Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The TSN RP Community Mod - Progress! (OOC)

Over the past month or so, we have had officers of the TSN working on creating a TSN Mod (particular thanks to Allard & Fish for working on this!) Now, we have something working and ready for testing!

The aim of the Mod is simple - give more options and diversity by adding new ships and elements to the existing Artemis game. The idea is to add new ships that the TSN can encounter, including allied ships, neutral alien factions, enemy ships, as well as some new generic meshes to use in missions. The focus is mainly on non-player ships and generic meshes, however there is scope for developing specialist vessels for missions, for example a mercenary ship for undercover operations (think ST: Into Darkness - heading to Kronus).

The first tests of the mod have begun! Officers had the opportunity to encounter several new ship types, both allied and enemy ships, as well as use a couple of new player ship. I myself was unable to attend (I had very strong words with my ISP about that!) but from what I heard, the mod was well received. Since then, I have managed to get my hands on a copy of the Mod pack to take a look at some of the ships.

There were concerns that was raised with the Mod pack with regards to sharing and installing the mod; making it accessible to all users no matter their knowledge and expertise. I believe that both these barriers are no longer an issue as the people who attended the first test of the mod all managed to add it to their Artemis game with ease. After going through the process myself, I was surprised how simple the process was - it was just a matter of copy and pasting the files into the dat folder of Artemis. With our team of instructors, new recruits can be set up in minutes when they first join the TSN RP Community. Sharing should be little issue too. By putting the mod in a zip file, it can be uploaded to the TSN RP Community website and shared via a link. If the file gets too large, then Google Drive or Dropbox could be used to share the file, or even simply email people with it. For now, I think both concerns have been addressed and so development of the mod can continue.

Within the mod pack, there are a number of new ships and a couple of modified enemy ships to give more diversity. These are: TSN Privateer (player ship); TSN Missile Cruiser Mk2 (player ship); Crystal Ship (allied ship); Crystal Ship 2 (allied ship); Kralien Cruiser: Drone variant (enemy ship); Arvonian Bomber (enemy ship); Pirate: Arrow Class (enemy ship); Pirate: Axe Class (enemy ship). I have briefly detailed each below:

  • TSN Privateer - this ship is designed for specific special operation missions. It is a light and fast vessel, and available as a player ship.
  • TSN Missile Cruiser Mk2 - this ship is a more advanced version than the original missile cruiser. On board, it has been fitted with a point defense beam weapon, trading off some shield strength to allow the ship to deal with long range drone attacks. It is available as a player ship.
  • Crystal Ship - the crystal ship is an alien vessel, belonging to the N'Tani, a nomadic alien species. It is lightly armed and armoured. It is available as a neutral ship.
  • Crystal Ship 2 - this is another N'Tani vessel, larger and more durable, but still only lightly armed. It is available as a neutral ship.
  • Kralien Cruiser: Drone - this Kralien Cruiser is a modified version of the standard Kralien Cruiser encountered by the TSN. It is equipped with two torpedo tubes and a light primary beam for defense. It is available as an enemy ship.
  • Arvonian Bomber - similar to the Arvonian Fighter, the Arvonian Bomber is equipped with drones, allowing it to conduct 'bombing runs' against a target vessel. It is available as an enemy ship.
  • Pirate Arrow Class - a light scout vessel used by pirate factions based in the Euphini expanse. It is available as an enemy ship.
  • Pirate Axe Class - a heavily armed pirate vessel used by pirate factions based in the Euphini expanse. It is available as an enemy ship. 
There are other ships in development to be added to the mod, and the ships themselves are still being tweaked to get the balance right in terms of firepower and durability. However, the work that has been done on the mod so far is excellent, and I personally am looking forward to meeting these new ships in missions. New possibilities for mission ideas have been opened with this mod; future development will only make them greater!

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