Do you feel the synergy?
Fleet Operations started as a mod years ago, with the modding possibilities that Armada offers. We had to map our ideas and gameplay concepts on what was possible in Armada and it was unavoidable to hit some borders sooner or later. Now, by the year of 2010, this situation has changed, as we spent the last years to develop a lot of functionality. The faction redos, while heavily influenced by the community, also include a lot of the gameplay ideas and concepts that we originally hoped for in the Beta1 and Beta2 releases. And now they are inbound! After a year of throwing out small posts about their development, the first faction redo, the Borg, will come in 3.1.4, together with a lot of general game mechanics overhaul.
As the Borg are currently under heavy development, I thought it would be best to introduce a small part of the new Starfleet gameplay, which will also arrive in the next patch. It's called synergies. Most Starfleet abilities will have a synergy effect on other friendly units, granting them additional abilities or bonuses for a short period of time. For example consider a Defiant Class on an attack run, landing a critical shot on an opponent vessel. Nearby Starfleet ships could use this to their advantage to fire at the vulnerable spot, to deal extra damage. Or consider a large battleship like the Sovereign offering cover to smaller ships, just like the Enterprise did in First Contact.
This is one of the core mechanics introduced in the full Starfleet faction redo, to create a gameplay where mixing unit types wisely is very important. We want the main job of a Starfleet player to be to assemble a rounded up fleet.
A few first synergies will appear in 3.1.4, to get you used to the new features (we will continue to release more of these 'pre faction redo' features in the next patches). The new Hyper Impulse Drive, for example, allows the Saber to cause the Cover Fire synergy on some nearby, agile long-range units. Therefore its always wise to keep some Sabers around to support your little nukers, especially in the earlier game stages, where the Saber was often neglected for her Monsoon cousin.
We are looking forward to all the faction redo changes. They will offer a complete new game experience as the races will feel closer to their show-equivalent as ever before and the very unique specializations and characteristics will offer complete new sets of strategies for competitive multiplayer.
I think that's all for today, but stay tuned as we discover what the Romulans and the Dominion have come up with in 3.1.4 in the next blog posts.