Post news RSS Era 5 Breakdown & 2.2 Release Process

After a long hiatus between regular news posts, we're back with the fifth and final era breakdown, and some discussion on what's left to do, and how we'll be structuring the release. We're also gonna be trying out something new, where we have the regular text version of the post, and a new video version. The information in each will be the same, so it's just whichever media you prefer. First, here's the video version:

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After a long hiatus between regular news posts, we're back with the fifth and final era breakdown, and some discussion on what's left to do, and how we'll be structuring the release. We're also gonna be trying out something new, where we have the regular text version of the post, and a new video version. The information in each will be the same, so it's just whichever media you prefer. First, here's the video version:

Era 5

Era 5 begins in 12 ABY when Pellaeon took over the Imperial leadership after the resignation of Natasi Daala. While Pellaeon took a more pragmatic approach to the New Republic than any of his predecessors, there were still several times when conflict broke out, especially considering this is the longest of any of the 5 eras. For the events in this period in previous releases, we used to cover them in two GCs - one dealing with the Black Fleet Crisis alone, and another dealing with all the New Republic and Imperial (and Empire of the Hand)-related events all together. This was not ideal, so we've not broken it down into four total GCs.

The Orinda Campaign
"You must be strong. Follow your own convictions. We need an opportunity to recover from such a debacle. We need your strength. You are in command of the Empire now, Pellaeon."
―Admiral Natasi Daala

Era 5 GC Layouts

Time Covered: The Orinda Campaign, Adumari Civil War (12-13 ABY)

The Orinda Campaign was the last real cause for hope under the newly-united Empire. With Pellaeon having the combined fleets of the Warlords, now based in the newly-absorbed Pentastar Alignment, Orinda was chosen as a symbolic target to project Imperial strength. The Empire was able to take advantage of the combined might of three super ships, being the Reaper, former flagship of Grand Moff Kaine in the independent Pentastar Alignment, and Dominion and Megador, two ships recovered from Blitzer Harrsk's holdings, of which the New Republic was unaware. Pellaeon believed that Orinda, as the former home of the Ruling Council, would be valuable enough a target for the display of force to discourage further New Republic advances, without being enough to provoke a massive retaliation. Within the New Republic, the campaign was also characterized by an internal struggle, with one side favouring the use of large battleships to combat other large battleships in the wake of Shadow Hand's calamitous use of them, leading to the recommissioning of the captured Lusankya under the command of Wedge Antilles, and the other favouring the further development of smaller capital ships supported by more advanced fighters, a position symbolized in the campaign by Admiral Areta Bell.

We've talked in the past about wanting to use slightly different victory conditions in some GCs, and this will hopefully be one of those GCs. For the New Republic, the primary goal will be to destroy the Dominion, Megador and Reaper. For the Remnant, the goal will be to hold Orinda by the time a certain week hits. Story-wise, there will also be some events related to the Adumari Civil War and Restored Empire in this GC, when complete (these may be some of the events which don't make the 2.2 cut). Also, the specific classes of the Dominion and Megador are never explicitly stated. Based on the limited information, we have gone with the assumption that the two related-but-different vessels are the 8000 meter long Mandator II for the Megador, and the 7200 meter long Bellator for the Dominion. In 2.2, both will be Bellators, but ideally in the future we'll be able to make the Megador a proper Mandator.

Playable Factions:
New Republic - Coruscant
Imperial Remnant - Bastion

Non-Playable Factions:

Restored Empire's Forces - RZ7-6113-23

Black Fleet Crisis - Yevethan Faction Expansion
"Our claim to these stars is natural and ancient. Our eyes have owned them since the beginning of our days. They are alive in our legends. They call to us in our dreams. We draw our strength from the All. The purity of the All inspires us to perfection. Our claim to these stars is not a shallow thing of greed, or politics, or ambition. It is not a claim we would ever surrender."
―Viceroy Nil Spaar

Era 5 GC Layouts

Time Covered: The Black Fleet Crisis (16-17 ABY)

The Black Fleet is the name given to Black Sword Command, an Imperial fleet which mostly went missing in the aftermath of Endor. The ships and shipyards had actually ben captured by a technologically adept but xenophobic and militaristic society called the Duskhan League (or Yevetha). They used this fleet and their own Thrustships to attack the New Republic, hoping to expand out into the galaxy, but were shut down by the modernizing New Republic fleet under Etahn A'baht.

In layout, the GC is fairly similar if not identical to the 2.1 version, however the Yevethans as a whole have received some other major changes. We don't want to sacrifice the Black Fleet Crisis' position as a small, quick and focused campaign, however it has commonly requested that the Yevetha themselves be developed more. So, we have buffed up their infrastructure, added a couple more units and heroes to their roster (including the boarding shuttle, which they can use to capture enemy ships- the heroes will be covered in a future post), and they will also be both present and playable in at least a few of the era-progressive Galactic Conquest scenarios, most notably Art of War. They will, however, likely stay unplayable in skirmish, considering the Thrustship is available in other ways.

Playable Factions:
New Republic - Coruscant
Duskhan League - N'zoth

Final Imperial Push
"When the dust from the conflict finally settled, Pellaeon's Empire had been pushed back into a mere eight sectors of a strategically barren section in the Outer Rim."
―Voren Na'al

Era 5 GC Layouts

Time Covered: Imperial Skirmishes (17 ABY)

After 5 years of declining tensions between the New Republic and Imperial Remnant, the Imperial Moffs began to suspect renewed New Republic ambitions to take more Imperial territory. In order to pre-empt this, the Moffs contacted Daala, who had united the remaining core 'Replacement' Warlords since her abdication, convincing her to lead one half of a pincer attack from the deep core against the New Republic, while Pellaeon attacked from the main Imperial territory, with his forces having been bolstered by Imperials who had successfully escaped the Duskhan League in the wake of the Black Fleet Crisis. Pellaeon disagreed strongly with the plan, and so rested his hopes on being able to quickly eek some victories to give the Imperials a stronger foothold to begin proper peace negotiations with the New Republic. Initially, the campaign went well for Pellaeon, but as soon as Daala was defeated, the combined might of the New Republic fleet began converging on him, culminating in the massive and final defeat of the Imperials at Anx Minor.

Playable Factions:
New Republic - Coruscant
Imperial Remnant - Bastion

Caamas Crisis
"If we're destroyed—if we all die—the concepts and ideals of the New Order die with us. But if we surrender, we can keep those ideals alive. Then, if and when the New Republic self-destructs, we'll be positioned to rise again. Maybe then the galaxy will finally be ready to accept us."
―Gilad Pellaeon

Era 5 GC Layouts

Time Covered: Caamas Crisis (19 ABY)

Where other single-era GCs tend to focus on specific conflicts, with the addition of Final Imperial Push and The Orinda Campaign, we're able to take the Caamas Crisis (formerly Final Imperial Push, and before that it was originally called Caamas Crisis) in a slightly different direction, trying to represent the larger galactic situation before the Vong War. While there will be events tied into the Crisis itself, and the Sinister Triumvirate's attempt to prolong or reverse the fortunes of the war efforts of the Empire, or the Empire of the Hand's hope for a united galaxy and the return of Thrawn before the invasion of the Far Outsiders, Caamas Crisis serves as more of a flashpoint where various things could have gone different ways, and no longer has the problem of trying to represent around 7 years at once. Most of the work here will be done to bring things more specifically into line with the 19ABY starting date. The layout is most likely to change out all the announced GCs, as it's currently only a few minor edits to the existing 2.1 version.

Playable Factions:
New Republic - Coruscant
Imperial Remnant - Bastion
Empire of the Hand - Nirauan

Era 5 Overview Post ScreenshotsEra 5 Overview Post Screenshots

Mod Progress, Release, and Structuring

As we're entering the last stages of development, we've started clamping down on some of our priorities for 2.2, and deciding on what makes more sense being left to 2.3. Considering the major changes between 2.1 and 2.2, not to mention the huge time gap, there reaches a point of diminishing returns with what we can add or change at this point, especially as any significant overhaul projects will take longer to settle. So while we're making some changes to the AI and to ground combat in particular, those will primarily be left for 2.3, along with some of the additional fleshing out of story events.

Because we want to make sure the final release is as stable as possible, and we get as much feedback as possible, we have internally begun discussing how to handle the beta process. While we do have a team of internal beta testers, which we hope to increase throughout the rest of development, we're now planning to add an additional phase of open betas to make sure as little slips through the cracks as possible. This will be handled in three steps.

1. Internal Testing
While development is finished on basic features, internal testing team will do initial runs through content.

2. Open Beta
As we did with Ascendancy, which seemed to work fairly well, we will be using a github repository and our forums on to have a wider but still not fully 'released' beta period, where anyone can join, but for our sanity, we will only be running it out of the forums. For those unfamiliar, github (and similar programs) allow us to essentially update whatever we need to and give those changes to everyone with the mod without having to reupload and redownload the entire mod when something does get changed.

3. Full Release
We put the mod up on ModDB, Steam workshop, etc.

In order to get through these stages as quickly and efficiently as possible, some Galactic Conquest scenarios will be left out of the initial beta, to be finished while we iterate on feedback we receive during the beta period. These are:
- Despoilers of an Empire
- Empire's End (formerly Imperial Civil War)
- Bacta War
- Isard's Revenge
- Crimson Empire
- Final Imperial Push

Before anyone asks, it's impossible to know exactly when this will be. Too much can change, but the afct that we're laying out beta plans should indicate we're getting very, very close. So next, here's an overview of what's in 2.2, what's done, and what's left to do.

Era 5 Overview Post ScreenshotsEra 5 Overview Post Screenshots

Mod Progress, Release, and Structuring

This is a rough overview of everything done and being done in 2.2, though it's possible there's some stuff I'm forgetting- this is essentially just to give an idea of where we stand, moreso than being an exhaustive changelog for the new version.

1. Overhauled GFX and Skydomes (Skydomes to again be revisited along with planet models in 2.3)

2. Updated Models: (bold means still in progress)
Asteroid Props, MC40a, MC90, MC80, Home One, Imperial I Star Destroyer, Imperial II, Victory I / Victory II, Tector, Praetor, Lucrehulk, Krsiss Clawcraft, K-Wing, TIE Fighter, TIE Bomber, TIE interceptor, TIE Defender, TIE Droid, Carrack Cruiser, Vindicator, Enforcer, Immobilizer-418, Eclipse SSD, Executor, Assault Frigate, Quasar, A-Wing, X-Wing, Y-Wing, BAC, CR90, Nebulon-B, Battledragon, Ton-Falk Escort Carrier, Sentinel, Lambda, Acclamator, Venator, Stormtrooper

3. New Units/Structures: (Red means still in progress, italics means previously announced units likely being held for 2.3)
Allegiance, Bellator, Intego, Peltast, Afthonia, XQ Platform, Cardan, Empress, Validusia, Raider Corvette, Secutor Star Destroyer, World Devastator, Droideka, B1 Battledroid, Army Troopers, ULAV, Trade Station, ARC-170, Providence, Procursator, Arquitens, Jump Trooper, Neutron Star, Oto, AT-TE, Vigil Corvette, Imperial II Frigate, Sorannan, Torpedo Sphere, Dauntless, MC30c, Gladiator, Customs Frigate, Espos

4. Playable Factions - bold means new
- New Republic - Adjusting hero spawns for all GCs, more diverse roster based on specific conflicts.
- Imperial Remnant - Same as New Republic. Mostly just working on last hero changes and era change mechanics.
- Pentastar Alignment - Major work complete. One hero being finished.
- Empire of the Hand - Finishing some tech options, and Intego model. Ground units major focus of 2.3.
- Warlord Zsinj - Primarily done, just finishing ULAV coding.
- Eriadu Authority - Finishing some last changes to 2.2 roster, will likely receive some of its unique units in 2.3 instead.
- Greater Maldrood - Mostly finished, re-sorting fighter spawns, finishing one more hero, and adding one more fighter class for them.
- Duskhan League - Roster and building options increased, heroes increased. Fixing some bugs introduced during 2.2 development, and setting up functionality for other game modes/GCs.

Era 5 Overview Post ScreenshotsMC80 Liberty Retouches

5. Non-Playable Factions - bold means new
- Hapes Consortium - Largely unchanged for 2.2
- Corporate Sector Authority - Working out initial base roster. Will be expanded in 2.3.
- Zero Command - Finishing initial base roster and heroes, emergent events.
- Minor Imperial Warlords - Consolidating down to one faction because of hardcoded limits to leave room for other groups.
- Other groups to be expanded on in 2.3

6. New Abilities and Mechanics - bold means announced features being moved to 2.3
- More in-depth Era Changes - Regicide options for IR players to change eras themselves, different events based on how the era changes, additional effects for changing eras.
- Emergent Factions - In some GCs, certain events will cause new factions to become active on the galactic level.
- Single-Unit Retreat - Some ships have the ability to leave battle alone, without the rest of the fleet retreating.
- Directing Structures - Most defensive structures can be rotated to face any desired direction to more effectively use their firing arcs
- Boarding/Capturing Units - Use boarding shuttles to capture enemy units in tactical battles.
- Microjump - Some units have the ability to make small hyperspace jumps within a battle to reposition themselves.
- Raid Fleet Changes: Changes made to spawning mechanisms to make them more interactive, further changes planned for either 2.2 or 2.3.
- Other In-Battle Random Events

7. Survival and From the Ground Up Game Modes:
- New unique maps for PA, EotH, NR and IR Survival Modes
- Edited unit rosters for Survival mode
- Survival Mode for new playable factions will be added in 2.3
- Unique layouts for FTGU for all factions

8. Miscellaneous
- Significant changes to balancing, primarily in space. Some work done on land, moore significant land changes coming in 2.3
- SSDs have engine hardpoints. No more retreating.
- Infantry reverted to regular squads instead of individual units from demo.
- AI updates: Fix logic for some situations, primary work on AI will be done in 2.3.
- GC scenarios: All layouts planned, most coded, most starting forces set, primarily working on final story scripting


You guys have done some incredible documenting / breakdowns when it comes to your work on 2.2 its mechanics and features.
An I enjoyed reading those.

I hope for the sake of future players you will put all those in one nifty pdf or doc.

Cheers and Kudos

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Excellent detail. Excellent update.

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I hope the lasers have been updated they looked like there where firing from awkward places in the last version. (like behind the ship, a noticeable distance in front of the ship to name a few) and lastly not look like they are sliding across a sheet

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If you take a look at our 2.2 Demo or some of Corey's videos hopefully that will give you an idea of how lasers have been updated since 2.1.

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Tbh I am completely on board with returning to Infantry squads instead of single soldiers.

From countless hours playing the demo I can attest that having individual soldiers has two hefty disadvantages.
The first is that unloading Infantry in the reinforcement-zone takes almost ages since each single guy waddles out of the transport alone and the second is that the AI absolutely can't handle it.
They send their soldiers out in a stream of single guys so the human player just needs to place one or two anti-infantry units tactically to wipe everyone out easily often without any damage and sometimes it places one lone guy somewhere on the edge of the map in an area which is hard to see unnecessarily stalling ground battles.

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'Greater Maldrood - Mostly finished, re-sorting fighter spawns'
Good to hear, I'd noticed a strangely high ratio of bombers to fighters from them.
'Boarding/Capturing Units - Use boarding shuttles to capture enemy units in tactical battles.'
this sounds very interesting. Will captured units carry over from the tactical battle through the rest of the campaign? going off the existing bribery mechanics I'd imagine not.

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You can keep the unit after battle, there's another article with FAQ and video about it from November 16.

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when is the update out

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