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News

Imperial Civil War 2.3 Released - Steam Version

Thursday July 11, 2019

Imperial Civil War 2.3Today, the Steam version of the mod has been updated from 2.2.5 to 2.3. The link for the workshop can be found here for those who are not already subscribed: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1125571106After we've had a chance to respond to any initial issue reports, we'll make the necessary changes to be able to post a version on ModDb to support non-steam versions of the mod. Like with 2.2, this will necessitate the removal of custom VO and map preview images, along with some other things like that. We strongly recommend people play the Steam version where possible.The main goals of 2.3 were to clean up some elements of 2.2, while also putting down the ground work (haha) for some changes that we're starting to flesh out in 2.4. The first steps of our ground reworks have been implemented, changing how a lot of squad sizes work, infantry loadouts, unit ranges, movement changes, and plenty of other changes and stat tweaks (MMTs shouldn't be shredding everything quite as much, for example) as we build up to completely redo projectiles and armour/damage modifiers on ground and in space for 2.4. We have some major ground mechanic changes in discussion on top of that which we'll be starting to experiment with in 2.4. There's also been the start of some economic and planetary development changes, built around helping to slow down snowballing and nerfing blitzing strategies to allow longer campaigns to remain interesting, including the introduction of the local planetary capital/garrison buildings (major government features to come). But, here's a non-exhaustive list of 2.3's changes.New playable faction: Corporate Sector AuthorityThe CSA has been upgraded from non-playable to playable, and can be found in most progressive Galactic Conquests along with a couple era specific ones, and has their own From the Ground Up setup as well. Because of game limitations where we can only safely have 17 faction slots (including non-playables, and some coded factions like neutral that are more functionality things), we've had to downgrade the Yevetha from playable to non-playable and group them with the Independent Forces faction that represents a lot of the much smaller groups, since their slot is best used for some other more unique, less Imperial-clone factions we've spoken about in other news posts (some playable, some not).New Mechanic: Era SelectionOn top of some script cleanup to flesh out the era changes a bit more and eliminate some bugs, we've added the option to select which era you start in for Galactic Conquests, adjusting starting points accordingly. In the future, we'll have evrsions of the maps which allow you to choose starting eras while keeping more even starting territory (so you can play the New Republic with era 5 ships, but without starting with more territory). Obviously, since some factions didn't exist for the whole timeline, some factions will not be able to start in later eras.AI UpdatesWe've already done a whole news post about this, so I won't cover it too much here, but we've also done some pretty significant changes for galactic and tactical game modes, including three new difficulty settings using the Cruel AI modifiers. We've also tried to clean up certain functions to make the AI run more smoothly and improve ingame performance. The issue where certain factions would not land a significant amount of their troops has been solved as well.New Galaxy ArtWe've modified Lord Enpremi's galaxy model and shader setup to fit the mod's aesthetic, so that's what you'll be seeing when you're conquering or liberating worlds.Tactical MapsOn top of a bunch of new maps, including some shared with Phoenix Rising (another great mod developed by our own evilbobthebob), most existing tactical maps have had a series of updates and fixes. New UnitsVigil, Victory II Frigate (like in Battlefront II), Imperial II Frigate (Rand Ecliptic), TIE Punisher, Jumpmaster (Dengar's Punishing One), Bulwark I, Bulwark III, Citadel, Invincible Cruiser, Recusant, Mankvim Interceptors, IRD & IRD-A, Gozanti, PX-4 Mobile Command Base, T-Wing, Espo Soldiers, Strikebreakers, JX40 Jailspeeders, Airskimmers, GX20 Hovervans, A-A5 Speeder Trucks, K-222 Aero Interceptors, Persuader (Snail Tank), Espo Walker, Repulsor Scout, BattledroidsRedone ModelsPraetor II, Munificent, Dreadnaught, Nebula, Endurance, Secutor, Procursator, Gladiator, Y-Wing, Snowspeeder, Juggernaut, TIE Crawler, AT-TE (animations)And plenty of other small changes.Into the FutureAlthough 2.3 has just been released, we've already got several things underway for the upcoming versions. This will also involve a new way for us to handle release structure. Rather than year-long development cycles, in order to make sure things stay consistent and to get changes out faster to players, we're hoping to make the scope of each release more focused and get versions out to players more frequently. While the Hapans becoming playable will mark the 2.4 release, there'll be several 2.3.x versions adding and updating new content. In order to facilitate this, we'll be maintaining a constant testing team on the Discord server for the mod ( https://discord.gg/t3WJugG ), which will get the new versions every few months/weeks, and then the Discord server as a whole will have access for testing in the week before any release. We'll consistently be looking for people to add to the testing taskforce from the Discord as well, so if you want to track mod development, that's the best way to do it.Early focuses in 2.3 patches will include:- Mon Calamari art updates- New units (ie Assertor, VT-49 Decimator)- Tactical space map art updates (environment lighting and low-orbit maps)- Economic overhauls- Continued ground emchanic changes- Space and ground projectile reworks- Balance patchesI'll also be running community matches on my youtube/twitch channel 2-4 times per month. The dates for these will be posted and updated each month ingame, the first of which will be next Tuesday, streamed on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/coreyloses . On top of Imperial Civil War, we're also working on a Clone Wars mod which is approaching release as well, Fall of the Republic. I'm currently running a preview playthrpough for the Republic on that channel as well, which can be found here: ...

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13 Years Part I - Imperial Civil War: Preparing for Beta

Tuesday June 04, 2019

June 6th (or 8th, depending on how you want to classify things) marks the 13th anniversary of Thrawn's Revenge! Today we're going to be talking about the next release of Imperial Civil War, the 1.0 version of which came out way back in 2010, but first I'd like to thank everyone who's supported the mod over the last 13 years. Some people may have come more recently to the mod, and I know there's still some out there who've followed since basically day one, but either way, we appreciate you all! I also personally want to thank the other members of the Thrawn's Revenge team. Some of whom, similarly, have been around for a short time and some since the first months of development. The mod wouldn't be anywhere near where it is today without all of your contributions, and it's been an absolute pleasure and privilege to work with this team for so long. That current lineup between all of our projects, in order they appear on Discord while I'm writing this, is Benjin, Slevered, Valerie, Pox, OzWolf, Slornie, Caesar's Legion, ConnerJB, David, DarkJedi, Hexodus, evilbobthebob, Inertial, Revanchist, Max, Jorritkarwehr, Kalo, MrPuertorican, and Rogue. Also a shout out to those who've been on the team in the past but since moved on (most of whom still just hang out in the team Discord anyways). As the title says, though, this news post is about the upcoming beta for 2.3. In this news post, we're going to outline what 2.3 contains, a little bit of what's next, and how the beta process is going to work (with some rough release dates). On Thursday at 5pm EST I'll also be doing a livestream with some testing and answering questions during the last phases of beta prep, which you'll be able to watch at https://www.youtube.com/coreyloses/live . The Video will be available right after. We'll also have the 2nd and 3rd part of this anniversary news post covering Ascendancy and Fall of the Republic respectively this month.Imperial Civil War 2.3The main goals of 2.3 were to clean up some elements of 2.2, while also putting down the ground work (haha) for some changes that we're starting to flesh out in 2.4. The first steps of our ground reworks have been implemented, changing how a lot of squad sizes work, infantry loadouts, unit ranges, movement changes, and plenty of other changes and stat tweaks (MMTs shouldn't be shredding everything quite as much, for example) as we build up to completely redo projectiles and armour/damage modifiers on ground and in space for 2.4. We have some major ground mechanic changes in discussion on top of that which we'll be starting to experiment with in 2.4. There's also been the start of some economic and planetary development changes, built around helping to slow down snowballing and nerfing blitzing strategies to allow longer campaigns to remain interesting, including the introduction of the local planetary capital/garrison buildings (major government features to come). But, here's a non-exhaustive list of 2.3's changes.New playable faction: Corporate Sector AuthorityThe CSA has been upgraded from non-playable to playable, and can be found in every progressive Galactic Conquest along with a couple era specific ones, and has their own From the Ground Up setup as well. Because of game limitations where we can only safely have 17 faction slots (including non-playables, and some coded factions like neutral that are more functionality things), we've had to downgrade the Yevetha from playable to non-playable and group them with the Independent Forces faction that represents a lot of the much smaller groups, since their slot is best used for some other more unique, less Imperial-clone factions we've spoken about in other news posts (some playable, some not).New Mechanic: Era SelectionOn top of some script cleanup to flesh out the era changes a bit more and eliminate some bugs, we've added the option to select which era you start in for Galactic Conquests, adjusting starting points accordingly. In the future, we'll have evrsions of the maps which allow you to choose starting eras while keeping more even starting territory (so you can play the New Republic with era 5 ships, but without starting with more territory). Obviously, since some factions didn't exist for the whole timeline, some factions will not be able to start in later eras.AI UpdatesWe've already done a whole news post about this, so I won't cover it too much here, but we've also done some pretty significant changes for galactic and tactical game modes, including three new difficulty settings using the Cruel AI modifiers.New Galaxy ArtWe've modified Lord Enpremi's galaxy model and shader setup to fit the mod's aesthetic, so that's what you'll be seeing when you're conquering or liberating worlds.Tactical MapsOn top of a bunch of new maps, including some shared with Phoenix Rising (another great mod developed by our own evilbobthebob), most existing tactical maps have had a series of updates and fixes. New UnitsVigil, Victory II Frigate (like in Battlefront II), Imperial II Frigate (Rand Ecliptic), TIE Punisher, Jumpmaster (Dengar's Punishing One), Bulwark I, Bulwark III, Citadel, Invincible Cruiser, Recusant, Mankvim Interceptors, IRD & IRD-A, Gozanti, PX-4 Mobile Command Base, T-Wing, Espo Soldiers, Strikebreakers, JX40 Jailspeeders, Airskimmers, GX20 Hovervans, A-A5 Speeder Trucks, K-222 Aero Interceptors, Persuader (Snail Tank), Espo Walker, BattledroidsRedone ModelsPraetor II, Munificent, Dreadnaught, Nebula, Endurance, Secutor, Procursator, Gladiator, Y-Wing, Snowspeeder, Juggernaut, TIE CrawlerAnd plenty of other small changes. So, now you're probably wondering how and when you can play it. The beta will be proceeding in three phases, allowing us to open it to progressively more people while keeping the testing pool a manageable size.  This time, we'll be handling the testing process through our Discord server, which can be found here: https://discord.gg/t3WJugGPhase IThe first phase will be, fittingly, the most limited pool of people, where we'll hopefully be able to quickly nail down an idea of where the biggest rough edges that we've lost track of are. We try to keep this as limited as possible, because it's the phase where bugs or unfinished content are going to be easiest to find and fix, and we'd rather deal with the actual work than spend all the time managing tech support for people. This phase will include directly selected people based on the Save Crash Taskforce from 2.2 where we had a set of volunteers tracking specific bugs, and we'll be pulling in other people from the Discord as needed. This phase will start Thursday June 13th.Phase IIBy this point the obvious rough edges will hopefully be found and sorted, and we'll be able to expand the pool a bit to find the more hidden issues. This testing pool will be run from the Admiral's Lounge on the server, which is available to everyone with the rank of Rear Admiral and above, from the experience system based on activity. Spamming for experience will not be tolerated- spammers will be banned from the beta, or the server as a whole. We're doing this for actual feedback and people who decide to actively make our lives more difficult just so they can play a bit earlier are not the kind of people we expect it'll be productive to work with on that. The tentative date for this to start is Thursday, June 28th. If things go really well or really poorly in Phase I, that could be pushed up or back as needed.Phase IIIAfter Phase II has gone on for a bit, we should be ready to expand to the final phase of the beta, at which point it'll be available to everyone on the server. Assuming everything goes smoothly, this should give us a final 2.3 release date, when it'll be pushed to the Workshop, ofThursday, July 11thKeep in mind, this is all tentative and can change however it needs to based on scheduling, what bugs come up, family emergencies, unexpected dance recitals, or any other factor. Then, after we've had enough feedback to catch initial problems and apply patches, we'll work on compiling a version for download from ModDB for other game versions.  Throughout 2.4's development, we'll be able to push automatic workshop updates for the Steam copy as we go, but more details on that later. Hope you guys are looking forward to the release, that's all for now. ...

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AI Updates & New Cruel AI Setting | Thrawn's Revenge & Fall of the Republic News

Monday April 15, 2019

In a game as singleplayer-oriented as Empire at War, having a good AI, which supports the intended gameplay loops of the mod is crucial. Today we’re going to talk a bit about what the AI currently does, how we plan to develop it further, and an extra option we’re adding in 2.3. As always if you prefer a video version of this news post it can be found here:    While everyone would say they want a “better” AI, and we’ve talked in the past about certain improvements, we want to take this opportunity to talk about exactly what we mean by better. With 2.2, we began to overhaul the AI in about every possible way. Step one in that was to remove as many avenues for cheating as we reasonably can- on easy (Recruit) in 2.2, the AI makes fewer credits and builds more slowly than the player, on medium about the same as the player and on hard, the modifiers are only enough to help make them remain active as their territory is removed for more experienced players (1.5x credits).While some basic tactical AI improvements were made with 2.2 (the primary one being to make ships come out from sitting under their station, which is an abusable feature in the base game and most mods) a lot of the focus on 2.2 was on the galactic level, determining the basic rules and desires for building up their structures, their economy, and their budgeting for larger projects (like massive Star Dreadnoughts). This also came with unique AI types for various factions- the Empire of the Hand has a more isolationist AI, preferring to build up before attacking in era 5. The Pentastar Alignment also remains somewhat isolationist unil era 3. The other Warlords have their own AI (with Eriadu getting its own more reckless AI in 2.3, which should help the New Republic’s AI survive in the really early eras, whereas currently they struggle because of how spread out they are).      Evilbobthebob, who in addition to developing our AI for Thrawn’s Revenge, is the developer of Phoenix Rising, another mod with a lot of unique features and the same AI components we’re talking about here (you can find PR on the Steam workshop here: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1235783994 ) has continued with more of these optimizations for the galactic level of the AI within 2.3, and the longer term economic changes in the mod are also being developed with the AI in mind. In 2.2, the AI would typically want to build Hypervelocity guns/Ion Cannons on as many border planets as possible, which worked out well in most maps, but in some where their territory was more thinly spread or smaller (like the single-planet start maps), the AI could often end up building too many along their border and not leaving enough room for proper economic or production structures, so this has been adjusted appropriately and is something we’ll be keeping an eye on. Another issue is that with how mining facilities are structured, on those smaller maps the AI often has to spend more slots on economic structures at the cost of defense, so to reduce that burden we’ve shifted more of the economic power into space, bumping up the values of trade ports and reducing the per-planet cap on mining facilities to 2 from 3. There’s other more in-depth changes coming to the economy and even galactic government mechanics in 2.4, so we’ll talk a bit more about that in a future news post.Tactically, we plan to continue to make as many adjustments to improve AI behaviour as we can, along with doing things to diversify fleet and army compositions. Part of this work involves steps that are part of overall ground and space combat updates. Thrawn’s Revenge is an old mod, with a lot of work from over a decade ago, which means there’s some older bits of the mod which carry over older mistakes. Between 2.2 and 2.3, we’ve been trying to go through and standardize, expand, and update the things like the AI Combat Power values (which tells the AI roughly how strong a unit is) and category masks (which tells the AI what role it fills). There’s a new carrier category, for example, which for smaller carriers, will tell the AI that kind of unit needs to stay back- they’re for deploying fighters, not for engaging directly. This kind of work will be ongoing, but we’ll try to be as explicit with AI changes as possible, since that’s a lot better for people to understand changes than just saying “we made the AI have 20% more betterness.”   That brings us to our second major part of the update, being additional options for players. If given the choice most people would say they want an AI which acts exactly like a human, but while we agree with that for tactical behaviours and other kinds of 4X games, Empire at War, as anyone who plays multiplayer GC will likely have experienced, is not set up in a great way for a purely human and fair AI. Our goal with not just AI but economic systems and even other parts of the game like events (for example, the Yuuzhan Vong and other emergent factions) is to make sure the game goes as long as possible while still having some form of challenging component, which is why some form of cheating AI is necessary. In games like Europa Universalis and Stellaris, you have things like Aggressive Expansion and Overextension and Truces which allow a faction to rebuild between wars, but in Empire at War, it’s all war, all the time, and winning one key engagement can mean you take half the galaxy before they can even complete a new capital ship. While there are some background mechanics that may be somewhat similar to those from EU that I mentioned added to the mod where possible in the long-term, AI will always factor into the equation. It is, after all, a tool and a game mechanic as much as an opponent.To this end, we have introduced a new optional set of extra difficulty levels, beyond Easy, Medium, and Hard. If people prefer to stay on the more even-footing of the 2.2 AI (plus the additional logic-based improvements), that will be the default you start with. However, once you get ingame, there is an extra option available, to enable the Cruel AI. This will enable higher levels of AI income and production more similar to the bonuses that you may be familiar with from mods like AotR or RaW, which will allow them to more easily rebuild and continue to push back for longer. While we’re increasing their production capabilities, we won’t be giving them free spawns of units outside of areas where it’s supported narratively, however. In the future it’s entirely possible we’ll be able to offer additional ingame options for other things based on similar principles, as well. I use a similar set of bonuses in my preview LPs, and another youtuber, EckhartsLadder, who has been given a preview copy of 2.3, has been struggling against it in his recent streams if you’d like to check those out as well by clicking here.   That’s going to do it for our look at the AI for now, though. Starting in a couple weeks I’ll be starting my Fall of the Republic (our Clone Wars mod) preview playthroughs on Corey Loses as well, but in addition to that there should be a couple more regular news posts coming out in the next few weeks, including an overview of ICW2.3 and its testing process, the CSA’s We Could Be Heroes post, and the next Vision of the Future post, looking at another new faction. ...

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Legacy of the Vong & The Future of Thrawn's Revenge

Monday April 01, 2019

In today's update, we're going to be talking about extragalactic invaders, Solo Sith Lords, and the structure of future support for Thrawn's Revenge mods. As usual, if you prefer to get your updates in video format, that can be found on Corey Loses with the same information:Shortly after we launched Thrawn's Revenge in 2006, there were four planned mods to come of it; a Clone Wars, Galactic Civil War, Post-Endor, and Vong War mod. For various reasons, by 2010 we had reduced it down to just the Post-Endor mod, Imperial Civil War. Two years ago, we announced the return of Fall of the Republic, our Clone Wars mod, production for which is well underway and like Imperial Civil War 2.3, Fall of the Republic 0.5 is approaching its release. For a long time we've tossed around ideas and even made assets for the possibility of including the Yuuzhan Vong in some capacity, even if it weren't as a standalone mod, and we've been working on certain mechanics like the emergent faction mechanic which we introduced in 2.2, largely with them in mind as an end-goal. While 2.4 will be focusing on the Hapans, in 2.5 one of the major goals we have is that once you reach a certain point in the era-progessive campaigns, the Yuuzhan Vong will attack the galaxy as an emergent faction, giving your established war machine a new and deadly enemy.This, of course, comes with other potential things the Vong could be involved with- dedicated Galactic Conquest maps, a playable faction, and a large number of other possibilities for an expanded timeline. With the last few Vision of the Future news updates, we've spoken about some of what we plan to add to ICW over the next few releases, with overviews of some of the factions and how they'll be used. The idea is that each of these will start with some core set of assets, and the extent to which any of them can be expanded on  will depend on time, resources, and team members; whether they remain non-playable factions, or, like the Hapans are getting, we reach a point where we can fully flesh them out into a playable faction with all the bells and whistles. Because of faction slot restrictions in Empire at War, the idea with Imperial Civil War is that this will ultimately only lead up, story-wise, to a certain point in the Vong War, even at its greatest extent. This does not, however, mean that would be the end of new content.Each of those bits of content has been planned and designed as the starting point for a dedicated, standalone mod covering the events from the Vong War to the Fate of the Jedi books, which we are calling Legacy of the Vong. If we only ever get far enough that the Vong become a fun end-game mechanic, then that's fine. If we get the content for a fleshed out Galactic Alliance, Yuuzhan Vong, Killik Nest, Chiss Ascendancy, Imperial Remnant and Confederation from the period, then that's even better. Valerie, our concept artist, has been working on some renditions of units that could show up in a variety of scenarios, on top of her work designing the Hapans and other concepts for Imperial Civil War and Fall of the Republic. In this update, you can see her take on Yuuzhan Vong Coralskipper, and a Corellian Strident class, which was used pretty extensively throughout the period in question.This brings up a broader point about how we'll be supporting Thrawn's Revenge going forward. The Steam workshop has provided opportunities with Empire at War modding that we've not really properly taken advantage of. It's been just under a year since 2.2 has come out, and while we hope people are looking forward to the new and redone content, balance changes, bug fixes, and reworked mechanics of 2.3, there are plenty of issues in a perfect world we could have rolled out fixes for before this next major release, or some content which could have been sent out incrementally. This has prompted some internal discussions about how we'll be structuring version releases and major content patches.After the release of 2.3, we will be significantly overhauling our internal documentation, file structures, and pipeline for certain aspects of the mod, in order to better address issues, roll out gameplay updates, and keep everyone up to date while still leaving room for larger version differences where we can introduce things like new playable factions all at once, without people having to deal with them in their broken stages and without breaking saves every month or something. We'll be doing our best to structure files and our internal repository in such a way that we can easily cordon off something like the Hapes Consortium as a playable faction from being in public release, while still rolling out things like AI updates, galactic conquest additions or modifications, fixes to major issues, story additions, and so on. This way, rather than having to wait a year for a major problem to be fixed (and dealing with whatever new problems occur) or us having to delay working on certain major projects until older stuff is fixed and we're sure we're done patching a version, we can give people fixed bugs and fresh content in the short term, and still have major releases over the longer term. This will take a bit more setup, but it will also help make things more modular (a process we already started while working on ways to develop ICW and FotR at the same time without repeating work) and makes it all the more possible that Legacy of the Vong can be a real thing.That's all we've got for today. If you'd like to follow development more closely, we have a Discord server which the mod shares with Corey Loses which you can join here: https://discord.gg/t3WJugG , and on Corey Loses itself, I do frequent preview playthroughs showing what's going on with the mod at various stages of development, with Fall of the Republic's preview playthroughs starting soon: https://www.youtube.com/c/coreyloses ...

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2.3 Preview: Imperial Remnant Playthrough

Saturday March 16, 2019

We're approaching the end of the 2.3 development cycle, so today I've launched what's likely to be the last preview LP before at least the beta starts, taking a look at some of the changes being made currently as the Empire. The first episode is up now, and new episodes will go up every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday, so subscribe to the channel if you'd like to see them as they come. Fall of the Republic previews will be starting soon, too! ...

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Fall of the Republic: State of the Mod

Friday March 01, 2019

A video version of this news post, with some ingame footage, can be found here on Corey Loses:While we have the Vision of the Future preview series of news posts going on for Imperial Civil War (as well as an upcoming overview post for 2.3) and an ongoing beta for Star Wars: Ascendancy for Sins of a Solar Empire, it's been quite some time since we've done a proper news post for Fall of the Republic. Usually the news posts for Fall of the Republic have assumed a certain level of familiarity with what the latest versions of Imperial Civil War have to offer, which is our Post-Endor mod for Empire at War, but in today's post we're going to be talking about what the first version of Fall of the Republic will include for those without that same level of familiarity. We'll also go over what's been done for the first version, what's still to be done, and what we're less concerned about getting in before starting the beta.What is Fall of the Republic?At its core, Fall of the Republic is a Clone Wars era mod for Star Wars: Empire at War- the primary goal of the mod is to cover the war between the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Galactic Republic between roughly the Battle of Geonosis (22BBY) and the Declaration of the New Order (19 ABY). Like with our Post-Endor mod, while the main conflict of the era provides a focal point, we also aim to represent the galaxy as a whole how it was over this period, which can take the form of various galactic conquest scenarios which may not be exclusively Republic vs CIS, or may not include the Clone Wars at all- we also would hope to expand the timeline in the future either for specific conquests to cover earlier periods, or scripted one-off events which covered earlier conflicts. This will generally not be introduced until later releases.The mod will also have a focus on narrative story elements- in place of a traditional tech tree where you start with just corvettes and research up to larger ships, the mod implements an era system wherein the ships, vehicles, soldiers and research available to each faction will be based on what was being used during each year of the war, for a total of 3 eras (which would later be expanded to 5 to cover earlier periods, if we go that direction). So, at the start of the war you'll be using Phase I Clone Trooper armour for example, but upon reaching the time period for era 2, further research options will open for the player to introduce Phase II if they so choose, and other similar research options for tech that was introduced later into the war (like the Victory and Bulwark classes). Some of these choices will be influenced or driven by narrative choices available to the player, such as certain options which open up for the Republic player to pursue early versions of Imperial tech like the Imperator and Secutor through cooperation with Kuat Drive Yards if they follow the canonical progression of Palpatine towards Order 66, or perhaps they'll instead support a separate path away from the Empire towards Order 65 and the removal of PalpatineOur goal with the first version (0.5) is to introduce a lot of the core mechanics of mod as they exist in Imperial Civil War 2.3, so the general GC structure, economic systems (with updates to infrastructure preparing for broader galactic and economic changes in ICW2.4/FotR1.0 that we'll cover when the currently developing versions are out) and the main rosters of the factions, with the most iconic units. These were announced earlier in the faction profile news post, but they are essentially just early guidelines- like we've done with Imperial Civil War, we intend to continue supporting the mod and adding/remaking content as we go to ensure we cover as much as we reasonably can. So, while Clones and droids may be what you mainly use in the first versions, in later versions one of the goals is to add more local forces which played a massive role in the war as we have the resources to do so in ways which hopefully help the mod to feel like a real galactic war and give some extra flavour to different planets.So, What is Done and What Isn't?While I've been doing "live" development preview playthroughs on Corey Loses, my Youtube channel, for Imperial Civil War for 2.2 and now 2.3 for about two and a half years now which can give some idea of where development stands for mechanics, this has not yet started for Fall of the Republic, so people are probably a bit less clear on where that stands. I did do two one-off videos in December for the factions to show where they stood content-wise, but since even then there's been a massive amount of progress made. I'll be starting the Fall of he Republic previews in March barring any unforeseen circumstances, but for the moment, we'll just talk about which work remains. For each faction, while we have an overall planned unit list for their heroes, ships, and ground units, there are some we absolutely need done, and some which we'd like done but which, if the core mechanics are done, we're happy to hold off on for the 1.0 update. The biggest thing to be done still are the art assets for heroes; each side has about 7 heroes which still need some amount of work done to get them on the art side. On the positive side, for most of the Republic heroes, Jedi tend to have similar outfits, so the robes I've made this week while working on Obi-Wan and Anakin (models for both of them were finished this week) can generally be used with the other Jedi heroes with appropriate changes to heads and hands- this leaves art for Masters Fisto, Shaak Ti, Windu, and Aayla Secura to be done. For the CIS, after finishing Dooku's model recently, we mainly need to do art for Durge, Ventress, Kalani, Sev'rance Tann, Jango Fett and Sora Bulq. Of these, we'd probably be happy to hold off Secura, Bulq, Jango and Kalani for 1.0 if we reach an otherwise finished state.For units, we're relatively close to being done with all four categories (ground and space for each faction)- while the CIS on ground are currently lacking the BX Commando, Crab Droid, GAT, HAG, MTT and MAF, we're generally happy to hold off on the GAT, MAF and HAG for 1.0. For space, the CIS is probably the farthest thing from completion; they still need the Subjugator (Malevolence), Geonosian Cruiser, Captor, Diamond, Lupus, C-9979, Trade Federation Bomber, Belbullab, Rogue and Ginivex. It's unlikely that any of those will be left unfinished for the initial release, considering the CIS' overall smaller pool of units. For the Republic, between ground and space there are 6 things needing to be fnished; the AV-7, ARC Troopers, AT-RT,  Light Assault Cruiser, Charger and Y-Wing (for which the model is done). We've already decided certain assets for them (Mandator, H60, NTB, PTB) will be held off for 1.0.While none of the actual Galactic Conquest scenarios the mod is shipping with have been completed as a whole yet, the main testbed GC is being used to set up and test all of the mechanics, so when it's time to move on to finishing, that one will be converted with a few changes to one of the larger scenarios (at 100 planets) covering all 3 eras of the war. There will be one larger version of that scenario, and one smaller one, with about 130 and 70 planets respectively. We may include specific regional scenarios in the first version, but those will be determined closer to release. One of the other large tasks to do is updating the UI (HUDS, loading screens, etc) from their current Imperial Civil War assets to those more appropriate to the era and factions present. Hopefully some amount of this will be done by the time that the preview playthroughs go up, but if not, you'll likely see some of that as it happens within those.Hopefully this has given you a better idea of what Fall of the Republic looks like now, and will look like when it comes out. Our policy is to never give release dates until the mod is basically done and starting beta, so we won't comment on that, but it shouldn't be too far off now. - The Thrawn's Revenge Team ...

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Vision of the Future II: The Hapes Consortium

Wednesday February 13, 2019

In the first of our Vision of the Future series of updates where we're taking a look at what's to come for the mod in the long term, we talked about plans surrounding the Unknown Regions in Imperial Civil War, which you can check out here. While this update series is primarily focused on Imperial Civil War, today we'll be talking about the next playable faction coming to both Imperial Civil War and Ascendancy, our mod for Sins of a Solar Empire, the Hapes Consortium.As usual, if you prefer to see a video version of the news post, that can be found here (the information is the same):The Hapes ConsortiumThe Hapans were announced quite some time ago as the next playable faction coming to Ascendancy, but I don't believe we've officially announced them as a forthcoming playable faction in Imperial Civil War, so we wanted to take this opportunity to do that, talk about how they're going to work, and show off what's been underway to flesh them out. While the Hapans didn't play a huge role in a lot of the Galactic/Imperial Civil War, one of the broader goals with Imperial Civil War as a mod has been, with the era-progressive maps, to represent the galaxy as well as the engine will allow and give players the opportunity to play whichever groups the number of faction slots available in Empire at War allow, even if they may not have had the best chances of galactic conquest themselves (similar to how you can play smaller groups or countries in Total War or Paradox games). Because we only have so many slots to work with before the game starts complaining, we're trying to focus on future additions being as unique as they can as opposed to piling on other factions which are essentially Imperial shipsets under a new name, which will usually still be represented on appropriate planets along with some of the other small groups under the amalgamated Independent Forces label. Unfortunately, the Duskhan League (Yevetha) as the 6th faction which primarily relies on Imperial vessels and as the least interesting of those groups currently in the mod will be moved from its current playable faction status to a part of the Independent Forces as of 2.3 with the addition of the Corporate Sector Authority, allowing their slot to be used for other more unique factions down the line.The Hapans, for their part, provide a few interesting challenges with development. While there are other ships that get named in later books (for example the Star Home, Stella Frigate and Beta Cruiser), and while the Hapan fleet is described by Isolder as including thousands of ships, only the iconic Battledragon, Nova Cruiser, and Miy'til Fighter and Bomber ever get depicted properly in Legends along with their mobile palace, the Star Home. Rather than keep them on such a restricted unit list, we're fleshing them out much like we've done with the Empire of the Hand, taking the approach that Battle Dragon also serves as a designation similar to "Star Destroyer" for the Empire, so there would be varying types of Battle Dragons in service to the Hapan fleet, with the standard Battle Dragon now called the Hapes-class Battle Dragon. While we finish the 2.3 content and Corporate Sector Authority units an old team member, Valerie, who originally designed our Chaf Frigate over a decade ago, has rejoined and has already made significant progress designing new Hapan units for the mod, four of which you can see here: the Miy'til Interceptor, Magnetar-class Battle Dragon, Flare-class Corvette, and Beta-class Cruiser. If you click on any of the images, it'll bring you to the ModDB image gallery with a description of the unit.Rather than try to relate how she's handling the designs myself, Valerie has this to say about her approach with the Hapans:Quote from: Valerie"Hapani ships, architecture, and styles of dress are all opulent and rich. In the Star Wars mythos, they often emphasize the fantasy elements over the science-fictional ones. It's such a joy designing these. I drew heavily from their sister world of Naboo (both Theed and the Gungans) and the left over technology of the CIS starships. I also wanted to make sure each ship could feel like it had been in service for generations due to their isolation. We had a handful of existing ships to base the designs around and jump off from. The Battle Dragon is very much an open clam shell (think Venus coming out of the water). Smaller starships, like the Miy'til and even the Nova, are closer to water fowl in shape. Using these observations, I developed a design principle that the larger ships would resemble sea creatures with the other side of the spectrum being closer to birds. The big challenge with the Hapani has been, without a doubt, the balancing act between the eloquence of organic sea life, and the beautiful jury-rigged combinations of CIS technology with their heirloom-like warships. It's been a blast designing them and I'm certain your enjoyment of what we have in store with the Hapans will be a fact."While we we also be working on a set of designs for a unique ground roster for them in Imperial Civil War, we will mainly be focusing on the space units in 2.4 (and Ascendancy 1.2) where they'll be making their debut, at which time any holes in their ground roster will be (temporarily) filled with New Republic units for gameplay purposes. Here is the full Hapan space unit as it will tentatively appear in the first version, organized by shipyard level (though changes may always be made). To go along with some of the existing names, we've generally tried to stick with astronomical terms (and some Hapan planet names) which in most cases we've also tried to match with the function of the ship:Hapan Royal NavyTier IV: AccretionTier III: Magnetar, Corona, Neutron, Pulsar, MistTier II: Hapes, Olanji, Charubah, TerephonTier I: Nova, Beta, Express (Ascendancy only), Stella, Flare, RayFighters: Miy'til Fighter, Miy'til Interceptor, Miy'til Bomber, Hetrinar BomberBold indicates it's a canon class, otherwise it's a class we're designing from scratch.Much like the CSA, the Hapans will be a smaller faction with a more limited hero pool especially, so while they will hopefully get some smaller GCs where they're at less of a disadvantage against larger powers, in the era-progressives they're likely to face a fair bit of an uphill battle, although like with all factions in skirmish and Ascendancy (where you're not trying to represent a specific galactic situation), when starting from an even footing, we aim for them to be as balanced as possible. We're also hoping, both with them and other factions, to continue working our way into each faction providing unique mechanics and playstyles both with their ships and with galactic management, which is something we'll hopefully also start talking about with 2.4.So, hope you've enjoyed this early look at what's going on with the more regal side of life in the Star Wars galaxy, because the next Vision of the Future post will be a little bit slimier. Until then, if you would like to see how development's progressing at any point, I do preview playthroughs on my YouTube channel pretty much all the time, including starting some Fall of the Republic previews pretty soon (our Clone Wars mod). The channel can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/c/coreyloses/ . We also have a discord server shared with that channel which basically acts as the main discussion hub for the mod these days, which can be found here: https://discord.gg/t3WJugG- The Thrawn's Revenge Team ...

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Fall of the Republic - Republic Preview Video

Thursday December 13, 2018

This week, we're going to be taking an early look at what progress has been amde on Fall of the Republic so far. Today, that means a Republic video, and then on Sunday I'll also be posting a CIS video, playing through the early parts of a galactic conquest scenario. In today's we go through a couple land and space battles, talk about which assets need to be done, outline the plans for how to handle specific legions (like the 501st) and fleet insignias, like the Open Circle Fleet, and much more! Once we're a bit further along, I'll also be doing full playthroughs as each faction on the channel.Thanks to all of your support, we've once again reached the Top 100 on Mod Database with all three of our mods! If you would like to vote for Fall of the Republic in the final round of voting, you can do so here: https://www.moddb.com/mods/star-wars-thrawns-revenge-iii ...

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Ascendancy 1.1.6 Testing Begins!

Thursday December 06, 2018

Hello everyone! It's been a long time coming, but we have finally reached the time for our open beta testing on version 1.1.6. The primary purpose of this version is to do some major reworking of balance for the existing factions before we get into the development of the next playable faction, the Hapes Consortium, so if you want to see a general overview of what the goals with the release are, you can check that out in the original overview threads: https://www.moddb.com/mods/star-wars-ascendancy/news/hapan-preview-balance-patch-overview-12-years-of-trWithin that there has been some significant reworking of individual ship stats to be more consistent, and we've started a lot of work to make capital ship abilities feel a bit more engaging. Most capital ships and their abilities have been overhauled to some extent. Along with that, there's also been some work to update some of the models; the 1.1.6 beta version includes new art for the Nebula, Endurance, Secutor and Gladiator, with the new Lancer and Lucrehulk models coming over the course of the testing period. The point of this testing is primarily to see how the current balance changes feel, and see which areas still require work. There's a few things which remain to be done in terms of finishing abilities (the Dominator, Praetor, Secutor, Syndic, Ascendancy and Endurance in particular) along with some icon art and text remain to be updated, but we feel that the bulk of what's needed has been completed, and we will be finishing that off as testing starts in the interest of getting as much feedback as possible(edited)Distribution of the mod and patches during the beta process will be done through a version control system, called a git repository. This allows you to get updates from us without having to redownload the entire mod every time, as we aim to constantly update the mod throughout the testing process and get as much up-to-date feedback as possible. Once the testing process has concluded, we'll be uploading the finished version in the normal way on Mod Database. This will specifically done using the site GitHub. You will need to make an account on www.github.com, and download and install the desktop client from https://desktop.github.com/ Once you have done this, you can go to https://github.com/ThrawnsRevenge/Ascendancy-TestYou will see a large green button which says clone or download. Click on this, and click on "open in desktop'This will follow through and you will be asked where to save the repository. Navigate to and select your ...Documents\My Games\Ironclad Games\Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion\Mods-Rebellion v1.85 folder (yours may have a different version number). This will create a mods folder and download the mod for you. This can be a lengthy process, so give it some time to complete.In order to receive updates, you only need to press the sync or fetch origin button in the github client, and it will download any changes. The History tab will show you the names of the commit you're currently on at the top. If it matches the latest post in this thread, you're up to date. You do not need to press any other buttons.We will have two places to report bugs and discuss balance or other aspects. One is on our forums at www.thrawnsrevenge.com/forums in the Ascendancy Testing subforum, where there will be appropriate threads for that, and the other will be the #ascendancy-beta channel on our Discord server at https://discord.gg/t3WJugG . Please make sure to read any and all pinned messages or topics before posting.I will again reiterate that this is only for the testing process, in the interest of getting as much information as possible and acting on it as quickly as possible- if you don't want to get github or participate in the beta, there will be a full regular release within a month, depending on the extent of the feedback we receive and the severity of issues that are found. The more testing and feedback that happens, the easier it is for us to iron things out and get to the final release.To that end, we will be running several community multiplayer matches through my Youtube/Twitch channel, Corey Loses ( https://www.twitch.tv/coreyloses/ and https://www.youtube.com/c/CoreyLoses ). The first of these will be tomorrow night at 5pm EST. These will be announced on the Discord server, the Youtube channel, and in the image gallery when they're planned, so if you're interested in participating, watch those spaces.We would finally like to thank all of you for your patience during the development process here. I'd also like to thank Bane who, though he has left the team, spearheaded a lot of the balancing efforts that went into 1.1.5 and 1.1.6.We hope you enjoy the mod, and are looking forward to what the future has in store for it. If you do, we would appreciate your support by voting for us in the Mod of the Year Awards currently in progress on Mod Database at https://www.moddb.com/mods/star-wars-ascendancy ...

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Weapon System

Space

Thrawn’s Revenge uses a representative system to assign appropriate weapons to different units and balance them according to, where possible, their canonical armament. The basis of this system is that, for any given ship or weapon-type, a single instance of that weapon counts as one pulse from a hardpoint. So, for example, if a ship canonically has sixty turbolasers, we could give it six hardpoints each firing ten pulses, or twelve hardpoints each firing five pulses, etc.

The armament of a ship is displayed in the form of Total Pulses/No of Hardpoints for each type of weapon it possesses. So, for example, the Imperial Star Destroyer’s 60/6 Turbolaser hardpoints translates into six hardpoints firing ten pulses in each round, whereas its 6/2 Dual Heavy Turbolaser becomes two hardpoints firing three pulses in each round. To compare this to another example, take the Venator-class Star Destroyer, with its canonical armament of eight Dual Turbolasers. Since we aren’t representing all sixty individual Turbolasers on the Imperial Star Destroyer, it would be unbalanced to set the Venator up with eight fully charged (10 pulse) hardpoints. Instead, we have given it four hardpoints firing two pulses each round. This system has been used for all space units, although starfighters and some anti-starfighter ships (such as the CR90 Corellian Corvette) are handled slightly differently.

Laser Cannons/Maser Cannons

Laser and Maser Cannons are weapons that fire bursts of particle beam energy. These weapons are of a small enough calibre to be quickly and accurately aimed at fast-moving targets such as starfighters. Laser and Maser Cannons are capable of damaging both hull and shields.

Weapon Type Damage (Normal) Damage (Heavy) Rate of Fire* Recharge Time*
Laser Cannon 2.5 3.5 0.2s 4s
Laser Cannon: Dual 5   0.2s 4s
Laser Cannon: Quad 10   0.2s 4s
Maser Cannon 3 4 0.2s 4s
Maser Cannon: Dual 6   0.2s 4s
Maser Cannon: Quad 12   0.2s 4s

Turbolasers/Megamasers

Turbolasers and Megamasers are immensely scaled-up versions of Laser and Maser Cannons. Generally turret-mounted, they are commonly found on capital ships and space stations. Equipped with significantly larger capacitors, they can store and discharge far more powerful bursts of beam energy. They are primarily used for ship-to-ship combat because their size and slow target-tracking is ineffective against the small and fast targets presented by starfighters. Turbolasers and Megamasers are capable of damaging both hull and shields.

Weapon Type Damage (Normal) Damage (Heavy) Rate of Fire* Recharge Time*
Turbolaser 5 6.5 0.2s 4s
Turbolaser: Dual 10 13 0.2s 4s
Turbolaser: Quad 20 26 0.2s 4s
Turbolaser: Octuple 40   0.2s 4s
Megamaser 5 6.5 0.2s 4s
Megamaser: Dual 10 13 0.2s 4s
Megamaser: Quad 20 26 0.2s 4s

Ion Cannons

Ion Cannons are ranged weapons which fire ionised particles or plasma that can cause serious interference with the operation of electronics and computer systems. Ion Cannons are only capable of draining energy from shields and systems, they do not do hull damage.

Weapon Type Damage (Normal) Damage (Heavy) Rate of Fire* Recharge Time*
Ion Cannon 10 13 0.2s 4s
Ion Cannon: Dual 20 25 0.2s 4s
Ion Cannon: Triple (Trion) 25   0.2s 4s

Warhead Launchers

Warhead launchers are used to fire a range of self-propelled projectiles that can deliver considerable explosive power to their target. Concussion and Rhazor Missiles are able to target practically any unit, while Proton Torpedoes are restricted to Corvettes and above. All warheads cause damage to both shields and hull.

Weapon Type Flight Range Damage Rate of Fire* Recharge Time*
Concussion Missile 2200 18 0.4s 15s
Proton Torpedo 2200 12 0.4s 15s
Rhazor Missile 2200 20 0.4s 15s

*Rate of fire is the short delay between pulses as the weapon reloads. Recharge time is the longer recharge period after each completed round. The length of delay listed above is the standard rate for each weapon type; some vessels may have longer or shorter delays to reflect their power source, unit type, or technology.