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Today we introduce a new concept into Sins of the Prophets, faction leaders: how they work, and how they fit.

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Greetings, Admirals and Fleetmasters! In many a-games, from RTS to tabletop, the concept of “sub factions” is commonplace and, frankly, staple. Vanilla Sins, Halo Fleet Battles, Civilization, and many more, utilizes them to diversify play while still allowing a core balance and meta to develop. It is with this in mind, the SotP team decided to start experimenting with the idea of introducing our own version of said system.

Veteran followers of SotP’s development will remember hearing of similar ideas in the past that, ultimately, did not pan out or were otherwise dismantled. This was done for a number of reasons, mostly tied to us feeling there were not enough “sub-factions” to properly branch off with in the Halo universe. However, more recently this idea has evolved to take a different approach that feels more authentic to the Halo RTS experience, which is through leaders.

As stated, many strategy games have utilized a similar system, where you can diversify your play with a certain faction by playing as a different leader in that faction (Halo Wars players: this is right up your alley). Each leader would specialize in a certain type of play, but would be by no means constrained to it. Buffs received would have no drawbacks, meaning there would be no “tradeoff” traits for anyone involved. These buffs would be received by a linear tech path split among multiple branches of research, spanning from early to late game.

On top of unique research buffs and play style diversification, each leader would have several unique ships that either “replaces” a ship in the default roster or builds upon it. These vessels would be catered toward the playstyle of that particular leader, bolstering their tactics and strategy outside of the research menu.

As of this writing, this has been one of the next “big things” we have in the works. So with all this in mind, let’s dig in!

Why we’re doing this:

  • This system introduces different playstyles into the 2 factions currently present in the mod, allowing the player to select a style that best suits their skills or interests.
  • Provides a replayability booster, in that it invites players to invest in new tactics and try new styles.
  • Introduces an opportunity to “step over” role overlap, having certain ships simply replace others under certain leaders.
  • Allows us to reimplement cut content formerly deemed unusable.

Below is the current planned setup for 6 total leaders, each with defined styles and perks. While more leaders are certainly a possibility down the road, this is what we’ve been working with for the time being.

UNSC

Cole

Vice Admiral Preston Cole

Style: Admiral Cole focuses on offensive tactics and hit-and-run engagements; living by the policy that “the best defense is a good offense”. Admiral Cole receives buffs for sniping and constantly engaging his enemies.

If you have always felt the UNSC could deal with a bit more offensive firepower, Cole is absolutely the best choice for you. In terms of UNSC leaders, none of them are nearly as straightforward or as pointedly powerful as the Vice Admiral.

Unique Ships:

  • Noryang-class Carrier
    • A heavily armed and nimble carrier under service with Admiral Cole’s expeditionary fleets, the Noryang augments Admiral Cole’s fleets with improved planet siege capabilities and fast moving, hard hitting fighter support.
  • Phoenix-class Support Ship refit
    • Mostly unchanged from the current release of the mod, however, the ship becomes unique under admiral Cole.
  • Hillsborough-class Light Destroyer
    • A lightly armed but versatile destroyer pulled from mothballs to serve in Admiral Cole’s hastily-formed response forces. Armed with an excess number of missile pods, the Hillsborough performs well in long, drawn out engagements.


Stanforth

Vice Admiral Hieronymus Michael Stanforth

Style: Vice Admiral Stanforth specializes in asymmetric warfare and electronic engagement, utilizing a variety of stealth craft and ONI-laden vessels to combat hostile fleets. Once the enemy has been softened by his prowler fleets, Stanforth uses slow but heavy-hitting attacks to crush anything left.

For those who enjoyed prowler play in previous releases, Stanforth is an excellent choice for you. Stanforth is the “curve ball” of the UNSC leaders, requiring a bit of a different approach to reach full potential. But if used properly - can be a very dangerous combatant.

Unique Ships:

  • Sahara-class Prowler
    • The Sahara-class has become a prowler frigate in service of Stanforth, acting as a “heavy hitter” in prowler fleets.
  • Razor-class Prowler
    • Nimble, but flimsy, the Razor acts as a smaller, “Prowler Paris” in Prowler fleets.
  • Point-Blank-class Stealth Cruiser
    • A versatile support ship and a prowler in all but name, the Point-Blank lends itself to Stanforth's clandestine activities with a number of ONI related gadgets. While a valuable support vehicle in itself, the true power behind the Point-Blank is its ability to coordinate cloaking across multiple vessels in proximity, allowing entire fleets of prowlers to move in and out of cloak in unison.
  • Thanatos-class Battleship
    • [[[REDACTED]]]
    • “Go ahead and build your new supercarrier, take it and run to wherever the hell you think you’ll go. We’ll build something to defend the Earth, to defend us, not to run away and hide.”


Hood

Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood

Style: The bulwark of the UNSC leaders, Hood is armed to the teeth with the latest in defensive technology. While not shying away from offensive play, Hood definitely specializes in keeping his own worlds safe and secure - with easily deployed logistics and improved defensive structures.

For those of the persuasion that the UNSC was not tanky enough already, Admiral Hood should be your go-to leader. Armed with the latest in defensive enhancements, what Hood lacks in offensive firepower he makes up for as a slow moving “wall of doom”. Should a skilled Hood player entrench a world, capturing it will be no easy task.

Unique Ships:

  • Stalwart-class Light Frigate
    • Formerly the standard AA vessel of the UNSC fleet, the Stalwart has been relegated to Admiral Hood’s lines due to its incomparable abilities in planetary defense. Armed similarly to Paris-class frigates, but with better point defense and ground deployment capabilities, no planetary defense is complete with a contingent of Stalwart-class frigates.
  • Athens-class Heavy Carrier
    • A slower, but dependable carrier relegated to Hood’s defensive fleets, Athens has a carrying capacity well outside of its weight class for vessels of its size, making it invaluable in supporting Hood’s fleets with large swarms of strike craft.
  • Buildable proximity mines for planetary defenses.


Covenant

Thel

Supreme Commander Thel 'Vadamee

Style: The brawler and offensive mastermind, Thel is not at home unless he’s in the enemy’s living room with an energy sword and a grumpy attitude. Thel specializes in blitzkrieg style play and overwhelming snowball tactics. As a result, however, he can be a difficult leader to get rolling.

To those who enjoyed the Covenant for their overwhelming and overpowering style of strategy, Thel will feel like a very logical progression. The Supreme Commander is only at his best if his fleets are constantly on the front lines, moving through enemy territory with little concern. While a difficult leader to stop in a prolonged campaign, if deterred, Thel ‘Vadamee is more difficult to rebuild as.

Unique Ships:

  • PCS-class Fireship
    • A vessel that, frankly, goes against all Covenant doctrine, no ship in the Covenant armada is so singularly devoted to combat than the PCS. Armed with an incredible amount of plasma lances, what the PCS lacks in vitality it more than makes up for in speed and sheer damage potential.
  • RPV-class Light Destroyer
    • A lighter, and more nimble alternative to the CPV-class Heavy Destroyer, Supreme Commander Vadamee uses these vessels to great effect in chasing down enemy warships and harassing enemy capital vessels. While fast, they are fragile.
  • DAS-class Storm Cutter
    • Fast, but small and incredibly fragile, the DAS supports thel’s fleets with anti-fighter interdiction and raiding capabilities.

We do have one more vessel in the works for Thel, however at this time it’s only a hypothetical, that we may or may not cut before release. For now, have but a name.

  • APS-class Battleship


Xytan

Imperial Admiral Xytan ‘Jar Wattinree

Style: As an explorer and guardian of Covenant space, the legendary commander Xytan specializes in strong logistics and adaptability. By far the best “turtle” Covenant leader, if such a title were to exist. As protector of the fringe, Xytan has access to ships mostly unutilized by the rest of the Covenant.

The Imperial Admiral is, by most metrics, a departure from the normal Covenant style. Admiral Xytan, protecting the vast swathes of worlds that make up the Covenant’s border space, focuses on defending his worlds and harassing enemy fortifications from a position of strength. For those who did not care for how the Covenant played in the past, or simply felt a different approach could be used, Admiral Xytan is for you.

Unique Ships:

  • ADP-class Escort
    • Slow, but a well armed escort against both enemy fighter craft and warships. What the vessel lacks in dexterity it more than makes up for in defensive capabilities.
  • RCS-class
    • An older relative to the universally known CCS-class, the RCS supports Xytan’s fleets with several support abilities. Among these is a very powerful version of the stasis enfolder seen on smaller Covenant aircraft such as the vampire. While useful, the vessel’s age gives it sub-par weaponry and shielding for its size.


Regret

The High Prophet of Regret

Style: The noble Prophet Regret was never one to be complacent or idle, insisting he view the frontlines of the war whenever he could. Regret stands as the most well rounded leader in the Covenant roster, focusing on improving his plays both militarily and economically with political overrides and Forerunner technology appropriated for his use.

To those who want a very “vanilla” Covenant leader from previous releases, the High Prophet of Regret stands as your best choice. Regret has the unique capability to improve some of his vessels with Forerunner artifacts, bolstering his fleets with divine blessings. Regret holds no singular focus, simply opting to improve his general play and effectiveness on the field.

Unique Ships:

  • OAS-class Assault Carrier/Syfon-pattern CAS-class
    • The Covenant as a whole will lose their titan, and instead the OAS becomes exclusive to the High Prophet of Regret. Regret’s assault carriers lack the incredible firepower and robustness seen in the titan of previous releases, but feature a number of supportive abilities that make it far better than the run of the line CAS-class.
  • DSC-class Support Carrier
    • A smaller vessel that supports the fleet with modest support abilities and carrying capability. In general, what the DSC lacks in offensive potential on its own, it makes up for in its ability to improve whatever fleet it finds itself attached to.


While some of the details are subject to change, these are, in general, the approach we’ve been taking with each leader and the general style we’d like to go for. Again, this has been one of the “big things” we’ve been working on as of late, but also, again, only one of. The next release of Sins of the Prophets will feel vastly different when compared to previous releases. We hope to share more of what that entails in the coming weeks, as we exit the public downtime we entered at the beginning of this year.

More news is to come, friends, and we thank you for following us this far. We are beyond excited to show you what we think is the best release of the mod to date!



Want to talk about this awesome update with other dedicated SotP fans? Why not become one of the 2300+ fans already in our Discord server and come tell us which leader you plan to specialize in!

Comments
xDoodles
xDoodles

Can't wait until the work is done. Amazing mod and will always be a fan!

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Schuchart
Schuchart

Looking forward to it, reminds me of good old Generals! Happy times!

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wookkeels
wookkeels

Thanatos-class Battleship

How many MAC's are we talking about ?

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Unikraken Creator
Unikraken

[[[REDACTED]]], with an array of [[[REDACTED]]].

Reply Good karma+7 votes
timstro59
timstro59

All of them.

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AncientT
AncientT

Maybe now with cole i can actually do some damage to the covies maaasive blobs!

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the_gemperor
the_gemperor

My God. This...Is...AWESOME!!!

I am totally going full Cole and 'Vadamee when I first do the UNSC and Covenant when this is implemented. Also, this will definitely solve the issue for me where there are too many types of capital ships and not enough capital ship crews and ship supply, so thank you!

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Wraithlord_Zeratul
Wraithlord_Zeratul

So I didn't seen Banished yet, so what's the future for this faction? As yet another branch of covenant, or a 3rd playable faction with their own choosable sub-faction commander?

Also since OAS-Class Assault Carrier will switch to Prophet's special capital ships, what ship will fill the missing titan gap?

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Unikraken Creator
Unikraken

The Covenant will not have a titan. Titans are very disruptive to normal gameplay, so we're heading away from them.

A full Banished faction, including custom designs for most ships and some new ships, are still planned and being designed. However, UNSC and Covenant will always be the primary focus of the mod and until we feel we've locked down how the mod should work, we can't really dive into extra factions. Sentinels will come next if this works out, then Banished. I'm hopeful we can show you guys a Banished ship soon.

We are really short of experienced artists, 3d modeling complex surfaces from little concept art and texturing that can remain on par with Malcontent's work, so if you know anyone in art school looking to puff up his/her resume - send them our way.

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Wraithlord_Zeratul
Wraithlord_Zeratul

So this means Infinity-Class also dropped from titan status in the future?

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Unikraken Creator
Unikraken

There is a strong possibility that it will eventually see a change similar to the OAS has now, but that will also involve other large, planned changes for the mod.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
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cheesysquid279
cheesysquid279

This is actually a really cool idea, and I like how it is looking. I have definitely tried to think myself how the factions could be expanded for this mod, and this is definitely better then I could have imagined!

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Lord_Hood
Lord_Hood

Looking forward to this I'll probably play all of them.a few times to get a feel before chosing a favourite. But so far I know I'm going to be a nightmare with Cole.
I also imagine this will make some future additions eaiser to add?

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SilentRebel38
SilentRebel38

I'm stunned. Just... awesome! These will definitely spice up the gameplay, and I may actually get to be more offensive. Thanks!

But I have a question: There's a planned Forerunner faction, right? Have the leaders been planned out yet? I fully expect the Didact to be a leader, but who could take the other 2 positions?

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sookendestroy1 Creator
sookendestroy1

Yes there's a Sentinel faction planned however the base faction would be implemented before any leaders. This also allows us to naturally decide what aspects of the faction would be best to expand into sub factions.

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SilentRebel38
SilentRebel38

Sounds fair. Lookin' forward, and best of luck.

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Reacon11
Reacon11

This looks excellent!

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Centurian128
Centurian128

Interesting, not totally sold on some of the ship decisions though. This'll be good for overall balance and gameplay, but I'm going to miss the expansive fleet diversity in the factions.

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Guest
Guest

Wait.... no titans in the future? :( I hope still edit the entity files for put in the game (?

The decision of put this leaders looks good. Other idea in my opinion would put em.. rebelds covenant and unsc, this factions can have the obsolete ships (artemis, rcs). Sorry for my english is basic.

Your mod is amazing :)

pd: no titans :(

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Guest
Guest

excellent, this is "Elite MOD of the Year" i guess, we hope it will very interesting update to come regarding on this ongoing development mod ... regards guys more power and support!

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Guest
Guest

Look at that know that is cool sh*t! I look forward to the next update!

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Sevi117
Sevi117

Looks really good. Personally I would like to see something like the culture system to help with the loyalty from planets far from my capital.

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