After many years of hard work, hundreds of hours of testing, and more than a few Sins updates, I am incredibly excited to tell you that we have a date for releasing the first Beta version of Star Wars: Interregnum, complete with the eagerly awaited New Republic faction. For our patient fans, we could not think of a better Star Wars day present for you than to release this update on May 4th! Read on to find out about how this exciting new faction will play.
But first, you may be wondering why are we calling this upcoming release a Beta now? In a nutshell, it is because the New Republic is the last of the original core feature to be completed. 8 years ago, I day dreamed and wrote down my ideas for what would become this mod between college classes. That design called for two new races, the Alliance and Empire, each with two subfactions. One would represent these races as we saw them in the Star Wars trilogy, and this gave us the Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance.The other would represent what these races would become after the Battle of Endor in the Expanded Universe (now known as Legends). With the Warlords and now the New Republic, all of these factions have been completed. In software development, the beta phase of development begins when all the core features are completed, and I am pleased to say we have finally arrived at this point.
While this mod began as my passion project, the New Republic was always going to be the greatest challenge, due to the obscurity and poor sources of their ships compared to the other factions. More than any, this update was only made possible due to the talent, hard work, and dedication of others.
- By far the most significant is dolynick, who not only upgraded the textures and models of many of the mod's existing units last year, but who after joining the Interregnum team as our graphics lead, overhauled and retextured all the units of the New Republic fleet, and even made some original models himself. Never in my wildest dreams did I think the New Republic fleet would look as good as they will in this update, and this mod certainly would never have gotten this far this quickly without Dolynick’s help.
- Donós_ continued to do great work with the Mandalorians and Minor Factions, and even took on a good portion of the UI work for this update.
- ERock72 has done a great job as always with the custom particle effects required for each and every new ship, which this update certainly contains a lot of.
- Finally, there would be no mod to make without the many modelers, artists, and writers who help flesh out the Star Wars Universe, both professional and hobbyists.
So what exactly can you expect from the New Republic as a faction?
The New Republic is a brand new government made up of worlds who have overthrown the Empire, and seek to bring Freedom and Democracy back to the galaxy. To achieve this goal, the New Republic must establish brand new institutions for both the civilian government and a professional military. To do either is a difficult task - to do both while war consumes the entire galaxy might be almost impossible. Yet the raw potential is there. The skills of the many species of the New Republic, such as the Mon Calamari, Bothans, and Sullustans, gives the New Republic the unique ability to create a new, diverse and powerful fleet quickly. After decades of Imperial rule, many in the galaxy would welcome the return of the Republic, giving them popular support. And by enshrining the rule of law, business in the New Republic is thriving, perhaps to the point of becoming an economic powerhouse.
In game, you the player must help the New Republic develop these institutions. At first, it will be painful. The New Republic does not initially have many ships available, and worse, due to the inexperience of its new military, it suffers significant penalties when operating outside of friendly territory. Yet if they persevere, these shortcomings will be eliminated, and you will have access to a powerful, technologically advanced military backed by competent government, strong culture, and an impressive economy. This makes the New Republic great for players who like to tech up to the end phase of the game, and then create an unstoppable fleet to secure the win.
The development of these institutions is represented in game by two key research lines - the New Class program and the Reorganization line.
New Class Program
While the Rebellion was forced to make due with whatever ships or weapons they could find, the New Republic quickly realized that this hodgepodge of tech and equipment would be a nightmare to maintain in a professional navy. Instead the New Republic created the New Class program, which sought to create a fleet that would be standardized and efficient. The technology and standards developed for the program would be freely shared with member worlds, allowing the many different shipyards of the New Republic to make vessels and equipment that could easily be maintained, repaired, and supplied.
In game, the vast majority of New Republic ships are unlocked by the New Class program research. There are six technologies representing the different phases of the program, and they alternate between unlocking ships, from the humble Hajen Fleet Tender to the mighty Nebula Star Destroyer, and providing new abilities or upgrades to existing ships. As these techs unlock more than one ability or ship at a time, they are quite expensive, but are key in providing the New Republic a diverse and effective fleet.
While developing the military hardware to defend democracy is important, having it available does not mean it will be used competently. Rather than overhaul the existing Rebel Fleet with new tech, which was already well equipped and experienced in raids and assaults, the New Republic decided to build a new professional navy from scratch. One whose first responsibility was to defend member worlds instead of defeating the Empire. While these new recruits can be expected to perform well at defending their homes, without a developed system of training, logistics, and administration, the new navy will struggle to take the fight to the enemy.
In game, the inexperience of the New Republic’s military is represented by large penalties to damage, armor, and experience points while operating outside of friendly territory. There is no disadvantage whatsoever while fighting at your own planets, but fighting the enemy without the home field advantage is a very risky engagement. This is annoying when expanding against militia, but it is easy to compensate with overwhelming force. Against other players though, it makes any sort of early rush or battle to control key planets extremely difficult to win.
The Reorganization research line allows the New Republic to eliminate this disadvantage. By investing in the institutions needed to field a professional military, this offensive penalty can be reduced and eventually eliminated (unlike the disadvantages of the other Star Wars factions).
While it will take almost entirely maxed out research facilities, if a New Republic player is able to complete both the New Class and Reorganization research lines, they will certainly be among the most powerful factions in the game.
While the New Republic is less than a month away, keep an eye on this space for more articles about the New Republic and other improvements, including new Minor Factions (DLC Required) and enhancements to the Rebel Alliance.