Over the past months the mod has seen a tremendous amount of progress and changes to its very core. If you have kept up with the updates you'll have seen the new Galactic Conquest map, new units out the whazoo, star dreadnoughts, clone wars era units, and even the occasional starbase. So what's been going on under the hood all this time?
I'm slowly building the mod from an Empire at War Remake into a grander experience, more akin to the old Ultimate Enhancement Mod for the original Empire at War than actual Empire at War at this point. The idea is to give the galaxy a more varied and alive ecosystem where you can build different units on different planets. At this point there are a lot of neutrally buildable units, from old republic era ships like the Sith Interdictor and the Mandalorian Kandosii to a slew of Clone Wars era starships. This has taken a painstaking amount of work to not only patch the art assets up to the quality that I want them at (Graphical quality is very important to me) but to balance it properly. An easy way many mods have handled older or faction-non-specific ships in the past is to simply power them down, older = bad, right? In the Remake mod I decided not to do this, and to instead shift the focus of units on a faction-specific identity. What does this mean for balance?
It means each faction has unique strengths and weaknesses that fit their history/timeperiod focus, and that old vs new fleet matchups are not decided by the age of the ships, but by the strengths and weaknesses of each faction. Below is a summary of each factions focus.
The Mandalorians focus on heavy firepower and heavy armor to overpower their enemies. While a very serious threat on the battlefield, Mandalorian units are generally expensive and can be cost-effectively countered by other units. Still, the Mandalorian starfleet possesses some of the heaviest weapons in the mod, varying from heavy turbolasers to gargantuan mass driver cannons and super heavy concussion missiles.
The Republic focusses on heavy starfighter carrying ships like the Venator, placing less importance on the quality of their larger warships if they could carry large amounts of starfighters. The Venator is a great example of this, it spawns many powerful starfighters, but it isn't an exceptionally powerful warship alone.
The CIS focusses on many trash-tier starfighters and vulnerable but very powerful ships to try to overpower their enemy with pure damage output. Their fighters and ships are in general very vulnerable to damage, and have low health, but their damage output is second to none. They have a couple of more sturdy ships like the Lucrehulk and Providence to serve as mainline brawlers, but each still has a focus in firepower and starfighter compliment.
The Empire focusses on large floating fortresses with long-range weapons and sturdy armor. Their large budget allows them to build a varied selection of large capital ships. Imperial starships have the longest firing range of any faction (while not necessarily having the most damage output in close range) and a lot of armor to back this up. They deploy trash-tier starfighters in low number to counter enemy bombers, which their ships are vulnerable to. Lots of fast moving turbolaser and ion cannon weaponry while disregarding slower, shield-penetrating weaponry such as torpedoes. The combination of these strengths and weaknesses works exceptionally well against the CIS starfleet with their low health starships.
The Rebellion focusses on a high number of smaller, more maneuverable, and specialized starships and high-quality starfighters. Their budget isn't very high, and so rely on cheaper, more costeffective craft while their advisary the Empire can afford to build large heavily armored fortresses spewing trash tier starfighters. Their ships like the MC 30 are highly specialized, fast, cheap, but powerful, and designed to tackle a specific weakness of the Empire. The mc 30 has heavy shield penetrating torpedoes, to counter Imperial heavy armor. The Assault Frigate is a floating armor barge to counter Imperial firepower. The CHG is fast and excells at destroying smaller frigates quickly and getting out. Rebel fighters and bombers are all exceptionally powerful, armed with many (varied) weapons and strong shielding. If used well, a rebel fleet can very cost-effectively pick appart a Imperial starfleet. While their mainline capital ships each have wildly varied strengths and weaknesses, the Rebellion should focus on their powerful small and mid sized ships, and not try to engage the Empire in a Capital vs Capital ship battle, that the Empire excells at.
For budding Rebel players, do NOT throw your capital ships into the Imperial battleline, that's not what they're for, and that is what the Empire does best, straight on capital vs capital engagements. Know what ships do, read descriptions, and use them accordingly.
The Criminal Underworld is a melting pot of different factions like the Black Sun, the Zann Consortium, and the Hutt Cartels. These factions will each have sub units with a different sub identity that you can all use in a single ridiculously varied starfleet. The Black Sun has many different pirate ships from many different planets, buildable anywhere. The Zann Consortium designs unique and heavily powered starships like the Aggressor-class capital cracker or their Recusant, that was stripped and changed into a heavy artillery platform. The Hutt cartel is going to have its very own fleet of units, consistent of every basic unit they need, from a corvette to a capital ship. Uniquely designed for the Hutts, these ships cannot be found anywhere else in the galaxy. Between all these factions that contribute to the the Criminal Underworlds starfleet there is great variety in their units, meaning depending on what units you use you can DIY build your own fleet with its own strengths and weaknesses.
So what's up with these factions? Is this Ultimate Empire at War now?
No, no it isn't. We still have the 3 main factions, with the Vong as a playable faction once it is fully developed. The 3 main factions, Empire, Rebellion, Underworld, will be able to build specific ships on specific planets. If you control Kamino, you can build Republic units. If you control Geonosis, you can build CIS units. There are more planets you can build these units on, this is just an example. Both the Republic and CIS are getting a Battlecruiser (Mandator II/Subjugator) which can be unlocked via story events for the Rebellion and Criminal Underworld. The Mandator will be mainline battleship, the Subjugator is already finished, and serves as a single-target disabler uniquely suited for disabling and engaging the largest Imperial capital ships such as their Super Star Destroyers. Not overly powerful for its size though, the Subjugator is vulnerable to a large swarm of smaller enemy units.
In this way, each ship has a strength and a weakness. It does something well, and it does something poorly. It's not as pronounced as the rock-paper-scissors system of the original Empire at War, but I try very hard to make each ship have a unique character that fits within the scope and the theme of that ships faction. A faction consists of a complete fleet that can cover most if not all aspects of a battle. This is not easy to set up and it takes time for every unit to be balanced properly, but at this point I've got enough of the framework set up that the grand picture is finally becoming visible.
If you want to know more about the individual units and their strengths and weaknesses, I've started a series on my youtube channel called Ship VS Ship, where I match ships up against eachother. This gives me an excuse to test the units some more and talk about their strengths and weaknesses. If you want to know more about how I balance the mod, this a great way to learn more. Or if you just want to witness some iconic matchups in a star wars setting. You can visit the playlist here: Youtube.com
We have a discord community where we chat about the mod, Star Wars, share screenshots, and talk about the most random shit. It's the best way to get in touch with me and follow the mods updates as they happen, which in the summer months is daily. You can join the discord server here: Discordapp.com
And last but certainly not least, the Patreon page. The Patreon page is what allows me to spend the amount of time on the mod that I do, and without which this mod would've certainly been dead by now, because I'd have to find a different sidejob while I go through my education. Recently we've had a surge of supporters and I'm very thankful to you legends for keeping me on the modding train and letting me do this. I keep shilling the page shamelessly on my youtube channel and my moddb page, because it is literally what's keeping this train going, and I'd very much like to keep going. I like to think I'm creating good content, and have lots more ideas to work out and implement if I can. Making a mod is not easy, it takes a lot of time, and I've gotten some great help from very talented artists as of late to help speed things up as much as possible, but I have to stretch how important to me the Patreon page is. If you are well off, and you have something you can spare, consider contributing to Patreon.com It keeps the Youtube channel and the mod itself going. If you can't support, that is OK too, just leaving a comment and showing your support on the moddb page is great to see as well, and is supporting the mod as well.
Timeline and Steam
I've outlined everything that is important enough to mention, except for 2 things, the timeline and the steam workshop. This mod will not be hosted on the steam workshop, I host it on moddb because its easier for me to maintain this. You can simply download the mod from here and install it on steam manually. It's an easy 5 minute process. So you can stop asking about it.
The release date is currently non-existant, and while I was toying with the idea of having a release within the next few weeks, I've found this is not realistic. I do not plan to release an incomplete version with half-finished features, and instead want to release a single, coherent, well working, streamlined, mod. This will undoubtedly rustle some jimmies, but I'm here to make something I'm happy with, if you want to support me on that journey, that's great, and if you don't, plenty of other great mods out there like Thrawn's Revenge, Age of the Rebellion, Republic at War, or any of the others. I'm doing my own thing, according to my vision, so far it's worked out, and I plan to keep doing it.
Thanks for sitting through this entire article, and stay tuned for more updates and new content,
Jeroenimo, the Dutchman
I have removed the at this point severely outdated downloads of the mod from moddb.All free releases and other modders resources will still be available via the add-on section for modders who wish to use them.I have made this decision because I feel the older versions of the mod do not represent the current quality standard of the Remake mod, and that if I want this to go anywhere, I need to set the bar as high as I have for the past year, in that spirit, I don't want subpar, older versions of the remake mod available.
Furthermore, I'm looking to release a single, large scale and fully functional mod, instead of the smaller betas that I worked with in the past, which later need patching. Less than a third of the people who downloaded 0.9 downloaded the 0.95 patch afterwards, in this spirit, I'll release the mod when it is feature complete and ready for play, instead of releasing a buggy version that'll have to be patched later on. This means more development time, but it'll also mean a better, more fun to play mod with more content once it releases.