for the previous release was to use the simplest container possible, but that meant that individual troops were doing their own pathfinding, were uncohesive, and were getting stuck all over the map. When I sorted out team targeting and locomotion in April and infantry started firing on their own, all the intricacy and nuance of our small arms design from v1.1 became apparent for the first time.
Is Han the same character without his DL-44? We think not: blasters are too varied in terms of damage, range, and capacity to simply call two pistols equal. Although lacking art and tooltips, our soldiers have always used specific weapon models where it counts, in data. And not just a single weapon like vanilla - thanks to hardpoints, combatants can brandish as many arms as they can realistically carry. In fact, we've simulated almost every weapon in existence for this era, down to the esoteric, from power hammers to wrist rockets to shatter guns, with special care taken to preserve connotation and rarity in how they are used.
These were essential in correcting my previous oversight of indigenous units and structures. Due to release expediency, many files were simply left in their original state. These have since either been converted or met the delete key, with the most noticeable changes for players being to indigenous. Houses are still in place on the maps, but nothing spawns from them, there is no associated bounty, and they're not destructable. Essentially, they're just ordinary props now, with mobs being placed exclusively through starting forces. 19 alien species were added under the civilian archetype, which will be the standard way of representing non-Humans to prevent excessive variantation. Civilians are also unique in that they come in double-strength platoons of 80 to showcase their numerical advantage.
Unfortunately, no one was ever missing in a firefight. I'd always thought of in-game accuracy as an angle and thus was sitting around doing trigonometry trying to figure out better values to use, until Ghost mentioned in May that it's actually a measurement of spread between a group of shots at maximum range. The last point is key, since that's what ultimately determines the fire cone. All land hardpoints were redone to account for the mistake. Infantry were divided into accuracy groups - civilian, military, elite, and hero - with each group using a consistent angle, irrespective to range to simulate shooting with the naked eye. In other words, at 100 meters, a pistol and a rifle are equally inaccurate, even though rifle fire likely has triple the effective range. The opposite approach was taken with vehicles: we've assumed that targeting computer quality is proportional to weapon range, so all mounted cannons are just as inaccurate at 50% of their respective maximums.
With ground combat in excellent shape for testing, my focus shifted to aiding Ghostrider with Operation Shadow Hand, which hadn't been overhauled since v1.0. By June, Nertea had completed his second vehicle, the Heavy Tracker.
The Mekuun Heavy Tracker is a repulsorlift support vehicle designed to house an omniprobe sensor array. This technological breakthrough in the wake of the Clone Wars allows for ground-level detection unimpeded by terrain, a blind spot for existing omnidirectional sensors. Long-range scanning is used to great effect with the topside artillery laser. Trackers typically double as command units for the Rebellion, where they are able to set up rogue reinforcement points with the aid of a landing zone beacon repeater. Although very well armored, the abundance of electronics makes them fat, somewhat fragile targets.
Much of the remaining year was consumed by countless attempts to implement a custom AI, although I continued to expand our projectile roster and convert vanilla units that had been missed. In total, five previously unused troopers, three droids, and eight vehicles were adapted from Petroglyph assets, while the T-16 Skyhopper, Luxury Sail Barge, B1 Battle Droid, B2 Super Battle Droid, Low Altitude Assault Transport, and Mygeeto land map were assimilated from community releases.
One of the last major changes was to reinvent the bombing run for PR. When bombardment was added in FoC, little was done to differentiate it from the carpet-bombing runs of EaW: both were indiscriminate area attacks. Additionally, there was only nominal difference between bomber types. Given our emphasis on statistical transparency, this grew intolerable in the new mechanic, so I devised a way to reliably bridge space and land. All ground bombers were afforded the same characteristics as their orbital counterparts, including weapon systems. There is now a huge difference between supporting an invasion with TIE Targeters and Scimitar Assault Bombers, although in case both are present, the game will automatically pick the better unit. Pilots strafe with energy weapons and actively target enemies with warheads - no more dumping the bomb bay. This is accomplished with conventional land projectiles; the only special case is for reloads: bombers can't launch more warheads on a run than they can carry.
The rest of the time was spent collaborating, documenting, experimenting, implementing, testing, fixing, balancing, and optimizing - the daily grind that often isn't newsworthy. Special thanks must go out to the testing team for a year and a half of silent toil. I put off announcing the land revamp this long to avoid a repeat of the last release, where when it came time to wrap up, land was barely a concept. This time, we ended up with something tremendously polished, yet still very much incomplete. Whether or not we can see this through to the end partially depends on fan and community support, so after you download the upcoming release, tell us what you think about it on the forums, and if you like it, tell a friend! That friend might just be the next member of our team.
|The First Transport Is Away
||Phoenix Rising - June 27, 2009
|How to handle carriers and complements is a question as old as the mod, with as many revisions as we have versions. The forthcoming version, it seems, will offer no exception.|
While working on units late in the development of v1.1, it became increasingly apparent that we had yet to find the perfect formula to balance the needs of carriers and independent starfighters; at that point, however, it was too late to change anything. Shortly after the release, we decided to put the question to the fans in a poll to let you decide our next course of action. I'm here today to report that the vote has been counted and the changes have been implemented!
For complements, this means a reduction by half of build costs and times across the board, making carriers more pragmatic of an option. We've furthermore normalized the bias that used to exist in favor of smaller carriers by allowing all complements to reach half of their upgrade potential when the carrier is fully upgraded and scaling everything accordingly in between, meaning corvettes will no longer always have better starfighters than capitals.
In an interesting twist made possible by the new tech trees, complement upgrade level is now also offset by a modifier equal to the difference of level between carrier and complement, so newer-model carriers that happen to have older complements will get an upgrade bonus to their starfighters - possibly even surpassing the halfway mark at the final upgrade. The reverse is also true, however, so old carriers with new complements will be penalized in upgrades.
For the most part, you won't need to remember any of these rules when playing the game - they will just happen. All the average player needs to know is that starships with a starfighter complement will now be more economical, that upgrades are now balanced across class, and you'll get better complements the deeper you go into the tech tree. Oh, and they now might include transports.
With resounding support from fans, we will no longer automatically exclude units of the transport class from complement rosters. I've gone through all of our existing ships and added in transports where they would canonically appear based on extensive research and a little necessary supposition; our unit pages have been updated with that information.
Finally, what's a complement post without a new unit? After being sorely missed for so long, I'm thrilled to announce the addition of the ultimate CSA complement: the IRD Fighter!
The Corporate Sector had, for years, relied on makeshift, secondhand models to fill the hangars of the Picket Fleet. This thinking changed during the Clone Wars, when the increasing demand for military hardware left the CSA in a pinch. In the wake of the conflict, the Direx Board finally conceded that it was fiscally prudent to produce their own brand of starfighter specifically suited to their unique needs. The result was the IRD Fighter, a design that emphasized speed, firepower, and survivability.
As with the X-wing and the TIE/ln, the IRD has transcended its everyday use to become emblematic of its faction - and for good reason: the IRD is a solid all-around fighter for the price. It is fast enough to keep up with everything but a true interceptor, but is more heavily armed and shielded that most interceptors. Its lack of hyperdrive makes it a short-range fighter, but that is just fine for the purposes of the carrier-heavy Picket Fleet. The only weakness of the IRD is its inability to adequately perform maneuvers, a problem so severe that an entire redesign of the hull was prompted for the IRD-A. As such, it tends to be a poor dogfighter, instead relying on its concussion missiles to conduct slashing attacks.
Look for the IRD and all of the complement changes in the next release of Phoenix Rising, v1.2. In the meantime, check out the rest of the screenshots!
|The Thrawn Offensive Part I – The Economic War
||Ghostrider - June 18, 2009
|The revamped Thrawn Campaign, renamed to the Thrawn Offensive for reasons that will soon be clear, is nearly done. For those of you not familiar with this campaign, it is set in the post-Endorian New Republic, when Grand Admiral Thrawn appeared out of the Unknown regions to weld the Imperial fleet into a cohesive force, and following the discovery of the Katana Fleet dreadnaughts, Thrawn proceeded to dismantle the New Republic, taking a large number of planets in rapid succession, inflicting heavy losses on the New Republic before his assassination at Bilbringi by his bodyguard Rukh.|
This revised campaign attempts to capture this explosive conflict with modern Imperial and Republic warships – full details of which will be given in Parts II and III respectively. It soon became clear in the development stages that the challenge with this campaign was the economy – and how to balance the economies of both opposing sides. We now have a standardised method for determining the amount of starting cash in any given campaign. Bonuses are given for each type of planet controlled by the faction in question, with significantly greater cash bonuses for Core worlds than those on the outer rim. To this base sum is added about 2 month’s cash reserves based directly from the faction’s weekly income. A severe maintenance penalty is then applied for the military construction cost for all fleet combat units – the bigger your military, the less cash you get at the start.
The Imperial War Machine
The Imperial economy is the simpler model, so let’s take a look at the numbers. The Imperials start with only 2 core and colony worlds, 4 mid rim, 8 inner rim and 6 outer rim worlds, giving a starting cash bonus of $145,000 (with core worlds contributing much more than rim worlds). The Imperials have a reasonably large trade fleet, mostly centred on Chazwa and Svivren, comprising mostly of Action IV Mark IIs, BBF-1’s, CTF-1’s, and Super VIII Bulk Cruisers, with a handful of armed Action IV Mark III’s. Freight carrying armed transports, such as the Lambda-a & b, as well as the more heavily armed Sentinel and Sentinel Mark II tend to be located on military worlds more for their assault capabilities than their revenue generating ability. Even with the huge trade fleet on Svivren, the Imperial economy was still a meagre $17,000 per week compared to the $22,000 for the New Republic, and a further source of revenue was required for the Empire to have sufficient economic muscle to instigate a major conflict. The solution was simple, in the 3 years prior to the assault, it was assumed that Thrawn’s meticulous attention to detail would ensure a strong economy, and so many Imperial worlds have been heavily industrialised, with the majority of space and land slots filled with construction yards, barracks, defensive systems and mining facilties to boost the Imperial war machine.
So despite the Empire having fewer planets than the New Republic, it has a higher weekly income, if only by a fraction. This contributes a further $168,000 to the starting cash reserves. The penalty for this industrialisation and the massive military build up is a large maintenance bill of $213,000, leaving the Empire with a paltry $100,000 starting credits.
The situation for the New Republic is more complex. With a number of Alliance military victories, such as the taking of the Core Worlds, and the destruction of rogue warlords, such as Zsinj, the New Republic has been focussing diplomatic efforts to expand its membership, with considerable success, with the political leadership successfully persuading the Bimms to join the Republic only days ago. In addition to leaving many worlds relatively undeveloped and with little focus on infrastructure, this has stretched the ageing merchant fleet to the limit, with craft such as the 20 year old Gallofree Transports and Quazar Fire Bulk cruisers and a few captured Imperial transports unable to meet the demands of an expanding republic. Even and the recent addition of new freighters such as the MCF-1 and the heavily armed YT-2000 has not helped much as these are more suitable for smuggling operations and moving high value gemstones past customs stations than the bulk transport of goods to support major interstellar trade routes. The New Republic has taken the drastic step of cannibalising some of its older warships to make much needed cargo ships. CR90s, EF76 Frigates, Mark I Dreadnaughts and even Liberty-class Star Cruisers have been gutted and pressed into freight duties. While these ships maintain their military grade shields, they only possess skeleton crews and, at best, will only have defensive armaments, if any. Worse still, these ships do not have the damage control parties needed to survive long exposure to enemy fire, so loss of these ships would have high impact, as their freight carrying ability is considerable, and furthermore their home port of Sluis Van must be protected at all costs. It should also be noted that unlike the Imperial fleet, which has tended to separate military worlds from trading ones, most Republic worlds carry both military fleets and a range of small merchant vessels in orbit.
Overall, this has given the Republic a well needed cash injection, with the added benefit of removing older ships from military service and thereby reducing the fleet maintenance bill at the same time, giving a healthy $200,000 starting credits at the beginning of the campaign.
The Future for Economic development
The high level of industrialisation on most Imperial worlds leaves little room for further economic expansion, and while some planets are almost totally undeveloped, such as Honoghr and Trogan, there is good reason for this – development of these worlds will only bring very limited benefits. The Empire will be looking to its military forces to find new sources of income, and Grand Admiral Thrawn has located a number of vulnerable planets that should be easy to capture and exploit.
For the New Republic, some hard choices must be made. While the cash reserves will be vital to boost a weakened military, some effort must be made to quickly increase the level of industrialisation on some of the safer worlds, and to build up the limited military construction facilities to defend the Republic from the predations of a Grand Admiral.
|One campaign to rule them all
||Ghostrider - December 21, 2008
|I can start with some excellent news. The Lag is Dead. This means that the full version of Galaxy, Far, Far, Away will now be shipped with the release. |
We soon realised in the development that the lag (where the map freezes and locks the game) was probably linked to the number of planets in the campaign. After a good bit of poking through various parts of the code we found a small item, forgotten by the deigners and left in the original FOC which caused excessive CPU and memory requirements as the number of planets increased. The offending item has been removed and the map now moves freely with every twitch of the mouse. While this has the greatest effect on the larger campaigns, you should also notice slight improvements in the small campaigns as well.
We do however, recommend the following minimum hardware requirements for both Galaxy Far, Far Away and Galaxy Far, Far Away (Lite): 3.0 GHz CPU and 2GB Ram in order to run the full mod. Anything less is not supported, but if you don’t meet these requirements, or you graphics card is particularly outdated, you probably need to scale back the settings. Please also note that these two large campaigns have lengthy load times.
The GFFA campaigns in detail:
In all cases, your starting forces will be a mix of clone-wars remnants and the emerging technology of your faction, and for added challenge, you will have to start at tech level Zero – with no destroyers or capitals in your armoury. Anything bigger than a basic cruiser will need to be researched before it can be built. In contrast, major worlds will have at destroyers at the very least in their defenses. I also recommend that you pay attention to your heroes in the GFFA and sub-campaign setting as a fully upgraded hero will have more impact here than in the Thrawn or Shadow Hands campaigns, simply because the gap between pirates and heroes will be that much greater.
Core Worlds: This is a tough little campaign of 37 worlds, and as a player, you only start with 3 of them. Alderaan, Dolomar and Ghorman for the Alliance; Byss, Coruscant, and Carida for the Empire. Undergunned and with a poor economy, you are surrounded by the galactic heavyweights – some of the most well defended planets in the galaxy. Taking even one planet will be a challenge. Playing as the Empire will probably be easier as you have the potential construction advantages of Coruscant and Byss, as well as the cheap Stormtroopers from Carida. To compensate, the Alliance starts with a trading fleet advantage, courtesy of Alderaan’s merchant houses. Each side starts with three heroes.
Inner Rim: From the Inner rim out to the Mid-Rim, this campaign takes in a good proportion of the galaxy, with about 48 worlds in total. Defenses are mixed, some light, some heavy, with the added challenge of some criminal hot-spots to consider.
Players start with 4 planets and 4 heroes each: Atzerri, Ithor, Dressel and Kashyyyk for the Alliance and Anteevy, Chazwa, Naboo and Ord Trasi for the Empire. If you are smart, you should still be able to take some planets fairly quickly.
Outer Rim: This large campaign takes in about half the galaxy, - with 73 planets in all, and you will find plenty of variation here. There is a generous distribution of weak systems scattered amongst the strong, but the Outer Rim also is the refuge for many powerful criminal organisations. This has perhaps the most interesting start of the sub campaigns. Only one of your 5 starting worlds has any decent manufacturing facilities (Mon Calamari / Eriadu)– the other 4 are very minor planets indeed, none can build anything bigger than a corvette!.
Galaxy, Far, Far Away – Lite:
This is a simplified version of the full galaxy, combining the best worlds of each of the 3 sub-campaigns to make a very large, varied, and lengthy campaign of about 120 worlds. You start with 8 locations, 4 strong, 4 weak scattered throughout all parts of the galaxy. Beware – your opponent will start with a range of military, research and construction advantages.
Galaxy Far, Far Away
This is the master campaign from which all others were made. 158 worlds in immense variety. Apart from the 40 additional planets, this is identical in starting forces to the Lite version. This will be a very lengthy campaign, so plan your battles carefully.
Enjoy and please post campaign comments on the Forums. I look forward to your feedback.
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