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 2.3
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 Authority
The 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:
On 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 Updates
We'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 Art
We'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 Maps
On 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 Units
Vigil, 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 Models
Praetor II, Munificent, Dreadnaught, Nebula, Endurance, Secutor, Procursator, Gladiator, Y-Wing, Snowspeeder, Juggernaut, TIE Crawler
And 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 I
The 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 II
By 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 III
After 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 11th
Keep 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.