For those that don't know, First Strike is being overhauled to change it into a singleplayer focused modification for Battlefield 2142. When EA dropped support for BF2142 this past summer it killed the multiplayer capability of the game. Player counts on the servers were already dropping before this happened, and with only a few devs left working on the mod, and with the fact that the Battle of Hoth map was planned to be the final release anyway, it was decided to cease development and join forces with the Star Wars: Battlecry team to continue development on the Unreal 4 Engine on a new free stand alone Star Wars themed game.
Even though the intended vision for Hoth was never realized in First Strike, there will be a simpler version of Hoth released with singleplayer support that will allow gameplay with iconic Hoth vehicles that include Snowspeeders, trench defense turrets, Speederbikes and the much anticipated AT-AT Walker. To this end the Hoth Outpost map from the First Strike Extended (FSX) mod is being updated.
Outpost Hoth has all the basic components of the iconic Hoth map with a small base to launch the Snowspeeders from, a trench system to defend, and a Power Generator to protect. The map is getting an update with a snow weather effect, the addition of the beta AT-AT Walker and changing some gamemodes to be dogfighting focused.
Dogfight mode allows the combat to focus solely on an aerial dogfight, which has been set up in some other maps and it's very popular with players. The big difference between this and space maps is that it takes much less time to get into the action, and it adds a whole new level of excitement to gameplay with bots. The intensity is maximized with the focus of the bots being in the sky, there are no flags to capture, it is just a case of kill more of the enemy to win. To add some variety there is the classic Snowspeeder versus TIE Fighter dogfight mode and a more challenging gamemode teaming Snowspeeders and X-Wings versus TIE Fighters and Interceptors.
The AT-AT Walker also makes it's debut here having only seeing limited action previously in an earlier publicly released Battle of Hoth map Beta. As a result it has never been fully tested in gameplay, and though solutions to implement some form of Snowspeeder tow cable through Python were considered, none ever made it to the development stage, so that aspect cannot be included. Yes, there are some balancing issues in the map, but it is presented to showcase the work that has gone in to developing the Hoth vehicles.
Future versions of this map will also include more of the authentic props and assets created in the latter stages of the Battle of Hoth's development, which should heighten the authenticity of this map. There is also the possibility of the release of a parred down infantry only version of the Battle of Hoth map featuring only the interior of Echo Base, though this will depend on the complexity involved in adding bot support for such a complicated environment to see if it is a viable option or not.
The new version will also feature more singleplayer maps from FSX and better hand weapon A.I. support. Development is on track for a release by the end of the month. While you're waiting, check out the in game screenshots above from the upcoming Outpost Hoth map.
See you on the Battlefield Troopers!