Greetings Fleetmasters and Admirals!
Today we're releasing version 0.88 of the Sins of the Prophets public alpha!
This update includes balance changes, bug fixes, art asset overhauls, and new ships! A full changelog will be available at the bottom of the post, but I'll quickly go over some of the more eye-catching updates here.
Balance tweaks you'll notice include things like the removal of all slipspace nodes from the mod (being able to create new phase lanes between gravity wells) other than the one ability available on the Covenant Assault Carrier, changes to the CDA Battlestation to compensate for this loss of mobility, the Epoch-class Heavy Carrier has seen a buff to its damage thanks to the addition of the Breakwater canons detailed in Halo Warfleet, and the reintroduction of the Phoenix-class Support Ship.
Slipspace nodes were removed from the mod because the hyper-mobility provided to players allowed for extreme stalemate scenarios that caused matches to last far longer than we intended. This is why this released is subtitled "Attrition" - losing battles now has a more substantial impact on the game. Decisions now become more important and failures have more gravity, but players are also able to move on to the next match faster with lessons learned in tow.
For the full list of balance updates check the bottom of the page!
Bug fixes are also detailed in the changelog, but the bulk of fixes this release were attempts to curtail the "darkspace" bug that has plagued the mod for a few releases now. The ability to create slipspace nodes was removed for two primary reasons, the above-mentioned balance concerns, as well as to counter this pretty severe bug where ships would attempt to travel between gravity wells at sublight speeds and effectively becoming trapped far away from either planet. If you continue to encounter this issue please let us know, however the quick fix for it is to reissue the jump command and the ships should immediately slipspace jump to their intended destination. If you run into the bug and have a hunch about what might have triggered your occurrence we're all ears to hear your thoughts.
The art portion of this update is pretty juicy once again! It includes an updated Covenant Assault Carrier model based on the variant you see in Halo: Reach, as well as the DAS-class Storm Cutter and the Gladius-class Heavy Corvette both featured in Halo: Warfleet! Minor updates to various models continues as our artists perfect their craft. You can see beautiful renders of those ships below, as well as a 3D model of the new CAS via Sketchfab thanks to Malcontent1692!
Click the image to go to a larger version.
UI work continues - adjusting ability icons, adding in more loading screens, adding more player cards, info card tweaks, as well as event notification tweaks and HUD icons. Check out a short selection of updates below:
This should be the last major release before we officially move into Beta releases (0.9), where we're feature complete and just tweaking stats. Major features are planned for 0.9, including the implementation of hero ships. We'll detail those changes in dev updates as we progress.
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Our full changelog for 0.88
The “Big Changes”:
-Removal of all slipspace nodes (barring the CAS) to mitigate and hopefully fix the darkspace issue.
-Reintroduction of the Phoenix-class capital ship to the general fleet, now in a support role.
-New CAS-class Assault Carrier replacing the previous with higher fidelity model and textures courtesy of Malcontent1692 based on the variant seen in Reach.
-The Covenant DAS-class Storm cutter and UNSC Gladius-class heavy corvette have replaced the DAV and Mako, respectively.
-Additional remedies to the darkspace/sublight bug.
-Removed slipspace nodes from the CDA which showed to cause localized darkspace until they were destroyed.
-New “Rookie” map added, suited best for inexperienced or new players.
-Re-added the Phoenix-class support ship as a mainline cruiser. (This now has a multi target weapons loadout and several fleet and ground support abilities)
-Additional names added for UNSC and Covenant capital ships courtesy of HaruspexofHell
-Numerous string fixes and updates to reflect more current lore.
-New unique C709 bomber and C714 fighter longsword models.
-New player portraits (4 for each faction) including Atriox and Captain Cutter.
-New planet upgrade Icons.
-New loading screens.
-Old DAV model replaces DDA Envoy.
-Texture updates to the DDS-class Carrier to bring it in line with modern ships.
-Texture tweaks to the Epoch, OSS, Halberd, CPV and some UNSC AA turrets.
-Tweaks to Empire and mainview icons by Malcontent and ZombieRus.
-Tweaks to numerous particles including the CDA, Strident, Valiant etc.
-Updates to research and unit descriptions.
-Razor engines, Strident deployment, and Valiant command particles fixed.
-Numerous assorted UI tweaks and updates.
-Minor audio tweaks.
-Update to the CDA to address the removal of slipspace nodes: stronger shields, improved weapon capabilities on all banks, and updated max movement speed to match the rest of the Covenant fleet. (Acceleration on the CDA is still lower than buildable ships)
-Slipspace nodes removed from all except the CAS (this includes the removal of the Covenant’s navigation beacon structure entirely)
-Rebalanced all ships acceleration and deceleration values to mitigate darkspace.
-Epoch-class Carriers now have dual front facing Breakwater batteries buffing its MAC output by 500.
-Covenant capital ship experience gain reduced by 50%
-Stridents now deploy from Infinity by default.
-changes to mines increasing their effectiveness.
-Tweaks to artifacts system.
-Added diminishing returns to trade ports, removed bonus from making trade routes and decreases in effectiveness as more ports are used in the same gravity well.
-Removed turn rate increase from pinpoint slipspace jump abilities.
-Increased Eion hangar count by 1.
-Epoch moved up to the same formation line as the Marathon.
-Eion and stalwart have been moved up one in fleet formations.
-Reduced radius of the OSS ability Strength of the Fallen to 3500.
-Reduced flood “Swarmer” spawn numbers. (This should decrease the lag earlier in flood matches)
-Flood cruiser now carries 2 squadrons rather than 5
-Gravemind spawn has also been lengthened to 15 minutes between new Gravemind creation.
-Removed research effects adjusting Covenant slipspace charge up rates to lower darkspace possibilities.
-Upped CAS Void Beacon ability level requirements to 4 instead of 2.
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