For the first time in four years, we have added a new capital ship to the Empire of the Hand. Over the next week or so, you'll probably see a lot more of this particular ship, but before I get into what this particular ship is, I want to address the Empire of the Hand's capital ship roster in general.
As most people are aware, the Empire of the Hand has only ever had three capital ships in released versions of Thrawn's Revenge; the Phalanx, Syndic and Ascendancy. We've always wanted to bump that up to six, however the difficult bit has been designing them. Also, whenever people hear "new EotH capital ship" they tend to be a little scared of what that might mean, power-wise.
On the whole, it is true that the Empire of the Hand capital ships have always been more powerful than those of other factions. This has never been the long-term intention, instead its a result of how few they had. Where other factions can spread different roles and duties among different ships, the Empire of the Hand ships have had to pull double or triple duty while waiting for their roster to expand. Ultimately this means each new capital ship for them will come with changes to the other existing ones. Before addressing the new ships, I'll do an overview of what the ultimate role of/changes to the existing ships will be, along with what versions those changes will be implemented it. Ascendancy-class Star Destroyer (Update for: 1.1)
The Ascendancy has always been the jack-of-all-trades but master of none for the Empire of the Hand. Going forward, it will be getting an altered design, for one thing, but more importantly it will become a dedicated carrier. So, it will be taking a small hit to its direct combat stats while gaining more fighters, and abilities more oriented to its fighters. This more specialized role also means it will be replaced as the "starting" capital ship by the Syndic.Syndic-class Destroyer (Update for: 1.1)
The Syndic will probably be the least changed of all of the EotH capital ships. The main change here is its replacement of the Ascendancy as the starting capital ship, which means it will be taking the drop garrison ability and no longer require research to build (meaning it might get a slight drop to its combat stats, but that's unlikely). Essentially, it will be put more in line with the ISDI, and remain as a sort of generalist ship.Phalanx-class Heavy Destroyer (Update for: 1.0)
We've always been happy with the idea behind the role of the Phalanx- it's a fast, well-armed ship which sacrifices a bit of defense in order to be able to engage multiple smaller threats at once. This is based on the idea that the Empire of the Hand in canon covers and protects a vast amount of space, and typically has to deal with numerous small threats (ala the Vagaari, or the Killiks later on) as opposed to any single gigantic threat. However, ingame they've also needed to be defensive tanks, making their defense sacrifice nonextsiant, and titan-busters, making their "multiple small threats" aspect moot as well. With those roles being filled elsewhere, the Phalanx will be taking a hit to its defensive capabilities, and losing some of its ability to focus all of its firepower on one target, although its overall firepower should remain the same.
Now, we get into the new ships.Intego-class Heavy Destroyer (Added in: 1.0)
The first new ship, the Intego, is the one you'll be playing with very soon. It and the updated Phalanx are sort of the result of splitting the Phalanx's role. where the Phalanx is keeping the offense, the Intego is the defensive tank of the Empire of the Hand. It is also unseating the Phalanx as the largest and bulkiest of the Empire of the Hand ships, coming in at 2250 meters, about the same length as a Secutor or Allegiance. The Intego has significantly less firepower than the Phalanx, however it is much better defended and has abilities that aid in that, including the Bulwark ability. Where the Phalanx is the ship that goes out to hunt down threats to the Hand, the Intego is sort of a well-supplied, beefier mothership.Springhawk-class Assault Cruiser (Added in: 1.1)
This and the next ship you won't be seeing until 1.1, however the Springhawk, named after the former flagship of Thrawn as a Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet Commander, is the glass cannon of the Empire of the Hand. It excels at single-target damage, whether that's against planets or enemy capital ships or super ships. On the flip side, it has incredibly low defenses and is alcking in smaller weaponry for use against other threats, making it easy to overwhelm when on its own.??-class ?? (Added in: 1.1)
We'll talk about this later. It's not a titan.
So, that's a brief rundown the the planned Empire of the Hand capital ships, to say nothing about defensive structures and starbases, which will also get a lot of attention in 1.1
With the completion of the Intego, we're ready to put the finishing touches on the non-beta 1.0 version before working on 1.1. I'll be spending this upcoming week finishing up some of the text and icons needed for release, and then hopefully can start the release process this Friday when I get home from work. Before people start spamming F5 on Friday and leaving comments asking where I am, I should clarify that I don't get off until about 11:30PM or home until after midnight, so it should be up sometime on Saturday of everything goes according to plan.
If you would like to help in the completion of the mod, we have a subforum
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