It has been a while, but I'm please to announce today that version 1.84 of the Enhanced 4X Mod and Star Wars Interregnum Alpha 3.32 (For those reading this today, use Alpha 3.321)have been released today. While both focus bug fixes, one of them, the infamous "Advent Freeze" bug, was slowing development on new features because of how game breaking it was, as well as how difficult it was to solve. Despite this, Interregnum features one exciting new piece of content, the mining colony of Kessel, as recently seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
We also have some good improvements to the mod's public infrastructure. Most importantly, we have a new community discord for players of E4X and Interregnum to meet each other and hopefully arrange some multiplayer games! If you're reading this article from the Interregnum page, you may also have noticed the new design of the mod page.
Enhanced 4X Mod 1.84 - End of the Freeze Bug
The reason a mod update is happening now is pretty much for a single reason, the dreaded "Advent Freeze" bug has finally been figured out and solved. If you have not experienced this bug yourself, this was a somewhat uncommon bug that could cause the game to almost completely lock up. In some cases the game would be unresponsive for 30 seconds or more before finally progressing a few seconds, only to be locked up again. In effect, this bug was preventing games from being completed as completely as any crash, yet unlike crashes all my debugging tools and methods were having no success in tracking down the cause.
That all changed thanks to a single user, In_dy, who sent in a save and observation that killing the Advent hero unit Anima Kreia resolved the freeze. With this critical bit of information, it was determined that the reflect damage part of the Reflective Aura ability was somehow bringing the game to its knees. I am guessing that deep down in Sins' code, this function is not optimized very well and was overwhelming the CPU, causing the freeze. This ability has now been reworked and should ensure E4X runs even better than unmodded Sins, as is one of its goals.
This update also includes many smaller bug fixes reported by users, as well as an abundance of minor fixes to the vanilla game by user BigBantha. It is no exaggeration to say he has made hundreds of icon and text fixes that should make your game experience more polished than it has ever been, even if you never noticed the deficiencies in the first place.
Star Wars Interregnum 3.32 - Making the Kessel Run
The main purpose of this July release for Interregnum is the same as for E4X, to get the Advent Freeze bug fix out as soon as possible. However, we do have a bit of exciting new content to add this release, though the New Republic is not yet ready for the public to use. However, with our last and greatest game breaking bug out of the way, I can how focus the entirety of my modding time on finishing Interregnum's final faction, which will speed things up tremendously (seriously, many weeks the only thing I did was try to figure out this bug).
With that out of the way, the biggest feature of Interregnum 3.32 is the addition of the planet Kessel. While often mentioned in passing, Kessel had not been seen in a Star Wars film before until Solo: A Star Wars story, and the new Disney canon made some significant changes to the planet. For the most part Interregnum follows the old Legends canon, by which Kessel is normally an asteroid, however I thought the planet and the new Nebula/Maelstrom surrounding it was so well done, it was too cool not to do it this way.
In the mod, Kessel is potentially the richest planet with a massive +500% bonus to trade income. However, the Nebula surrounding it reduces the speed and weapon range of larger ships fighting in it, making it a difficult battleground to fight in. And fight you will - with the Empire's withdrawal from the outer rim, Kessel is now operated by the crime cartels of the Star Wars universe, and they have sizeable defenses around their investment, including Providence class Destroyers and Venator Star Destroyers.
A number of balance changes have also been made to the Rebel Alliance faction, focusing on improving their lacking offense while reducing their excessive late game defense. In particular, the intended main strength of the Rebels, their Star Fighters, have received several buffs. Nebulon-B Hospital Frigates can now carry X-wings into battle, and a new research has been added to give X-wing and A-wing starfighters access to Proton Torpedoes, giving them greater damage against a wider variety of ship types.
The Mandalorians will also get a bit of an update with a new warship, the Vengeance class frigate, which will make their higher level raids much more effective against well defended planets.
Enhanced 4X Mod and Interregnum Community Discord
While Sins remains a remarkably successfully RTS game, finding games to play with other people has always been a challenge, and especially so if you prefer to play with mods. To attempt to fix that, we have created a new discord channel, where you can arrange games, discuss strategies, or perhaps even chat with us, the devs! I hope to chat with some of you there soon.
Interregnum Mod Page Redesign
Last but not least, Interregnum finally has its own custom Moddb page design. A few of the details are still a work in progress, so please leave your thoughts in the comments, but it should add a layer of immersion to the page and help attract new players.
That's it for this month. The next bit of content will be the updated set of minimods, which will include several new additions to help customize exactly what you want in your game. Heroes, titans, and even specific factions will be able to be turned on and off. The Beskar minimod will also be revised to resolve issues encountered in the first release, mainly that the AI sucks at attacking the strengthened Mandalorians.