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5-11

2013

Petrolution is fully functional again.

Posted by Banshee at Petrolution News on November 5, 2013

Welcome back, everyone. Petrolution is working correctly again. We've managed to figure out the server mechanics that were affecting the redirection and they were disabled here. So, feel free to browse the site, submit tutorials, files, mods, etc.

 

We have a lot of sections about games that no longer belongs to Petroglyph or are not longer supported, but we'll keep them for now. Also, End Of Nations is no longer a MMO RTS, but it is rather a multiplayer online battle arena and it is in the sole hands of Trion. I don't know if we'll add content for this game on our own. Probably not, unless we see some interest in the responses for this news post.

 

Anyway, enjoy this place and contribute for it to make it even better.

3-11

2013

Broken site links

Posted by Banshee at Petrolution News on November 3, 2013

Hello everyone. If you've been trying to browse this site recently, you might be noticing that some of the site content looks broken. Our problem lies with a redirection rule of apache that is beyond my scope or it's something I'm not being able to figure out where it comes from. But the content itself is fully functional. Feel free to browse it:

 

-> Tutorials

-> Mods

-> Articles

-> Maps

-> Downloads

 

-> Art Tutorials

-> Coding Tutorials

-> Mapping Tutorials

-> Other Tutorials

 

-> Propaganda Downloads

-> Modding Utilities Downloads

-> Community Modifications Downloads

 

-> Skirmish Maps

-> Galatic Maps (EAW)

 

And for anything else, make sure that the link has index.php?page= and the ? are replaced with & until we figure out why things are breaking. Sorry for any inconvenience and enjoy this place.

28-12

2012

Battlestar Galactica at War is back!

Posted by Darthbyron56 at Petrolution News on December 28, 2012

Hey Guys, Byron here. Avid BSG fans will be well aware that between 2010/2011 NBC issued a take down notice of a single BSG mod from Moddb.Since Moddb didn't want to get into trouble they decided to remove all BSG related content from their website.

However, we have started up our Battlestar Mod project again, and hopefully we can continue to develop it without NBC feeling threated by its presence.

So what have we been up to?

Well most of the content used in BSG Colonial Wars needed upgrades. Textures weren't great and most models need re-rigging.

Our Priority at the moment is to re-rig enough units to get you guys a mini-mod by 2013. We are aiming for something small, but quite diverse. We aim to change the graphics of the game so you feel like as if your playing a Total Conversion mod.

As mentioned all models are being Re-rigged, and re coded to be more accurate to the ships shown in the show. We have already re-rigged the Battlestar Galactica, and have put its Flak Shield ability to test against some cylon raiders, and the results are fantastic. The video below from our November update shows you this ability being used.



Due to some set backs re-rigging was placed on hold and minor modding of Factions, Galactic Conquests and Planet placement has taken over at this moment. But I am pleased to announce that we have finally overcome the rigging issues we were experiencing with the rigging process, but I'd like to show you what I've been up to in the meantime.

This video shows the new and updated effects that we are looking to create with our mods Galactic Conquest. As you can see we've taken to offering an accurate representation of a Galaxy by adding in Nebula and Star effects, we've even gone as far as adding Suns to each Galaxy.

The area of space you see in this video is known as Helios Alpha, and is one of the primary Helios for the Tweleve Colonies. It features the following planets:

Icarus,
Picon,
Caprica,
Gemenon,
Tauron,
Zeus,
Peresphone,
Erebos Asteroids.



Let us know what you think, after many attempts at getting the effects to work correctly I cracked it. We are aiming to develop another 3 of these areas for the other Helios' within the Twelve Colonies. You'll also notice some sound updates for the GC.

The mod is well and truly back in production, however as always we must say that Real Life events to come before any modding, so If you haven't heard from us in a while don't assume we are dead, we might just be very busy.

If you want to keep up to date with is visit www.bsgmods.com/forum and register there with us. The forums is quite New and we still don't have many members.

Thanks Guys,
Byron

21-12

2012

Planets by numbers

Posted by Ghostrider at Phoenix Rising News on December 21, 2012

The key theme to V1.3 development is conforming to The Essential Atlas, which involves moving all the planets to their correct locations. In addition, a new theme has been added to this which has implications throughout the mod, some obvious, some hidden: Populations.

Planets vary enormously in their planetary populations, from the trillion on Coruscant to the airless uninhabited moon of Folor, and this now becomes the key economic driver for determining planetary income and industrial output. In general, heavily populated Core Worlds outclass anything else in terms of economic and military output (with a few notable exceptions), while some of the Outer Rim planets are so poor, one wonders if they are worth the military effort to take them. More on this later.

The second major change is fleet populations. Every unit now requires galactic population to build it. The more crew in a ship, the greater the Unit Population. Why? An Imperial-class Star Destroyer has 37,000 crew and requires consumables for 2.5 years. That's over 100 million meals stuck somewhere in the hold, and all this food, together with all the other consumables and parts required to cover every possible eventuality of running a Star Destroyer from spare rank cylinders to deflector shield parts has to be supplied from somewhere. Each planet you control will contribute to Galactic Population, and each land or space unit that is built consumes Galactic Population.

From a Campaign design perspective 2 points are immediately obvious. Firstly, while frigates and below have low crew requirements, the Clone Wars-era cruisers such as the Dreadnaught and the Acclamator Assault Ship are ridiculously crew-heavy designs, and it is not surprising that these designs were relegated to crew training and planetary defense roles out during the Imperial Era, especially with the advent of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer. While this certainly has a high Unit Population, a single Imperial is less demanding on Galactic Population than 2 Dreadnaught Heavy Cruisers, and with considerably more firepower. Yet another example of the technical breakthroughs achieved with the Imperial-class. It's not just a raw demonstration of firepower – it's also more efficient in crew requirements. Population is shown in yellow for negative numbers, such as unit population costs, and green for positive values, as per most planets.

So what defines Galactic Population?
Clearly food surplus is a key requirement to building a large fleet/army, but in addition a vibrant trade network is required to allow fleet supply to move goods around the galaxy to support front line military units wherever they are.

The current system of 10 population per planet is too uniform and simply was not going to work. But what do we replace it with? Answer – a full demographic model of each planet giving a picture of its food production, economy, trade network and industrial output that can then be used to determine a realistic figure for its weekly income and Galactic Population.

Actually this isn't quite as bad as it sounds as I had already started on a planetary demographic model during V1.2 development, but the model has grown and grown and is pretty complex. I'll attempt to break it down into manageable chunks.

Food Production
The first step in creating a picture of a planet and its economic output is food production, the mainstay of most civilisations. Planets are not just lumps in space, terrain is critical to food production, so we listed a set of primary terrain types, all with different features: Grassland, Oceans, Forests, Temperate, Mountains, Volcanic, Desert, Swamp, Urban, Arctic, Barren, Ruined urban and Primordial and Asteroid. To this we add the civilisation factors: Technology Level, ranging from Neolithic/Primitive through to Super-High Tech. I also wanted a measure of Industrialisation and Pollution, which I call Harmony. Planets with high Harmony scores are pretty, grow lots of food and are good for tourism, while planets with negative scores are increasingly polluted.

Both Tech and Harmony have significant impact on food production and industrial output. Low Tech worlds take big penalties for both economy and food production, while the polluting worlds are penalised on food production but have bigger economies and greater industrial output.

Now we apply the Agricultural Level (which is a separate but related concept to the Advantage of the same name) , which acts as a multiplier to the terrain type. While the normal level of Agriculture is set at 1, some harsher worlds (where the planetary description indicates a subsistence level economy) this may drop to 0.5 or 0.25 depending on the local conditions. High levels of urbanisation will also reduce the Agri-level. Planets with good food reserves increase to Agri-level 2 or 3, while 4 or 5 is reserved for the Agriworlds, where the entire planet is turned into a giant farm. The scale of food production varies enormously, with Tatooine's moisture farmers producing 2.3 units of food, up to the giant of Ukio's world farms producing over 200 food units.

We also decided that planetary diameters will have an impact on food production, so large planets have their food output increased, while small colonised moons with lower surface area produce less food. As a bonus, we've taken the planetary diameters and re-scaled the planets visually in Galactic Mode so you can see size differences now, where known.

And finally, we deduct a measure of food that is eaten by the planetary inhabitants, so that big urban worlds are net food importers, with Coruscant's trillion beings eating over 100 food units worth of population.

Trade
The other side of the credit chip is galactic trade. This is based on several areas of industry. First, we take the trade generated by industrial output, which includes mineral resources, general industrial output (with positive modifiers for factory worlds), art & tourism, crime, and population-based civilian demand, so urban worlds score well here. Furthermore, this is intrinsically linked to the galactic trade network, and each planet gets a special "Commercial" ranking depending on its galactic position and access to major trade routes. The Comms rank ranges from 1 to 8, with position on the Big 5 Hyperrroutes (Hydian Way, Perlemian etc) rating an automatic 4. Remote Outer Rim worlds may only rate 1-2, while the super-hubs are scoring 6 or more. This makes a massive difference to the trade created by a planet, and has a major impact on both planetary economy and Galactic Population.

Most of this data remains hidden (actually in a massive spreadsheet used for mod development), but the result is a very personalised planetary economy. Having gone this far, we decided to complete the task by calculating all the important game considerations using this data.

Land and Space slots are now calculated using all the information gathered so far. To build a base you need solid terrain and a local technological culture to build and maintain the base. Key factors for Base size are terrain type and planetary population. Harsh worlds reduce the base size, high populations increase base size. The number of space slots is a combination of local shipbuilding – ranging from general technical skill of the population to specialist shipyards as noted in the planetary advantages, with additional slots for high trade requirements and large colony size. The number of Turret mounts for Planetary Turbolaser Defenses are now biased towards urbanised centres, and low population worlds tend to have fewer turbolasers than high tech worlds. The number and frequency of build pads is often also linked to urbanisation, so don't expect too many build pads to help your troops if you invade a barren planet! And finally, when you capture a planet, you get to steal/plunder all the goods awaiting shipment, so trade planets, mining worlds and planets with medical exports will have higher capture values.

Planets by numbers
If this is confusing, let's illustrate with a few examples; Firstly we collect all the data we know about a planet: Diameter, Population, Terrain types, Atmosphere type, Description. From this we can determine a range of 18 data points that describe the planetary demographics and from with we calculate the number of Land and Space Slots, the weekly income, Galactic Population, Capture Value, Destroy value and a rough guide to the number of possible towers for all those planets with unique maps.

Overall, with 300 planets in the database that's over 5000 data points to determine that describe all the planets in the mod, and 2500 critical data points used by the mod data files. This has then been tested (hence the call for Alpha testers) and re-balanced. While both the economic and population systems worked, the initial scale estimates were a bit high and a quick scalar applied to all values. Incomes now range considerable from negative income scores for barren moons to thousands of credits for the key industrial and trade centres.

Changes to the Campaigns
So what does this mean for the campaigns? Firstly, fleets end up a bit smaller, and Capital-class warships just got a bit rarer as all the campaigns are re-balanced for the population cap. This also has the added benefit of improving game performance due to the reduction in fleet size. Unless you have a large number of Core Worlds or agri-worlds under your control to boost your population limits, those early Clone Wars-era cruisers will end up being unpopular and will put pressure on your research planets to develop more modern and more efficient designs. Overall, the dynamics of play should become even more interesting with this extra challenge.

10-12

2012

The Road To Coruscant

Posted by Phoenix Rising at Phoenix Rising News on December 10, 2012

Two-and-a-half years after the Empire was sundered and beaten at Endor, the war against its successors has stagnated. The New Republic has failed to gain more than a foothold in the Core and member worlds are beginning to doubt its legitimacy as a galactic government. The risk of this fragile coalition unraveling is too great, thus Supreme Commander Ackbar has drafted a campaign to thrust into the fortified Core and seize the galactic capital. This is the Road to Coruscant.

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Director Isard acquired the throne a little more than a year ago; however, it took the sacrifice of Brentaal to the New Republic in a complicated coup to put her there. From Brentaal, there are two paths to Coruscant: through Anaxes, or through Borleias. With Admiral Ragab locked in a standoff with Commandant Wermis on the Brentaal-Anaxes front, any movement on Borleias would require reinforcements. The answer came in the form of resurrecting the all-hero Rogue Squadron.

A secret training base was established on Folor, with General Salm in command. There, six new starfighter squadrons will be forged, including Commander Antilles' Rogue Squadron. The reformed Rogues are made up of seasoned pilots with a variety of leadership skills that, in most cases, also happen to hail from key worlds. They are equal parts elite unit and poster subject.

The plan is to temper the Rogues with a series of active duty exercises against Imperial forces in the relatively quiet Rachuk sector before commencing the main offensive. Rear Admiral Devlia coordinates the sector's Force Escort from the capital of Vladet.

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When the time comes, the Rogues will rendezvous with the New Republic Special Forces units staging on Noquivzor, along with whatever Fleet elements Ragab can spare. This group will move on Borleias under General Kre'fey. A word of warning: Borleias may look mundane, but the name has been linked to General Derricote, the eccentric bioweapons engineer.

In addition, Isard has a noted obsession with Rogue Squadron, who had previously helped foil several of her schemes. If the Rogues were ever annihilated to the last pilot, not only would it be a personal victory for her, but also an insurmountable propaganda nightmare for the New Republic.

A more conventional victory for the Empire would occur if loyalist forces were able to reconnect the Perlemian, pushing the New Republic from Brentaal, Ralltiir, and, finally, into the Colonies. Such a position would all but spell an end to the New Republic presence in the Core - and any hope of claiming the capital - for the foreseeable future.

Coruscant, of course, is the only prize for the New Republic. Controlling the Palace would secure the Provisional Council's authority, while the Rotunda would allow a senate to convene for the first time in years. The expected battle will be anything but easy: some of the best units in the Empire are garrisoned here. That's why Rogue Squadron will lead the way.

29-11

2012

Traveling Through Hyperspace Ain't Like Dusting Crops

Posted by Phoenix Rising at Phoenix Rising News on November 29, 2012

Research has always been an integral part of our development process. No demand has been more of a challenge in that regard than our need to place each planet at a definite galactic location for strategy mode.

When I began the process in the alpha phase of v1.0, there were maybe four official maps available that held any degree of accuracy; all were clearly related by the reference angle. Beyond that were hundreds of raw sources netting thousands of remarks about regional or relative location. Had that been the end of it, my task would have been nearly impossible.

Fortunately, an adolescent Wookieepedia was available to help cut through much of the clutter. And then I found this fellow called Modi, who had translated the askew maps onto a Cartesian plane, allowing me to derive coordinates that could be fed to the engine. It was the Internet equivalent of striking gold - a starting point. Later, JustinGann expanded on Modi's work to include speculative placements, which afforded me a second opinion. The end result was an independent interpretation of the galaxy unique to Phoenix Rising.

It took the single most important update to the canon to void all that effort - for the better. Midway through v1.2, The Essential Atlas hit bookshelves. Every star system that had ever been mentioned was now bound to a region of space 1/576th the area of the galaxy. A great many were placed with certainty. The unprecedented accuracy of the atlas created a dilemma though, as several campaigns had already been finalized for the release. Rather than scrapping them and starting over, we chose to forge on knowing that v1.2's astrography would be flawed. I am pleased to report that the next version will be anything but.

TEA contains dozens of maps, each with its own scale and set of planets. My first step in replotting the galaxy was to composite them at a scale of 1 pixel = 10 lightyears to create a supermap. The digital Mid Rim sector map served as the foundation, since it had no loss of precision from scanning and little artifacting.

With that done, the actual measuring was trivial. The results were better than I ever could have expected: the first planetary coordinates for Abregado-rae came in identical to those already in use. They were not alone. Although I had corrected our most glaring differences - generally those with no frame of reference or cases where TEA chose to reject Rebellion placements while I did not - when prudent in v1.2, our interpretation really held up to intense scrutiny. Only Spuma, which Children of the Jedi had confused with Protazk, and Orinackra were completely off.

The present and final representation of the galaxy is 20% larger than v1.2 and approximately 92 times the area of vanilla. That should be enough space to prevent planetary overlap in all future cases. Several worlds always have to be manually relocated regardless of scale, but not so much as to be a distraction.

As profound as it is to finally have set astrography, a different facet of TEA had an even greater impact on strategic gameplay. The once-sporadic and eclectic collection of hyperlanes was replaced with a vibrant trade network.

In v1.2, we had two kinds of routes: "the Big Five" and "other". There are now four classifications, the most I could objectively derive from official maps. These can be thought of colloquially as "super", "major", "minor", and "trace" routes. Their benefits are scaled linearly, so while traces provide only meager income, they are much quicker than using a navicomputer to punch though an unstable course, as is the case with non-route connections. Obviously not every system can be linked via hyperlane, so we have tried to balance between using intersections and minimizing campaign planet counts.

These connections are now critical to military operations in the Galaxy Far, Far Away. In the next release, fleets will not be able to travel from a planet unless there is an explicit line - we have eliminated proximity jumps. No longer can an invasion bypass Anaxes on the way to Coruscant, players need not guess where to attack and defend, and the AI has fewer perceptions to crunch when executing plans. This is arguably the single best change that has ever happened to strategy mode.

When FoC was released, I never imagined we would be able to deduce coordinates for every star system. If our trials and errors played even a miniscule part in affecting that change, then it was all worth it.

26-3

2012

Revora News - Petrolution

Posted by Pasidon at Petrolution News on March 26, 2012

Oh, hi. Pasidon here. So we got the weekly Revora news stuff back up, and you're all invited. Yay... hopefully that made you feel special. But yea, I will be posting news from all around Revora and you guys here at Petrolution are encouraged to get involved. So if you are involved in a project and want it posted in the news, PM me. Or if you guys want, you can get one active member in your community and just have him send me stuff once a week. Send me project links if they are new projects or get a big update. I really want to see you guys get me some news before this Friday for the big reveal... big PR opportunity for the whole community.

25-3

2012

The Revolution Is Here: Phoenix Rising v1.2!

Posted by Phoenix Rising at Phoenix Rising News on March 25, 2012

The culmination of 39 months of work. Hope you enjoy it! We look forward to your feedback.

If you've previously installed other mods, make sure they haven't put any files in XML or Scripts folders in EaW\GameData\Data and FoC\Data. PR v1.2 is fully compatible with other mods; it just looks like certain mods are incompatible with us!

If you've previously installed the LucasArts 64-bit OS, 2+ GB RAM patch found here, you must apply this compatibility fix after running the PR v1.2 installer. The LA patch alters the original files for FoC v1.1, creating an instability in mods with custom AI. PR v1.2 allows 2+ GB RAM natively.Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

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26-2

2012

Sci-Fi At War Mod Latest Release v0.8

Posted by Digz at Petrolution News on February 26, 2012

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A new version of the Sci-Fi at War Mod has been released, we have been informed by Spinobreaker that this may be the last update for a while, so make sure you get this update of the mod and treasure it! Click the download button below to start your modgasm!


title="Download SFAW V0.8 - Mod DB" target="_blank"> alt="SFAW V0.8" />


Also please be aware that some people are having some issues starting this mod up, if you are getting these problems please look at the file ModDB page located here and check for comments. If you have any problems please post here too and when a fix has been found a news post will be posted here so everyone can see the fix.

7-1

2012

But I've learned so much!

Posted by Ghostrider at Phoenix Rising News on January 7, 2012

With the stunning potential of the Freerunner model in full view, combined with the skeletal structure of the land mod in place, Phoenix Rising approached me the end of 2010 with a challenge: resurrect the Training Manual for the mod.
I had initially tried to write a training manual during 2010, but the idea never had any real structure and the project was put back on the shelf to gather dust.

The need for a manual had been building unseen for months. When we started development of V1.2 all those months ago, the mod was still small enough to be able to play by instinct and a few basic tool tips. As mod development continued, we were able to keep track of the expansion in units through simple documentation. However, as time went on this became more involved, with some fairly complex spreadsheets to keep track of space forces, the expanding number of planets and their advantages.
Then we added heroes. Lots of heroes. The complement system changed and more independent space units were added. Somewhere in the future the sheer scale of the mod would be too great to simply play by instinct alone, and too complex to try and remember everything as a developer.

The decision to redo the land mechanic from scratch became the focus for some form of supporting literature. However, the new land combat system is so totally different in design and depth that it would be hard for even the most experienced players to learn how to fight well on land. Support literature was needed, for players and designers alike.

But what form should this documentation take?
The old concept of the Training Manual came back to life and this time it had real purpose – help explain the nuances of ground and space combat and help players to make the most of all the development work that has created Phoenix Rising. The Technical Manual was born.

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As a graphic designer by trade with access to some high-end design software, I wanted the manual to be both informative and visually exciting. The design software can output to PDF, making it an ideal package to create an easy to read and near universal distribution format, and in shape I wanted the manual to fill the screen nicely and frame the new 3D renders created by Nertea. In addition, the copious library of screenshots could serve to illustrate units in action and key points of gameplay if required.
Once the basic structure of the manual was underway, a framing device was needed for the top and bottom of the page, and what better than an iconic screenshot of an Imperial-class Star Destroyer underbelly taken during initial testing of Operation Skyhook, deliberately taken to mimic the opening frames of “A New Hope”.
Tinted starscapes of Bespin space battles would initially serve as a background colour for the main text, but were since dropped in favour of another Skyhook screenshot featuring all the classic rebellion era units, including the DEATH STAR.
For the land pages, Phoenix Rising’s epic initial battle of Freerunners vs AT-AT’s on dusty Brentaal were unbeatable as background images and we simply had to include Nertea’s efforts in full detail.

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But what of the text itself?
For me, nothing short of a full technical manual would do, as part of the fun of being involved in development is discovering what actually happens if you push the Power to Weapons button mid battle, or wondering exactly how much more firepower you get if you upgrade those Dual Laser cannons to Quads. There have also been a tremendous number of esoteric discussions about almost every aspect of the mod, for example wondering why Dark Empire-era AT-AT’s are so terrifyingly effective. With the manual we can add this information in and fill in all sorts of interesting details and share some of the development buzz.
It also gives us the opportunity to thank in detail the vast number of contributors to the mod, and highlight some of the hidden work that often goes unnoticed by testers and other members of the team.

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Although it would be nice to have a full technical readout of every weapon, starship, upgrade, planet, hero and tank in the mod, clearly this would have to wait and to be built up chapter by chapter. For V1.2 an introductory General Overview and a Military Overview would suffice, hopefully giving players enough information to understand the basics of space and land combat, with the shorter space section covering useful updates while the Land section required a a complete breakdown of the new combat mechanic in its entirety, as trying to make the most of the new combat system would be a serious challenge without literature, and most players would miss out on critical tactical information this would make play harder and much less enjoyable.

Little did we know at the time that these two chapters would develop over the last year to over 100 pages, positively crammed with hints, tips, screenshots and enough technical data to keep an R2 unit happy for weeks. The manual also gives us an opportunity to thanks all the huge number of contributors to the mod over this lengthy development cycle, including the efforts of the various campaign testers and the output of our newest addition to the Phoenix Rising Team, evilbobthebob – our lead mapper.

The Space section of Chapter II includes data on all the space-based weapon systems, a detailed review of unit abilities and a look at the underpinning mechanics of space unit classes, covering armor types accuracy, damage control parties and other useful information. A full section describing all the different defensive and offensive abilities and a review of the compliment system rounds off the technical aspects of
space combat.

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A Recent Addition
In the last month a new major section has been added to the manual. A rather innocuous comment on the forums – on a completely unrelated topic naturally – made me realise that there was a gap in the manual. Many players are not aware of the full potential and fleet roles of the huge variety of units in the Rebel and Imperial fleets.

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This has now been resolved with a full 20 page review of all player fleet units, together with indications of their upgrade potential in the General Overview section. This and should provide commanders with greater insights into how to improve their combat skills, especially when paired with the technical briefings contained in Chapter II.

Discussion with the testers has since added a couple of pages of tactical notes and some great gameplay tips, together to make the General Overview complete.

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The Land Section of the Military Overview provides complete details of the Land combat mechanic, describing the key difference between 5 units classes of Droids, Infantry, Walker, Crawler and Speeder, describing in detail the strengths and weaknesses of each class, how units are produced and full technical readouts of upgrades. Tips and strategy are included, indicating all the facets of gameplay, from bombing runs to infantry garrisons in vehicles.

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You get to see the full weapon load-outs of all independent enemy units, and some stunning images of all the new units that have been introduced or converted for the intensity of planetary invasion as seen from a mud-hugging trooper or armoured assault carrier.

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And if this was not enough, we have full listings of all land weapon systems with damage tables for the multitude of pistols, rifles, carbines, grenade launchers, flamethrowers, mines, and heavy vehicle-based weaponry that are now in regular use!

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Future Chapters
These two chapters are just the beginning. As indicated earlier, the aim is to eventually put together a comprehensive technical manual for the mod, and the plan is to slowly release additional chapters as and when they are written!
The next chapter to be written will be Galactic Mode, used as a guide to help players make the most of all the information available to them, and this will also include details on hyperspace travel, trade routes, spying, information gathering and so on – but that won’t be started until after the release.
Following that will be chapters on Economy and Production at the very least – but this will all take months to complete, and as we progress into the development of V1.3, more time will be required to update existing chapters as well as writing new ones.
The V1.2 Manual will be included as a PDF with the release, and as always, we look forward to the ideas and comments this generates on the forums and I am sure V1.3 development will benefit as a result.

28-12

2011

We Would Be Honored If You Would Join Us

Posted by Phoenix Rising at Phoenix Rising News on December 28, 2011

For two years, Nertea has been my Shadow Hand, operating strictly behind the scenes in our effort to transform land combat. While it was great for the suspense of the announcement, admittedly, that was a terrible way to welcome someone to the team. I'd like to use this post, which highlights his remaining vehicles realized under v1.2, to give him a proper show of community appreciation. Without his contributions, the ground revamp would not have been possible.

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Mobquet designed the Overracer Speeder Bike to do one thing: zoom. In terms of raw velocity, it's one of the best bikes on the market that isn't hampered by the control issues shared by swoops. Other than the optional light blaster cannon, there are few amenities of note, which is fine to the racers and scouts that primarily employ the Overracer. It's become a favorite of groups opposed to the New Order, which have been known to strip it even further to maximize stealth potential.

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The newfound Empire conscripted Uulshos Manufacturing to build an armored command landspeeder to replace the LAAT in the role of ferrying officers in battle. The result was the QH-7 Chariot Light Assault Vehicle. Despite the bulk associated with tactical computers, encrypted comm units, and active countermeasures, the Chariot boasts impressive speed thanks to five thruster engines. On backwater worlds, the belly laser cannon allows it to double as a combat vehicle.

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The Arrow-23 is a utility landspeeder that Aratech markets towards nature enthusiasts on semi-developed planets. It is larger and better armored than the typical family speeder to provide a certain level of comfort in the wild. It's also blazingly fast and highly modifiable, qualities that make it attractive to paramilitary organizations. The Alliance ended up with so many Arrow-23 Landspeeders that it became the default option for tramp shuttle, heavy scout, and battlefield ambulance.

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When the Confederacy collapsed, the potential size of the Empire effectively doubled and, despite omnipresent propaganda, its forces were continuously spread thin as it pushed Rimward. Nen-Carvon offered a solution in the form of the PX-10 Compact Assault Vehicle, a self-driving light tank with a singular crew requirement. The tracked chassis is near impervious to pre-industrial technology, although its sensory inputs can be electronically jammed. Still, the PX-10 has been used against unruly Core denizens.

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Ubrikkia Transports debuted the Talon I in the interwar period when galactic crime was on the rise. It is a modern example of an older concept: a militarized airspeeder built to engage starfighters in atmosphere. Although lacking the shields and powerplant of a spaceworthy craft, its sleek fuselage allows the Talon I Combat Cloud Car to excel at dogfighting. They are common to metropolitan defense forces and are occasionally fielded by the Empire in favor of noisier TIEs.

13-12

2011

A Top 100 Thank You

Posted by Ghostrider at Phoenix Rising News on December 13, 2011

We made the ModDB Top 100!

Thank you to all the community support we have received in the last few days, and the news is that we made it into the ModDB's Top 100 Mods.

We are still polishing V1.2 and should update you soon, and just to remind you, a fresh round of voting has started, so please spare a minute or two to follow this link and support this mod.

5-12

2011

New Maps Part Two

Posted by evilbobthebob at Phoenix Rising News on December 5, 2011

As promised, here is the second news post about the new maps coming to Phoenix Rising with the release of version 1.2. I hope you'll enjoy fighting on them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Denon

We begin with the grey ecumenopolis of Denon. Situated in a strategically important hyperlane intersection, this is an important world to control in many campaigns.

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The landing zone at Denon offers a number of paths to the main base, and provides ample space for heavy equipment to be landed.

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The long, wide streets are excellent for walkers and speeders alike. Infantry can shelter between some buildings to keep them out of the line of fire.


Champala

Altogether a nicer planet than Denon, Champala is an oceanic world, home to the Changrian species. Its rapidly changing tides meant that the native coastal cities are adapted to being partially submerged for extended periods.

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One of the coastal cities of Champala nestles below an eroded cliff face.

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Repulsorlift vehicles are recommended for attacks on Champala and all oceanic worlds, though walkers and wheeled tanks can ford some of the shallow sand banks.

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The base on Champala is set on massive concrete foundations with heavy drainage pipes to keep the worst of the tides away from the main structures.


New Alderaan

Far in the Outer Rim, New Alderaan is, as the name suggests, the homeworld of Alderaanians who escaped their planet's destruction. Much like Alderaan, it is a temperate world, though with strong seasonal variation.

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A landing zone directly outside the main base, this should be held by defenders for as long as possible. It provides an excellent flaking route for attackers.

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Deep in the mountains, this pass can be used to ambush attackers or flank round heavy defences.

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AT-ATs emerge from the mist to assault the New Republic defensive line. The forest can provide cover for ambushing infantry.


Ord Biniir


A relatively unimportant world in the Outer Rim, Ord Biniir was covered in canyons and as a result, favoured by podracers.

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The initial landing zone on Ord Biniir gives attackers a number of different canyons to choose from, some leading to the enemy base, some going to more hidden corners of the map.

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The main base on Ord Biniir, built on one of the plateaus separating the winding canyons. Part of the rear base wall has collapsed, giving attackers an alternate route and providing defenders with a way to reinforce their ramp if necessary.

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The main canyons surrounding the base. If turbolaser defences are present, heavy vehicles or anti-vehicle infantry are a must!

Well, that's all from me for a while. I have plenty more maps in the pipeline. Other big map changes in 1.2 include revamped structure positions in Galactic Conquest: now your ISDs can navigate those station defences! All space skirmish maps have been scaled up too, so starbases can no longer bombard each other as soon as the battle begins and ships can pathfind much more effectively.

8-9

2011

Campaign Optimisation

Posted by Ghostrider at Phoenix Rising News on September 8, 2011

Mod development is a double edged vibro-blade at times. Adding detail and expanding gameplay can have an effect on performance, and this has always been a challenge with campaign development, where you canít just cram zillions of unarmed freighters around a trade planet to make it look real without making the PC sweat a bit.

The trick is to add enough units to make planetary defense fleets look and feel real, and to have enough variety that you each fleet is different, and yet balancing this with performance.

Several breakthroughs in the development process have made this a lot easier and add up to making a much better mod.

Firstly, PR looked at how the game engine works from a theoretical aspect. While we are unable to optimise the engine itself, we can optimise the data that the engine uses, and this has been done by eliminating unused XML data objects. So the Zann Consortium has been whittled down to a handful of pirate/independent units, corruption missions are gone and the interventions (the random missions that used to pop up) have been removed from the AI. Redundant GUI model code was also scrapped.

De-bugging also uncovers some unusual problems. During late V1.1 testing we discovered that someone had accidentally left a microscopic sized level 5 Starbase tucked under each planet in galactic mode, and removing this certainly made the graphics card a bit happier.

The other big change to V1.2 is the use of a config.meg file to wrap all the XMLís into a single package, which reduces hard-drive access time, and therefore improves loading times.

We also tried unplugging the AI completely (not just switching it off), but this made very little difference to performance, as some of the performance issues are inherent to EAW modding Ė so we work around as best we can.

For the campaigns themselves, there is a clear correlation between the number of units in play and degrading performance and simply capping the large campaigns to a maximum of 100 planets was a step in the right direction. However, the big breakthrough came in recent testing, when Evilbobthebob discovered that while large campaign files are certainly slower than small files, the really important factor is diversity. Itís better to have fleet of 50 identical frigates than a smaller fleet of 10 frigates, 10 bombers, 10 fighters and 5 freighters.

With this in mind we tested a new approach to fleet composition:
We can keep a huge stock list of available ships, but ensure individual fleets donít have two different ships performing the same role, and keep the upgrade level consistent with the fleet.
For example, a smuggler world would have several YT1300bís instead of a motley assortment of randomly upgraded freighters. This eliminates several unit variants in one go, but players are still attacked by a swarm of hard-hitting light freighters.
The next smuggler world might be poorer, but slightly more criminally minded and would have say HWK Medium Raiders for a slightly more piratical bias.
As a player you are met with a completely different foe, but the game engine is happy to only deal with one variant instead of six.

This approach has been applied across the entire mod, and while no two planets will have the same choices from what is now a large unit database, but the results work. In the last three months, all seven campaigns have been re-optimised (the Beta varsion) with this viewpoint and, if anything having fewer types of units in an individual fleet accentuates the differences between one planet and the next and makes the universe that much more interesting. And the performance benefits speak volumes as the CPU is better able to manage the galaxy.

The following test results were achieved on a 3.6GHz Quad Core - Alpha version early V1.2 testing, Beta version post optimisation

Loading Times (s)

Core Worlds (Alpha) 31
Core Worlds (Beta) 25
Inner Rim (Alpha) 36
Inner Rim (Beta) 21
Outer Rim (Alpha) 53
Outer Rim (Beta) 38
Operation Skyhook (Alpha) 51
Operation Skyhook (Beta) 40
Thrawn Offensive (Alpha) 50
Thrawn Offensive (Beta) 42
Galaxy Far Far Away (Alpha) 107
Galaxy Far Far Away (Beta) 60
Operation Shadow Hand (Alpha) 67
Operation Shadow Hand (Beta) 59

Max Frame Rate Per Second

Core Worlds (Alpha) 28
Core Worlds (Beta) 32
Inner Rim (Alpha) 24
Inner Rim (Beta) 36
Outer Rim (Alpha) 20
Outer Rim (Beta) 24
Operation Skyhook (Alpha) 18
Operation Skyhook (Beta) 23
Thrawn Offensive (Alpha) 17
Thrawn Offensive (Beta) 19
Galaxy Far Far Away (Alpha) 11
Galaxy Far Far Away (Beta) 18
Operation Shadow Hand (Alpha) 10
Operation Shadow Hand (Beta) 12

Average Frame Rate per Second (1 minute test)

Core Worlds (Alpha) 24
Core Worlds (Beta) 29
Inner Rim (Alpha) 18
Inner Rim (Beta) 28
Outer Rim (Alpha) 16
Outer Rim (Beta) 20
Operation Skyhook (Alpha) 15
Operation Skyhook (Beta) 21
Thrawn Offensive (Alpha) 14
Thrawn Offensive (Beta) 16
Galaxy Far Far Away (Alpha) 9
Galaxy Far Far Away (Beta) 15
Operation Shadow Hand (Alpha) 8.2
Operation Shadow Hand (Beta) 8.5

This translates to a 30% improvement on performance for all but the most complex campaigns, and as an added benefit, the new files proved to be smooth and responsive as one moved around the galaxy on all campaigns.

Overall, this means that medium performance systems should be able to play on Core Worlds, Inner Rim, Outer Rim and Operation Skyhook, while lower end PCís should be able to play Core Worlds and Inner Rim.
And yes - it means that some laptops might be able to play Core Worlds at least, and mine is now used extensively for testing!

31-8

2011

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy...

Posted by evilbobthebob at Phoenix Rising News on August 31, 2011

I have the honour of writing the first news post for Phoenix Rising for a few months. I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I'm evilbobthebob, the new mapping lead for the mod. If you frequent the forums, you may have seen some of my posts. I had a hiatus from modding Empire at War for roughly a year before taking up this position. So why did I end that hiatus? Well, Phoenix Rising is a mod that aims for accurate depiction of an era we all love: the Galactic Civil War, and the events that followed. That made it stand out to me. First I was just submitting suggestions here and there, then bug testing. Well, one thing led to another, and here I am as the mapping lead.

I have already produced a number of maps for the mod since I joined. I've also tweaked nearly every vanilla map, smoothing out bugs and improving the placement of space structures. In v1.2, Imperial-Class Star Destroyers will be able to navigate maps with ease, and defence is no longer a case of clumping your fleet around your space colony. In fact, this change is possibly one of the more profound adjustments coming to v1.2. Playing in space battles now feels like it has the scale this mod deserves.

However, land has not been neglected. In fact, that is the real focus of this news: one of the most well-known planets in the galaxy has a new map.

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Tatooine. The desert world. Dunes, mesas, tusken raiders, banthas, jedi. The beginning of the Skywalker line, and the birthplace of many excellent pilots. In this image is Anchorhead. A small town scraping by, the cantina is an excellent place to find freelance pilots that are trying to hide from prying eyes in Mos Eisley or another of the larger spaceports. Don't forget to pick up some power converters at Tosche Station.

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The local Rebel base, located on the edge of the Great Mesa. This spot provides some respite from the sandstorms that rage across the dune sea.

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Some tusken raiders have made camp in the entrance to this canyon. Perhaps they will cause trouble later.

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A moisture farm, where a family scrapes a living growing crops with what water they can gather from the vaporators.

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The Great Salt Flats. A wasteland of little interest, though the collapse of the mesa wall makes this an attractive prospect for invaders, especially if they capture this makeshift landing area.

So that's Tatooine. I'm sure you'll enjoy both invading and defending this backwater world in its strategic location near Geonosis.

Part two of this map announcement will be released soon, with news of planets a little closer to the galactic core. Also coming soon: one of the most significant news posts in the history of the mod

7-8

2011

Petroglyph nVidia Hardware giveaway.

Posted by Banshee at Petrolution News on August 7, 2011

Do you live in USA or have some parent/friend living there? Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCMfhY-NKY8

For more information, check the Rise of Imortals Official Forums.

21-6

2011

End of Nations New Gameplay Trailer

Posted by Digz at Petrolution News on June 21, 2011

If you missed E3 2011 (well why?!?!) you can check out a new gameplay trailer for End of Nations, it's action packed and look s much more of an RTS game that it did a year ago, so good going!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71_w9AGRcbM

21-6

2011

Machinima Interviews Nick Beliaeff on EoN

Posted by Digz at Petrolution News on June 21, 2011

Machinima interviewed Nick Beliaeff at E3 and they talked about End of Nations, which has been a bit quiet lately so take a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pElqqbU9CU

15-5

2011

EaW Files Interviews z3r0x

Posted by Digz at Petrolution News on May 15, 2011

Our good friends over at Empire at War Files recently interviewed z3r0x who is the leader of the development team for the Republic at War Mod, which is really making a name for itself in the EaW Community and is looking like an extremely promising mod.

Here's a snippet of the interview:

Enceladus: What motivated you to start working on a Clone Wars mod after the success of your initial addon mods? Why not just continue with the additions to the Galactic Civil War era? I personally would have absolutely loved to see more of the Vong after the small debut they made in your mod.

z3r0x:
Well there were some technical limitations that prohibited me from doing a proper vong mod. Sadly I didnít want some half-baked kiddie mod. I wanted to do it right and I wanted to it my way. As a example of some of the limitations are the use of credits. The Vong would have no need for credits and since EAW has no resource gathering feature like AOK, or C&C it would seem silly to pay for ships if you play as the Vong. As for the Clone Wars itís a kick butt era. I have been friends with the IA2 guys for ages and I guess I just got impatient waiting for their mod and decided to see if I could do my own version of it.



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If you want to read the full interview head on over to EaWFiles.

16-4

2011

Guess the Guardians and win two RoI beta keys!

Posted by Digz at Petrolution News on April 16, 2011

Here's yet another chance to get your hands on some Rise of Immortals beta keys if you missed out on the closed beta, Berek explains:

Guardians of Graxia, both in board game and PC format, are the first games to be released from the Graxia universe. Rise of Immortals is the the latest!

Visit Rise of Immortal's Facebook page and guess the two Guardians from the old world that become Immortals. Submit your guess by Commenting on the giveaway's Facebook post.

If you guess one correctly by Friday the 22nd, we'll give you two beta keys for you and a friend. You can guess once per day until the deadline!

Here's a partial list of the units in Guardians of Graxia with the two also included:

Archer's of Holy Light
Balak
Broxin the Warlord
Ebon, Black Dragon
Elven Tiger Rider
Goblin Tinker Thinker
Gorthox Shieldbreaker
Horsemen of Klan
Light Bringers
Lord Vezin
Mammoth Riders
Manabringers of Hopp
Oshnuk the Warlord
Quickly Swift
Raum Red Dragon
Satapult of Boom
Shadd the Warlord
Sype the Warlord
Timberling
Volos Flamebringer Wizard
Warriors of the Righteousness


See the official thread here.