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Dev Diary #8: The Galaxy Just Got A Lot Bigger
Orbital minefields, Vong War-era Mon Cal refits, 120+ possible space units per faction, a total rework of each faction... a lot has happened this summer.
After a summer break and the exciting launch of v1.33, the Essential Guide is back with a new discounted annual rate of $45 per year, and some truly huge updates about the future of the mod.
As readers know, the next release (v1.34) was originally slated to focus on the criminal underworld and the Hutts. That content has been pushed back… for a very exciting reason.
Once upon a time, before the Petrogylph official patch, build bars were capped at a mere 26 units. Then the build bar cap was increased. But there’s more…
A long-request feature for the mod has been the use of filters to stop the build-bar overflowing and allow for more buildable units. That is now being added, meaning factions can feature a truly HUGE range of units. Now Age of Legends can feature 40+ capital ships, 40+ frigates/destroyers/cruisers, 40+ fighters/bombers/assault transports/corvettes per faction.
For major factions like the New Republic, Jedi Coalition, Galactic Alliance and Galactic Empire this will be massive. But it’s meant every faction needs rebuilding with these expanded capabilities in mind (hence the Hutt delay).
This doesn’t just mean more units. Because I’m also introducing a system to allow 8 orbital structures for each planet, and a suite of buildable upgrades for stations and units. Galactic gameplay will be dramatically different in v1.34. No campaign will be the same. This is a lot to digest, and I want to break it down in detail in this Dev Diary.
One of the iconic units of the Rebel Alliance and early New Republic is the Assault Frigate. In the current public build you simply construct these units. But in Legends lore they were in fact heavily modified Dreadnought-class Heavy Cruisers. And there multiple variants.
That is now reflected in the mod: you can now upgrade your Dreadnoughts to Assault Frigate MK Is, then to the MK I B2 spec, then to the Mark II design used in the original Empire at War.
Unit upgrades will be especially important for the New Republic as they advance from a fleet of converted Mon Cal civilian ships retrofitted for warfare to a purpose-built armada of Nebula-class Star Destroyers and 5th Fleet warship types. You can now upgrade those reliable old MC80 Independences to feature more advanced fighters. While the Empire can (for a sizeable cost) equip their ISDs with elite TIE Avenger or Cygnus squadrons.
Upgrades will also ensure that future playable factions like the Hapans and the Sullustans can keep their iconic units relevant as era progression occurs into the Legacy era of Rise of Caedus and beyond.
Space stations will often also be upgradeable - and sellable - meaning you will continue to engage with planets long after you have conquered/liberated them to develop them to their full military, population and economic potential. This is another important step towards Total War-style gameplay.
New Republic Tech Progression [Revised]
The New Republic now need to undertake research within each tech level in order to progress to the next one. This will be increasingly important as more era progressive Galactic Conquest scenarios are introduced.
For example, when in Era 1 the New Republic need to research the Harrier, the Belarus, the Corona, the MC80B and the Republic in order to unlock the era 2 upgrade. Era 2 then allows access to a new range of researchable units: the E-wing, Defender fighter, Proficient, Defender-class Star Destroyer. Research all those and you get access to Era 3. And so on. This is the core Fleet Standardisation Research stream.
Each tech level also includes Optional Research streams: the T-wing in Era 1, the T-65 AC4 and A9 in the Dark Empire campaigns, the E-wing SIV in the Vong War (to name but a few).
Finally, comes New Republic Star Dreadnought Research. This is optional and follows a linear path. Era 1: MC85 → Era 2: → Pelagia, MC104 → Era 3 onwards: → Mediator, Viscount Prototype, Viscount. (If you start in Era 3 at the beginning of a GC, the previous tech will of course already be unlocked.)
Speaking of Super Star Destroyers, all relevant factions will have access to the Executor-class Razor’s Kiss from Kuat in the early, Era 1 GCs. The planet will be heavily defended by the native Kuati Ruling Houses, who will eventually become a fully-playable faction.
Finally, Kuat will, in the Vong War, be able to provide native Executor-class Super Star Destroyers for the New Republic and Galactic Alliance.
Staying with the New Republic for now, they will be getting a tranche of new units. These include the MC80 (wingless), a rare example of a film unit that wasn’t already in the mod. As well as the X4 Gunship, Gamma ATR-6 Assault Transport, Delta DX-9 Storm Transport and a big boost to their local units for each member state. The Corellians now offer the YT-1300, YT-2000, YT-2400, CR-10, DP-12 and CR-50 and the Mon Calamari offer new variants of the MC40 (including a carrier type) and subtypes of the MC60.
By the Vong War, they will also have access to the MC80 Naritus Poesy-subtype and the MC80B Mon Adapyne-subtype.
Minefields! And Orbital Structures…
Oh yes. As I have previewed in Discord, the mod will now feature BUILDABLE minefields. That is to say, you construct Proximity Minefield in galactic mode, and when your planet is attacked you will have a defensive minefield with randomised placement between your base and the invading fleet. I can confirm this is great fun. And, to my knowledge, something totally unique to the Age of Legends mod.
Orbital Structures will be sellable, upgradeable, there will be lots more of them. And (thanks to the generosity of the AOTR team in sharing some code) they will be displayable in orbit above your worlds. They also will remain even if a shipyard is destroyed: so no more dropping into orbit, sniping a space station and retreating. Those pesky Golan IIIs will still be there!
I know times are hard and credits are short. But if you would like to subscribe to the Guide you’ll also be supporting me and the development of the mod. I’ve been working on Age of Legends for 6 years and with your support its best days are ahead.