ome of you have heard about these mysterious yet wonderous things called "Tiers". You might be wondering what they are, what they will mean to you, and why they're just so darn fashionable. Well, rest easy, kids, because Uncle Jimmy is here to tell you what you need to know for when ship Tiers arrive!
In a future but hopefully-not-too-terribly-distant version of Darkspace (current estimate is 1.7), ships in the game will be divided into things called Tiers. This won't replace the existing Types of ships (Frigates, Destroyers, Cruisers, etc.); instead, it will be added onto them. You'll have Tier 1, 2 and 3 ships for the four main combat Types of the game: Frigates, Destroyers, Cruisers and Dreadnoughts.
What sets a ship from one Tier apart from the others? I'm glad you asked, Billy! The higher Tier a ship is, the more versatile it is. Right now, ships in the game have a whole heck of a lot of gadgets, doohickeys and thing-a-ma-bobs on 'em, and it can be mightly confuzzling the first time. But Tiers make it all easy to understand!
When a ship is assigned to Tier 1, 2 or 3, it is also assigned a set of Roles, which determine what kind of weapons or other systems it will carry. Tier 1 ships, the most basic ones, can only have a single Role at a time. Tier 2 ships are more advanced and versatile, and can combine two Roles on a single ship! Tier 3 ships are the fanciest in the Metaverse, because they can have a whopping 3 Roles at once!
What's that, Billy? You want to know what happens to Scouts, Transports, Engineers, Supplies and Stations? Don't you worry, they aren't being left out in the cold either! Scouts are awfully tiny, so they only get to be Tier 1, and they can only pick a few Roles. Transports, Engineers and Supplies will come in Tier 1, 2 and 3 flavors, but they each have a single Roles unique to their ship-type, and they just get better and better at it. Stations will be big and slower than ever before, and they'll all technically be Tier 1, but they'll always get extra weapons or gadgets to help them do their job. They don't quite use the same system as regular ships.
Here, let's take a look at the kind of Roles we'll be putting on our ships! Some of them come with an extra Talent, to help ships fill their Role better, or stop them from filling it too well!
-- This one is pretty self-explanatory. The ship uses guns to shoot things. They can be rail guns, or particle guns, or psionic guns; it doesn't matter which! Just so long as they've got "gun" in the name! Or cannon, that works too.
-- Talent: None here! Nosiree, no talent at all! Just lots of bullets!
-- Watch out there, Billy! These ships have an awful lot of lasers on them! Better put on some suntan lotion, or you'll be getting a nasty burn! In fact, it's probably better to stay away from these fellas in the first place. They don't exactly have a long range, after all.
-- Talent: These ships get an extra armor plate up front, so they live long enough to get in close!
-- Blammo! Nothing like a torpedo ship for lots of explosions! These guys pack in a whole bunch of torpedo launchers so they can smash other ships into itty-bitty pieces of debris in a hurry!
-- Talent: Those torpedo launchers need a sturdy frame to handle the recoil, so if your ship has lost any Armor due to another Talent, it might get it back thanks to this Role!
-- Feel like pushing a button and sitting back while your target dodges like crazy? Then a missile ship is the choice for you! They're great at hitting from long range, but watch out! Some ships are smart and will try to shoot your missiles down!
-- Talent: All those launchers and ammo magazines take up an awful lot of room, so these ships lose 1 armor plate--usually from the rear end. Don't let badguys get in behind 'em!
-- Do you feel the need... the need for speed? Well, look no further! Carrier ships can launch a bunch of quick little fighters that'll chase their target all over the system!
-- Talent: Sometimes these guys get some extra point-defenses or E-War gadgets!
-- Remember, Billy, you can't hit what you can't target! And you can't target what's being hidden by ECM arrays! Don't forget to pack your ECCM in case you run into these guys!
-- Talent: Scouts that have this role get to use a Beacon, but Tier 2 and 3 ships aren't so happy, because they can't combine this Role with Beams!
-- These fellas are a Missile or Carrier ship's bad day. They carry lots of little lasers that aren't very good at hurting other ships, but sure are dang good at shooting down missiles and fighters!
-- Talent: These fellas get a Scanner and one extra E-War gadget to help find their targets!
-- When you need a planet flattened, call in the Bombers! They carry specialized weapons to nuke the other guys back into the stone age! Always handy when you just can't quite seem to capture that planet.
-- Talent: You need a Scanner to find your targets all the way down there on the surface, and sometimes you get extra point-defense or E-War, but you're also gonna lose an Armor plate and a Reactor. Gotta make room for all those bomb bays somewhere!
-- These guys play dirty! And by dirty I mean they leave a mess everywhere! Who's going to clean up all those thermonuclear mines, young man? I have half a mind to send you to your room without any dinner!
-- Talent: These guys get a Scanner and a few extra limited-arc point-defense beams to help clear enemy mines, but they lose an Armor plate in the bargin.
-- Sir, yes Sir! When they give an order you'd better snap to it, especially if you want them to hang around and keep projecting that aura of theirs. Don't wander too far away!
-- Talent: Lucky them, they get a fancy-shmancy Wormhole Drive in addition to their plain ol' Jump Drive, and a set of Construction Drones so they can help fix up planets that get bombed!
And if that weren't enough, a lot of ship Types get a Talent too!
-- Talent: These little guys need all the help they can get to survive on the battlefield, so they always get 2 extra E-War gadgets!
-- Talent: They're not quite so little, but they're still awfully fragile, so they get 2 extra E-War gadgets too!
-- Talent: Some planets are awfully tough to crack, so Transports start getting extra Armor and Bombs at Tier 2!
-- Talent: These practical little ships just get better at their job, so with every Tier they get one more Armor, Drone bay and Utility Beam!
-- Talent: Destroyers specialize in having lots of weapons, so they aren't allowed any E-War at all! To make up for it, they always carry a couple of extra Beams to zap badguys that get close, regardless of what Roles they get assigned.
-- Talent: These little ships are funny, because they start out fast but get slower and tougher. With each Tier they get an extra Armor and point-defense beam, but lose an engine!
-- Talent: When the going gets tough, the tough get going! All Cruisers have an extra Armor plate to help them survive, and they always carry an E-War device so they can't be taken by surprise!
-- Talent: What more could you add to the biggest, toughest, fightingest warships around? Why, an extra E-War device to protect it from surprise attack! Capital ships are a serious investment, after all.
-- Talent: They're big and slow and nearly immobile, but they always remember to pack their Wormhole Drive!
Since Tier 1 ships can only pick one Role, they can be simpler and easier to handle. That's why you get them first! In fact, you'll get them way sooner than you can get ships right now! No more waiting until Admiral to fly that Dreadnought, because you can start getting them at Captain! And they also come with extra Armor, so you can get out of trouble quicker!
- Tier 1 Frigates unlock: Midshipman to 2nd Lieutenant
- Tier 1 Destroyers unlock: 2nd Lieutenant to Lieutenant Commander
- Tier 1 Cruisers unlock: Lieutenant Commander to Captain
- Tier 1 Dreadnoughts unlock: Captain to 1st Rear Admiral
Tier 2 ships get two roles, so they can mix and match! No extra armor, but they make up for it with lots more weapons. Be careful when going up against a Tier 2 ship that can use both its Roles against you well; you're in for a headache if they can!
- Tier 2 Frigates unlock: Commander to 2nd Rear Admiral
- Tier 2 Destroyers unlock: 2nd Rear Admiral to Vice Admiral
- Tier 2 Cruisers unlock: Vice Admiral to Fleet Admiral
- Tier 2 Dreadnoughts unlock: Fleed Admiral to Marshal
Tier 3 ships can combine up to 3 roles at once, making them really versatile! You'll never know quite what they'll throw at you, though you'll be able to narrow it down somewhat. They're really expensive, so each faction gets only a single Tier 3 ship for each Type of ship.
- Tier 3 Frigate unlocks: Fleet Admiral
- Tier 3 Destroyer unlocks: Grand Admiral
- Tier 3 Cruiser unlocks: Marshal
- Tier 3 Dreadnought unlocks: Chief Marshal
You get all the Scouts you could ever want at Midshipman. Utility ships come one after the other: a Transport at one rank, an Engineer at the next, and a Supply at the third. Tier 1 Utility ships run from Midshipman to 2nd Lieutenant, Tier 2 Utility ships run from Commander to 2nd Rear Admiral, and Tier 3 Utility ships run from Fleet Admiral to Marshal. You also get one Station per rank from Fleet Admiral to Marshal.
Phew, that's a lot of information to take in, Billy! What do you think it means when you put it all together?
Well, for one it means that you'll get some ships at a lower rank than before, and others at a higher one. It also means you'll get a lot of new ships: each faction will have 5-6 Tier 1 ships, 5-6 Tier 2 ships and 1 Tier 3 ship for each type! Finally, it means that new players will be able to jump in and help out a lot sooner without having to learn how to deal with a bunch of different weapons all at once!
Now I know what you're thinking. Those Tier 1 ships look pretty basic; surely Tier 2 ships are better than them? And Tier 3 ships are so high-rank, they have to be even better still! But hold on, now, it's not always going to be that clear-cut. Not every situation calls for the ship with the most weapons. Your Tier 3 ship might be fine and dandy, but it might not have the right combination of roles for a fight. That Tier 2 ship, though, it's got just what you need. And sometimes you just need a specialist, the one right role in the right place and the right time, and you want to keep it alive as long as possible, which is where a Tier 1 ship shines. Higher-tier ships are more versatile, but aren't always better.
That's the important thing here: you'll have a lot of choices! Do you go with a cannon/torpedo cruiser? A missile/E-War frigate? A beam/torpedo dreadnought? Each combination of roles and ship types has its own strengths and weaknesses, which will affect what the enemy brings to counter you. If you're all running around in beam/torpedo dreadnoughts, expect the enemy to bring smaller missile/E-War ships to pick you apart from a distance. Then you can turn right around and bring in another ship of your own to hunt them down. Each target can be approached many ways. If you're attacking a Dreadnought, do you bring a Missile Destroyer, or a Torpedo Cruiser, or a Beam Dreadnought of your own? Which of those choices will the enemy be better at defending against?
The ultimate goal of this system is to increase the number of viable ship choices. Gone will be the days of only 2-3 ships out of a whole faction being considered relevant. A ship for every need, and a use for every ship--that's the way of the Future, Billy!
Currently in beta: 1.700
- Profanity filter is now client-side, and uses word replacement.
- Profanity filter now uses word replacement.
General Game Changes
- Refitted gadgets now keep their hotkeys.
- Fighters can now be issued a new target. Shift+hotkey (default N) with no target selected will return all fighters to your ship, whereas Shift+hotkey will issue all fighters a new target that they will immediately go for.
- The game will now display a red warning message for 10 seconds warning the user they won't gain any prestige in a rank locked server/constellation.
- New models for the following ships:
* Elite Assault Dreadnought
* Command Dreadnought
* Support Cruiser
- New models for the following ships:
* Assault Dreadnought
* Combat Dreadnought
* Command Carrier
* Support Cruiser
- Subscribers now receive some additional perks in DarkSpace:
* Their icon in the lobby now shows them wearing pants.
* They now have 12 ship slots instead of 8.
* They can use the /nameship command in-game to change the name of their ship.
* A badge is displayed next to their ship name in-game.
- Jumps are now aborted if the client disconnects from the server.