It probably hasn't escaped your notice that there hasn't yet been a post outlining what has changed between 0.7.5.5 and 0.8. The short answer, and also the reason why there hasn't been a post yet, is "a lot". The less short answer to the question of why there hasn't yet been a post is because the changelog between those two versions is over 1300 lines long, and represents about two and a half years of development, and condensing that down to something easily digestible, and that people will actually read is no easy feat.
The second big question is probably "why was it delayed by nearly 2 years when the initial reason for the delay was a broken leg sustained less than two weeks before the originally announced release date?" Well, the real answer to that question is probably a bit too introspective and weird, and can probably be boiled down to "feature creep question mark?" But, the whys are less important than the whats, and it's the whats and whens that we are here for, so without further ado:
What is new? I suppose we should start with the big stuff. Everyone likes the big stuff.
In order from largest to smallest, more or less, we have:
- Independence Engine: Aeon Air Factory — Technically an early alpha version of this was hidden in the files of 0.7.5.5, but it was disabled and unfinished. It does exactly what it sounds like it should; build all of the Aeon aircraft.
- Panopticon: UEF Sensor Array — Functionally speaking, this was also in 0.7.5.5, but it now has a model instead of re-using a civilian structure model, and is now substantially bigger than it was. It grants massive omni coverage, full map radar, and even reveals what all those blips actually are. Costs all of the energy to run. All of it.
- Arthrolab: Cybran Land Factory — Because you needed a Monkeylord and Megalith factory.
- Souiya: Seraphim Naval Factory (Not pictured) — What this lacks in Seraphim experimental naval units to build, at least without other mods enabled, this makes up for with the protection it gains from being entirely underwater. It also makes up for it when it comes to sharing tech; to explain: All the experimental factories gain the experimental units of nearby allied engineers of other factions, if they are large enough to build them. Souiya is large enough to build all of them that that it can on the water. The UEF Gantry is tiny in comparison, and can't build a lot of non-UEF experimental units.
- Abyss Crawler: Cybran Transport — This is one for those players who like the sound of the phrase "Surprise! Here's 54 Bricks on your doorstep!" It's a gargantuan land transport. It travels just under double the speed of a Brick whilst under water, has a radar and sonar stealth field, fairly powerful defences, and if it dies, all the units are guaranteed to survive. Unless any of those units can't swim and it dies underwater.
- Iyadesu: Seraphim Reconstruction Engineer — The Iyadesu has had a checkered history with BrewLAN. It has seen many iterations in basically every version of BrewLAN since the start of 2010. It was even in 0.7.5.5 in more or less it's current functional state. So why is it on this list? The same reason the Panopticon is; it's actually finished now. It's had some quality of life changes as well, but mostly it now looks bad ass.
- Excalibur: UEF Point Defence — It's a railgun. Yes, it can penetrate multiple targets. This is sort of a throw back to the first experimental I ever tried to make, and the differences between the two illustrate very cleanly the difference between where BrewLAN was in 2009 and where it is now nine years on.
That's all the new experimental units in BrewLAN 0.8. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! BrewLAN 0.8 also includes a plethora of sub-mods, three of which focus on additional units, all three of which include some number of experimental units, and all three of which are entirely new packaged with BrewLAN 0.8. So a slight tangent:
These extra unit sub-mods are, in order pictured:
- Bubble Tea: Adds the Seraphim Aiathan, Aeon Pillar of Prominence, and UEF BFS – Stalwart; three experimental shield generators, each functioning differently.
- Caffe Corretto: Adds a bunch of extra turrets for field engineers. Two of which are experimental. Of those two experimental turrets, one isn't pictured and was included in the BrewLAN 0.8★ ninja update on 18|08|18.
- Research & Daiquiris: Adds a research system closer to that of Age of Empires II than Supreme Commander 2; complete with 3 research centres for each faction (one of each tech level), and a bunch of extra units to research, including tech 2 tactical bombers, tech 3 dedicated omni sensors, and the Retributor; a Cybran amphibious experimental mobile artillery with better-than battleship grade self-defence weapons. Also the main subject of the BrewLAN 0.8★ ninja update, which added proper AI support for vanilla, Sorian, and LOUD AI's.
- Slink: Cybran Mobile Anti-Air — Previously existing, but re-purposed and buffed for it's new purpose as a dedicated anti-air.
- Atha-Ythia: Seraphim Mobile Anti-Air & TMD — Dual purpose hovering anti-air & tactical missile defence unit.
- NG3 Longbow: UEF Mobile Anti-Air & Sensor — Dual purpose anti-air and mobile sensor unit.
- Metatron: Aeon Mobile Sensor Array — Single purpose hovering mobile sensor unit.
- Yenesel: Seraphim Mobile Sensor Array — As with the Aeon equivalent; a hovering mobile sensor.
- Adremelech: Cybran Mobile Sensor Array — A mobile sensor that deactivates to move, and completely invisible to everything but omni whilst active.
- Stillson Class: Cybran Engineering Ship — Amphibious destroyer sized naval engineer. Will automatically assist nearby units.
- Hedgehog: Cybran Strategic Missile Defence — Previously existing, but now with a redone model deserving of its name.
- Uosthuum: Seraphim Torpedo Launcher — Fairly unique for a torpedo launcher; it hovers and it's mobile. It's also the reason why Seraphim won't be getting a land-factory built mobile torpedo launcher as is on the plan for other factions.
- Yathesel: Seraphim Radar Jammer — This is a cleaned up and remade version of the Seraphim jammer crystals from the campaign. It kinda resembles a fern on a small table.
- UX Dragonlady: UEF Recon Plane — It looks and functions like a U-2.
- Selia: Seraphim Recon Plane — Functionally identical to the UEF variant.
- Blade Raven: Cybran Stealth Plane — As well as filling the role of recon plane, the Blade Raven also serves as a flying mobile stealth field generator.
- Beguiler: Aeon Decoy Plane — Formerly tech 3, it's now been bumped down to tech 2 to fill the slot of the Aeon tech 2 utility aircraft.
- Barwick Class: Cybran Engineering Ship — Like it's tech 3 brother, but not amphibious.
- Rupture: Aeon Mobile Tactical Missile Defence — It's a mobile hovering version of the building that does the same.
- Respirer: Aeon Gunship — The second unit ever added to BrewLAN, as of writing 3 days shorty of exactly 9 years ago, remaining virtually unchanged for most of that time. It is included here because it received a complete overhaul in its appearance, after so long it's almost heresy.
- Franklin Class: Cybran Engineering Boat — The smallest of the Cybran naval engineer line. Fun fact; all three are named after wrenches.
That might not seem like a lot of additions to the lower tech levels, but BrewLAN has long been close to finished at those levels, and not much more inside the main BrewLAN is planned at the lower tech levels. However, that doesn't include the sub mods; Research & Daiquiris alone added 8 tech 1 units, with numerous more planned. Which brings us to:
But first, I should probably address the full extent of the so-called BrewLAN 0.8★ ninja update that occurred on 18|08|18: The changes were the addition of Maelstrom to Caffe Corretto, the addition of real AI support for Research & Daiquiris, and some minor translation corrections. The reason I refer to this update as 0.8★ rather than 0.8.1 or something is because it contained no functional changes to BrewLAN itself, and is 100% compatible with the original release version of 0.8, save for the two updated sub-mods, which report different versions, and will prevent anyone from using the different versions together.
In two days, on 26|08|2018, BrewLAN will be 9 years old. 13|10|2018 will be the 9 year anniversary of the first public release. I am currently planning to release BrewLAN 1.0 either on it's 10th birthday, the 10th anniversary of the first public release or on 10|10|2019 between the two anniversary dates. This means that BrewLAN 0.9 is pegged for release in around 6 months time, and I might do a 0.9.9 release on 09|09|19 because I'm a sucker for those sorts of release dates. I should probably also stress, that just because I plan to release BrewLAN 1.0, doesn't mean I plan to finish development on everything Supreme Commander on that date. Just that I'll consider BrewLAN feature complete.
And that is the concise summary of all the new units in BrewLAN 0.8. I'll leave you with shameless plugs for my Patreon page, where I post quality related content such as time-lapses, concept art, and original un-reduced textures, and the LOUD Discord, where I can frequently be found posting about random things I'm doing at that time, but that don't make for a good promotional image. Ciao.