It's been a while (too long, in fact) since we gave you a proper update on The Final Frontier. Obviously the glorious Gul has returned to the fold, as has the gentle tyrant Bane. But beyond that you'd be forgiven for thinking that we've forgotten about TFF in favour of Infinities. I can assure you that this is far from the case. The truth is the TFF team have been insanely busy, not only with the mod, but with real life adventures. Ambarenya in particular, our creative leader, has only recently returned from more than a month of travelling across southern Europe for work. The poor petal!
Every day's a work day when you're the great Ambarenya, seen here seductively eating a sandwich
Anyway, we're back! And, I'm happy to say, a lot of progress has been made. A lot of progress indeed. We're not quite there yet but the home stretch is within sight. While we're still reticent to give a firm date, we're aiming to release The Final Frontier shortly before the year's end, though I must stress that this is a target, and not a definitive date...yet.
So, precisely where are we?
An oasis in the void
The main goal of The Final Frontier has always been to return Armada to the roots of Star Trek - to bring a sense of exploration, discovery and maybe even wonder to a Sins mod, even amongst the conflict and chaos of war and political intrigue. As such, the planetary system has been dramatically expanded, so much so that now you'll rarely come across two of the same type of planet per map. Planet spawns are scaled according to a modified Drake equation using current understanding of exoplanets, mixed with our good old Trek canon, and our knowledge of gameplay. The end result is a believable and highly diverse spawn ratio that works. But never fear, if you feel you are missing the old Armada III planets, you will be able to go back and play on maps with those planets too. The Final Frontier is designed with you, the player, and you, the Trek fan, in mind. Categorical organization and tags will ensure the map you want is easy to find.
From highly developed cradles of civilization...
We currently have 52 distinct planet and 37 moon types in game, ranging from your pleasant Class-M worlds to the hellish Class-Y, and many variations of each planet in between, including some never-before seen planet types only mentioned in passing. Each planet has been custom tailored with stats based on a holy trifecta of gameplay experience, real science, and Trek lore, and each will soon undergo an evaluation process to ensure the quality and diversity we seek has been delivered. Accompanying these planets is a completely revised planetary bonus system featuring over 200 diverse and immersive planetary bonuses, ranging from maddening polywater deposits, to familial vineyards, to even tiny shepherd moons. Each planetary bonus has been devised using a comprehensive set of seven major categories, broken down into subcategories of great variety. The major categories are: Internal, Surface, Atmospheric, Orbital, Biosphere, Civilization, and "Superplanetary" (specifying things beyond the globe of the planet -- such as a "reputation"). Beyond the safety of planetary gravity wells, you will find a huge variety of other phenomena, including some 15 distinct types of nebulae, 32 star types, and over 150 different types of gravity wells. The sheer variety found within The Final Frontier is immense.
...to barren hellscapes, and everything in between
This vast new planet system is nearing completion, but that is by no means the extent of what TFF will offer. Exploring the galaxy, you'll come across new threats, but also new friends. Over the last few months you've seen much (but not all) of our lengthy roster of new neutral races that will stand in your way to hamper your progress, or potentially befriend you in your time of need. What we haven't covered in great detail is our expanded list of random events, many of which will actually be beneficial. Yes, for all of you who flailed about helplessly as the Whale Probe or the Doomsday Machine laid waste to your fledgling territories, rest assured, not only have the random events been scaled accordingly for a more pleasant experience, but the list of events has been expanded and diversified. Will you encounter a Terellian refugee ship carrying their deadly plague to your worlds? Or will you meet a group of Ferengi Traders, whose business will give your economy a measurable boost?
Also notable are the vast number of fixes that have already been, or will be implemented with The Final Frontier expansion. Ever been bothered that Tomalak doesn't use his proper voice? Fixed. Annoyed about your ships flying off into the middle of nothingness for no explicable reason? Fixed. Irked by how massive your ships are in comparison to planets? Also fixed. We've been scrutinizing a lot of the little details, smoothing them out, and making your game experience that much more enjoyable.
The Terrellians bring a whole new meaning to 'Disco Fever'
But be warned, as the benefits grow, so too do the dangers. But remember, as Rule of Acquisition #62 states: the riskier the road, the greater the profit... right?
Did we mention that planets are now destroyable...?
But what else is out there, in the cold, distant depths of space? Abandoned facilities to construct rarely seen ships? Devices that can be used to scan deep into the territory of your rivals? Independent research outposts that can speed up your scientific breakthroughs? Free trade zones which will shoulder a substantial part of the burden on your economy? Industrial powerhouses that can feed your empire's ever growing hunger for resources? Vast expanses of nothing at all?
You'll have to set a course and see for yourselves. Get ready to explore The Final Frontier!
Let's see what's out there...
'Til next time, stay classy. Or don't.
In other news, our glorious leader Max 'The Iron Loef' Loef continues his interview series with Trekyards, discussing his history with modding and his vision for starting the Armada 3 project.
The Loef expresses his admiration for a bloodthirsty war criminal
In this diary we'll take a look at Tutorials, modelling, the new DLC and most importantly of all, the return of your lord and saviour!
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Highest Rated (41 agree) 10/10
A wonderful mod. - 5 Unique Factions to play with (Federation, Klingons, Romulans, Borg, Dominion+Cardassians+Breen - Well balanced mod experience. - Vast graphical improvements and high quality models+textures. - Lovely music remastered out of other former Star Trek games, very fitting. - The spiritual successor to Star Trek Armada2. - Hero units + their voices included such as Picard, Sisko, Martok, Locutus of Borg, Sela etc. - Many custom maps. - Fully working AI support. - Custom Ui. - Custom…
Mar 2 2014 by 23-down