THE HISTORY OF FL: TNG (Freelancer: The Next Generation)
The history of TNG is a rather lengthy one, but I will keep it short as I know you are not intending to read a book and would much rather be playing the game. I certainly would, LOL. But we all value our roots too.
One of the very first major successful mods was called Reynenmod. This was my first attempt at a major mod and it worked out rather well. It was the first mod to unlock all the gunboats, cruisers, and battleships in the game and make them available for player use. It also brought about new player missions, introduced new ships and various features now commonly found in many mods today. It also included equipment upgrades and many other unique features. There are a few people who may still have an old copy of it. This was done in around March of 2003.
Next came Michael Dan who asked if I would help him create a mod like Reynenmod, but doing so while retaining the original game intact. Using Reynenmod as a base, Rebalance Mod was born. I was very happy to help Michael Dan create a successful mod. It was a very nice alternative to Reynenmod and gave people an alternative mod to explore.
After that many other mods sprang up but the major ones were Hostile Mod, Grrrsk Mod, and Baby5 Mod.
This is where TNG came about. Everyone started asking for a mod that had a bit of everything from all the mods. So thus I decided to create Starfyre Studios and make all the major mods into one. The original team consisted of all the makers of Rebalance, Baby5, Grrrsk, and Hostile Universe Mod. Then came Spawn, Bobthedog, Duriel, and Squall. We worked well together and eventually finished TNG.
Well the first release of TNG was a disaster since I was on vacation when it happened. I came back to find a patch released without my knowledge, and a great number of confused people. A patch was quickly issued to fix the previous patch problems. To this day I do feel a bit guilty about loosing my temper over that and I said some rather harsh things to people that I should have never said. After that the team nearly split apart and only Myself, Spawn, Bobthedog, and Squall remained on the team.
Since then TNG has been revised many times and has gotten better with each release. TNG 2.7 is a compilation of all our work done thus far and is quite an achievement. We have worked with many good individuals and were sorry to see many of them go. Special thanks go out to Glock36 & Hadryon who helped quite a bit. Also to Bakedpotato & Doug from lancer reactor who has given us much support.
WHY IS TNG SO SPECIAL?
TNG may be a compilation of many mods but it is very unique in it’s own right. It was the first mod of it’s kind and implemented many new features not found elsewhere.
So what’s so special about this particular version now? Well there is a lot of stuff in this version that many people probably will never realize. A major part of it is that the “Identity” system has been more refined so you can have a more realistic sense of what you want to be whether it be a bounty hunter, pirate, trader, or just a lone freelancer. We have added additional factions & empires for you to have an even broader selection in your identity process.
This version has been optimized for multiplayer due to mass request by players. It is still compatible with single player game, and it will be more difficult then before. One of the most defining traits about TNG is that we have strived to make it one of the hardest mods out there so that when you “get there” it’s not just something everyone can do easily. Also since you now loose ammo, loot, and equipment when you die, it gives an element of risk that was not originally there with the original freelancer and makes things much more interesting. It really makes you think whether you want to fight or run.
Also diversity and many options are available to you from weapons, equipments, and ships. Customization is also a key feature in this game. We are always adding more upgrades for customization to your ships so that you may play the way you want to play and not be forced to just a particular style.
TNG also has an advanced graphic & sound system so your experience will be much more enjoyable. The downside to this is that you do need to have higher computer requirements to run TNG. Especially in 2.7 we have redone our geometric and physic algorithms so that ships move with realistic motion as the stats are carefully created and made to fit with the theme of were they are at. We also redid all the weapon effects and added several new ones so that it is more realistic when using them. The new options on the menu also give players more control over the graphic intensity of the game that way they can turn things down if things get sluggish. You can also change the difficulty of the single player game by using the new options. Additional flight controls have also been added to give players more maneuvers.
One very nice feature of TNG, especially in 2.7 is that “Ultimate” ships is not necessarily determined by the original status of the ship. By using special, powerful, drop equipment, you can turn ANY ship into a devastating engine of destruction. It really comes down to what you prefer to play. Do you prefer speed vs. power? Do you prefer defense vs. speed? Or do you like to have a ship that has balanced stats? That is what it comes down to. Skill level is also another HUGE faction in TNG. TNG is hard. If you don’t become a “smart” pilot, then you are going to find yourself being towed back to the base many, many times. Rule of thumb, don’t take more then what you can handle. Pride comes before the fall.
Another nice feature is that the NPC are really smart. You will be fighting opponents who know how to kill you and will not hesitate to do it, no matter what the cost. They now use their full ship armaments including missiles, mines, and torpedoes, which in some cases if they get desperate they will kamikaze. They are also very effective in groups. However TNG 2.4 is setup is that the hardness is scaled directly with the difficulty of the system. So beginner players can play in less difficult systems then go to the more challenging ones. One of our biggest features is the arena system. In 2.7 we feature a gauntlet with 20 trials for groups to try and defeat. One nice feature is it will be different each time you go through it so there are endless possibilities. There is also a central arena with 4 areas for soloists and groups alike to test their metal. One of the nicest things about this area is you get what called token, which are can be redeemed for credit, but also help with your arena score. However don’t camp the areas or the Internal Police will make your life misery.
We have also strived to get rid of any bugs that we encounter so that your game play is the most enjoyable without those little annoyances. Server administrators will find that TNG is one of the most bug free and has the least amount of console errors of any mod currently available. The mod is also well document for troubleshooting purposes. We have also put in many anti-hack and anti-cheat systems to preserve the integrity of the game and minimize the problems that the original freelancer had on multiplayer. TNG is also the first freelancer mod to be placed on over 100 servers worldwide. Below is a list of features that are available in TNG.
- Over 75 new ships added to the freelancer game
- Over 500 new pieces of equipment (Weapons, shields, engines, thrusters, upgrades, and more!)
- Over 20 new commodities for you to buy and sell
- Over 40 new music tracks for systems, bars, and intros
- Over 45 new sounds for various equipment & weapons
- 1 buyable battle station for players (Used to be 3)
- Core return program for expensive ships
- 10 additional systems
- 14 additional factions
- A gauntlet in the arena for players to run with over 20 grueling trials.
- Internal police featuring Starfyre creators & ships
- New costumes for Trent, Juni, and King
- An arena system where players can test there metal against NPC or PVP.
- Planets use a new system for docking, no more old docking rings
- New Freelancer menu with advanced options (Difficulty level, more graphic, key, & sound options)
- Player ships now drop loot when killed
- Greatly improved ship customization options
- New movement & ship controls
- Upgraded graphics, sound, and physics engine
- Revamped single player game with enhancements
- Massive explosion / weapon enhancements
- Greatly enhanced “Identity” engine
- Greatly improved AI tactical & offensive capabilities
- Improved & more difficult single player campaign mode
- Anti-Hack / Cheat / Encryption systems to help improve game integrity
- Police system for administrators
- New solo missions, Capital ship missions
- New group missions, Battle stations
- Different starting ship
- An extremely comprehensive & detailed manual