With Beta 4 coming closer to release I wanted to go over the features of the mod that are included in it with this beta and also to outline what is not included, I feel it is important for everyone waiting for the mod to know what to expect and most certainly what not to expect.
Beta 4 will features these:
- A brand new map with over 18,000 land and sea provinces.
Recent work on the map and the optimization I have manged to do for the mod have insured that this map does not slow down the game very much and on brand new machines you should see no lag at all. Older machines might get some lag but most lag is with scrolling and moving the map around. My machine is pretty old and there are no issues in terms of the speed of the game.
- The new politics screen with new laws and policies.
Please note that I had very little time to actually balance these and make sure they all work correctly and that is something that will require further attention with future updates.
- New units and techs
Same as with the new laws and policies I had no time to actually balance these and right now its done so poorly that I have decided to dedicate the next beta completely to the new units techs and production. The thing is that I cannot separate these 3 concepts since they are too closely linked up together and will require some massive work to be done and make sure it all works well.
- New events
There have been a couple events added to the mod but not as many as I would have liked.
- New countries
Currently the mod features 258 countries, not all of them are playable at the start of the game and some haven't been added to the map yet (Kurdistan comes to mind) so that needs to be sorted out as well.
- New historical ministers
Currently the mod features 1108 historic ministers. These are ministers who served in the various positions and more will be added in future updates. Almost all European countries have had their historic ministers added from 2000 to 2014.
Now moving on to what the mod will not feature:
No OOB's have been added to the mod except for the Afghanistan factions fighting in that country. I have decided to wait until all the units are complete and done properly before OOB's are introduced into the mod because there is no point to put those in as long as the units they contain aren't finished.
- Playability beyond the year 2000
The mod will not feature many events after the year 2000 and 2001. Ineed the game world will be pretty boring for human players since in order to make the world dynamic and playable for at least a decade it requires massive amount of work... Not the kind of work I had time with since most of my time has been spent on stability and importing the new map into the game and making sure it works properly.
So for anyone expecting the recent events in Ukraine to be in the mod... you might be disappointed. Be sure they will be featured in the mod in the future but certainly not now.
- Techs for the various countries
As I have said techs are a mess right now, a mess I intend on fixing but obviously there is no point to add these techs to the various countries while they are in their current state.
- Unit graphics
All the new units lack their graphics, same goes for the techs and the counters. I've had to put in new counters to avoid crashes but I certainly don't like the way the look right now and they are a priority for beta 5 which will focus on units techs and production.
- Properly working AI
I have recently began working with the AI files and I am in the process of figuring them out but it will take time as many things do with this kind of work so I would ask all the commentators to be understanding post release and understand these things before they complain why the USA is influencing Cuba to join NATO (it wont do that actually ^^)
One more thing I would to point out is the change to the factions from Beta 3.
In beta 4 3 factions will be present:
NATO - No need to explain much there.
CSTO - A military alliance with Russia at its head (more info here: En.wikipedia.org )
PLA - This is the faction China will be in simply because as of right now China is not part of any military alliance and I know about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization but joining Russia and China into one faction is no doubt a balance breaker and NATO will not stand a chance against these two giants if they stay in the same faction. I am not very happy about the name of China's factions since the PLA is in fact China's army but right now I don't have a better idea... you are always welcome to bring up suggestions.
One last thing - many people have come to me wanting to help with the development of the mod and some have not received an answer, I apologize for this but most of the time I simply don't have the time to answer each individual request and you have to understand that now is not the time for me to take people on board for the development team.
Once the mod is released I will most likely start taking people and assemble a team to work with but consider the fact that each person I take requires a period of time to adjust to the concepts of the mod, how work is done on the mod and so on and those things take time - time which would otherwise be spent making the mod instead of "teaching" someone how to make the mod.
After the release of Beta 5 everyone who wants to help will be able to apply and I will gladly take all the help I can get but lets wait until after the release of Beta 4... An announcement about this will follow in due time.
In conclusion, I hope that despite the many drawbacks the mod has in its current state I hope you enjoy it (and that is much easier to do in multiplayer) so stay tuned its about to get only better :)