First of all, we’ll get the big question out of the way. Sadly our Beta 2 update will not be released this year. Most of the work is done, but these last several months have been extremely busy for the Interregnum development team in real life. Two of our members have been given crucial projects or offered more hours at their day jobs, and while these opportunities have been great for their careers, it has left us with far less time to work on the mod. Hopefully progress will pick back up after the holidays, so we can make this update as clean and polished as it can be, but it's a good demonstration of the balancing act modders have to do to make these projects a reality. It’s also a reason we tend not to give release dates far in advance.
I know some of you will be disappointed, we certainly are too. But I hope you will consider voting for Interregnum for mod of the year regardless. We’re really excited about what Beta 2 will bring next year, and I think you’ll like the results as well!
The upcoming Interregnum Beta 2 update is one of the largest updates to mod we’ve ever released. While many of the previous updates have had most of the energy focused on upcoming factions, with the release of the New Republic and Beta 1, we now had the opportunity to make improvements across the board to older content and balance.
That said, the biggest “new” feature of Beta 2 is the special Dark Empire subfaction and the campaigns around it. Our innovations in Sins map capabilities allowed us to make a unique and powerful faction like the Dark Empire while containing it inside special campaign missions where it cannot imbalance the multiplayer experience. Beta 2 will contain 6 missions on three maps, where you can play as or battle against the Dark Empire. But given Sins completely lacks a campaign, what can you expect in an Interregnum campaign mission?
The most significant difference between a regular Sins map and a Campaign map is that they (mostly) have fixed factions and unique victory and defeat conditions. While the Sins game start UI will still allow you to select a faction, the mission will force you into picking the correct factions the campaign is designed for. The only minor bug is that it will use the player portrait specified by the faction you choose on the game start page, but if used well it might be amusing for roleplaying, such as having Luke Skywalker leading the Dark Empire’s forces.
While you technically can turn on the standard Sins victory options, it is unnecessary for campaign missions and not the intended way to play them. Most campaign missions have both a victory objective, such as capturing a specific planet, and a defeat condition, like losing the game if you lose a particular starting unit. Unfortunately the game doesn’t have an easy way to display these special factors in the UI, but you’re getting a head start by reading this article, which will list them all out. We will also start including a document in the mod with details and background on each campaign mission.
Campaign missions also play very differently from normal Sins matches. Even ignoring the elephant in the room that they are the only way to experience the Dark Empire subfaction, campaign missions are based on Star Wars lore with accurate planets in universe and fully developed Empires clashing. Some missions even start with massive battles already taking place as you begin the match! Unlike normal Sins matches where you need to build up a force, explore, and start colonizing neutral planets, you already have a lot to work with in campaign maps. All campaign maps start out pre-explored, and many also include starting unit forces that are rare or impossible to obtain in a normal game, including multiple titans or capitalships your faction cannot build, which will let you develop some unique strategies to achieve victory.
That said there are some limitations, as you might expect with working with a game not designed with a campaign. It is sadly impossible for us to grant research at the start of a Sins match, so while you begin with a well developed Empire and a significant fleet, you’re stuck with no researched technologies. This is most annoying with the fleet supply cap, since you have so many starting units you will be well over the initial unit limit. To try and resolve this, each player in the campaign starts with far more resources than normal, and with many research labs already built, so you can quickly gain whatever technologies are most important to you.
We would also like stronger narrative elements to be available to us, but Sins is truly lacking any options here. Other than the art, mission setup, and short map descriptions (which have a character limit) shown in game, there is not much we can do to communicate a narrative story like some other RTS campaigns. So there will be no snarky dialogue or videos played before the mission, but we will try to make up for it with our manual-like descriptions below.
With that in mind, let's explore in detail the campaign missions that will be available to you.
This set of campaign missions is based on the story of the actual Legends Dark Empire comic series, which this update is heavily inspired by. It features a large map stretching from the Deep Core all the way to the Outer Rim of the galactic east, in 10 ABY where the battle between the Rebel Alliance and the new Dark Empire will decide the fate of the galaxy. Thanks to some fortunate interstellar geography, we were able to include all the important worlds featured in the comics, including several that first appeared in them like Balmorra (which also gets a new minor faction for itself).
For those wishing to play as Emperor Palpatine, this campaign mission is simply called Dark Empire. The Emperor’s agents have successfully managed to unite the various Imperial factions and Warlords to retake the Core Worlds from the New Republic, but their unity has collapsed following their victory and civil war now rages among the ranks. With the weak culled in the fighting, it is the perfect time for Palpatine to reveal his resurrection to the entire galaxy. Lead the Dark Empire to crush the rogue Imperials occupying Coruscant, Kuat and other core worlds and build up your economic base in the core. From there, push out into the outer rim as you search for the remaining Rebel forces. There are a lot of worlds to cover, but most of their ships are produced from Mon Calamari. Capturing this planet will crush the Rebellion once and for all.
Unlike the other 1v1 Dark Empire campaign, this is a much larger map and you will not be under a lot of pressure right away. You can expand at your own pace and should have no problem getting some of the Dark Empire’s new toys researched and deployed.
Four years after the liberation of Coruscant, the New Republic has suffered a terrible defeat. A surprise joint Imperial offensive has expelled the government from Coruscant and the core worlds. Falling back to tactics from the Rebel Alliance days, the leadership has regrouped on a hidden base on a moon of Da Soocha. But the news has not gotten any better. A massive Imperial assault has attacked Mon Cala, and this vital world is under siege and fighting for its life. But the worst news of all is that Emperor Palpatine himself has been revived in a Clone body using the Dark Side of the Force, and is the mastermind behind the Imperial attacks. Repel the attack on Mon Cala, and fight your way to the dark center of the galaxy, Byss. Defeat the forces on Byss to ensure that the evil of Palpatine’s reign will never return again.
You will need to use your forces well to defeat the initial attack at Mon Cala, but it is important you do so. As in the Dark Empire comics, you have some unique units not normally available to the Rebel Alliance, including MC90 Star Cruisers and even a captured Imperial Star Destroyer. If you can win the initial battle with these units intact, they can be powerful tools to defeat the Dark Empire’s territory with.
In the Interregnum universe, Palpatine returns much as he does in Legends, but he encounters a wildly different political situation. The Empire still controls the capital of Coruscant, but his former apprentice, Darth Vader, now claims the throne. The rule of two is clear, there can only be one Sith Master. The Core Worlds, mostly far from the action until this point, are about to become the arena for an event the galaxy has not seen in millenia. A full blown Sith Civil War.
After his resurrection, Palpatine was content to build up the Dark Empire’s strength from the hidden fortress of Byss. But now Darth Vader has learned of Palpatine’s secret forces in the Deep Core. Take command of Palpatine and his forces, use the Darth Empire’s technological and force advantages to defeat Darth Vader’s battle hardened fleet, then take the fight to Coruscant itself. Capturing the capital will deprive Vader of all of his legitimacy, and prove to the entire galaxy that there is only one true leader of the Empire. If this victory can be achieved, the Warlords and Rogue Imperials who tried to make it on their own will see the writing on the wall and realize rejoining Palpatine is their only option. With that, the first stage for reclaiming galactic control will be complete.
For over five years, Darth Vader has held the Empire together under attack from Rebels and extragalactic invaders alike. But now his former master has returned, all too aware that the galaxy is no longer big enough for both of them. It is time to teach Palpatine that he always did underestimate Vader’s power. The Dark Empire has launched a powerful force to retake Coruscant, but it is not the first time Vader has defeated a surprise attack over that world. Defeat it, then lead a fleet into the Deep Core. Find where Palpatine is hiding, defeat him, and destroy whatever means he used to cheat death. This will prove to all that Darth Vader is truly the Emperor the galaxy deserves.
The last two campaign missions are a continuation of the Sith Civil War Campaign, where Palpatine has reunited the Empire under his rule in the Interregnum universe. Director Isard, Grand Moff Ardus Kaine, and more reluctantly Warlord Zsinj have merged their forces and territory into the Dark Empire, while Thrawn’s Empire of the Hand in the Unknown Regions and the Empire’s Human Trade State allies prepare their forces for a final offensive. Against them, the war-weary forces of the New Republic and their Sins faction allies, the Triple Alliance of the TEC, Ascended Advent, and the Vasari Independent Republic, prepare themselves for battles that will span the entire galaxy. Whichever team survives the longest will decide who will bring an end to the Interregnum.
It is time for the Dark Empire to fulfill the promise of its predecessor’s name and truly bring Palpatine’s rule to the entire galaxy. With the Empire reunited, the Dark Empire is by far the largest power in the galaxy, but it has numerous enemies in all directions. To get them to submit to the Dark Side of the force, you must use all the units at your disposal, including the Dark Empire’s superweapons and the many Warlords and Titans that have joined the campaign. The HTS and Empire of the Hand control relatively little territory in the unknown regions, but their fleets will be vital distractions to prevent your enemies from concentrating their forces. This is a battle to the death and your enemies know it, so there are no quick victory conditions. Only by utterly crushing the New Republic and Triple Alliance can the galaxy finally know peace…
There has never been a darker time for the galaxy. The New Republic has grown in strength in the Outer Rim after the Imperial evacuation years ago, but now freedom and democracy are once again poised to be crushed under Palpatine’s tyrannical thumb. The New Republic does not stand alone however. It is not clear how our Triple Alliance allies will integrate into the galaxy after the war is over, but they helped defeat Palpatine the first time, and they stand ready to do so again. The veteran fleets of the old Rebel Alliance are also on the front lines and ready for action. Together, we must find the strength to withstand every weapon the Imperial and their allies can throw at us, and bring Palpatine and his Dark Empire’s reign to a final end.
Unlike much of the mod up to this point, the content in this article was largely not planned years in advance. I never thought it would be possible to make anything remotely like a campaign in Sins! While Interregnum is not the first, the Ultimate Campaign Mod which came out this year beat us to the punch, we used very different techniques to create this experience. I hope you like the results as much as we do, and cannot wait to share it with you. Also, we might have snuck in an E4X Campaign mission as well that’s a bit different, but should provide a very unique gameplay experience to say the least. ;-)
If you end up liking this concept, we hope to make more campaign missions in the future that will expand their scope beyond the Dark Empire, perhaps to include key events and battles from Star Wars or Interregnum lore.
With that, I wish you dedicated readers a happy Life Day, and if you are in the holiday spirit, consider voting for some of our related projects for mod of the year as well. The Enhanced 4X Mod, Sins: Remastered, and Stargate Races are all excellent projects that deserve your attention, if you haven’t used them already. :)
In this period of total war, the most terrifying foes plan their moves, undetected on the edges and in the very core of the galaxy.
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