The second article in the series, aimed at providing insight into the changes and features of RotM version 5.
Posted by the_Farseer on Nov 6th, 2013
This article will be shorter than the previous one simply because it's an overview and not a detailed, item-by-item list of the changes that are to come. Invariably, there will be those of you who want that level of detail in this post but to do so would literally be hours of work and the info provided would be dryer than a Tusken Raider's...Sarlac pit...
Anyway, on to business!
Basically in RotM version 5, I want to almost completely redo the damage tables and unit statistics to make gameplay more realistic (or as realistic as one can make the Star Wars universe anyway). I was always bothered that plex rockets and turbolasers hardly did anything to infantry, while hand blasters and sniper rounds picked away at vehicles like they were made of concrete, rather than Beskar and Durasteel, etc. It made unit types armed with said weapons much less threatening and it locked them into a single combat role, while making them virtually useless in any other scenario. That "lock-in" discouraged the production of those units in late-game and really hurt any real strategy in the game because it forced a "rock/paper/scissors" scenario where players simply bring out the next trump card until you're both just building AT-ATs or T4-B tanks, respectively, and nothing else.
The idea is this: Rockets, turbolasers, any weapon type should do lethal damage to infantry. Before you jump to conclusions... I am NOT turning infantry into cannon fodder! That type of gameplay is less enjoyable than the rock/paper/scissors-type aforementioned and would not serve this mod well. In essence though, infantry will serve the same purpose that they do in the real-world; a front-line/advance unit meant for scoping out/securing a small area to clear the way for heavier units. They cannot be used for assault or act as a primary defense! Rocket infantry will not be altogether useless against regular infantry types as well. If I'm a regular soldier in the field and somebody shoots me with a rocket, I'm not going to shrug it off and say, "meh, I think I'll shoot back and kill you now," I'm going to asplode and die a terrible death. The caveat is that rocket squads are smaller, slower, and have a longer duration between shots that usually tips the scales in favor a regular infantry squad BUT it doesn't leave them out in the cold to die without the support of another unit type...
Similarly, light vehicles like the AT-PT or T2-B should now be thought of more like heavy infantry, rather than a "vehicle" that is suited for combat against larger foes. Compare it to an M8 Greyhound (En.wikipedia.org) going up against a Panzer IV (En.wikipedia.org). The T2-B would make a good distraction for the heavier vehicle because it's fast and armored enough that a stray hit won't cripple it but it can't hold it's own in a head-on attack. Alternately, it's weapons will quickly eat away at infantry but plex/rocket units can cause a great deal of hurt if they get off the first shot; no more click-and-forget unit management.
Lastly, turbolasers and other super-heavy projectile types will effectively one-shot every type of infantry. Gone are the days when a Turbo Tower can be taken down by patiently chipping away at it with a few squads of infantry; these structures and units are a serious threat to be reckoned with. So how do you take down a unit they is both effective against infantry and other vehicles? The answer is: carefully and with strategy. Air units can be a good choice in some cases because they are so fast that they can "evade our turbolasers" ;) . Units like the AT-AT are effective at taking down air units though, so then what? Obviously tow-cables are a NR-only option so if you play as the Mandalorians or are pitting the Remnant against itself in skirmish, the best answer is to use a combination of the fast, hit-and-run units in conjunction with a capable anti-armor unit. Run the fast guys by first (referring back to the T2-B, AT-PT analogy from the previous paragraph) and when the lumbering, slow, heavy unit has its back turned, send in the cavalry and do some damage. See? Strategy :)
I think that's it this time around. There aren't really numbers here, in case there are people out there who like to see numbers... The point is to try and avoid numbers, which are always predictable and consistent. A truly immersive combat experience has elements of luck, strategy, and predictability all working at once. Hopefully that all makes sense and my musing was enjoyable and gives you all something to look forward to! Thank you for enduring all the text!!