Sins of a Solar Empire is often described as a 4XRTS game, or a game that tried to merge the action and tactics packed gameplay of a Real time strategy game with the deep, complex, empire wide strategy of a 4X turn based game. It's up to debate whether Sins succeeded in this goal, but I think all can agree that of the 4Xs of "explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate", Sins is much more focused on the exterminate than on the others. This mod seeks to give more depth to the other 3Xs of the game by adding additional game elements or refining the existing ones to reward players who give more strategic thought to the non-combat side of the game. Combat will still be the center point of the game, but players will find that the non-combat options available will be much more rewarding. Spying, exploring, sabotage, diplomacy, culture, and economic development have all been added or changed in innovative new ways. Regardless of what you think Sins is, this is the 4XRTS it should have been.
The main porting work has been completed. Now to make it feel like you're playing a different game.
Posted by GoaFan77 on Jun 28th, 2012
I was pretty excited when I first learned the design plan for Rebellion. We had almost no details, but the concept of splitting faction into different, specialized groups had worked well in some of my favorite RTS games like Command & Conquer: Generals. But since the first beta I was a bit underwhelmed with the differences between subfactions. There were some substantial differences in strategies that came out of it, but for me at least it seemed that each faction's unique titan was about as important as everything else put together. Thus throughout the life of this project I intend to change that, and the first version of Enhanced 4X for Rebellion will at least provide the ground work for a more specialized and unique system.
These differences will be created through a number of ways. Enhanced 4X for Diplomacy already added unique racial bonuses, and these are unchanged (save being moved to one "Cosmetic tech" on the tech tree to make it easy to see them in game). However now each subfaction will have a similar set of bonuses that applies without research, so from the get go you'll have a number of bonuses to fall back on while having to figure out how to counter your opponents bonuses. Some of the factions will get stuff far beyond mere number tweaks though. Some will start off the game with certain ships or structures, others will find unique abilities for their ships that the other subfaction doesn't have. And of course new techs in the research trees will ensure you'll continue to find new goodies as you progress throughout the game. Below is a summary of my current plans for each faction and how I see them being used.
TEC Loyalists (Turtling)
The TEC loyalists were designed for those turtle players in Sins, and I have no intention of changing that focus. In addition to several bonuses to tactical structures, TEC loyalist players will find that their starbases are researched for free and instantly, can be constructed faster, and come with the maxed out Resupply ability without any additional research or starbase slots used. This makes them good redoubts for a fleet or powerful beachheads as you can better assault enemy worlds from cover. The TEC loyalists also got hit quite hard with the new superweapon limit, so they'll now have a new tier 8 tech that will double Novalith cannons rate of fire and antimatter regeneration once fully researched. And saving the best for last, I'm working on a new system of "Planetary Defenses", where your planets will gradually fortify themselves after you colonize them and eventually gain some weapons to shoot at hostile ships that get close enough to your planets. TEC Loyalist home worlds will naturally start with maxed out defenses, making a raid on their homeworld much more difficult even if it looks vulnerable without any starbases and tactical structures.
Loyalist stat bonuses
TEC Rebels (Rush)
The TEC Rebels aren't just focusing on big guns this time around. They're focusing on getting big guns fast. As the ideal rush faction, a TEC Rebel commander will be able to deploy Krosov siege frigates and Ogrov Torpedo cruisers without any research, and in greater numbers than any other faction, allowing them to cause potentially catastrophic damage early on if they start close to a hostile homeworld. Naturally they'll also get substantial bonuses to planetary bombardment and weapon rate of fire. There frigates will also have a special ability called "Frenzy", which buffs the ship's damage output each time it destroys a target until it leaves the gravity well. The pirate mercenaries tech will also get a rework so that you can only summon pirates from a special structure on your homeworld, but direct them anywhere and they'll be free (much like the hero units). The Rebels will also have a new tech that gives substantial bonuses whenever they successful destroy an enemy colony.Unfortunately, the Rebels will also need to say goodbye to one of their most important techs as they currently know it, Truce Amongst Rogues. Despite my best efforts, I could not get this tech to work right with the Random Encounters, as you'd be allied with all militia factions (including say Vasari ones) and you'd be unable to colonize planets where encounters have cause the militia to colonize it (which is most of them). I'm currently working on a replacement that will eventually allow you to assimilate all TEC friendly milita, even random encounters, with your colony ships, and I may eventually be able to get pirates and insurgents to leave your planets alone by other means. But directly allying with the pirates will likely be impossible.TEC Rebel stat bonuses
Advent Loyalists (Cultural Mastery)
I suspect the Advent Loyalists would become a much better faction in E4X just because culture is so much better in this mod. But I don't intend to stop just with that. In addition to the expected culture stat buffs, the Loyalists get a huge advantage as their culture centers will require only 2 logistics slots, and they will start with a Temple of Communion at the start of the game. This means an Advent Loyalist players economy will grow rapidly even without doing anything as culture and population growth will boost income substantially in the first 5 minutes of the game. Massive bonuses to fighting in culture will also make the Advent Loyalists extremely hard to displace in friendly territory, and with maximum conversion rate reaching almost .25% allegiance per second, culture overthrows will be much more common. This will be assisted by an improved Deliverance engine that can destroy an enemy culture center with each shot. Loyalists will also have new ways of taking over enemy ships, such as when one of their culture centers are destroyed.Advent Loyalist stat bonuses
Advent Rebels (Special Abilities)
Despite being my favorite faction, I find the Advent Rebels to be the hardest faction to think of additional content for. If the loyalists focused on the Advent's great culture and mind control, the Rebels are choosing to specialize in their powerful synergies and special abilities. As such Advent Rebel ships will have extra antimatter, and as powerful transcended psionics have much weight with them, they don't need to research Domina support cruisers. These ships will also be far more useful to the Rebels, as they'll be able to sacrifice themselves to restore a percentage of health to an ally, and they'll be able to increase the effectiveness of all healing abilities. Their mastery over life and death will allow the spirits of dead ships to temporarily mask allied forces, reducing the damage allied forces take, which will combo nicely with a buffed Return of the Fallen. And the ultimate ability on the Eradica titan will also be redone to make it less situational.Advent Rebel stat bonuses
Vasari Loyalists (Aggressive Economists)
Much is probably going to change with the Vasari factions in the next wave of Rebellion patches, so I'm going to pretend they aren't over powered now and adjust them later if needed. But Vasari Loyalist commanders can expect to remain amongst the most dangerous if you leave them alone early game. They'll start with both a titan factory and a colony frigate at the start of the game. Their colony frigates will also be faster and regenerate antimatter more quickly, making them ideal for fast expansions. Early on the Loyalists will be able to research a new tech that can make neutral planets uncolonizeable for a long period of time, allowing the loyalists to create stretches of no mans land near hostile empires, and eventually become easy targets for striped to the core. The other main loyalist advantage is their easy access to titans. In addition to starting with a titan factory, the Vasari Loyalist titan can be constructed much faster than other titans. They'll also several bonuses to accumulating resources that will make saving up for it much easier.Vasari Loyalist stat bonuses
Vasari Rebels (Diplomatic hit and run tactics)The Vasari Rebels are all about making friends with people you can work with while hitting those you can't fast and hard before getting out. Vasari Rebels will start with a phase gate on their home world, and can build phase stabilizers without research. Their ships will also be able to move through phase space faster, allowing them to get to critical locations quickly or out run pursuers. They'll also be able to research immunity to phase jump inhibitors for a few minutes after arriving at a planet. Diplomatically the Rebels will have the best relationship modifiers, which will make getting cease fires easier. The embassy system in Enhanced 4X also works well for them, making it more likely to gain their ally bonuses, and they'll have a tech that makes building relationship points much easier. Vasari Rebel ships will also be able to research buffs that apply on arriving at an allied planet. Finally as outcasts they will no longer have access to Returning Armada, but will be able to call on their new TEC and Advent allies for assistance instead.Vasari Rebel stat bonuses