Since the last release a lot of the mods development has been kept hush-hush, not reported via the changelog channel on Discord and certainly not on ModDB. This has been because many of these changes were still early in development, or not started yet. Over the past 9 months the Remake development team has seen some fine additions to its collection, allowing us to do much more work and expand the mod in scope beyond what me and Niko were capable of on our own, and many of these changes are thanks to the hard work of Kasderan, Burningalways, MWY, Luke Lasermaster, and many others such as the wonderful Awakening of the Rebellion development team.
As of recently, some major items on the 4.0 to-do list have seen major progress/milestones passed, and now is the time to inform the public on our progress. As some of you may know, we plan 4.0 to be the biggest update the mod has had yet, featuring sweeping changes to gameplay in all areas the mod has barely touched, and further enhancing the space combat to have even more depth and varied unit design. In no particular order:
While previous releases have seen new GC maps, new layout, and new graphics, the actual gameplay mechanics of GC have been very akin to vanilla. With 4.0 this will change. All ground and space buildings have been redesigned from the ground up, with thematic ground buildings for each faction, such as the taxation agency, provisional council, government palace, casino, scrapyard, and many more. Each with their own unique upkeep costs and income, that vary depending on the type of planet you construct them on. For example, an administration office for the Empire is most effective on an urban world, making 500 credits per turn, but on a barren world it will instead be a liability, costing 250 upkeep per turn. In space, buildings are (currently) the same for each faction, and will not vary depending on planet type, at a later date this may change.
While it's nice to have a varied structure selection for the player to choose from, it's also worth noting that the AI has been reworked to also build these. While that sounds like a fairly simple thing, it is not as easy to do as it sounds, and it's one of the many reasons many of these changes weren't publicly discussed.
This is the paragraph where I mention that the starbase overhaul as it was meant to happen, the gigantic Validusia station, has been put on permanent hold, in favour of doing other things that can be finished much faster. While the game certainly supports what I wanted to do, my time schedule does not, and I instead have attempted to spend the time I would've otherwise spent on Validusia productively, in other areas of the mod, such as the starfighter performance update. My apologies to anyone that was excited for this or contributed to its creation, I bit off more than I could chew. Instead the Validusia kitbash pieces such as the new hangar bays have been consistently used in other areas of the mod, like the new Golans, and a sized down version of the SBO plan is what's currently being used for our space building overhaul. The time spent on the mega station was not wasted, though it's still a major disappointment, atleast to me. Not being able to deliver on your promises sucks, and it's also why this news post didn't happen 6 months ago, but instead we waited until there was content to back up the future plans.
The ground buildings lead into the next item, the ground overhaul. This has been talked about so much and implemented so little. With the last release even disabling ground combat entirely the road from nowhere to the rather ambitious plans I have had for ground combat is long. While the foundations for the overhaul were put in place long ago, work on it was stopped in favour of other tasks such as starfighter performance that could be completed faster. it's now actively being worked on again after a long pause, but still has a long road ahead of it.
Faction-specific GC mechanics
Faction diversity is something I've personally always enjoyed in other RTSes. Starcraft II, C&C Generals/Tiberium Wars, the Battle for Middle-Earth franchise are other RTS games I've played to death at some point in life, and EAW certainly doesn't have much of this, barring the corruption mechanic for the Zann Consortium.
In Remake we plan to diversify the faction gameplay on the GC map. Some features were mentioned in this (old) video: Youtube.com
And while this has had limited development time, and the vast majority of this is either unstarted or unfinished, the Imperial Public Order system is operational, though atm it doesn't have any effects coded, making it effectively non-existant. I do want to mention the faction specific mechanics in this news post though, since it is very much still on the table. This is by far the most unfinished part of the to-do list for 4.0.
On the opposite side of the to-do spectrum: Skirmish (Space) has seen a complete rework. Unit production is now split between your primary starbase (starfighter/corvette/hero construction) and a buildable frigate shipyard, that upgrades to a capital shipyard buildable on pads around the map. There are also other new buildable structures such as a research station, a upgradeable, buildable copy of your lvl 1 (primary) starbase, and faction specific stations such as the underworld hideout, that can be built on build pads around the map.
The AI has been reworked from the ground up to construct the buildings, and in a decent order, to avoid the potential disaster that comes with locking unit production to secondary buildable structures. These changes were made to expand on the vanilla EAW space combat, and provide more strategic depth. After some testing I can also say that the AI is sufficiently capable of wrecking you game after game. This was shown off a few weeks ago on my livestream, a video will also be uploaded to my YT channel showcasing the AI and the new skirmish buildings in the near future.
While the new stations still use placeholder art assets due to the starbase overhaul for GC still being worked on, these will eventually be swapped for the correct station models.
Space combat has seen changes as well. While the starfighter rework from the last release broke my heart, the performance gain was substantial and it left space combat feeling better than before. FPS for the FPS gods and all that. But, there's always more that can be done.
The Dreadnought phases were further implemented and right now the Executor, Eclipse, Subjugator and Viscount all have their own respective unit phases, with unique abilities and targetable hardpoints depending on the phase of the ship. Much like everything else in this news post so far, it still requires fine-tuning and testing.
Concussion missiles now debuff the targets speed, depending on the caliber of the concussion missile and what targets it hits. This is to further differentiate concussion missiles from other ordnance such as proton torpedoes or ion-pulse missiles. Units equipped with conc missiles such as the A-wing, TIE Hunter, Vigil, DP-20, Corellian Destroyer, and Nebula-class star destroyer are now more effective at hunting down their specific targets, incapacitating them by slowing them down making it easier to hit them with further shots. Hardpoint descriptions have been rewritten to include the debuffed speed (and for ion weaponry firepower) in addition to regular damage.
VO. A ton of new Voice Acting has been added to the mod thanks to the great help of our voice actors, and I want to thank them for making units feel more unique.
As you can read, the entire mod is taking a shovel to the face. The usual heap of bugfixes, tweaks, and finetuning happens inbetween all of this, clearing out bugs is an endless battle, but one that must be fought. All in all there's a lot of a lot being worked on in different areas in the mod, but I was not happy announcing any of this before the content was either actually there or I was confident it was possible to see some of these ideas through to the end. Thanks to a lot of hard work by our new teammembers, that is now, and it's thanks to them we can now expand the scope of the mod. If you enjoyed Remake before, you'll enjoy it even more with the expanded game mechanics and increased faction diversity.
SO WHEN IS IT COMING OUT?
When it's ready. We're not done shoveling yet, and after the shoveling comes the plastic surgery, thankfully there's no shortage of beta testers to help us do said plastic surgery when the time comes. ATM it's just quite impossible to give any estimate on release dates, I hope you guys can understand why.
For more updates, follow our discord servers Changelog channel: Discord.com
For occasional videos on mod progress, and soon to be the skirmish video showcasing the AI and new buildings, follow my Youtube channel: Youtube.com