Over new 50 planets have been added to the mod, with still more heroes, more units and a few more developments, each of which affects the campaigns and starting forces. Along the way, PR has also refined and tweaked many of the graphics, with more detailed models in evidence for a number of units.
While the Thrawn Offensive and Operation Skyhook have been covered and are largely unchanged, recent testing (many thanks to Reedek, Kacen and Feld) has added a few tweaks here and there, with the addition of Sulon as a new rebel base to Skyhook and Hockaleg as a potential 3rd location to build the DEATH STAR.
In other news, I can finally announce some more unit developments with the introduction of Container Yards and the independent Xiytiar freighter.
The Xiytiar Freighter is a new independent freighter seen on most of the safer hyperspace routes, in both a standard and upgraded armed variant but the four forward pointing laser cannons are still about as much use as Womp rats in Beggars Canyon.
Container Yards appear on planets with a large trading base and like ocean ports today are simply stacks of goods waiting to be shipped or imported, and have no military significance, as they are unarmed and lack a hyperdrive. These are the goods containers that the BBF-1, CTF-1 and MCF-1 haul around the galaxy and then drop off in large orbital storage yards waiting for local shipment to the planet’s surface. 5 different varieties exist:
Class-B, vehicles, manufactured items
Class-C, gases, liquids
Class-D, bulk dry goods (e.g. grains, ore)
Class-E, valuable/urgent multipurpose (e.g. munitions, provisions)
The original idea was to have these as half-cost freighters with a light income stream but the game engine requires freighters to be moved before the income is unlocked, which is kinda tricky for a box with no engines, so for now these are purely visual extras to make planet look more interesting.
Finally to round off the construction news, we have a new Space Structure – The Research Station. This is a straight replacement for the old Ground Research Facility, and works in just the same way, and the only difference is that it's now orbital to reflect the type of research it handles. This is heavily shielded and expensive, but unarmed, so protect at all costs!
Freight yards under attack
From Core to the Outer Rim
The main focus in recent weeks has been updating the quartet of historical GFFA campaigns of Core Worlds, Inner Rim, Outer Rim and Galaxy Far Far Away. All of these campaigns are set in 18BBY just after the end of the Clone Wars and portray the ‘what if’ scenario at the very beginnings of the Galactic Empire on the one hand and the number of independent resistance groups opposing the New Order on the other.
Apart from tweaking forces to meet the various technical changes, the key focus was to eliminate the problems of slow build up that plagued the original release. However, the development and expansion of the advantages has meant that these campaigns are now much more lively than before, especially as we have radically increased the number of starting worlds on each campaign, and expanded the manufacturing capacity and added more starting heroes. I would also like to add that each sub campaign of CW/IR and OR has its own unique hero-set, so you won’t find any recycled heroes across these campaigns.
This will have several effects. First, it creates more strategic options and improves the speed of your initial offensive. Secondly, the increase in the number of starting worlds means significantly fewer independent/pirate worlds and we hope that this has an added bonus of reducing the lag and improving game performance.
Finally, each of the sub-campaigns now has an individual theme.
Return of the Corporate Sector Authority
As an added challenge, the Corporate Sector Authority returns to the Core Worlds Campaign, albeit as a second non-playable AI faction, turning the already crowed Core into a cramped three-way fight, with opposing planets in very close proximity to each other. CSA Planets: Byblos, Metellos, Rendili, Tepasi, Vulpter.
Byblos is a high-rise metrolpolis and the home of Merr-Sonn while Vulpter is a very strange junk world and the home of Arakyd Industries, makers of all droids that probe.
The player controlled Core-Worlds have a very idealistic theme, and represent core values for the Imperial and Rebel factions alike.
The Galactic Empire starts with Byss, Corulag, Coruscant, Carida and Kuat, and as you would expect the advantages for the bigger core worlds are among the best in the galaxy. The Imperial Palace on Coruscant gives a huge recharge bonus to all units, and the Senate offers a significant 25% discount on all purchases, both of which stack very nicely with Palpatine’s leadership bonuses. The KDY yards at Kuat are probably the best military corporation in the galaxy and offer significant benefits. Apart from the production bonus on all yards, as well as production bonuses on all KDY products, the KDY yards give a massive 20% boost to starship health, starfighter speed and a very nice 20% health bonus to all vehicles!
Combine this with the leadership benefits of Coruscant, and these two planets alone become more valuable than a fleet of Star Destroyers or several years’ worth of individual upgrades, and this surely is the driving force behind the Galactic Empire’s military domination of the entire galaxy in years to come.
The Rebel faction starts with 6 planets that exemplify the spirit of rebellion ~ Alderaan, Chandrila, Corellia, Fresia, Ghorman and Ralltiir. This gives the rebels two key starfighter advantages with the Incom and Koensayr corporations, but also gives the rebels access to arguably one of the best corporate worlds in the Core – Corellia. This has a massive 9 separate advantages including the CEC corporation and the Golan Arms company. The Corellian Security force also adds a very nice 12.5% bounty on all pirate kills, giving a nice little income stream to any combat situation.
As we move out to the Inner Rim, the campaigns expand the scope of starting worlds and the theme moves to the non-human influences in the galaxy with 8 worlds apiece, and of these only the rebel planet of Contruum and the Imperial facilties at Anteevy and Bilbringi are true human colonies.
Aridus, Champala, Chardaan, Contruum, Dressel, Ithor, Kashyyyk, Tibrin on the Rebel side with the usual mix of resistance cells, outraged populations and corporate worlds, simply looking for independent rule.
Resistance cells are exemplified by Aridus, where Chubbit resistance fighters worked closely with Yutrane Trakata to convert mining equipment into blaster-carrying hovertanks, Dressel and Tibrin, while Champala and Kashyyyk have planet-wide rebellions against imperial rule, especially on Champala, where the Empire strip-mined and polluted the former utopian resort-world in a failed attempt to suppress the alien population. Chardaan, Contruum and Ithor are less obvious in their support, but form key manufacturing and trading centres for general resistance movements. Key leaders, including Bob Hudsol, Orimmaarko on Dressel and chieftain Tarfuul add additional weight to rebel forces.
In contrast, the Empire is typified by military and trade strongholds such as Bilbringi, Naboo, Thyferra and the KDY research facility at Gyndine, with more secretive facilties on Anteevy, Falleen, Umbara and Yinchorr. These latter 2 planets are very mysterious. The Umbarans – including Sly Moore - make superb spies, diplomats and assassins (Spynet), while on Yinchorr the locals were persuaded by Darth Sidous to attack the Jedi, and the entire planet was placed under the interdict and is now the home of the Royal Guard, led by Ved Keneede. While Vader and Palpatine are currently elsewhere in the galaxy, local leadership is given by Dark Side Adept Janus Greejatus on Naboo.
Outer Rim and GFFA
The Outer Rim is the biggest mix of all, from key military strongholds to hidden outposts, often overshadowed by the CIS remnant.
For the rebels there are the obvious key production sites of Mon Calamari, Sluis Van and to some extent Telos IV as well as the separatist strongholds of Felucia (home to the Recusant), Mygeeto and Mustafar ~ a very bad bunch led by Gizor Dellso that don’t think the clone wars have ended. Dellso was the main droid designer for the CIS and was also the creator of the Droid Tri-Fighter that now makes it’s way into the mod for the first time, adding considerably impact to all CIS forces in the galaxy, armed as it is with heavy blaster cannon and excellent manoeuvrability.
The Droid Tri-fighter
A range of different resistance groups including Dantooine, the Atrivis Resistance Group on Generis commanded by Travia Chan, the Allied Tion at Rudrig and a group of rebel Stormtroopers on Kamino. Smuggler groups at Ryloth, Polis Massa and Teth round out rebel controlled worlds.
Imperial forces are somewhat concentrated on Eriadu, Lianna, Rothana and Yaga Minor with a mix of subjugated worlds including Ciutric IV and Sevarcos II as well as a large number of small imperial bases, including the key research facility at The Maw. We also added Bly as the local commander on Naboo.
With all the above changes, expect your military offensive to start much faster, and with infinite more variety, especially with new heroes scattered through starting worlds. As always though, beware of pirates, as many have significant strongholds in the Inner and Outer Rim.
Edited by Ghostrider, 26 March 2010 - 05:55 PM.