So over on the Matrix Games forums, Director of Product Development and Business Relations for Matrix, Erik Rutins, finally gave some info on the next Distant Worlds expansion, subtitled Shadow. The post is a bit spoilery, so I’m gonna paste it beneath a cut, but you can also head over to the forum thread to read more. YAY! SO EXCITED!
Ok, here’s the promised preview of what we are working on. We are still trying to get this finished for this year, but our priority is to make sure it’s as good as we all want it to be, so I can’t give you an exact release date yet.
The title comes from the “Age of Shadows”.
<WARNING: SOME ORIGINAL DISTANT WORLDS STORY SPOILERS AHEAD>
In the original Distant Worlds, you play in a galaxy where civilizations have recently rebuilt themselves and returned to space in a galaxy that was nearly destroyed at the end of the last war against a great intergalactic foe. The time immediately after that great was was known as the Age of Darkness. During this time, there was very little left of the previous galactic civilizations. In addition to a few survivors on planets and colonies here and there, a very few survived on ships and remote stations. Many who survived the end of the war did not survive long into the future, but others managed to find a way. Generation after generation passed, even among the long-lived species.
In these early days, the survivors who had escaped the near-extermination of galactic life with some technology intact, especially those who still had working stations or ships and knowledge from the old empires, were in a better position than most on the planets, where the devastation and regression to a near-primitive state had been nearly complete and in many cases the plagues of the past war still periodically returned. Space seemed a much safer place to many.
During the Age of Darkness, these space-based survivors who still had the means (although in many cases limited and often decreasing with each generation) to travel space searched the galaxy for other remnants of civilization and the means to keep their technology working. In some cases, they formed beneficial relationship with those who were left here and there on the planets, even helping them to develop and rebuild. In other cases, they raided the planets and their remaining populations and took what they needed as plunder. Often, it was a bit of both.
Eventually, the balance of power began to shift. The space-based survivors had developed their own empires of sorts, usually as traders, warlords or pirates. Despite their access to some of the old technologies, their numbers remained few and the planets began to exert greater control over their own destinies. Some had even developed populations and civilization to the point where they were able to contest control over their local space. This is the Age of Shadows, in between the Age of Darkness and the Distant Worlds galaxy as you have known it to date.
What were previously “pirates” are now independent space-based factions that can pursue a variety of playstyles, ranging from trade, war and espionage to pure chaos and plunder.
</END STORY SPOILERS>
Note, I still can’t tell you _everything_ but here are some substantive highlights:
– Play as an independent space-based faction, a very different play experience from the existing “Empire” gameplay.
— Choose from several playstyles, including Smuggler, Pirate and Mercenary.
— Compete in victory conditions against other space-based factions.
— New Pirate Leader and Pirate Captain characters
– Choose to play in the existing Distant Worlds timeline or the pre-hyperspace “Age of Shadows”
– Assault pods and ship to ship or base boarding actions, including ship and base capture
– Gravitic Weapons and Tractor Beams
– New expanded Ground Combat with new troop types and an animated ground battle resolution screen
— Infantry, Armor/Mech, Special Forces, Planetary Defense Units (multi-layered)
— Resolution of the multiple stages of a planetary assault
— Expanded troop experience
— New Ground Combat technology tree
– Expanded and improved Area Weapons
– New planetary facilities
I hope that helps.