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!
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 Palpatine
Our 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.
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 Consortium
The 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:
Bold 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
If we go by canon, those 70 squadrons are 840 aircraft.
Squadrons have canon amounts of fighters in the mod, too, but it depends on what you're actually using, how you're using it, and where it's moving. Corvettes do not have strong shields or hulls, they can't really take much. I've been able to kill them with only a handful of fighters, but with that many you're potentially running into other issues. First off, you're basically guaranteeing even when the IPV misses its target it's going to hit something so they're gonna have basically no wasted shots themselves, but the IPVs are still going to be harder to hit and you're making all those fighters path around each other, so they're not necessarily even going to be able to shoot properly.Corvettes also die almost immediately to basically any other ship class.
More local planetary defense-type units would be possible later, but the focus in the first release is just on the actual core rosters for factions. Making new infantry types is one of the hardest things to do and most uncommon skills, so these are always going to be lower priority than basically anything else, because they're also things where we have almost nobody who can do them most of the time.
We've discussed potentially bringing back minor heroes in other forms, but the ones present in the base game caused significant issues, including one where the AI would sometimes build them to the exclusion of everything else.
On an unrelated note, I don’t keep up with all the YouTube videoes, will there be a written post detailing some of the progress being made on 3.0?
While the preview playthroughs are only videos, the actual news posts are always done in both video and article form. Everything we've announced has been included in those, with the broad objectives of the 2.3 changes. There's not like a live tracker of specific things that need to be done, though.
That's not a bug, those are raid fleets. They have a chance to appear in any battle, and you have a few minutes warning (it will come up as a message on the top left of the screen at the start of the battle) in which to prepare, after which you have to hold out a little while until you can retreat, or deal with both enemies. They also target the enemy faction, so you can use them to your advantage. The manual explains them further.
Both of those are the incorrect palces to put it. While the normal bat files of EaW are in that folder, that's for the base game, not for the Forces of Corruption Expansion. You want to put the bat file in C:\Program Files (x86)\GOG Galaxy\Games\Star Wars - Empire At War Gold\EAWX with the Forces of Corruption executable.