For those unfamiliar with TA: Escalation (TA:ESC), we like to think of our effort as a production quality expansion to Total Annihilation which can be enjoyed in both Skirmish and Multiplayer settings. TA:ESC offers significant enhancements to the venerable TA gaming engine, including Cavedog quality models, textures, and presentation - a feat claimed by many, but realized by none; new GUI and extended menus; unique upgrading system for defenses and resources; deflective Shield Generators; mass unit Teleportation Gates; automated mass loading and unloading transports; Multi-Unit-Air-Transports; proximity bonuses for adjacent Fusions and Energy Storages; Surfaceable subs; walking ships; Omni Intel Towers capable of massive radar, jamming, LOS, targeting, and Commander hacking; and much, much more!
After years of work, we've finally reached the point where we are nearing completion of the development of the Arm and Core and ready to begin focus on the inclusion of the Talon race into TA:Escalation. This Beta, in a sense, represents the halfway point for us thus far (hence Beta 5). The last 3 years have seen the merger of TAWP and the Arm and Core portions of the Talon Project lead to the subsequent emergence of one of the most successful TA mods in this latter day age of TA. Over these years we've introduced a lot of new units and improvements to the game, but we really have to say that the most enjoyable aspect has been meeting all of new folks to that have joined the community. A lot of folks come and go, but there always seems to be fresh faces coming in along with old familiars stopping by to say hello.
OK, anyway, enough of the sentimental chatter. What is this release all about anyway? We'll for starters (and for those of you who have not played the test betas) there are a lot new units:
There are also a lot of changes, including (unfortunately) what we hope is only the temporary removal of the deflective Shield Generators. As much as we loved these showcase, unprecedented units, they have not proven entirely useful or even effective to date. We will be reworking these in the background while we also work on the Talon add on. For those of you that skirmish, you will no longer find the AI so easily won over now. Now our new 'Nightmare' (by Nightmare of course) AI will attack (and cheat) like none other, and will kill you happily as it does so with hordes of units, strategic cannons, and even nukes – good luck.
So now the Talon can finally get started! This does not mean Arm and Core will stop seeing changes or improvements (the multiplayer community can expect to see continued balance tweaks based on game play), but we've finally reached a point where we will now focus our creative efforts on delivering what we set out to do a few years ago. Today, that journey begins anew!
Stay tuned and enjoy!
[As with other major beta releases, we've cleared the change log - those of you in the recent test betas can reference those for change details]