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Our plans for 2019

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Hi all,


Usually I'd try and post this during the first week of January however things have been a little hectic and I wanted to lock in plans/developers/etc before I made any sort of announcements. But now that I've got some assurances, I think it's time to loop the community in to what they can expect this year:






The next major chapter after the Progenitors and the Civil War will focus on our old arch-rival, the Arachnids:


During the Progenitor War, we humans like to think of ourselves as the hardest done by - we lost our homeworld and we took billions of casualties. However whilst the Arachnids did retain Klendathu, they took casualties in the hundreds of billions, perhaps even trillions, they lost thousands of colonies, and their hierarchical structure that forms the centrepiece of their species has been ravaged. Since then, and since our tepid cooperation with the God Bug Quetzalcoatl to neutralise the Progenitor threat last Autumn, the formal incorporated Arachnid Empire have retreated beyond the veil of the Arachnid Quarantine Zone (AQZ).


Yes, we have had interactions with arachnids since then, but all intelligence suggests that these arachnids were unincorporated: they were dumb, disorganized, and acting on a biological imperative to expand, and very unlikely to have been at the direction of a God-bug tier intelligence. 


And whilst this Pax Progenitora may be bliss, one simply cannot shake the feeling that this is merely an interlude between wars; that the arachnids simply do not have it in them to override the need to conquer.


This will probably begin in earnest come March; the reason why it has taken so long to get moving with this is because I felt in order to do this properly, we would need to invest in a suite of new developments. Which you can read all about below.

Oh, also, enjoy having unlimited ammo whilst you can 'cus real soon you fuckers are gonna have to learn about conservation.





Helix Schema

We have a new schema/gamemode that ought to be ready for testing some time next week - it will not only address many of the key bug bears we have already (chat box sizes, etc), but introduces a few new concepts to the server. For example, this isn't the first time we have had a schema that introduces the concept of an inventory, but it is the first time we'll be embracing the idea.



Arachnids 2.0

The first of our array of developments to hit the ground: our new suite of arachnids. They have been designed from the ground up to be smarter, more varied with a greater number of castes, and better optimized - making for a much more formidable foe. We've been introducing these gradually on to the server over the course of the last week in order to effectively balance them and they seem well received. Some of the more specific improvements:

  • Warriors/Tigers
    Their tactics of the staple arachnid of our universe have been upgraded - they now employ a swarming mechanic, they try and zig-zag in order to dodge incoming fire, and their locomotion and target acquisition has been overhauled to be 5x more efficient (less lag inducing) than their predecessors. In addition to this, some new animations have been added. 
  • Royals
    latest?cb=20130722013825Royals have been substantially upgraded, reducing their health, but giving them new attacks, and making them faster and more deadly. The feedback on the Royals that we have received from the playerbase have mostly been in the form of girlish screams, which I consider to be a positive response.
  • Tankers
    latest?cb=20090215031034Whilst we did have tankers, they were built on the standard GMod AI, which means they were absolute garbage. They would not target beyond about fifteen feet, and it was a coin toss even then as to whether or not they actually attacked anyone. Now, they are rigged up on the same framework as our warriors and tigers. They will now chase players from anywhere across the map, and not only is their ability to spit fire improved, but they also have melee attacks and etc for players who are foolish enough to get too close. 
  • Blaster Bugs latest?cb=20130721212945
    Blaster Bugs (based on the game rather than the Chronicles) are tiny little mites that fire low damage projectiles in rapid succession, but they are extremely agile, making them hard to kill and especially dangerous in groups.
  • And a handful of others that you guys are just going to have to find out about the hard way...


Timeline: These are already being phased in on the server, though there are some other classes in development (flying hoppers, etc.) that will likely hit the server in the next two or three months. 



Humanoid NPCs

Separatists and skinnies up to now have used the standard HL2 AI - which is pretty horrendous. Dakota is currently working on a set of Nextbot-based humanoids - meaning they'll be able to engage from anywhere on the map. Because they are using the more efficient Nextbot base, we can have hundreds of them. We can even spawn MI that are friendly to us who will assist in fighting the arachnids, etc. 


Timeline: This should be ready within the next two weeks.




Our APC found its use curtailed thanks to players having crashing issues earlier this year - however @El Excellente is confident he has fixed this and it is now on server. The APC can seat numerous MI, will be able to store items, and is amphibious. 


The tank and TAC fighter was also curtailed thanks to conflict issues - we'll be looking at that in February to try and fix those issues so we can return them to use.


Timeline: Fixed APC was put on the server last night; tank + TAC will be looked into before March.




One of the key problems with MIPOD is that almost all of their interactions require admin intervention - and it simply isn't productive for an admin to focus on one player in the midst of a battle. I hope to address this by introducing a suite of scriptual abilities for them - ranging from an always-on ESP that allows psychics to see where NPCs are located across the map, to temporarily hiding the MI from NPCs during stealth events, to emitting waves of psychic energy that stun or even kill our enemies, to even temporarily slowing down time itself to aid the MI at a clinch point. The strength and scale of these abilities will vary from psychic to psychic based on their training, experience and potency - with a significant risk of death should they psychically overexert themselves on an event. (This will not preclude any of their current IC abilities - rather it is in addition to what they have already; it gives them a specific combat role on drops that does not require an admin to intervene).


Timeline: This should be ready within the next month.



Fleet Bridge Simulator

A long sought after request of mine is something on GMod to emulate the functionality of standalone bridge simulators like Empty Epsilon or Artemis that would give Fleet purpose and make the Grant feel like an actual starship moving through the vast expanse of space rather than a static metal fortress that happens to have a starry skybox and occasionally teleports around the galaxy. I've found a couple of developers who are enthusiastic to bring this to life - probably around summer of this year.


Timeline: This should be ready within the next six months.



Power Armour

Most of you will have probably heard through the grapevine that I've had plans to push us into the power armour era of SST and that is true - indeed over the course of the last year we've had a model and a prototype put together. I'm not 100% happy of how it has turned out (this is my fault - I didn't have much vision for how they would work) so we are likely going to rework this, especially in the context of how the Marauders remain unique in the power armour era, but it is my goal to have us moving to power armour before summer this year but in a way that is meaningful but measured so that it is an unqualified improvement rather than a hastily rushed trainwreck.


Timeline: This should be ready within the next six months.



I expect all or almost all of this to be done by the summer, so expect another of these posts come July! However, as always, these timelines are an estimate - and estimates can be wildly askew.

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Does this included cloning facilities and portal where you can revive the deaths?

[On the serious notes.. I appreciated staff's team efforts to keep the community alive and growing <3]

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does it fix the problem of loading into the server for 30 minutes only to time out the last scheme introduced 

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58 minutes ago, Archer said:

does it fix the problem of loading into the server for 30 minutes only to time out the last scheme introduced 

probably not

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Quick review - 


Arachnids - done

Humanoids - done

Vehicles - almost done; needs reskin of Leopard tank & VTOL. New dropship model has collision issues that need to be resolved

Psychics - done

Schema - in progress with meFlying hoppers - in progress with Dakota

Fleet Bridge Simulator - discovery, scheduled for post-Schema

Marauder - discovery
Power armour (& related) - discovery, has to be balanced against marauders.

Map - on back burner whilst I finish off the schema

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