It's time for a very large post, this is probably a first for this mod!
A lot of changes have happened to Event Horizon since I started back in 2014. After spending nearly two years animating nearly two hundred character portraits, my mind shifted from adding new things to cutting out the fluff. In future versions of Event Horizon one might notice a reduction of craft, weapons, and characters compared to older versions. Quite frankly I feel like Event Horizon's features were becoming a bloated mess in the context of a space combat sim and I wanted to refine and streamline. There are several main things that have undergone a big change and I'll list them below
Until now, Event Horizon was loaded with tons of weapons. Each craft potentially had 3-4 unique weapons, and I feel that this lead to a lot of said weapons feeling "samey." Perhaps if more creative functions could be done with Primary and Secondary weapons in Freespace there could be a better justification for such an overload of weapons, but that is not the case at the moment. Instead, all playable craft will only have one Unique Weapon. The three remaining weapon slots on a craft will be completely customizable with 14 other weapons (7 Primary and 7 Secondary). Most of these weapons will change their appearance depending on the type of craft you choose (For example, Lasers will appear green on an Arwing and red on a Wolfen), rather than being completely separate weapons, clearing a lot of clutter on the loadout screen and minimizing that "half the weapons feel the same" feeling when picking your loadouts. Here's a list of the weapons below:PrimariesLaser
The most common type of weapon in the galaxy. Lasers can be found on almost every craft and are considered the most reliable weapon any pilot can have.Pros:
Unlimited Ammunition, No Overheating, Consistent fire rateCons:
Does not deal significant damage, negated by ShieldsSuggested Use:
Useful in all situations, Lasers should always be equipped unless a pilot is confident in using Hyper Lasers.Hyper Laser
A more powerful and dangerous variation of standard Lasers. Hyper Lasers generally are only found on military craft, though they have found their way into the black market and wealthy pirates and raiders have been known to use them. Without proper knowledge Hyper Lasers are very dangerous to maintain.Pros:
Rapid Fire, Unlimited Ammunition, not negated by ShieldsCons:
Causes Overheating and must be allowed to cool off, cannot maintain rapid fire for more than a few secondsSuggested Use:
A replacement for Lasers for pilots who are confident in their accuracy and controlling their bursts to avoid overheating.Beam Cannon
Beams are Lasers that are focused into a consistent stream of energy instead of a sudden burst. Because of this a lot more energy can be projected over shorter spans of time.Pros:
High damage, not negated by Shields, Unlimited AmmunitionCons:
Very short range, hard to hit mobile targets, Long cool down timesSuggested Use:
Use against slower moving targets such as Bombers or Capital ships. Also an excellent weapon against shielded targets. Useless against small and fast moving targets... don't event attempt it unless your ability to keep aim is flawless.Flak Cannon
Flak Cannons are specifically designed to shred smaller targets with proximity projectiles. They are excellent anti-fighter weapons.Pros:
Extremely high damage to small targets, consistent rapid fire rate, indirect explosion damage allows for generous accuracy leewayCons:
Limited Ammunition, negated by Shields, barely scratches the hulls of large targets. Suggested Use:
Missions where a large volume of shieldless fighter craft is anticipated, Flak Cannons can mow down wave after wave of them. Make sure to have a Primary Weapon with unlimited ammunition as a backup seeing as Flak Cannons can run out of ammunition quickly if fired indiscriminately. Do not even bother using them against shielded targets or capital ships; they will hardly put a dent in either.Chaingun
Starship grade Chainguns are designed to bombard targets with as many projectiles as possible in the shortest span of time possible. This has made them invaluable for punching through enemy shields, which have a difficult time regenerating under the rapid barrage of projectiles.Pros:
Extremely high fire rate, nearly instantaneous hit time, high damage to ShieldsCons:
Limited Ammunition, causes Overheating and must be allowed to cool offSuggested Use:
Use against targets with powerful shields. Chainguns can rapidly deplete Shields and leave a craft exposed to other weapons. Make sure to have a Primary Weapon with unlimited ammunition as a backup seeing as Chainguns can run out of ammunition quickly if fired indiscriminately. Overheating can also be an issue if Chainguns are not fired in controlled bursts.Fusion Cannon
Fusion Cannons are a very powerful burst of energy usually supplemented by the ship's own power core. They are very dangerous and can melt through almost all known hull materials.Pros:
Extremely high damage to armor, Unlimited ammunition, not negated by shieldsCons:
Very short range, hard to hit mobile targetsSuggested Use:
Heavily armored targets, usually larger capital ships or stationary bases. Fusion Cannons are particularly useful against turrets. While they are better used against targets that do not move much, a pilot with good aim can vaporize enemy fighter craft that get too close with Fusion Cannons.Antimatter Spread
A shotgun-like, sudden, and chaotic burst of particles generated from the host ship with unpredictable trajectories. Antimatter Spreads are used to clear out groups of targets at close range as well as destroy missiles.Pros:
Very wide area of effect and can hit many targets, can destroy incoming missiles, unlimited ammunitionCons:
Extremely limited range; essentially a point-blank weapon, high risk of friendly fire, negated by ShieldsSuggested Use:
Use this weapon against large swarms of close range fighter craft or enemies that like to harass you with volleys of missile fire. The weapon's maximum range is 300 so timing is important if used as an anti-missile system. This weapon is somewhat reckless and inexperienced pilots may find it uncomfortable or difficult to use.SecondariesCharged Laser
Charged Lasers gather and store the collective energy of many Laser blasts into a concentrated magnetic field. Said field is used to aid in the projectile's abilty to home in on a target and explode.Pros:
Unlimited ammunition, fast movement speed and difficult to dodge homing lock, not negated by ShieldsCons:
Short Range, mediocre lock on time, can potentially damage host craft at close rangesSuggested Use:
Useful in all situations, there is little reason to pass up on Charged Lasers unless a mission requires more than one other Secondary Weapon. While there is a chance that a reckless or inexperienced pilot will fly into the blast zone of their own Charged Lasers after firing, most Pilots will find them excellent at taking out groups of targets at once.Dumbfire Missile
A simple self propelled warhead that explodes on contact. One of the most, if not the most common secondary weapons in the galaxy.Pros:
Generous ammunition count, high damage, Long rangeCons:
Negated by shields, requires excellent accuracy against mobile targets, mediocre projectile speedSuggested Use:
Any situation where there are lots and lots of capital ships. While there are better weapons to deal with capital ships the high ammunition count of Dumbfire Missiles makes them valuable against large fleets that might cause you to run out of ammunition for other weapon choices. Just be sure to also have weapons that can damage shields because they will stop Dumbfire Missiles in their tracks.Homing Missile
Self propelled warheads with a guidance system controlled by host ship. These missiles can relentlessly home in on a target after a lock has been acquired and detonate.Pros:
Fast lock on time, generous ammunition count, Long rangeCons:
Easy to dodge due to mediocre speed, mediocre damage output, negated by ShieldsSuggested Use:
Useful in combat scenarios with fast moving enemies that are hard to hit. While a skilled pilot can easily dodge Homing Missiles and keep a distance, the constant pressure of avoiding them can open them up to being downed by other weapons.Seeker Missiles
Seeker Missiles have a guidance system built into the warhead itself, allowing them to pick their own targets. This frees the host ship's computer system and allows for a much larger volume to missiles to be active at one time.Pros:
Numerous projectiles can be launched at once, homes in on nearest targets, wide spread of damage across multiple targetsCons:
No control over chosen targets, short range, negated by ShieldsSuggested Use:
Any mission where there are large swarms of enemy fighters surrounding you at close range. Cluster Missiles can seek out up to 12 targets and take them out. Seeker Missiles are also a good deterrent for enemies on your tail: seeing as a pursuing ship is usually the closest target a volley of Seekers can rapidly turn 180 degrees and assault any ship behind you.Railgun
A very long range projectile accelerated to incredible speeds, often used as Artillery against large or stationary targets.Pros:
Extremely long range, Extremely high damage, nearly instantaneous hit timeCons:
Long fire rate, limited ammunition, negated by ShieldsSuggested Use:
Combat situations against enemies who also have very long range weapons or a very heavily armored target. The larger the target the more useful a railgun is, generally speaking. While a well placed Railgun shot can usually vaporize a fighter craft in no time, it's very difficult to aim this weapon against mobile targets.Plasma Cannon
Superheated projectiles that are hurled at targets. Plasma Cannons create so much heat that they can literally tear apart shields.Pros:
Very high damage to Shields, Large projectiles with large impact zone, splash damageCons:
Somewhat slow projectile speed, limited ammunition, hard to hit fast moving targetsSuggested Use:
Target with very powerful shields; Plasma Cannons will strip away that defense in no time.Nova Bomb
Nova Bombs are one of the most destructive weapons on order. Without proper handling they are dangerous even to their craft that launched them.Pros:
Very high damage to anything, huge blast radius can clear out many targetsCons:
High risk of friendly fire and self damage when used at close ranges, homing ability is limited and easy to dodge, limited ammunitionSuggested Use:
Any pilot that wants to unleash a lot of damage across a large area of space. Nova Bombs will put a massive dent in just about anything; just be very careful when using these weapons. It's frighteningly easy for a Nova Bomb to accidentally take out your own allies if fired indiscriminately. Also be sure to steer clear of your targets after you fire: flying towards a nova bomb is never a good idea... flying after your own Nova Bomb only to have it explode in your face is even more embarrassing.
While these 14 weapons are not even a quarter of the size of the weapon list from older versions, keep in mind that during the game's campaigns you might unlock hidden weapons that you can use for your craft. Also keep in mind that each craft has their own Unique Weapon, so you'll still have a lot of variety as you experiment with different craft.
Which brings us to the next point!II. PLAYABLE CRAFT
I'll just say it up front and get it out of the way: Capital ships were not really much fun to play as. As such, I've removed the capital ships from the roster of playable ships. While some of the larger ships have survived the transition, nothing larger than a Corvette will be in the player's hands. At the start of the first campaign the player will only have access to the Mark II Arwing, but through completing missions, bonus objectives, or secret levels they can slowly grow the roster of craft in the Great Fox's hangar to pick from. Playable Craft will also no longer be locked to specific characters in the campaigns: Each character will just have a "preferred" craft of their choice that each mission sets them at, but the player will be free to put themselves and their Wingman in any ship that they have unlocked. Craft will be categorized into the following roles:All Purpose:
General statistics, can serve multiple roles depending on loadouts, but not as well as specialized craft.Interceptor:
Very high speed and maneuverable craft, they generally have low armor but there are exceptions. Interceptors are geared towards dog-fighting and engaging other fighter craft. They tend to fair poorly against larger capital ships.Bomber:
Ship specializing in attacking capital ships, stations, and defensive emplacements.Long Range:
Ship is geared to attack enemies from a distance with long ranged artillery weapons. These craft tend to be very fast, but not maneuverable.Assault:
Ship with high armor values or strong Unique Weapons. These craft can take punishment and are better at slugfests against other strong ships, such as capital ships.Support
: Ship has a highly specialized and unique role, such as being a repair craft.Mech:
Extremely maneuverable craft that can spin in place, glide, and move through narrow environments. Due to their anthropomorphic designs they tend to be much smaller than fighter craft and are harder to hit with weapons.
To avoid cluttering this post with tons of craft descriptions, I will just put images of the playable craft below and clicking on them will link to their entries on the Event Horizon wiki for anyone who wants a bit more detail.
In additional to all those unlockable craft, other vehicles may temporarily end up in the player's hand for specific missions or special situations!
And that brings us to the last big change...III. CHARACTERS
I'm not going to pretend that the Star Fox series has well developed characters, but considering how loved the series was 20 years ago there was something to them. They all have notable personalities and quirks that make them stand out against most other video game characters, and I feel that they are one the reasons players were drawn to the series in 1997. As such I consider them the most important aspect of Event Horizon (other than having fun destroying tons of ships in a fighter craft) and part of the goal of the story is to honor these characters, even the unpopular ones. Originally the game was going to have multiple playable characters with story missions, but in the spirit of cutting out the fat I've tried to streamline the frankly oversized story for a flight simulator about talking anthropomorphic animals. The player will exclusively be Fox McCloud across the game's multiple campaigns, and rather other characters will serve as Wingman that the player can bring along with them on missions. I've yet to decide if the Wingman are locked for certain missions, or if the player can pick three from a pool (which im not even sure is possible in the engine). That being said, here's a list of each character that can become a Wingman, as well as links to their wiki page if you want more details.
Certain missions or special conditions might land other characters joining you temporarily, so don't be surprised to see other faces outside of the main roster joining you as a temporary Wingman!
And of course all the Wingman in this list and beyond are available for multiplayer.
Feel free to let me know what you think of these changes, be they good, bad, or somewhere in between. I hope in the end these changes will help make the game feel more like a complete meal and less like a sloppy all you can eat buffet. And with this post, I'll probably vanish for another 5 months before dumping some other announcement out of the blue as usual.