In this update, we talk about changes to one of the core features of Imperial Civil War, the era system. As usual, I have recorded a video version of the update for those who prefer that over reading.
For those unfamiliar with the previous versions of the mod, the era system was the system by which tech is determined in Imperial Civil War. There were 5 distinct eras, each with different rosters for the factions based on what the time period was- these were the Isard era, Thrawn era, Palpatine era, Daala era and Pellaeon era, and players would progress through the eras by killing the Imperial leader. The purpose of the system was to tie story and tech into each other. While this goal was accomplished to some extent, there were a few major issues this presented. First and foremost, while the Empire of the Hand and New Republic would always benefit from an era change, Imperial players were often unaware that while the number was getting higher, they did not necessarily benefit from era changes in the same way- it's not a direct tech system, so higher isn't always better. Secondly, while it was meant to be a narrative system, and it certainly added some depth for those who were familiar with the lore, it was not especially intuitive to players who were less familiar with this period in Star Wars. Finally for those Imperials who understood the limitations but still wanted to get to other eras, the only method available to them was to to try sacrifice their heroes directly. In 2.2, we're attempting to solve or at least mitigate all of these issues. We're adding a bit more depth and variation to era changes and the method by which they occur, adding more story to their occurrence, and even changing some of the circumstances for how they occur. In this post, we'll go over the new eras and changes, and how they can occur.
Some of you may remember that one of the first changes we announced for 2.2, before it took on the scope it has, was a "regicide" feature, where you can purchase an upgrade and it will progress to the next era as if the leader had died. We ultimately decided that this could be expanded a lot more to work better into the story. Each era now has three ways they can progress, generally- voluntary, involuntary, and timed. The timed events basically occur with events that were happening independent of factional choices within the lore, and put some pressure on the Imperial player to take advantage of their power points when they can, and also help keep the game progressing when not playing as the Remnant, but the timer tends to be quite long (it's unlikely to make it to era 5 through timers alone, except in the most drawn out campaigns). Generally, there is some advantage to being proactive with era changes over losing the hero or the timed events. These can all have different effects, depending on the leader, the map and the era. There tends to be more events within the eras, and we plan to expand on this in future versions as well, but this should give an idea of where we're going. Ingame, there will be holocron entry and leader speech events to help provide more background for each event.
Era 1 Part 1 Imperial Leader: Sate Pestage (Economic hero)
Voluntary Progression: Isard proposes your help in Project Ambition, deposing Sate Pestage. This grants the Lusankya, along with extra heroes (ie Grand Admirals Makati and Takel, Ait Convarion).
Involuntary Progression: Either Sate Pestage is killed, or Coruscant is taken. Isard still takes over on Lusankya but with a smaller hero roster.
Timed: 60 weeks in, Isard completes Project Ambition on her own and takes over, but without extra heroes.No matter which method is chosen here, if Abregado-Rae and Kalist are under Imperial control, Blitzer Harrsk will split off to form Zero CommandEra 1 Part 2Imperial Leader: Director Ysanne IsardFlagship: Lusankya
Voluntary Progression: Grand Admiral Thrawn offers his services, can be directly recruited.
Involuntary Progression: Lusankya is destroyed in battle.
Timed: 100 weeks after Isard takes over, Thrawn will complete his preparations and return to lead the fleet. Isard flees the Empire.No extra positive or negative effects occur based on progression type currentlyEra 2Imperial Leader: Grand Admiral ThrawnFlagship: Chimaera
Voluntary Progression: Emperor Palpatine informs you of the massed Imperial fleets at Byss, orders resources to complete the Dark Empire forces. You enter era 3 directly.
Involuntary Progression: Thrawn dies in battle, and the Ciutric Hegemony splits off if under Imperial control. Era 3 still requires the Dark Empire upgrade to complete, or the timer.
Timed: 100 weeks after Thrawn takes over, Rukh assassinates Thrawn, with the same effects as Thrawn's death in combat. Era 3 Part 1Imperial Leader: Reborn Emperor PalpatineFlagship: Eclipse
Voluntary Progression: Carnor Jax informs you he's been poisoning the Emperor's clones, contributing to their degeneration. If you choose to help him, once Palpatine dies no Imperial territory will rebel.
Involuntary Progression: Palpatine dies in battle (on the Eclipse, or in a ground battle). Several Imperial planets potentially split off to rejoin Warlord factions
Timed: 100 weeks after Era 3 begins, Jax's assassination attempts are successful. Jax takes over, and several Imperial planets potentially split off to join Warlord factions.Era 3 Part 2Imperial Leader: Carnor Jax (Crimson Empire)
Voluntary Progression: Admiral Daala asks for your allegiance in her attempt to reunite Imperial forces. Imperial heroes from previous eras will remain if you join voluntarily.
Involuntary Progression: Carnor is killed in battle. Control switches to Daala, and all pre-existing Imperial heroes are removed.
Timed: Kir Kanos kills Carnor Jax. Daala emerges from the Maw and begins her campaigns against the New Republic. All previous Imperial heroes are removed.Era 4Imperial Leader: Admiral Natasi DaalaFlagship 1: GorgonFlagship 2: Knight Hammer
Voluntary Progression: Daala decides she is not the correct commander for the Empire, offers her resignation in favour of Pellaeon. Will return in era 5 with other Replacement Warlord forces.
Involuntary Progression: Daala dies in battle. Does not return as an era 5 hero.
Timed: 100 weeks after Daala takes over, she resigns. Pellaeon takes over.Era 5Imperial Leader: Gilad PellaeonFlagship 1: ReaperFlagship 2: ChimaeraGilad Pellaeon is the final leader of the Empire
That's gonna do it for today. There are other era-based or time-based events in the mod, but this covers the actual method of progression. We're closing in very quickly on the beta phase, and so far we think we should be able to hit our target release date of March 28th for 2.2. Keep in mind though, it's still just an estimate.