Considering that we've put in the Galaxy Gun, which can blow up planets, we thought it was only fair to give planets the chance to retaliate. One of the new abilities in Ascendancy is that every faction has a weapon which can be shot from their planets at a target ship. For the New Republic, this is the Ion Cannon, which can be used to disable key systems on an enemy ship for a short period of time, as seen in Episode 5 when the Rebels were escaping Hoth. For the Remnant, it's a Hypervelocity Gun, which does a massive amount of damage to the target. The Empire of the Hand will most likely get the Hypervelocity Gun as well. We'll talk about where these abilities come from for the Empire of the Hand and New Republic later, but for the Remnant is comes from the new 'Command Station' building.
Command Stations for the Remnant are based on an expansion of the idea of planet specialization mechanic in the Forbidden Worlds expansion, as well as a community suggestion from our Imperial Tech Tree suggestions topic (by Waffle Wagon). In this mechanic by building the Command Station you are able to designate an individual planet as having a defensive specialization, which has several effects (some of which we have nailed down, some of which will probably change as we make balance adjustments). The station itself is counted as a logistical structure, which will take up most logistic slots on an individual planet and redirect a large portion of the tax base towards its own maintenance, thereby reducing the ability of that planet to be an economic or cultural powerhouse, while providing almost exclusively military benefits and securing that planet against enemy culture. It provides a significant boost to planet health, and gives friendly ships in orbit considerable tactical advantages. This structure is best used on a few planets at key chokepoints, where it can be used to stop an enemy assault in its tracks.
In the future, we hope to expand this type of specialization into other areas than just military. For now I'll very briefly explain the function of another Imperial and Empire of the Hand structure, the Naval Station. This serves a similar purpose to the Repair Station in the base game, so you'll be familiar with the basic functions if you've played any amount of Sins. As compared to the base game, it is more important for two key reasons; one, passive regeneration of hull health is much slower in Ascendancy than in the base game, and two, these are the stations which replenish fighters to your carriers, as mentioned in the previous update.
We're quickly approaching the beginning of the Imperial alpha, as well as the 8th anniversary of the creation of our mod team, so we should hopefully have something new for everyone to look at soon.