Thanks for the page references, Bob.
Heres an odd question - I don't know if this has come up earlier in the thread but I'm assuming this mod is only taking material from the game, and not the book as well?
I don't think the question has come up in the thread yet and as far as I know, Aaron has based the mod solely on the game so far, although this doesn't mean that elements of the novel, such as the neat passage you mentioned and which Bob further referenced, can't or won't be integrated into the mod, especially when they further develop the gameplay and complement the game.
Aaron mentioned his plan for each faction's ship list and role about two months ago here:
While Confed's listing has changed very little and remains the current focus, there have been some changes and the listings are by no means set in stone -- if a requested feature is possible to implement and balance, then we'll make every effort to get it integrated. I think I suggested at least one change to Aaron based on the novel a couple of week's back for Confed, but would think that it (the novel) would have a larger influence when the UBW and Black Lance factions are tackled in testing.
One recent change due in the next testing update concerns the construction and deployment of jump buoys. Initially, they were constructed at the Confed HQ and were movable a single time to the desired destination once complete. To increase the utility use of scout transports, we've decided to make them the only unit able to build and deploy jump buoys instead of the H.Q. While the scout transport is essentially a (very weak and modular) military unit, the fact the base hull is used for other variants (e.g. civilian medical transport [Amadeus] from the WC4 intro, Black Lance Jammer, etc), it would seem conceivable that such a ship might be used by Confed Exploratory Services in charting jump points and deploying buoys, so in this instance, we've tried to merge functionality where it makes sense.
I don't believe that Aaron has read the novel and I only managed to get hold of a copy earlier this year, but it's definately something worth integrating where it's complimentary and achievable. I think the focus is still the game, because sticking to the novel completely would mean, amongst a few other changes, dropping some of the iconic designs from the game, such as the Banshee, Avenger, Vindicator, Bearcat, etc that were represented differently or omitted in favour of the Ferrets, Sabres and other "older" craft mentioned as being on the Intrepid in the novel. Not that their inclusion would be a bad thing and who knows, if Aaron's still working on the mod in a year or two's time and continues to pump out his excellent models, he may have worked his way through all the ships in WC4, WC3, WC2 and WC1 by then!
Anyway, if you guys think we've missed something significant or interesting from the novel, please let us know, as above, in the thread.
Also - will this mod make use of the "sensor scramble capship" featured across a couple of the later missions?
Yeah, the jammer ship is due to appear as a Black Lance unit.
Bob McDob said:
I'm not quite certain there would be any way to implement this, though, since AFAIK Homeworld makes no distinction between strike and capital-class ships when it comes to the use of jumpgates.
In the current test build, all Confed capships can still hyperspace around the map and some can also hyperspace between two linked jump buoys. Once finalised, Confed capships (and presumably the other faction's capships) will only be able to hyperspace (with WC jump sound & fx) between linked jump buoys that they control, if that particular capship class has it's jump drive upgrade researched. Confed Excaliburs can currently use jump lanes with their jump drive upgrade researched and shuttles can also use jump lanes.
I haven't started testing UBW units in this manner yet (as the modelling and scripting is still ongoing) and the listing that I linked to above for UBW units doesn't mention any of their fighters being jump capable, so there's an opportunity there to integrate a solution similar to the one referenced in the novel.
I suppose there are a couple of options that can be investigated once the focus shifts to the UBW faction. One could be to specifically construct a jump corvette for the Border Worlds that allows any fighter to use a jump lane provided it's within operational range of the corvette. Another possibility would be to have the capability available as an upgrade to their Radar Array or simply as a blanket upgrade that applies to all fighters once researched? I'll speak to Aaron about implementation details.
Bob McDob said:
The novel is full of other neat stuff, such as the Black Hellcats which could act as a Black Lance light interceptor...
Yeah, I see Aaron planned to have the Razor in that role, but I'm sure we can work something out. Perhaps replace the Black Lance Thunderbolt with an uprated Black Hellcat or include it as a specialised scout craft as an upgrade? Once the testing focus shifts to the Border Worlds we'll be able to better see where each unit can fit in.
Bob McDob said:
...This particular passage, from Chapter Thirteen, page 325, has long reminded me of Homeworld, and I always thought that in the event a WCIV mod were made that it would be a sight to see:
I can say now that the mod is going to be an amazing sandbox for Wingnuts in playing out such scenarios!
The ripple-fire missile effect might need to be specifically programmed, but even with some slight AI tweaks in recent updates, I've watched some amazing dogfights unfold as well as some surprisingly involved maneuvres. Things can only improve as new units come online and stats are tweaked!
EDIT: I almost forgot, I've managed to upload the original and more widely accessible zip archive of the high resolution screenshots to FileFront today -- seems they were overhauling the hosting interface/backend over the past few days, which is why I had trouble uploading. You can grab the zip archive (5.57MB) here: http://files.filefront.com/HQ_Image_Pack_1zip/;5465442;;/fileinfo.html