The INTERDICTION major milestone issues in a completely new type of ship, new style of play and and an all new frontier for ship combat meta. By installing launch bays and hangars into your ship, you can now achieve a carrier build. From there, recruit Wing specialists to staff the flight deck and pilot your craft and send the bombers, interdictors and shuttles screaming into battle or use them for utility in orbital operations, missions and in ship combat victory.
This major new expansion adds 4 new Jobs, 60 new Talents, 15 unique craft across the spectrum of bombers, interdictors and boarding shuttles, 3 new ships, a pile of new ship components, new Contacts, new Contact Traits, character Trait expansions to make for ace pilots, changes to the ship meta and so much more.
Carriers and craft are not for the lowly -- they are definite mid and late game content. They require a serious bank roll to get started, with a launch bay installing to the tune of a half million and the purchaseable carriers all starting around one million.
Tombstone for 2.4.x
The INTERDICTION milestone completes the 4 major goals we had for the 2.4.x development group. The tombstone will read that they were awesome features -- RELIC, TERROX, the Xeno Hunter and finally INTERDICTION. With the feature-heavy 2.4.x family behind us, we're turning our attention to story-heavy 2.5.x family next. Stay tuned for more eras, more story arcs, recurring characters and major shifts in the story that will ripple across the galaxy.
To see more detail about what is coming next, check out our development roadmap which details the next major features and content expansions as well as our on-going content expansion initiatives.
Launch All Zigs!
The major carrier and craft expansion only adds to the game -- it introduces new ways to play, new utility Talents, new combat strategies, new jobs and exciting ship builds to explore. However, it does not reset the bar for the best builds nor invalidate any of the awesome builds out there. It fits hand and glove with the existing game as a new way to play. Carriers and craft are new mid to late-game content due to their cost of craft and requirement for skilled specialist pilots. Building and maintaining a fleet of bombers, inderdictors and shuttles will require a bank roll to support the additional investment, helpful Contacts, extra repair cost and possibility of a total craft loss.
You can either purchase one of the three new carrier ships -- the Fallen, the Basalt or the Harbinger -- or convert your ship to a carrier. A carrier is defined by having at least one launch bay (large slot) and one hangar for a craft. You can install additional hanger (medium slot) components to increase the number of craft you can field at any given time. There are no starting carrier ships as the cost of operating a wing fleet is beyond a starting captain.
Craft come in 3 varieties -- bombers, interdictors and shuttles. Each requires a specialist Wing job as a pilot. You can assign pilots when purchasing new craft or from your ship status screen. Once assigned, a wing specialist is always ready to launch their craft. A Wing Commando flies shuttles and brings extremely powerful boarding victory Talents and debuffs to bear. A Wing Leader flies interdictors and can employ both powerful defensive flight plans as well as offensive flight plans to drop big buffs. Wing Bombers fly bombers to deal devastating damage and drop massive debuffs on the enemey.
Most of the Wing Commando, Wing Leader or Wing Bomber Talents require that the pilot is assigned to a craft in order to be used. The most important type of new Talent for the wing specialists are the Flight Plan Talents, which define the series of actions a craft will take during ship combat. An Interdictor might use a defensive Flight Plan which will position their craft near the carrier and intercept and shoot down incoming torpedoes or missiles.
A bomber's flight plan will embark on a multi-turn bombing run to drop ordnance on the enemy capital ship, a risky maneuver as you get so close to their autocannon fire. Interdictors can also engage in multi-turn attack runs. Shuttles on the other hand use flight plans that result in a boarding run, even if your carrier ship is hanging at range 5.
Your craft and their pilots are at risk once they launch into the void. Relying on their Evasion Chance % to dodge incoming fire, they can take hull and health damage independently and die out there. Whenever a capital ship fires a weapon, it has a Craft Hit Chance %, indicating whether it will also tag one launched craft. Therefore, by firing weapons, you're automatically targeting enemy craft. In the case of autocannons, once a craft has closed with your ship and is close-in, you can fire autocannons specifically at the enemy craft. These new challenges may demand that some captains reconsider how their ships are built out to be able to defend against enemy craft, considering adding an autocannon or adjusting some of their weapon choices to ensure they have some high accuracy weapons against craft.
As always, the INTERDICTION major milestone does NOT require new saved games. It will not invalidate saved games. We never invalidate saved games, full stop. Recruit a wing specialist, upgrade your ship, start a wing fleet.
Wing Specialist Jobs can be found in spice halls with high ratings. Wing Commandos appear when Military is above 8. Wing Bombers and Wing Leaders require 6 Military and 8 Starport. Wing Techs appear with Starport above 5 on High Tech or Orbital zones. In addition, new and old Contacts offer Wing recruits -- Alta Mesa Flight Provost, the new Naval Recruiter, Squadron Mechanic, Wing Vet, Ex-Spec Ops and Flight Academy Officers all join the fun as well. Also, the new Contact Trait "Naval Vet" Trait pays better for missions, grants +1 recruit level, recruits Wing Leaders.
Character Traits will also help you find and select the best ace pilots. Traits like Spatial, Mindful, Focused, Traveler, Scrounger, Mechsync and Device Freak all help set your crew apart as potentially top wing pilots.
We are very excited to have released INTERDICTION. We will now resume standard pace of relentless updates, so please know this is only the beginning. There will be a lot more coming on top of the mighty foundation laid out here today. Except updates and exepect them fast.
Enemy Carriers in Waiting
We have decided not to roll out enemy carriers at this time. With the extensive changes to the standard combat ship meta and the potential need for captains to adjust their own ship and crew builds to be prepared to face enemy bombers, interdictors and shuttles we've put the enemy AI on the shelf for this release. This will not last long. We'll be gathering data and talking to players for up to a week and then expect to roll out the enemy carrier builds in the mid to late game.
Oh and the xeno carriers... yes those two :D
Ship Combat Meta Changes
The INTERDICTION major milestone also comes with a host of important ship combat meta changes. These changes are the result of months of talking to players, gathering data and testing. Together, they help increase your captains ability to hone in on different strategies and add more choice and variation to the viable builds within the frontier.
First -- ship combat now has a working officer consult button that explains the basic rules of Turns, Talent use, range change and escape, weapons firing and craft launching. We'll grow from here.
Strong and Standard dice pools have beenc changed for almost every operation. We've rebalanced Defense Dice Pools to give more options -- now, whichever of Pilot or Electronics is higher is used as Strong dice and whichever is lower is used as Standard Dice. The powerhouse combo of Tactics and Command has also been broken up. For Escape Pools, your standard dice are now Electronics and Command while for Range Change, your standard dice pools are Electronics and Tactics. To help ease these changes, we've ensured that the hovers over all of these Skills in ship status include these specific rule detail in the new blue text sections.
We've also made some big changes to how Crippling Effects work. Now all weapon types can cause up to 3 Crippling Effects. Two are considered base and one is considered prime. If the two base effects are not present, they will be added first in a random order. If they are present, then the prime Crippling Effect is always added. These new Crippling Effect pyraminds create groups of weapons that work well together, crossing over and helping each other achieve prime effects. To this end, we've added 4 new Crippling Effect types, 3 of which are ship effects (Ruptured Bulkheads, Secondary Explosions, Void Contortions) and one new crew effect (System Blackout). This change also mixes up your need to use more crew and ship purge Talents, making it less easy to rely on a single type. Also, to help with this change, we've ensured the tooltips over any ship weapon include all of the details about their 2 base and 1 prime Crippling Effects.
All Other Changes
The INTERDICTION major milestone is not short on other changes as well. We've dedicated an entire section of the change log to "other stuff".
We've added an exciting new Trait "Scrupulous" which increases Mission payments. We've tuned the Trait mutator to do better when running lots of missions and to avoid some more nonesensical combinations.
A new card has been added to the Blockade orbital ops -- angry Zealots defending their home system.
New Contact Trait "Warhawk" is a faction loyalist who recruits Zealots. New Contact Trait "Tinkerer" adds +1 recruit level and recrutis mechanics.
And, we've fixed a ton of bugs and pushed more information into tooltips across the game.
v2.5.1 - 4/15/20195
The list here is so long, we've broken it down into different categories:
INTERDICTION Craft Changes
- Ship can now install Launch Bays to launch Craft during ship combat and orbital operations
- Install additional Hangar components to station more Craft on your carrier ship
- Added 3 new ship types that come pre-built as carriers -- the Fallen Carrier, Basalt Carrier and Harbinger Carrier
- Added 3 types of craft -- bombers (attack only), interdictors (attack and defense) and shuttles (boarding)
- Added 3 new wing pilot Jobs -- Wing Bombers fly bombers, Wing Leaders fly interdictors, Wing Commandos fly shuttles
- Added new Job Wing Tech -- the flight-deck mechanic and support for a carrier's wing fleet
- Added 60 new Talents across 4 new jobs and existing Jobs like E-Tech, Pirate, Commander, Gunner, Navigator to help buff or hinder craft
- Adjusted Contact recruit types -- Gestalt Explorer recruits Exo-Scouts, Spicetender recruits Smugglers, Contact Trait Saboteur recruits Wing Commandos
- Added new Contact Trait "Naval Vet" Trait pays better for missions, grants +1 recruit level, recruits Wing Leaders
- Added 5 new Contact types Naval Recruiter, Squadron Mechanic, Wing Vet, Ex-Spec Ops and Flight Academy Officers who offer valuable services as well as recruiting Wing specialist jobs
Ship Combat Meta Changes
- Added new Officer Consults to Ship Combat, covering the basics of Turn options, defeat conditions, range change rules, weapon firing, Talents and launching craft
- Rebalanced Defense Dice Pools in ship combat, whichever of Pilot or Electronics is used as Strong dice and whichever is lower is used as Standard Dice
- Rebalanced Range Change and Escape Pools in combat, standard dice pools are now Electronics + Command for Escape and Electronics + Tactics for range change
- Added rules for ship combat dice pools to all Skill Pool hovers in status
- Added 4 new Crippling Effect Types: 3 new ship effects (Ruptured Bulkheads, Secondary Explosions, Void Contortions) and 1 new crew effect (System Blackout)
- All weapon classes now have 3 Crippling Effect types -- 2 base and one prime Effects. Prime is deployed only if both base Effects are already present
- Tooltips over ship weapon components now display their 3 Crippling Effects, their exact stats and which are base and which is prime
- Rebalanced all Crippling Effects, some reduction in power in base effects and especially long range weapon types Crippling Effects
- Rebalanced and lowered the Rep penalties for claiming Prize Ships through Talents, Wing Commando includes new Prize Ship Talent at rank 15
- Reduced Crippling Chance on all Missiles by 5%, traded for slightly increased accuracy
- Improved enemy ship AI intelligence about using Escape Talents early to flee -- be sure not to let your merchant targets escape easily!
All Other Changes
- Redced time required to complete starport repairs -- even more dependent on higher starport ratings
- Added new "Scrupulous" Trait which increases all mission payments by 5%, maximum 3 at a time
- Improved Trait mutation paths for completing and failing missions
- Added new "Zealot" card to blockade -- watch out for faction defenders, they are highly hostile
- Improved Crew Combat Log, fixed typos, added more details about enemy weaponry, cleaned up bad math
- Improved tooltip over Conflicts to list the types of ships that can be captured by Prize Ship Talents in Solar War, Info War or Trade War
- Improved sort of Offered Missions, now always sorted in the order that they were offered
- Ending a Quarantine through Patrol orbital actions now grants a Rep bonus
- Added rules description for Trade Blockade, Plague Blockade, Pirates and Xeno Spores System Rumors -- these Rumors prevent Pilot saving Talents from working during landing
- Added new Contact Trait "Warhawk" which prizes faction rep and recruits Zealots, renamed Contact Trait "Zealot" to "Faction Hardliner"
- Added new Contact Trait "Tinkerer" Trait increases cost of all services by 10%, grants +1 recruit level, recruits Mechanics
- Added new Captain's Log entry when saving a crew or officer from a ship going down with a distress signal in Orbital Ops
- Combined HUD entries for empty crew bunks and empty officer cabins into a single entry
- Crew Report post combat now includes level and job of injured and demoralized crew
- Fixed bug with "Flawless Reset" Talent preventing it from purging debuffs
- Fixed bug that allowed Auto Refuel to function even with Starport
- Fixed bug with Combat Medic "Flatline" Talent which removed characters' Buffs
- Fixed bug with Xeno Hunter's "Triumphant Predator" that was prevent it from being used on destroy xeno ships
- Fixed bug with name generation not working right for Coalition Emissary and Coalition Commander Contacts from missions
- Fixed bug with Contact Traits that could cause services to require more than 100 Influence