@Bryan: did you actually figured out how Asteroth translated the messages in Trimurti, or did you just took them without knowing what's written there?
I think not, because Trimurti only used 0, 1 and 2... but i got messages that began with ADJ3 ^^. But well, the decryption make no sense at all here in this campaign, because there is a normal briefing and messages at the beginning of the mission. But sometimes the Shivans use the encrypted language... why?!
Well, i gave that one a try finally.
What i have to say?... After i played through the first mission, i am not sure about what this campaign is all about... or to say, i do not have any idea what i have played here.
The story is a enigma for myself. Actually it reminds me from the "New Folder" campaign (no idea where i find this one back then), that consists of 76 unnamed missions with no messages and objectives... but at least you were able to shoot stuff and have some battles against capital ships. But well, Shattered Stars is better than this fortunately.
But on the downside... i would still prefer to play Independence Warriors or Second Great War Part 2 again ^^. Because both of them had a much better explained story than this one... and well, i think most of their mission made more fun than the first mission of this campaign. Not even sure, why i should continue this campaign? It was not able to suck me in at all, because it looked like a mishmash and a campaign without any arc of suspense.
But some hints nevertheless: There are ships and weapons without any description in the ship selection and weapon loadout screen... so i am actually do not have a clue what i can equip there.
There are also many ships which do not have a Radar Image... but other one have one.
The Balancing... well, actually there does not seem to be any.
The balancing between all the different ships and weapons is even more from hell than the Shivans themself... i actually feared that in a one-man project which simple throw every ever released community-ship into the cauldron (or sort of...). I mean... why i can shoot down a Heavy Raider with two hits... but even the Red Cock things, what seem to be more of an interceptor, are better armored... where is the point in this?
Even i like the background, i am not sure if you should keep the red color for enemies... actually i have difficulties to see the target bracket... or use Hotkey function for the enemy wings, you have to destroy, so that you actually can see where they are. (and do not forget to inform the player about the Hotkey via directives)
Also you should check the hud_gauges.tbl, because the missile lock was offset the actual target.
And also... well, because of all the missing textures, i have the impression, that you had start this as a normal FS2 mod, but simple forgot to carry over the needed FS2 textures as you made it stand alone... so there are countless holes in the ships i actually only seen in mods, that were years ago and were designed for much older FSO versions.
And last but not least... what i have to do in the first mission at all? Even i shunt all the energy into the Engine i was not able to reach the installation in time to protect it... and after that, actually you do not have to do anything, because it is enough that you order your shivans to protect the destroyer... they will destroy all attackers without problems and the enemy fleet is down before they even launched some nukes. So i am actually able to sit there for 20(?) minutes and watch some fireworks. Now i know what all the story of stealing of happynewyear is about ... because watching fireworks is the thing i do at new years eve ^^.
Actually i also do not have any idea, how to reach any of the branches, because the course of the mission did not gave me any indicator what could be different to reach another mission. I am given command over an shivan capital ship in the next mission and did anything for that, because i end the mission with 0 kills and 0 assists