Stargate Races r1.06 Released
I am pleased to announce that a new update for Stargate Races is now available for download. It has been a while since the last update and version r1.06 has turned out to be another rather substantial update for the mod. There’s a lot in it so without further ado, I will outline what’s new this time around.
Bugfixes, Balancing & Additions
Like the last major update, r1.06 brings with it over 200 entries in its change log. Some are minor, some are definitely more game-changing and they run the entire gamut of content.
Some Notable Bugfixes
- The Intergalactic Capital ability on Atlantis now applies more broadly to locations and should be far more useful in the way it was intended.
- Also on Atlantis, the Colonize ability’s buffs are now set up properly to be a boon rather than a debuff at higher levels.
- A nasty little crash issue with the Hoffan Plague was resolved.
- The Valhalla Station star base’s Absorb Strikecraft ability should now work properly and has generally been improved.
- The Tau’ri BC-304 Tactical Nuke L1 cooldown has been corrected from its testing value.
- An issue with normal texture formatting was found and corrected on all 3D art asset textures. Correcting the issue has resulted in a small but further improvement in overall visuals.
The Wraith got a complete stat overhaul (again) for r1.06. Those of you who have been following the mod for a while might note that his has happened a few times now. The reason for it is that more specifics of how the shield mitigation stat affects hull points (and more importantly, when) were discovered through extra testing. The Wraith have no shields, but they still need to have stats balanced against their shield using counterparts for the other races. Unfortunately, do to the fact that mitigation is variable and can vary in impact depending on the exact combat scenario, it’s not possible to perfectly balance things. I have chosen a balancing point that I think is reasonable and the new values are based on that. Wraith ships are generally going to have the advantage in 1 vs 1 combat where shield mitigation on the enemy is not able to be maxed out. In fleet battles where mitigation is typically boosted higher by more active incoming fire, things will be more even or possibly to the disadvantage of the Wraith in the early game.
Capture abilities such as Wraith Boarding Parties and Asgard Usurpation have been adjusted. I miscalculated the statistical chance of capture from their cumulative checks and they are now toned down to a more reasonable level.
A great number of other numbers were tuned as well across research and base ship stats on most races. Notable are that the maximum mitigation possible through research for the Asgard and the Ori has been lowered by a few percentage points. It may not sound like much, but it’s potential an increase of ~20% damage at the upper end in heavy combat. Adjustments to antimatter regeneration rates and damage or armor types are also common.
Ancient Nanotech Cloning and Wraith Orbital Cloning now have additional total research completed requirements before they can be unlocked. These were always intended to be late-game and possible game-ending technologies so this will hopefully help to keep them more relegated to that role.
The Ancients’ Adamas has been refined and redesigned into not only a heavy, enduring ship-of-the-line but also an anti-structure ship for them. This powerful new ship is ideal for dealing with major targets like star bases and even enemy titans. Be warned though, it is a slower moving ship than the norm so you may not want to use them as a mainstay in your primary fleet group if being nimble is a concern.
The Ancients have also gained the ability to upgrade their core trio of heavy cruisers: The Aurora, Excalibur and Adamas via research. As these ships are more effectively capital ship calibre cruisers, this provides a way for them to get stronger in the late game and stay more relevant in the grander scheme of the end game. This research also enables them to protect those ships from capture by replicators and most non-psychic (hearts & minds, domination type abilities) like Boarding Parties and Usurpation. Losing these high supply ships is far more punitive to the Ancients so a means to protect themselves from seemed prudent. The Ori also have a variant of this protection for their Champions and Paladins.
The Asgard have gained a powerful new version of their planetary shield generator that is more akin to a miniature star-base. Their Valhalla Station star base is very expensive and that can make it difficult for them to protect planets from bombardment when they don’t have hangars to deploy either. This provides them with a sturdy and combat capable tactical structure that is more reasonably priced for easier deployment.
The Goa’uld have seen a number of additions in r1.06. Abilities have been tweaked, and in some cases completely replaced. Al’kesh and Tel’taks have gained unlockable abilities that make their use more effective. In particular, the Al’kesh can now provide the Goa’uld with a very helpful tool for dealing with very large enemy capital ship or titan threats. They have also gained an entirely new support cruiser in the Atum-class. This new cruiser is geared towards antimatter manipulation (both friendly and on the enemy) as well as espionage.
The Wraith have gained the ability to have their Hiveships, Superhive and star bases now counts as planets in terms of game victory conditions. In addition, Hiveships can also be upgraded to generate income for the empire and even count as research labs.
A final change of note is that the Goa’uld and Wraith no longer have access to overt Jump Blocker tactical structures. The Goa’uld instead get an upgrade to their culture station that allows them to do the job. The Wraith on the other hand will simply do without as a factional handicap.
There are over 40 re-textured, improved or all-new 3d meshes in the r1.06 release. Except for the Ori, all major structures and ships for the custom races are now all custom assets (no more re-used stock assets). I say “major” because extractors, constructors and trade/refinery ships are not custom but those are generally more background elements.
The Ancients saw a redone and much improved Episcor (Destiny) texture.
They also got new models courtesy of the partnership with SGI. As such, the Mirus and Tantillus support cruisers finally have custom models in-game. Also, the Adamas and Ultionis Dreadnaught are new models, with new custom textures created by me for this update:
A number of all-new custom models for both ships and structures have been created for the Asgard to complete their empire rosters:
Asgard Heimdall class capital ship & Freyr class fortification cruiser
Asgard Tactical Shield Generator & Orbital Refinery
The Goa’uld got their aforementioned new Atum cruiser model courtesy of SGI, with all new textures for SGR. They also got all-new custom trade port and refinery models and textures to complete their orbital roster as well:
As an add bonus, the Ra class mothership textures were redone also:
EpytronOmega, an old name who founded the original SGI team and is getting back into modding lately, was also kind enough to lend some of his modelling talent in some joint projects to create unique models for the Asgard anti-fighter frigate and Ancients Invictus Juggernaut. The results after texturing turned out very nicely and deserve special mention as well:
Finally, the Space Gate model was replaced and got a brand-new custom texture too:
Sound and UI
Unfortunately, additional new dialogue lines didn’t make it in for this update. However, a couple notable things did get implemented this update.
The first is that all races now have build menu icons that match their custom ship assets. In the case of the Ori, it’s not complete since their roster still needs to be made but otherwise it’s a nice little addition to help customise the menus per custom faction.
The second is, I think, far more impactful. I am quite pleased to say that a custom sound track for all five custom Stargate themed races has been implemented. 101 music tracks have been added in r1.06 and the stock tracks replaced entirely for the custom factions. Of those, 88 of them are directly from various Stargate franchise sources. As there is very little Wraith themed music available, I opted to source an additional 13 tracks from the Free Music Archive. I have chosen to use mostly ambient and/or industrial style tracks to flesh out the Wraith soundtrack. It’s a bit experimental but hopefully people will find that it works well enough for them.
As some of you may have noted, I have been involved with the Star Wars: Interregnum project as well for a while now. Interregnum is built on top of the E4X (Enahanced 4X) mod, which makes some fairly nice changes and additions to the way the base game plays. As such, I have opted to import a couple of those features into SGR.
The first system is the E3X trade stacking buff/debuff system. The goal of this system is to discourage (at least somewhat) the stacking of excess trade ports. It does this by adding a stacking debuff per trade port at a planet. The net effect being that there are diminishing gains to be had by deploying additional trade ports. This debuff can be offset by deploying refineries at the planet. While you probably still won't want to do a 1-to-1 ratio of trade ports to refineries, it does encourage a little more variety and just tones down run-away trade port spam a bit overall. In the cases where the race does not have a refinery, alternate arrangements have been made. The Advent get their debuff offset from the Resource Focus ability. The Ancients get their offset from Gate Trade on their Space Gates. The Wraith do not get an overt debuff offset but instead can get income from Hiveships which should make some or all of the shortfall.
The embassy system from E4X has also been implemented in SGR. Instead of having to build an envoy to keep at every minor faction and every planet whose owner you want to increase your relationship with, your envoys can now deploy an embassy instead and move on. Embassies count as frigates but do not use fleet supply up, meaning that, overall, you don't have to give up as much fleet supply for diplomatic relations. You even may only need to build a single envoy for the game. Like envoys used to be, embassies are now protected by star bases deployed at minor factions as well.
An additional four minor factions have been added in r1.06. These are The Aschen, The Tollan, the SGC Alpha Site and the Ursini.
The Aschen use their Harvesters to maintain a miniature quasi-empire of their own. They leverage their member planets to make themselves more powerful which in turn makes them of more benefit to you as their owner/ally. Harvesters are fairly powerful ships in their own right and you can request to have them deployed at your own worlds as well. Harvesters will increase productivity at planets they are orbiting but it comes at a cost… They are the Aschen after all.
The Tollan do have any ships at all. Instead they protect their planet using their powerful ion cannons on the planet surface. They offer a number of significant benefits. Their mastery of deep space communications allows them to boost culture output at planets of your choice. More importantly, they are capable of building and deploying space gates at planets for you. Lastly, their phasing technology lets them override the protections on a targeted enemy gate, temporarily allowing you to use it yourself.
The SGC Alpha site is a much smaller Tau’ri outpost. Being military in nature it is well fortified and has many wings of F-302s for deployment. The Alpha Site can establish hangar protection at various locations of your choice. It also serves as a launching point for SG Teams and a pair of missions to destabilize planets and sabotage star bases respectively are available.
The Ursini, true to their nature in Stargate Universe, are both a curious and independent lot. They send out ships on their own across the systems, both allied and otherwise. As your ally, they are able to capture neutral assets on the map that you request. They are also able to exchange metal for crystal and vice versa for you in large quantities and at relatively advantageous rates.
As previously mentioned, I have been working with the Interregnum team as their lead 3D Artist for a year or two now. Being part of that team has built working relationships with other madders on the team. I’m happy to say that both Donos and GoaFan77 have decided to assist with SGR development to some degree as things go forward.
This mod has been a solo project since its start some 12 years ago, shortly after Sins original launch. Virtually all the code-work, a good portion of the model work and a large majority of the texture work in it are my work. While I don’t expect that’s going to change entirely in future updates, it is very nice to have some input from collaborators and some additional experience and knowledge bases to draw from.
For r1.06 the fix for the Absorb Strikecraft ability and implementation of the Embassy system are both the handiwork of the ever-knowledgeable GoaFan77.
Feedback & Acknowledgements
As always, I invite you to share your thoughts regarding the content and changes in r1.06. While I have always had my idea of where I’d like the mod to go and how it would do it, it is always helpful to be able to gauge what works well and what may not. There are always those pesky bugs that might need addressing as well.
Drop a comment here or join us on Discord to discuss.
I would also like to thank Max Loef for his assistance with the new particle effect for space gates. It was unsolicited and provided of his own volition and it makes for a very nice additional touch for the mod. Very much appreciated.
Finally, I would like to thank the team of SGR testers for helping iron out the kinks and provide input as updates like this one take shape.