Well the name says it all. We will be releasing the FREE Bounty Hunter expansion March 19th. Due to its size and the fact that the Bounty Hunters have become a fully fledged faction with global relationship tracking the expansion has taken longer than anticipated.
We have kept this a secret up until now, but we actually decided to give you 10 new ships instead of just 5, so there are 2 new tinys, smalls, mediums, larges, and huges. There is also a new Bounty Hunter tier 3 space station that advances in tech level as the game progresses. It is meant to be a HUGE challenge to defeat so I am sure some of you will enjoy that. The advanced version even has a Mothership beam on a turret. Sooo. yeah...
Richard will be posting some pictures of these new ships to get you all excited as well.
Here is a primer on how Bounty Hunters work: (Note the design and implementation is mostly done so while we will listen to ideas and welcome them, we will likely not do any sweeping changes that will delay the March 19th deadline. We are treating that as a hard deadline and will do our utmost to deliver that day, assuming no meteor strikes or cyborg uprisings)
-Bounty Hunters have a global faction relation (Unlike CIVS and UTA)
-About 1/6 of the stars will have a bounty hunter stronghold (their megabases)
- Bounty hunters can only act in their Stronghold stars and neighboring ones, therefore it is possible to operate in non bounty hunter space with impunity. Bounty hunters are also only at about half effectiveness in their neighboring stars.
-At bounty hunter strongholds, you can pay off your bounty, hire them as ambient helpers, hire them to clear warp gates, and compete in the arena for respect.
- There are 150 arena challenges. Each challenge is deterministic and is the same across all skill levels and tech levels. Everyone plays the same event. There are 10 ladders with 5 tiers per ladder and 3 difficulty levels per tier. If you complete a ladder, you get a special prize depending on the difficulty level of the completed tier. (The prize is a specialist, so there are 30 possible)
- Respect is the Opposite of Bounty. So Respect counteracts bounty. You get Respect from doing missions, competing in the Arena, buying it, and by destroying a Bounty Hunter Stronghold (VERY difficult) Note: If you are level 50 and the Stronghold is level 10, you will not get much respect for destroying it. If it is level 60 and you are level 50, you will pretty much be considered Chuck Norris.
- When a Bounty Hunter base is destroyed, their influence will collapse in that and neighboring systems until it is rebuilt. Bounty tracking will be interrupted and you will be left alone while they lick their wounds.
- When you do "Bad" stuff in bounty hunter space, the CIVs and UTA will post bounties. As your bounty increases, you become a more tempting target for the bounty hunters. Eventually, they will start showing up during your missions to collect. Blowing up their ships will not increase your bounty, as they consider that part of the cost of doing business.
- Bounty Hunter ships are all very configurable with utility mounts and generally quite odd compared to UTA and CIV designs. I would probably consider them better, but harder to get. For example, there is a small ship with a huge mount called a Cyclops. Umm yeah, pretty scary if you have a decent reactor, if not, it is a floating brick.
- Bounty Hunters may extort you when you try to leave their space. This is like protection money. Depending on your bounty and how much goods you are carrying, they will want their cut. If you give it to them, you can leave in peace, if not, be prepared for a VERY hard fight. Their huge ships in particular are pretty obscene, but luckily you can avoid them.
That is everything off the top of my head. They are like the icing on the cake faction that can change the nature of other things you are doing. In sector 4 they will also be a new enemy to deal with for those of you who are tired of just fighting zombies. So the nature of Sector 4 will shift a bit too.
This patch will integrate itself into an existing save game, but we recommend finishing your current play through of vanilla SPAZ and starting a new one with Bounty Hunters on March 19th. Progressing through the galaxy with this new menace completes the game and should adjust the feel enough to make a new playthrough worthwhile.
Both of us immensely appreciate all of you allowing us to make our dreams come true by purchasing SPAZ and this expansion is the thanks for that. It took a lot longer than expected, but you guys and SPAZ are worth it, so we did it. We hope a lot of you can tell your friends about this dropping March 19th so previous players and even new players don't miss out on the new experience!
Now back to tuning for us
See ya March 19th!