Sunday, 11 March 2012 Written by 

While we are developing the next big Fleet Operations version, we are about to change a lot of things in order to bring you the best of the whole Fleet Ops experience, including visual, gameplay and community features. While all of them are progressing well, I want to talk a bit about one of the gameplay aspects today. Namely, a Romulan vessel that also helps to introduce the Romulan game mechanics a bit further: the Generix. A brief introduction of the Romulan Gameplay goals was already given in an earlier newspost.



The Generix Class is one vessel which already received part of its overhaul in the last patches. The new one actually shares some similarities, but there are also differences and new features. The basic Generix Chassis is a medium range allround vessel available right from the start. It is armed with two heavy plasma torpedo launchers. It’s a powerful raid vessel available to the Romulan fleet, supplementing the more agile and offensive oriented Rhienn Class.

An important aspect of Romulan gameplay is the ability to refit vessels. In older versions of Fleet Operations, this was an option to update older vessels from the earlier game stages to late game standards. As the new Fleet Operations gives every vessel an important strategic position throughout the whole game, refitting now serves to alter the roles of your vessels, allowing a Romulan player to completely change their fleet mechanics with very low resource investment.


But before we talk more about the refits, let's take a brief look at the Generix's special ability. The Arlterium Disruptor was already introduced in the last patches. It is one of the many options in the Romulan arsenal to shut down a subsystem - in this case a weapons system! While this is of best use on offensive targets, the Arlterium Disruptor also offers a second nasty effect: It denies the activation of special technologies - like special abilities - on an affected defensive profile vessel for an even longer duration! This allows a Romulan fleet to focus on the enemy’s backbone vessels and prohibit them from boosting their staying power.


One of the refits is already familiar to you: the Singularity Refit. It is now available right from the start and trades firepower for the ability to recharge energy on nearby Romulan vessels. As special abilities - and their usage - is very vital to Romulan gameplay, a Singularity Refit will be a useful option to take.


There are also options allowing the Singularity Refit to recharge shields and to synergize with not-yet introduced Romulan vessels and abilities, but more about that in a future newspost.


The second refit is an oldy everyone loves or fears, depending if they play Romulans or not: The Specter. While the Specter Refit is still an allround profile vessel, it performs better in both offensive and defensive regards compared to the base Generix chassis. This is an interesting choice if you lured your enemy into thinking you will invest money into large groups of vessels, so that he or she developed area damage potential to stop you but - oh no! - you just upgraded your whole fleet to small dreadnoughts!

Another noticeable difference of the Specter Refit is its armament. These craft trade the torpedo launchers for Projectile Weapons. Projectile Weapons are a good example of the new damage and weapon system, already briefly explained earlier. While most weapons do either pulse, beam or torpedo damage, which are all modified on a regular basis by - for example - the vessel profiles, there are also more exotic types of damage. Projectile weapons deal kinetic damage which is not affected by most damage reduction, giving the Generix Specter a very reliable damage output. Other sources of kinetic damage are, for example, the Dominion Collision ability.


The special ability of the Specter is already familiar: the Refractive Shield Dome. While this ability reduces the damage from some weapon types, it also causes spikes in the Specter’s energy profile, causing most guided weapons to lock onto it, similar to how flares work on today’s air fighters. This makes the Specter act kind of like a defensive vessel for a limited duration, providing cover when retreating or on the run. This is an interesting aspect of Romulan gameplay, as they are probably the only faction with a limited supply of Defensive vessels - basically just the mighty D'Deridex - but many different abilities to "fake" them for a while. This allows the Romulans to focus on damage and traps, rather then staying power.

As we speak of traps ... Here comes the final refit: The Minelayer Generix. Mines are typical Romulan weaponry and have been requested countless times by the community. It took us a while to implement a mechanic that really works well, but we are finally done. We will give the Minelayer and the whole mine system its own dedicated newspost once all the visuals are done, but let’s take a small sneak peak on how mines work.

The Minelayer Generix allows you to spend a few supplies to deploy different kinds of mine fields. Once a minefield is deployed, the mines will cloak and wait for their victims. As mentioned, there are different mine types for different uses and - most significantly - different target profiles. The regular cloaked plasma mines, for example, detonate on Defensive Profile vessels coming by, dealing heavy damage to them. The more specialized cloaked Singularity Mine detonates on Support vessels and other special units, shutting down their engines and energy reserves, to make them fall back from their protecting fleet, ready to be ambushed! This "target trigger" system allows mine fields to be used much more strategically and denies the option of just "sending a scout in" to clear a path. There are even mines which try to spread their damage as much as possible and will wait until there are at least a few vessels in their detonation area.

Yet, there are also a few downsides. Mines are just cloaked, like any other unit, and may be detected with Tachyon Pings and disposed of from a safe distance. The complex targeting system also forces the mines to be remote controlled by their Minelayer Generix, which limits the amount of minefields per Generix. If you really want to deploy a fast mine belt around your base, you will have to produce more than one Minelayer. Once mines are detonated, of course, the minelayer may deploy a new field.

Well, I know there is much to talk and introduce about mines and their usage, but let's save that for the discussion in this topic. I will go deeper into this topic with a detailed explanation of the different mine types once the artwork for the Generix Minelayer is done. I hope you have received a small overview and a first impression on how the nasty Empire will crush its enemies. We will talk about other Romulan features in coming posts. There are still a lot!

Cu next post!