I finished working on the War-Aftermath patch. It took much longer than I expected, but that’s life and that’s mod development. There were some difficulties, especially with giving the Klingon fleet a unique feel. As much as I love them, there are way too many models in way too many color variations, and they don’t look right together. Therefore many ships needed some new or adjusted textures.
The special weapons took really long to be developed as well. They are supposed to be unique, useful and bugfree, and I can only hope that I managed to do a good job on all three fronts. With so many ships, at one point I wanted to reduce the number of special weapons. Eventually they stayed, as they can be reused in future Eras as well.
Now that War - Aftermath is released, I consider Federation Dawn complete. It has four Eras, several features that I originally didn’t even planned and an impressive number of 117 different Starship classes (upgraded and refit versions not included), I feel like it is done. That doesn’t mean I won’t support it or that I wouldn’t add something to it in the future, but the main focus is now officially shifted to the new big expansion of Evolution, which will include the age of the first Trek movies and at least some of the so-called “Lost Era”, the age of Enterprise B and C. I call this expansion Imperial Morning, to fit the theme. Of course this expansion will take a longer development schedule, so don’t count on a release before 2022. Worst case scenario: I will surprise you with an earlier release! It will be an interesting journey because there are some really beautiful ships from this time period, and it is mostly uncharted territory for modding, especially TLE.
Imperial Morning will be an integrated part of the Evolution Mod, not a separate thing from Federation Dawn. You will be able to start a game in the earliest Era and play through the new ones as well, but the next Era is one of what I call “Cornerstone Eras” (I’m up for any suggestion for a better name!). You will be able to start the game from these Eras, skipping the earlier ones. It wouldn’t make much sense and it would make balancing more difficult if you could play only one Era at first. Therefore I decided to do what I did with Federation Dawn and release at least three Eras together.
You’ll still have the possibility to play from the very beginning to the latest Era of course. It will be possible, but not necessarily ideal. Not only because it would take a long time, but also because of technical limitations. And you may not want to play the first few Eras, so why force you to do it?
As a final word for now, I want to talk about what a humbling experience it is when you run the – supposedly – last tests before the release. You think by then that you are the best. You certainly tracked down every bug, and polished every rough edges, the mod is perfect. Then you spend a few hours playing it, trying to simulate every possible scenario, trying to find out what could go wrong… And you find so many bugs, from minor typos to even game crashing ones, that you have to delay the planned release date to fix them all. And even then you can only hope that you managed to eliminate every bug. If you find any, please be indulgent.
For now, enjoy the extended mod, and as always, don’t hesitate to comment, or tell me about any bug you found!
p.s: If you already downloaded the mod and experience crashes, download the 1.5.1 version again. Apparently some of the files might have been corrupted or otherwise damaged upon archiving. It's fixed now.