Well, summer is over. The recent months were spend with hard work - not on the mod mostly, but still... Anyway, I'm currently at the stage where not much of a tangible work is being done, because currently I'm working on the balance. I'm very particular about the mod being somewhat balanced, so I have many calculations, spreadsheets and excel tables, and the work mostly consists of changing numbers and see what drops out at the end.
There are some new development that may interest you though, let's talk to the weapon system overhaul.
One of the major changes coming in War-Aftermath is the complete reworking of the weapon systems. Previously different weapons only meant that the shop fire red, green or yellow lines and dots. Well, not any more! Fleet Operations offer a vast majority of side effects we can play around with and I intend to use these.
The mod currently has four major weapon types, Phaser, Disruptor (beams and pulses), Photon and Plasma (torpedoes).
Phasers are exclusively used by the Federation. Due their nature of shooting phase-charged nadions, and the Federation's superior targeting capabilities, Phasesr have a slight chance to disable a subsystem of an enemy starship for a short period of time.
Disruptors are the main weapon of the Klingon ships and can also be found on Romulan vessels. These weapons damage the targets by breaking the bonds of atoms. This has the interesting side effect that disruptor weapons can wreak havoc in the EPS system of the enemy starship that can materialize in a sudden loss of special or shield energy, or even exploding EPS conduits, which can cause additional hull damage and may be deadly for crew members nearby.
Photon Torpedoes are the main projectile weapons of the Federation and the Klingon Star Empire. These weapons deal high kinetic damage to the target. In addition to the significant destructive power these weapons represent, a Photon hit gives a huge "shunt" to the target, something its artificial gravity system cannot compensate. This can incapacitate or even kill several crew members, in addition to the damage the explosion causes.
Plasma Torpedoes are unique to the Romulan Star Empire. Although a plasma projectile doesn't deal such a big kinetic damage as a Photon Torpedo does, hot plasma is still hot plasma and it causes higher damage than other torpedo weapons. In addition, plasma projectiles may have a nasty side effect. As they - quite literally - splatter on the enemy ship, some of the plasma may scatter and cover other parts of the target as well, that may cause additional overtime damage to the hull, even if the target's shield are still up!
More weapon types will be available as well. Many if not every ship will have its own special weapon, and new generic weapons will be available for additional factions.
But let's move on and take a look on our brand new Constituiton model! Maybe the most iconic ship in the Star Trek universe, this ship must be handled with special care and attention. The original one I used in Federation Dawn was a great model created by FahreS, but aesthetically it didn't fit as well into the fleet, plus it had a visibly lower polygon count than the other ships, which became especially apparent when I worked on the new ships for War-Aftermath. If you examined the images already published about the upcoming expansion you may have already noticed that the Constitution was different from what you saw in Federation Dawn.
I needed a new model so I created y own ship, based on Lord Schtupp's work. He is an excellent modder and he made the most beautiful ships for Starfleet Command back then.
I adjusted the model on several parts and created new textures too. In the end I even decided to add a bit of an Easter egg, giving a nod to the original pilot episode for TOS.
If you look at these model carefully, you will notice small differences. Differently shaped bridge section, Additional antennae on the Bussard collectors, no domes on the end of the nacelles and a simplified area around the deflector.
As you may know, The episode "The Cage" was the original pilot presented to NBC by Gene Roddenberry. It had numerous differences compared to the eventual series, one of which was the model of the Enterprise. NBC rejected the series, so Roddenberry reworked it and took it back to them The second pilot was the first episode of the series: "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
After War-Aftermath is released, the Constitutions built in the General War Era of the game will be the "Cage" variants, and ships built in the fourth Era (introduced in W-A) will be the better known Constituitons.
That's all for now. I still hope I will be able to finish the mod this year, but no promises.