It's been quite some time since our last regular news post, and there's quite a bit to talk about. We'll be covering the new Empire at War patch and what it means, what's left to do for 2.2 and some early points on 2.3, and the fourth era breakdown, talking about Natasi Daala and the new Reunification. We'll start with the patch and what it means.
As most EaW players are probably aware, Petroglyph and Disney released a patch for the Steam version over the weekend, changing a few things. there are three major points to this. One is multiplayer, two is the steam workshop, and 3 is the selection freeze fix. The selection freeze fix means that for those with the steam version (and hopefully there will be an official version of the patch for the GoG and disk version), the defreezer tool is no longer necessary. The tool was a good workaround, but could be confusing for some players and could have edge cases where it caused instability with the save game, so this fix opens up several possibilities with Galactic Conquests, including some events and scale. There are one or two changes this allows us to consider, but we're mostly holding off on that until 2.3 (by which point hopefully GoG and retail will have official patch options).
Secondly, the Steam workshop- we have absolutely no intention to remove or reduce our presence on Mod Database because of this, before anyone asks. The Workshop is very convenient, but all versions will continue to be published on both places. The 2.2 Demo needs a couple changes to be compatible with the new version to fix the green mess it caused (really, just deleting a folder in ICW22Demo\Data\Art named Shaders- you can do it yourself if you like), so it will be back available on ModDB soon.
The major thing which everyone is of course focused on is multiplayer. Please, while trying to play mods in multiplayer keep in mind we were not able to make changes to accommodate the reintroduction of multiplayer beforehand, so things are still set up how they would have been for when it worked before. It will take some time to work out the kinks. The game does seem to dislike custom maps being used for matches, so we have pushed a patch to the 2.1 workshop copy allowing the use of base game maps until that gets worked out.
The multiplayer GCs in ICW 2.1 are mostly playable, but not all factions are available, and the maps have not had a chance to have balancing done, or hero spawns (we never assumed there'd be a chance to use them. For development, this means you can expect a lot more fleshing out on the GC maps, and a bit more work being done to skirmish, depending on what happens with the custom map issue. We will try to have at least one multiplayer GC map available for each faction at release, but we may end up releasing them in packs as we go. We have been asked if we can allow more than two players per map, but that is unfortunately impossible- the game is capped at two human players.
Era 4 As the shortest era covering only 12 ABY, Era 4 only includes the Reunification Galactic Conquest.
Reunification "I didn't want to rule. I had no intention of becoming a political leader—but you have given me no choice. I cannot leave the Empire in the hands of fools like you." ―Admiral Natasi Daala
Time Covered: Imperial Reunification (12 ABY)
After the failure of Shadow Hand, the Imperial Warlords once again fell into conflict with each other. Natasi Daala, having been isolated with her fleet at the Maw since before Endor, emerged to find the Empire she had loved and loyally served in ruins. Taking her fleet of four Star Destroyers, she began a failed campaign against the New Republic. Upon regrouping with other Imperial forces in the core, she decided to act as an ambassador between the larger Warlord groups, hoping to reunite them under one banner. When ordered by Blitzer Harrsk to mount a counterattack against Treuten Teradoc's forces, Daala instead disabled the flagship of Harrsk and ordered the two to cease hostilities, threatening to destroy both her own ship and Harrsk's. In the process, Daala gained the respect and loyalty of other Imperial officers including Gilad Pellaeon, Thrawn's old protege, who shared her goal. This culminated in a meeting called by Daala for all of the Imperial Warlords at Tsoss Beacon, where she threatened to kill them all unless they found a way to work together. When they refused, Daala killed all of the leaders, and took control for herself, thereby uniting almost all of the Imperial forces in the galaxy under her command. In this GC, the Remnant follows Daala's attempts to unite the Empire and bring together the Warlord forces, gaining new heroes and ships as she goes. This GC will have its basic setup and Galactic-level events laid out in 2.2, with extra tactical missions added in 2.3.
Playable Factions: New Republic - Coruscant Imperial Remnant - The Maw Pentastar Alignment - Entralla Eriadu Authority - Kampe Greater Maldrood - Hakassi Non-Playable Factions: Zero Command - Kalist VI
The Road to Release
Since we're getting closer to release, we wanted to talk about what specifically is left, and what happens after that. Because of just how much we're overhauling with 2.2, we've decided that some of what we'd initially been planning we are better off leaving to 2.3. This both allows us to get the update out more quickly (so people aren't still playing 2.1 for too long), and more importantly allows us to more thoroughly test everything and work out the bugs before building too much upon it. One of the big pushes in 2.2 is to add in some extra story elements, so we're breaking that into two phases. With 2.2, we're mostly focusing on the main plot points for any given GC on the galactic level, and in 2.3, we'll flesh them out more with missions (both tactical like the Katana fleet in 2.1, and galactic like forming the Hapan alliance in the 2.2 demo). The main thing which we are currently working on for 2.2, which has taken a lot of our development time, is that we rebuilt every galactic conquest from the ground up- something we won't be redoing for 2.3. While we will add a small handful in the next version, we'll have more time and opportunity to add more depth to the existing ones, after using the 2.2 feedback to fix any bugs which will inevitably result from what we're working on now.
There are a lot of features which follow the same logic- a lot of the systems we're working on now on the backend have taken longer to introduce in 2.2 because of what we're setting them to to be built into. Things like the structure display and raid fleet scripts have been rebuilt to allow for other tactical events and galactic information (as well as the container method to display other information on the galactic map), meaning along with raid fleets, in future versions we'll be able to have other randomized events within battles to help add some variety and other objectives. We currently have 3 new ones planned. We also have the generic object scripts, which are how we handle fighter spawning, single-unit retreat, and other abilities, meaning it will be much easier for us to add a wider variety of abilities in the future on top of the new ones we have already. This basis is also being set up for use on Fall of the Republic, our Clone Wars mod.
So, that should hopefully explain the situation and why things are taking the time they are, as well as give you an idea of what to look forward to- now, for what exactly is still left to do. There are a small handful of art assets we're still working on, namely the Sorannan, Vigil, Imperial II frigate, Intego, and ULAV. Hopefully the updated Providence and one or two other things will be in as well. We're also going through and trying to update as many of the skydomes as we can for space maps, bringing them more in line with the newer ones. This is something that will likely continue with 2.3.
The Galactic Conquest work is starting to all come together- most of the basic layouts are done, with a lot of the story skeletons in place, and playable as at least one of the factions. What remains in this department is to finish the setup for the Era 5 and Era-Progressive GCs (we'll have separate news posts on them) and to go back through, adding in support for all playable factions for the GCs which have been set up. Basically, 11 of the main ones are done or close to being done, and 8 remain. that may sound like a lot, but among those 8 are From the Ground Up, which don't involve separate story scripting and are made much easier by the GC Editor, the Era 5 GCs, which are mostly planned, and the era-progressive GCs, which are more about compiling the work done with other GCs and putting them together in a way which makes sense.
What this means is we are getting very close to reaching an alpha/beta phase. We are about to start opening up specific GCs to our internal beta testers, and we will be slowly adding to that group as we go, trying to cover as much ground as we can, as quickly as we can. Many people have asked to be testers, but because of how directly involved we have to be with each tester, we do try to keep the pool kind of limited- we'd love to let everyone test, but that gets really cumbersome, so we typically pick testers based upon past ability to provide feedback, whether it's on the forums, Discord, ModDB, whatever. Because the testing is run on the forums, the tester signup thread can be found there, and does require having an account on the forum- just post here and we'll start messaging people as we go.
That about covers it for now. Next up will be a breakdown of Era 5 and the time of the Old Man of the Empire. We've also added a channel to the Corey Loses & GB Gaming Discord server specifically for Thrawn's Revenge discussion, so if you want to join, click the happy little button below.
As usual, I've been doing full preview playthroughs talking about development and showing off the newest changes on my channel, right now covering the changes to Shadow Hand, which can be seen here for thos interested:
Disney and Petro have just published a patch for the Steam version of Eaw re-enabling multiplayer and adding workshop support. We're still looking into getting everything sorted mod-wise for it, but for now there is one rather major issue we're aware of. Because of shader issues, the Demo currently has rendering issues. If you go into ICW22Demo/Data/Art and delete the shaders folder, it should be resolved.
They did include a fix for the selection freeze, which means you no longer need the Defreezer.
It's been a week since the release of Ascendancy 1.1, and in that time we've received some very helpful feedback. We're overall happy with the state and direction of the mod, and the response has been great, but there were a few issues (some major, some minor) we wanted to address before moving on to the next major version, the changes for which we'll be discussing soon. This patch will be the first of most likely two patches for 1.1 to address bugs and any flagrant balance issues. There are two options to install it- one which just has changed files from 1.1, and one which includes a new copy of the whole mod. In about a week, we'll be removing the download for the first to save possible confusion. The description has full installation instructions, as usual.
Patch Notes: 1. All mesh and entity files converted to binary format for better performance.
2. Icon Fixes: - Smuggler icon fixed on build bar (New Republic)
3. Ssi-Ruuvi Random event: The goal with the Ssi-Ruuvi is to have a minor faction which can occasionally play a significant role in a game, akin to more localized pirates. Unfortunately, since they are entirely buff chain based, they could get out of hand and become a much bigger issue than we aimed. These changes aim to bring them back in the intended direction, and we'll nerf them again even more severely if necessary, depending on how they act with these changes. - Changed spawn weighting and time between possible spawns. - Instead of being able to repeatedly spawn ships, Ssi-Ruuvi captured planets will spawn one slightly larger fleet and then stop.
4. Hero/Superweapon Bug Fixes: - Galaxy Gun bug limiting it to one shot fixed. Reverted to unlimited firing, will be potentially looking into a new method to lock it to 3 shots depending on balancing feedback. - Fixed Karrde being able to spawn repeatedly. - Fixed Scourge Squadron (Kaine) and Dark Fleet (Thrawn) not spawning their intended ships. Keep in mind, you do need available ship slots for them to spawn.
5. General Bug Fixes & Changes: - Removed LAA mention from loading screens - Fixed issue where pirate spawns on random maps would cause texture issues on the HUD, offsetting black market buttons - Capital ships (and therefore, hero SSDs) no longer can be captured by MC80 boarding parties. - Bellator: Barrier shield now tied to correct level upgrade, was tied to microjump. - Executor: Overwhelm no longer uses Numerical Superiority text - Executor: Aura of Fear and Iron Grip icons on level upgrades fixed - Oto: Removed pinnacle base upgrade. - Fixed issue where many PA ships and structures referenced Imperial fighter sets - now have Skiprays (ie Golan III, Grant, Kaine, Bellator) - Crimson Command: Changed name to say Crimson command instead of VSDII, extra weapon banks now show properly on unit card.
7. Text Fixes: - Intego description listed as Phalanx in text file, missing ingame. Now displays properly. - Split Proton unlock tech description fixed. - Asdroni now states it is anti-fighter.
8. Balance Changes: - Culture resistance tech bonuses adjusted for all factions. - Crack Mantle damage levels now 4k -> 5k -> 6k -> 7k, from 5. - Warlord random event: removed Executor.
7. Hapes Consortium: - Still not a playable faction, yet.
The Emperor has fallen, and the Empire is in shambles after their defeat at Endor. Play as the New Republic, Imperial Remnant, Empire of the Hand or Pentastar Alignment, each with their own unique ships, heroes and tech trees to reunite the Star Wars galaxy under your rule.
It's been some time since our last release, and basically all facets of the mod have changed. Doing a full changelog would be next to impossible, so here's a general overview of some of the mor major changes.
...Major Changes in 1.1... Overhauled menu and HUD UI to be more aesthetically appealing and user friendly (including map pips) Several random events and encounters, including shipyard worlds, the Katana fleet, and Ssi-Ruuvi invasion events Several unique research options added for each faction. All factions now have 100-110 research subjects. Added heroes for all factions, including Han Solo in the Millenium Falcon, and Emperor Palpatine in the Eclipse Added upkeep costs directly to ships, helping to address resource snowballing New Map: Balance Point, re-added support for Random maps Art assets remade for several units, including the Bellator-class SSD and Procursator Several new units, including the Peltast-class Star Destroyer and Raider-class Corvette New stations for Remnant (Cardan-class), Alignment (Validusia-class) and Hand (Oto-class) Many bug fixes and balance changes
I have made a tutorial video on my youtube channel, Corey Loses, for those who don't know how to install the mod, which you can find by clicking here.
I plan to regularly organize community matches through that youtube channel as well. These matches will be scheduled in advance and livestreamed while they're happening. In addition to being announced on the forums, Mod Database and YouTube channel, they will also be announced on the Corey Loses & GB Gaming Discord server, which now has a section dedicated to Thrawn's Revenge discussion. To join that server, simply click the icon below.
There are still two art assets we were unable to finish in time for the release, the Wild Karrde and TIE Droid, so currently they're still using some palceholder assets (Corellian Corvette and TIE Fighter). The models are done, but the textures are still in progress. Since we plan to have another release in a couple months, we decided it wasn't worth holding back the release for those just yet, and their updated art will be in the next version. We'll have an overview post about version 1.15 soon, however we're trying something with this development cycle we've not done before. While it will be a relatively short window between 1.1 and 1.15, those who wish to play through the build as it happens will be able to. The subforum and repository we set up for the 1.1 beta process will be kept live throughout development, and as features get ready for testing, we'll by updating that repository as we go. For full instructions on how to gain access, click here.
We have finally entered the last stretch of the 1.1 development cycle for Ascendancy and begun the beta process! As we clean up the last bits of work, like finishing some icons and one or two art assets, we will be opening up the mod builds to everyone for testing purposes. Our primary goals with this are to find any major bugs which still remain, but just as importantly, to start getting more information on balance in the mod before the full release. We will be hosting several games ourselves, and encourage everyone else in the beta to do the same, and let us know what you find.
In order to access the beta, you will need an account on the Thrawn's Revenge forums. This is the method by which we are organizing the beta itself the feedback threads and game schedules are all being run through there. There are full download instructions within the beta subforum, but I have also made a video on how to set up the Github repository, which will be at the end of this post.
The first multiplayer game we're organizing is being livestreamed as a community match on Corey Loses at 1pm EST, Sunday July 16th, the page for which can be found here. As a community event for the channel, the game will first be open to patrons of Corey Loses, and then opened to anyone who wants to join. If you can't come this time, there will be plenty of matches coming up, both streamed and unstreamed. Ideally, the beta process will be going 2-3 weeks before the full release.
This release does not, of course, mean the end of the mod- we've already started some plans (and actual work) for the next version. As we've said in the past, we plan to do some smaller updates between the larger content-oriented ones, like faction releases.
Whether you decide to join the beta or wait for the final release, we hope you enjoy it.
With the beta starting up this weekend, it's time for our final overview post for 1.1, this time talking about heroes.
Heroes in Ascendancy are absed on the E4X hero system developed by GoaFan for the Star Wars: Interregnum (and E4X) mod- before the game, if you want heroes enabled, you enable them in the pregame options. You will then have access to a station which can call in heroes for you, after completing the required research. Typically, heroes can respawn after they die, however there will be at least one exception to this. There is also one hero per faction which is available only in the flagship victory mode.
The heroes for each faction are as follows. For more information on their abilities, you the video at the end runs through all abilities for all heroes:
New Republic: - Han Solo & Chewbacca (Millenium Falcon) - Talon Karrde (Wild Karrde) - Admiral Ackbar (Home One) - Leia Organa-Solo (Rebel Dream, ISD) [Flagship]
This patch solely fixes an issue where loading times for launching the mod were incredibly long. Other changes will be coming in future versions and patches, but we felt this was necessary to be addressed as soon as we could.
To install, simply extract the file and place the new GameObjectFiles.xml in CW22Demo/Data/XML, overwriting the existing one.
While we don't want to oversaturate the mod with every jedi that ever got some face time, there are a few slots available that don't quite have a story redquirement to be anyone in particular, so we wanted to let everyone weigh in (and help stop the spread of "Jedi X when?" comments/threads. There are some that do have narrative requirements to be in, which aren't included on this poll, and some on this poll we may ultimately decide do have narrative requirements to be in, so this isn't a written in stone guarantee sort of deal, but will definitely factor into our decisions. You do have the option to change your vote, and keep in midn, we cover more than just the Clone Wars. No Oppo Rancisis.
Tomorrow (Saturday, June 3rd) at 3pm EST, Corey Loses will be hosting a stream to celebrate 11 years of Thrawn's Revenge with several members of the dev team (so far, Corey, Slevered, Dr Nick, and Pox, with potentially Robin, Endcar and Slornie). We'll be revisiting Imperial Civil War 1.0 while talking about future plans for Imperial Civil War, Ascendancy, and Fall of the Republic, mod history, and answering questions from the chat.