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  Interview with Epytron Omega: ROTE Developer - Interview
  Posted by: Joelteon7 on 08-21-2007 @ 14:51 - Source: Joelteon7 and Epytron Omega
This News Item has been viewed 4,310 times
Rebirth of the Empire has been something of an underdog; very little is mentioned about it, yet it is galloping ahead with information about it, information we sometimes miss. With the recent revival of interest in it, after the information about the Borg was brought forward, I thought it was about time this mod got some of the lime-light it more than certainly deserved. So, yesterday evening or earlier this morning, two fellows talked on the internet about a mod. The first, who was in his evening, was Epytron Omega, lead developer of the ROTE mod and the second being Joelteon7 (that would be yours truly) who was in his morning. I think you'll agree though, the questions weren't half bad considering the time!

Anyhow, what to expect; you'll find information from asteroids to Starfleet 's Training Facility, to a Romulan Bird of Prey, to Black Hole's and a heck of a lot more. To round it off, there's even some pictures of a few Federation ships that you can look at when you've finished reading this long interview. The italics are those sentency things said by me and the bold, by EO. Where you'll see [text] is where there is either an editor's note or something to fill in the sentence, as when it was being compiled to go on the site, some part's may not have made sense and would've required adding in a few words to do so. So, without further aduÖ

Joelteon7: I'd like to say hello and a thank you for the busy Epytron Omega to take time out of his schedule to conduct this interview for his mod, Rebirth of the Empire. Thank you.

Epytron Omega: It's no problem, Iím glad to help out with giving the community a fine look at the fine workings of Rebirth of the Empire.

J7: Well, I think it's time we cut to the chase, don't you? I'll be asking you some questions that I've prepared, as well as some that will follow-up to anything you reply with. After these, I will ask some questions on behalf of the community members. So, away we go...
Considering there are a lot of other mods out for the Armada games, what do you think sets your mod out from the crowd? Whatís the real pull factor to download the mod?


EO: Well in Rebirth of the Empire, I pride myself with going above and beyond, pushing the [game] engine to its limits and breaking barriers that others have only gone to, one of which is my Unicomplex models.

J7: I'll come back to the Unicomplex in a moment, but would you care to provide us with any of the other 'barriers' you have broken?

EO: As everyone knows, in 'normal' Armada 2, you will notice that you canít build stations close to one another, at least not too close. In ROTE we will be taking this feature to make it where the player can build extremely close to another station and with the Borg, this will be vital. As of right now, that is all that has been accomplished on my list, besides fixing the AI from transporting crew to your Borg vessels, which will not have shields.

J7: So, linking the above is the Unimatrix going to be one structure, or just many placed very close together, requiring segments to be destroyed? Would this play a tactical role at any point; do the different pieces have different purposes?

EO: Well for the Unicompex station, originally I was going for 1 station, but as we played with the code, as many before us have, it isnít possible to have a station on a station build anything, ship or other station wise, without editing the source. The new method is as I stated above, the station will be several different models, each with their own function that you can build numerous times to make the complex larger and larger. The Goal is to protect the Central Complex, as you will not be able to build another.

J7: I presume the Borg will still have independent structures though, such as outlying platforms for weaponry or sensors?

EO: Yes that is correct. Like I stated, originally I wanted to have most of the stations normally used in A2 attached to the research version of the Complex, however being that it hasnít worked, we are going with separate stations.

J7: Talking a lot about the Borg, I presume that they are the most complete of the 6 races (those 6 being the stock ones, correct)?

EO: Yes, the Borg are the only race nearly complete for ROTE, and we are sticking with the stock races as it also sets us apart from other mods.

J7: Well, I'll come back onto the other races shortly, as I'm sure the community will be interested in what you have planned for them.

As for the next question, how many ships can we expect to see roughly, per race? Can we expect that the Federation, being the most seen race, will have more? Will there generally be more, less or equal to the amount of ships per race when compared to stock?


EO: Each race has about 9-19 ships, that includes all ships. It depends on the race for how many ships they will have. Right now the federation has 19 ships, which includes the three Hero Ships for their side.

J7: These hero ships being?

EO: As of right now, the Federation only has 1 Hero ship, the USS Renegade.

J7: This is the Galaxy-esque ship we've seen about?

EO: Yes it is.

J7: So, 9-19 ships. Two big questions spawn from this for me; are the units included going to be canonical to the series as best as possible? Will ships be suited to certain roles, such as attack ship, or dreadnaught etc.?

EO: Yes, I am trying to keep each ship as canon as possible. As seen with the Borg, I have kept all the designs seen in Trek and even upgraded upon some of them and added more in to help balance the mod out a little more. Each ship has a certain role yes, the Renegade class is a Battleship, the Neutron class, which is her sister ship is a science ship and so on.

J7: Do these class type ships then bend to what we usually know? For example, will the Renegade be slow, but heavy hitting? What we commonly associate with a battleship.

EO: Yes, each class oriented ship will have its own set speed and all ships in the class will abide by those physics.

J7: So physics will be playing an important part in the game?

EO: Yes. Most Borg ships follow the Borg physics and to follow suit all other races will be following their physics. Like if you have a fleet full of Federation ships, say 3 Renegade, 2 Wraith, 4 Neutron and 2 Seekers the seekers will move faster then the other ships, followed by the Wraiths then the Neutrons and so forth.

J7: Considering you are applying physics, will you be taking advantage of other such Armada subtleties, such as ĎhitChanceí and ĎdamageBaseí?

EO: Yes, we will be incorporating all of the coding used in Armada 2, Hitchance will still be in, as it is canon; launch 3 torpedoes, itís possible all of them will miss or hit, or one will hit. damageBase will help with establishing how powerful certain weapons are.

J7: So, destroyer's stand something of a chance against the might of a battleship, rather than being squashed flat?

EO: Yes, this is true, however, a destroyer, while faster and more agile compared to the battleship, can outrun the battleship, but in a head to head fight, the destroyer can get in several good shots, doing some damage, but then ultimately being destroyed.

J7: Out of curiosity then, will the Intrepid class and Galaxy class be making an appearance? If so, who would you pit to win?

EO: Well the Galaxy and Intrepid have both been replaced; the Galaxy with the Renegade and the Intrepid with the Vivace. Although if I had to pit them against each other, I would say the Intrepid, more manoeuvrable and can get into the blind spots of the Galaxy.

J7: So, throughout the races, will we see any units that we have known before? Or is every item being replaced?

EO: You will be seeing several units that we have all seen on screen. For the Federation, you will be getting certain toys to play with from canon Trek, but getting to them and getting them back to base is another story. The Cardassians have continued to stick with their three main designs as well. Those being the Galor, Keldon and Hideki.

J7: Any particular reason why the other races will be changing, but the Cardassians will not?

EO: Well from what we have seen in Trek, the Cardassians have apparently had the same designs throughout most of the Trek timeline, from at least (if not before) the Federation/Cardassian War, all the way up past the Dominion War. The Federation usually sticks with the same designs for several decades, but they also have been doing several new designs and I want to continue with the new designs. Klingons will still have K'tinga's, but they will be newer and they will keep the Neghívar as well, as it is a rather new ship and an effective one at that.

J7: No Bird of Prey then?

EO: The Bird of Prey will be involved in ROTE, several versions of it as well. There will be the Bírel, maybe the Kívort, but there will be a new design or two. The Romulans will even have their own version of the BoP.

J7: So, why are designs such as the BoP getting 'all the love' whilst the new Intrepid, isn't?

EO: Well, in ROTE canon, the Intrepid fleet was put into mothballs due to several of them having accidents with their warpcoreís and thus were taken out of service, before any other accidents were to happen.

J7: So from this then, we can presume there will be a re-written single player campaign with a storyline?

EO: Yes, that is one of the main parts of ROTE that I am trying to accomplish. The single player missions will start with the launching of the Renegade after the Enterprise is lost.

J7: Lost to be found, or lost and hulk pieces found? Or will we have to wait for the mod to answer that one?

EO: You will find the Enterprise intact in one of the missions, however all is not as it seems. That is as much as [I will say]. I donít want to give too much away.

J7: Ahhh, so a mystery involving the Enterprise...I'm sure many will be eager to find out what happens now.

Onto my next question though. We know that the Borg have their Unimatrix, but what things make the other races unique?


EO: The Federation will get an Omega Super weapon, this coming from the knowledge gathered by Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, while the research was conducted on an abandoned moon. The Klingonís will be getting a Black Whole Creator Weapon with a twist. The Romulans will have cloak fire weapons, with the technology from the Scimitar [see ĎStar Trek: Nemesisí], Cardassiansí will have their Dreadnaught missile and another ship, of the New Obsidian Order. Species 8472 will have several different paths to research down, thanks to Chiletrek for allowing the integration of his mod into mine.

J7: Intriguing me most is Species 8472 and the Black Whole Creator. Will you be able to provide a few more details about both?

EO: Well I donít want to give too much away on 8472, as Chile has several things that he wants to keep secret I believe, but what I can tell you is that there are three different Clans you can choose and if you are really exceptional, you can choose all three. The Black Whole Creator will create a black hole, that will then damage anything in the nearby area and when the damage is done; the ship or station will be destroyed.

J7: The ship or station? This weapon then is not just limited to a single unit? Also, will the black hole become a permanent feature of the map?

EO: That is the effect that I aim to achieve, yes. Once the weapon is completed I hope to have the black hole stay in position till the end of the game.

J7: So, if say they were assigned to turrets, the Klingon's would have a pretty impressive defensive grid?

EO: You misunderstand; the weapon when fired will damage anything and everything, ship and station. The weapon will be fired from a single station, but their [defence] grid will be powerful, even without this defending the base.

J7: Ah. Potentially, what is the range of the weapon? I can imagine this being one hell of an offensive weapon when used on an enemy installation.

EO: The range will be similar to that of the temporal stasis field [see Armada 1ís Premonition and the super weapon in Armada 2 for the Federation], however being the maps in ROTE will be larger than any normal ones, and you will have to use strategy to be able to hit your enemyís base.

J7: Well, that links to two further questions. I'll put them to you both and answer whichever you want first.

What kind of limit will we see on ships and stations, as opposed to the 'officer' system used in the stock game? Map objects tend to be denied in larger projects. Will you be modifying them and if so, in what way?


EO: On the limit of ships and stations, I canít put one down. I would do so with metal and dilithium and crew and officers, but in FreeTech such a restriction is none existent, however, I will make it difficult to research them. Map Objects will be definitely changed. I plan on several new nebulas with several effects and new ways to get metal and some asteroids.

J7: Will the metal and the asteroids be merged then?

EO: Yes. In ROTE you will not be able to colonize planets, they are being taken out due to scale issues, so to get metal, the player will have to find the right asteroids with metal in them and then start mining.

J7: With planets being removed then, how will crew be acquired?

EO: Via the same method in Armada 1. There will be a specific station that allows you to gather crew when you have it built. Build more then one [and] crew comes in faster.

J7: So for the Federation, it could be some sort of space-academy?

EO: Yes, the federation will have sort of a Starfleet Training Facility.

J7: Then to my last question, before the community ones. With the knowledge that officers are non existent now, will combat be reduced to a mere handful of ships picked for tactical sake, or will there still be some degree of bedlam with fleet on fleet action? I'd also like to add the following, asked by ragnar603, who asked a similar question,
"Will the game play be like a massive fleet-of-one-kind game or will there be more strategy involved? As in several smaller fleets of different class ships to support each other?"


EO: Each ship plays a tactical role in the fleet, so this means that fleets would normally include all variations of ships.So if you were to send in 16 seeker class ships without any others, they would be decimated in minutes without the support or heavier firepower of other classes.

J7: So, we're talking about basically the same amount of ships, just a better combination of them?

EO: Yes, though the only way you will get 16 ships is if you have free tech on and are very patient or edit the ODFs.

J7: So, base assaults will be pretty difficult then, if you cannot produce a large vanguard of ships?

EO: Yes. Fleet sizes will be smaller; as I have said, ROTE will require several new tactics.

J7: A case of throw away everything we already know?

EO: In a way. Certain parts of ROTE will remain the same. Gathering materials, researching and building ships, but to go through the tech tree will require several pods before you will be able to get ships out into space (similar to BIVR).

J7: So a bit of a march before you can truly act?

EO: Yes, mind you it wonít be as in depth as BIVR was, however you will need to do some research before you can get certain ships.

J7: Will we see ships then 'half active'? Buildable, but not with all the systems at 100%? Or will they be 100% from when they first can be built?

EO: Each ship will have special weapons that arenít actually specials. They will be non-special special weapons and you will be able to launch your ships, without the weapons, but when you research the technology for them, then they will start firing when you go into battle.

J7: Well, that's all there is from me in the main. The remaining questions are those asked by two community members, ragnar603 (who of course has already had a question answered) and thunderfoot006. I'll go first with ragnar's questions. Ragnar's first question related to the music. Stating that he loved what was done with the videos we had seen of the Borg, will there be new soundtracks in the mod? Stating also, "I'd love to play along to that".

EO: ROTE will feature all new music, yes. Each having race specific as should be, however the Borg will not actually have music. You will be hearing the whispers of the Collective, giving the player a true feeling of being Borg.

J7: The music is then intended to make you feel as if you're part of that race and not so much as just for having it on in the background?

EO: Yes, exactly.

J7: Ragnar's third question asks if all the races apart from the Borg will receive an equal amount of quality and scale, especially considering that we have truly only really seen work on the Borg.

EO: Yes. Each race will get the same treatment as the Borg. I have focused on the Borg for now as they are the easiest race to get done, no matter how much detail I put into a model. Each race gets a new GUI, new buttons and other features specific to that race.

J7: So, each race gets a once over? Sounds pretty good to me, but, here we are, at the last few questions, asked by thunderfoot006. His first question asks, "When you stated you will 'change A2 all the way to its core', did you mean you will be changing any of the DLLs?"

EO: No, I will not be editing the DLL files. What I was referring to was all the ODFs, models, textures, map objects and menus will be getting redone. Everything that can be done without touching the source code or DLLs will probably be done, to some degree.

J7: His other questions are simply, if the emphasis of the mod is online play or single-player and if it will be made to work for those who have Vista?

EO: There is no emphasis for ROTE. As stated before, I will be remaking the single player missions, making it a full mod. There will be features in the multiplayer that wonít be in single player and vice-versa. There will be testing of ROTE on both XP and Vista systems to see if there needs to be any tweaking in the end.

J7: So everyone is a happy downloader?

EO: Yes. The mod will not be limited to one group of people.

J7: Well, on that good note, I think itís time to say good-day. I'd like to say thank you, once again, for taking your time out for this interview. You've provided a lot of information which is bound to keep many people happy for a long time.

EO: I hope so and I am glad to get most of this stuff on the table.

J7: Till next time then!



          Next News Post 08-23-2007 @ 10:35 - Zero Hour - The Xindi Project
          Previous News Post 08-21-2007 @ 14:24 - Star Trek Armada II: Evolution Mod


Average User Rating: 9.7
Number of Votes: 3
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Total comments: 4 | Last comment: 09-11-2007 at 19:30

 #1 - 08-21-2007 at 18:45
Curtis_R
From: (Greenville SC)
Joined: October 26th, 2006
Posts: 110
this was a great interview,probably one of the best ones i've read so far on a2files.great work joel Rock

 #2 - 08-22-2007 at 12:53
Meastro444
From: (Den Bosch)
Joined: October 10th, 2006
Posts: 28
Love it! especiallty the Neutron one!

 #3 - 08-23-2007 at 06:35
Intrepid781
From: (Worthington, In)
Joined: September 25th, 2005
Posts: 304
Not bad at all, I cant wait for the release of this mod!

 #4 - 09-11-2007 at 19:30
Jetfreak
From: (Naga City)
Joined: March 11th, 2007
Posts: 938
Wow a Vivace Class, can't wait for the mod to be released!



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