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Evochron Mercenary version 2.xxxx


XenonS
(@xenons)
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Topic starter  

Hi,

I've just updated and played the new version 2.xxxx of Evochron Mercenary (Expansion released + new update) and I can say that there are some huge improvements, especially in gameplay and grafics.

You can actually have a "planet walker" and do mining-related missions on-site, guess in what game I did this the last time 🙂

 

 

Here the new gameplay features:

 

> Gameplay

   - Weapon impacts now produce higher kinetic effects for higher challenge with MDTS use.

   - 'Request Information' list system added for new trade console option (includes occasional payment requirement).

   - Raw hydrogen can now be mined from gas giant planets, nebula clouds, and stars when no fuel converter installed.

   - Dedicated independent contract mode added for new player contract system (accessible in trade console).

   - New 'Weapon Lab' added, allowing players to custom design their own particle, beam, and missile weapons.

   - AI ships now also share in the same kinetic weapon impact effects for more accurate consistency.

   - Terrain walkers added (includes dedicated cockpit, HUD, controls, physics, models, and animation).

   - Dedicated mining system added for terrain walkers, no separate mining beam required and 5X faster.

   - Reputation system updated to save earned values with individual factions each time profile is saved.

   - Contract pay for mining contracts increased significantly and now vary depending on required material.

   - Mining system can now recover individual units of matching material from containers in open space.

   - 'Space Debris' system added where items will fall from space and land on planets for later discovery.

   - 'Space Debris' multiplayer update system added to synchronize cargo items between players.

   - New optional contract objectives for terrain walkers (material recovery and surveying).

   - New destroy contraband smuggler contract objective for 'Fair' and 'Moderate' systems.

   - New secondary hardpoint items: Fuel Packs, Charge Packs, and Shield Packs.

   - New fabrication options added to constructor stations.

   - Anti-missile systems are now twice as effective.

 

For more details, please read here:

 

http://www.starwraith.com/evochronmercenary/expansion.htm

 

Cheers,

XenonS


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DarkOne
(@sscadmin)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 7503
 

Wow, what a change log, going to have to pick this up soon.


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Pinback
(@pinback)
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I see that the terrain walker have been added 😎 but it looks from the vid that they still need to add mission or task for the player to do while on the surface.


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XenonS
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Nice video ! A mining mesh taking a bath... If someone had told me that before... 🙂 I've only seen such details in AD3000 (the Battlecruiser series). I'm not sure, but reading the EM forums it appears that you can take mining missions on the planet's cities and carry them out, or with a mining vehicle or with the shown "Mesh" that you must however buy at a high price.

 

I haven't yet reached this new part of the game, but the changes mentioned only relate the "gameplay" part. There are huge changes in the grafics, showing new Shader effects, reflexions, much sharper cockpits and models, faster and smoother planet landscape transitions, rotating planets etc. I could just play the game to make interesting screenshots of rising suns, eclipses and things like that, it's really worth to take a look.

 

EM is a game like Elite or Pioneer: you can fly ANYWHERE with smooth transitions from space to planets; the core combat activity is difficult and challenging where you must use Newtionian physics to succeed and you can put yourself in an atmospheric combat situation on planets. There is even a "Quest" to follow with varied missions (at any time you wish) but even the devs say: this is not meant to be the core of the game.

 

The features of this game very well fit the gameplay: Actually you cannot lower landing gears to neatly land on planets, instead you will come to a halt at some distance above the ground. And in EM this makes sense: planets may have temperatures well above 400 C, you would just melt to a wreckage when landing (like happened in RL with russian Venus landcrafts !), and the high pressure would impede you to walk out. This is all convincing in EM, as is the Mech Walker presented. A huge progress, but... ROFL...seeing it going in the water...Nice, nice, I like it 😎

 

EM is very immersive, as there is a lot to discover and actually to DO. After playing for about 2 monthes I still have only scratched the surface.

 

XenonS


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cultist
(@cultist)
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Wanted to ask you this, the game is pretty player centered right?


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DarkOne
(@sscadmin)
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EM is very immersive, as there is a lot to discover and actually to DO. After playing for about 2 monthes I still have only scratched the surface.

 

I didn't think Evochron Mercenary was that big in scope, so thanks for your observations in-game I will definitely have to check this out when I get more time.


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XenonS
(@xenons)
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Wanted to ask you this, the game is pretty player centered right?

 

Well, yes it is, in that sense that there are different factions to do missions for, but you won't see much of activities between those factions. However, you can play in a way to defend territory by getting allied with one faction, but then it's not exactly like in some 4X strategy space games where you have to conquer parts of the galaxy or things like that, this is missing in EM, but I must say I haven't played it through the entire game yet. There are role-playing elements for sure, and an open economy that is much complex.

 

Here some special things you can do:

 

- you can hire ships for combat when you encounter them. You contact them with a "Trade console" where you can obtain interesting information, hire the ship to assist you in a combat mission, or doing some trade

- you can hire crew members which will increase the power of your ship systems (engineers, scientists, military experts etc.)

- You can build space stations (and even destroy them), get a "license" for stations in order to increase your economic power, build other ressources, and (not 100% sure), you can own more ships at once.

 

You can approach the game as an Explorer, a Trader, a Pirate, an Entrepreneur etc.. etc..

The core action is combat: Difficult to master in EM, you have to get familiar with Newton Physics in order to succeed. Also the solar system you start from is quiet and it gets thougher further away.

 

There is also a very active MultiPlayer scene for the game.

 

Main link:

http://www.starwraith.com/forum/index.php

 

XenonS


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ixtern
(@ixtern)
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Evochron Mercenary looks great but...it lacks a purpose to play the game. It is a playing for playing only, what is boring after some time. Game looks like a perfect tool to create real game with a rich, immersing story and characters - but that tool was not used yet (small text quests are not interesting enough). Instead, it is still polished and more functionality is added to create better...tool. It's a shame that such game potential is wasted. 


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XenonS
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Space games & in-game plots: that has ever been a very hard balance in the genre.

 

If you do some interesting plot, people will complain that the story will end and ask for more. If they don't like the story, then it's all about "Free Roaming" which you have to add anyway (or the game will not sell either). Also any plot as interesting as it may be will be a one-shot only: you do it once and that's it. You know what happens, so there's no re-playability.

 

But without a good plot, things may be worse:

Just look at the AD3000 Battlecruiser series: People complained that they were just utterly lost about what to do. You can do all things immaginable, IF you have the patience to set them up... Free Roaming also means you must already know what to do. The problem with this game was (after release): Most people didn't understand that the Free Roaming was just a game option amongst other ones. The normal play consists in doing a lot of scripted missions with some random generated events in the process. The game comes even with a mission editor (the only space game I know about such a feature). A big missunderstanding in my opinion, apart the fact that the FPS part was almost unplayble which has led to a rageous community 🙂

 

As for space games with a plot but no Free Roaming, well, your plot must be damn good! Feel free to make a game like that, but I wouldn't bet on high profitable returns.

 

Probably it's just impossible to make the perfect space game enjoyed by anyone interested in the genre. And: you won't find them in the stores anymore, at best on Kickstarter...

 

XenonS


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ixtern
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If you do some interesting plot, people will complain that the story will end and ask for more. If they don't like the story, then it's all about "Free Roaming" which you have to add anyway (or the game will not sell either). Also any plot as interesting as it may be will be a one-shot only: you do it once and that's it. You know what happens, so there's no re-playability.

Above is true but there is a solution for that - community. If a game offers tools for creating new stories/campaigns, most of the work may be shifted from game one-person programmer to the many others willing to help. 

I do not expect from Vice to have time to expand the game and make a storyline simultaneously but I would be happy if Evochron Mercenery could be equipped with a proper tools for doing that.


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IronHound
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Evochron's biggest problem is that if you don't like exploring in space games, you are out of luck. 😛 For those of us who want a big sandbox game to trade in and fight pirates, it doesn't do that well because ships constantly just spawn around you and attack you. Sure you can trade, but it just doesn't feel right. I made millions in minutes just by trading certain weapons.

 

I dunno, Evochron has all the bullet-points on the back of the box, and it should be great, but the player-centered universe really kills it for me. It destroys immersion, and takes away alot of the fun found in the X and Elite series.


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XenonS
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I can only agree that the Elite series, as simple the grafics may be, is offering the best game immersion of the genre. All Elite fans should definitely look at the Pioneer project (on this site). It's based on Frontier II with much much improved grafics and all the people involved are trying hard to get the most out for a modern look of this great game. Strongly recommended!

 

XenonS


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OSH
 OSH
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EM and other such space-sims are only for people, who love really open-ended games. Long time ago (in a galaxy far far away...:) ) I've played "Privateer" (D1, do you know this game? :D). Everything was great, but..."Privateer" isn't really open-ended game - it has a plot, which guides to end of game. And after first joy I'ver tried to complete this plot as quick as possible - which was bad for pleasure of playing... The same situation is with XBTF - this game also has a plot, and I'm directly before completing all missions and...what next? Of course - X-T, X2, and finally X3. Contrary to these games, Elite, Frontier and Evochron (all versions) hasn't plot. Of course - Elite and Frontier have ranks - I'm trying to gain "ELITE" status in Elite for C-64 now, and after this I will try to complete all hand-coded missions (Trumbles is completed, Constrictor too, now I have to complete Thargoid mission - and this will be end of playing Elite for C-64, but Frontier hasn't such missions and I can play it from time to time only for my personal amusement. EM too. BCMG - also.


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XenonS
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I still have Privateer installed within my DosBox programs (2 different storylines), but there is a very good conversion done by the Vega Strike engine for anyone interested. I think as long as you don't finish all the scripted missions, you can procceed with the game forever (dodging police by doing some contraband, doing regular missions etc.).

Elite First Encounters: There are 2 new versions of FFED3D that also support the ingame-videos; I'm  just taking a look at them to see what changes have been made. It's here:

 

http://www.frontierastro.co.uk/Hires/hiresffe.html

 

XenonS


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ollobrain
(@ollobrain)
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Why not flesh out some new factions, contents, more planetary stuff etc in the next patch of evo ?


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