Development Diary #2: Magma Troopers, Snow Scouts, and how one tweak changes EVERYTHING
A host of new lands units (and skins) are coming in v1.33, but most of all, land battles will be FUN. Check out this week's Dev Diary for more...
You won’t be disappointed after the clickbaity title! Because the on-going land rework is going to deliver a completely new and original experience of land battles in Age of Legends. And I’m excited to share more details this week!
This Week’s Progress
This week I have finished converting all existing units to the new Light and Line Infantry template, and have begun work on the Assault Infantry. Assault Infantry are like Stormtroopers: they are trained to fire while moving, advance on and capture enemy positions, and support moving armour.
Each of the three main infantry types has a special ability to help it fulfil its role: Light Infantry can Sprint, Line Infantry can go into Fighting Positions, and Assault Infantry can Overheat Blasters.
But rather than these being token abilities, they are all very useful:
Sprint lets Light Infantry quickly escape more powerful forces, or steal a march to a Control Point
Fighting Positions (formerly ‘Crouch’) now has much better stats and dramatically boosts survivability for the fixed-position Line Infantry - think Company Of Heroes.
Overheat Blasters lets Assault Infantry blast their way through enemy lines at critical moments.
I’ve also done some fundamental rebalancing. In the current public version, infantry almost always hit each other when they fire. Firefights are short, incomprehensible and meaningless: 8 squads just run towards each other stop, and mow each other down in a few seconds.
Now, specialised infantry will fire from different ranges, some are better at attack or defense, position matters, and - crucially - like any real battle, they sometimes miss when they fire. As a result, battles between infantry are longer, units have a better chance of surviving, you can micromanage these engagements and can think about 1) unit type, 2) position/terrain, and 3) how best to use each infantry type’s special abilities. You will WANT to use infantry, and you will enjoy playing with different infantry types.
This skirmishing between Pentastar Patrol Enforcers and ESPO Troopers of the CSA shows off these changes.
They are both Line Infantry, and fire from fixed positions. They have an initial engagement, and then the Pentastar units try to get a better tactical position. They advance, but then the vanguard squad is outflanked. This under-fire squad is down in Fighting Positions, allowing men to take cover and increasing their defensive stats. The right flank of the Pentastar units wins its part of the engagement and then turns to assist on the left. Note that (from about 28 seconds) the CSA forces and reinforcements are outnumbered, but instead of just being mown down immediately, some of the Pentastar troops still miss and the CSA forces can get a few more shots off.
In the current release, that engagement would have taken seconds and almost every unit would have been mown down in a meaningless slaughter. In the future, such battles will be a slower-paced, more tactical, meaningful experience for the player. Infantry will be VALUABLE.
New Unit Skins: Magma Troopers, Snow Scouts, Fleet Officers
My drive to improve the visual variety of the mod continues! On volcanic worlds like Sullust or Mustafar, Stormtroopers will now take on the appearance of Magma Troopers, with burnt, blackened armour fit for their surroundings.
The stock Stormtrooper squads have also been diversified with more model variety (credit to the Alliance mod). There are now Stormtrooper Lieutenants, Sergeants and Corporals in each squad, and their standard unit appearance varies: some carry ammo packs and different backpacks.
There are new skins for various other units too. These clankers won’t (yet) be appearing in the mod, but I’ve added a generic B1 Battle Droid in addition to the green-coloured Killik and the white-coloured CSA/Balmorran version already in the mod.
They also have a new, yellow-marked B1 Battle Droid Commander in each squad.
The New Republic Fleet Troopers have a new skin for their Lieutenant (left), and the Scout Trooper now has a cold-weather variant for snowy worlds like Alzoc III or Hoth.
(More) New Units
That brings me on to new units. Because the Scout Trooper will now be a buildable Light Infantry type, like the Imperial Navy Trooper. You can see them in battle below against New Republic Fleet Troopers.
That’s all for now, but next time we’re returning to the Air War: with a comprehensive unit list for all factions of their atmospheric fighters, bombers, airspeeders, gunships and transports.
Making this mod (and writing these newsletters) is something I enjoy a lot. But it’s also a lot of work. If you’d like to support my efforts, please subscribe today - if you can afford to, a Paid Subscription costs just $5.