Discovery Freelancer 2018 - 4.90 Initial
This is the first of three major storyline and systems releases for the 4.90 update cycle. These continue the precedents set for improving system layouts and providing direct lore progression for as many of the game's NPC factions as possible. 4.90 will also observe a mining update and a number of trials.
4.90 Middle's planning phase is nearly complete; systems and infocards work will begin on that before the end of January. If all goes well, that update (not much smaller in size than Initial) will be out by or before spring. Systems and storyline planning for 4.90 Final has advanced from barebones work to the ironing out stage, and groundwork has been laid out for the 4.91 update cycle.
After much bloodshed and years of civil unrest, the Imperial and Republican Kusari governments arranged talks for a joint concession. Both sides believe that any further continuation of the war is abhorrent and an unnecessary weakening of Kusari amidst the uneasy presence of expanding neighbors. Although it is a hard political change for many to swallow, the fleets and separated civilians were reunified under a single House. Constitutional conventions are still underway, paving a road for Kusari's monarchic emperor and the newer democratic parliament to coexist and share a balance of power.
Indeed, there are many concerned third parties. While Liberty and Bretonia can breathe a sigh of relief as the chances for the Kusari Naval Forces to align with the Gallic Royal Navy in their conflict are greatly diminished, Gallia has become suspicious that this move might soon mean the end of its vital external trade route going through Rishiri. Whereas the Hogosha and Golden Chrysanthemums will both thrive – albeit quite differently – on House Kusari's gradual shift back towards its grand traditional ways, the hunted Farmers Alliance fear that their unlawful status will not change, and the Blood Dragons feel more challenged by the now stronger central government, yet they are not backing down. Neither is Rheinland, ever interested in its unilateral expansion into Sigma-15 and Sigma-21.
Their claims come contested by the Gas Miners Guild as well as Kusari, as all three sovereign states have shown great interest in acquiring Planet Saigon for themselves. Battleship Bayern and its fleet have been dispatched to that system as an early show of force, a move which may precipitate skirmishes if Kusari – looking to clamp down on a system bordering their core system of Honshu – matches them with a fleet of their own. Meanwhile, the Gas Miners brace for the wrath of each neighboring House, following their capture of Planet Kurile and the allegedly staged attack on Fulda in Frankfurt.
The disparate community of Zoners, appalled at the chaotic upheaval at Freeport 2, have snuck a solitary Aquilon into Bering as a means to monitor the situation. Each so far unaware of the other, the Rogues dispatched the Drunken Codger to the system for similar reasons. They intend to impose their influence over the area in order to gain a higher position over their local friends, the Unioners and Junkers, who again are each interested in the same thing.
The diligent work of Liberty's megacorporations over the years is soon to pay off. With the shipping and construction stages of the supposedly hidden site in Alberta complete, along with much of the astronomical calculations and software configurations, the supergate is nearly finished. A similar site has been arranged with the Bretonian government in Poole, with assembly expected to begin soon after the opening of Ageria's new station, Plymouth Outpost. Nearby in Omega-3, a trade lane to Planet Sprague from Freeport 1 has been implemented in concert with Deep Space Engineering and BMM.
Yet in spite of their joint efforts for technological and infrastructural advancements, Bretonia continues to face increased hardship from the Gallic Invasion. While Carcassonne and its fleet must still deal with Yukon's own battlegroup, their Starvation Doctrine is beginning to have its effect on supplies and reinforcements sent from Liberty. Royal Navy commanders are so sure of their spearhead's success in Cortez that they have begun the next stage of their conquest; Battleship Castres has advanced into New London and disabled the Junkers' Trafalgar Depot. Deep space navigation data collection, along with disinformation campaigns aimed at convincing Liberty commanders that California is the next target instead of Newcastle or New London, has been the main focus of the Royal Intelligence as they look to information and subterfuge as forefront methods to win this war. Rumor has it that they might attempt to cause a political incident between the allied nations, to further weaken Liberty Navy support.
Four systems were redesigned for 4.90 final. Puerto Rico and Omicron Phi each received a moderate revamp, meant to modernize their layouts and improve traffic flow, as well as their general visual aesthetic. Additionally, the connection between Omicrons Phi and Psi were again adjusted to be more risky and unusual.
Omega-54 was peppered with a collection of minor adjustments that introduced a pair of bases hostile to the Hessians, in addition to the aforementioned goals for Puerto Rico and Omicron Phi. Omega-55 also witnessed a number of nudges, aimed to better spread out the system's seemingly cramped collection of assets.
Nota Bene: Error's NavMap is not yet updated, so until then you may Discover™ what's new. Some other, smaller changes were also made that you can find in-game.
With the reunification of Kusari, the IKN are no longer a separate NPC faction from the KNF. They are not alone however, as we are trialling the removal of two other factions. These two have been written off through storyline defeat, rather than a retcon. The first are the Reapers of Sirius, who have long since been at odds with their two neighbors. Their stations have been divided up amongst the Corsairs, Coalition, Zoners, and their Poole facility went to the Bounty Hunters Guild. Their shipline remains in-game. As a playable faction, they are being removed from the game because of their low player base and lower impact on the overall or even regional storyline. Remnants exist but have flocked to old allies or friends such as the Zoners, Order, Outcasts, and possibly even the IMG.
The second one will undoubtedly sadden some, yet it has been seen as necessary by others for some time. Keep in mind that these are trials, and as such may be reverted based upon community input. The Landwirtrechtbewegung (LWB) are the other NPC faction to have been defeated, disintegrating underneath a lack of unity and external support. Many stations survived only through claiming allegiance to another unlawful Rheinland faction. Their shipline also remains in-game. As with the RoS, they are being removed from the game because of their small footprint for both the players and the plot. Angry farmers continue to exist, finding support in branches of the Hessians and Unioners. Some of the more idealistic may have chosen to join the ranks of the Bundschuh, and a few may have traveled to other Houses to take up similar eco-terrorist causes.
Another trial is the long awaited removal of Omega-9. Omega-5 already shared most of its connections, so it received its outstanding links to Cambridge and Omega-52. We will be closely monitoring how this effects regional Zones of Influence, economy balancing, and general gameplay.
The last trial with this update is a connection between Omega-55 and Omicron Theta. While there is ample reasoning to keep the bottleneck around Omicron Gamma, testing a backdoor is a worthwhile effort. Economically, it should still be faster to travel from Omega-55 to Omicron Theta through Omicron Gamma, so those looking to take this as a "shortcut" will ideally lose time.
- Added Retribution missile
- Fixed Wyvern hitbox
- Fixed Scorpion hitbox
- Fixed Anzu Nomad Gunship CTD
- Fixed Marduk Nomad Battleship CM hardpoint
- New Crayter Republic "Deimos" Dreadnought
- New Gallic Royal Navy "Triumph" Destroyer
- New Council "Penance" Destroyer
- New Lane Hacker "Transgressor" Bomber
- New Outcast "Aspis" Battle Transport
- Added glowmaps to Docking Rings and Jump Gates
- Fixed and glowmapped Camara textures
- Fixed and glowmapped Kusari Explorer textures
- Added a new starfield starsphere to almost every system
- Fixed Cerberus Gunboat Turret sounds
NPC Base, Behavior, & Player Interaction Changes
- Reapers of Sirius IFF converted into Bretonia Intelligence Service IFF
Thanks, members and assistants of the Development Team!