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....