Star Trek: Starfleet Command II: Empires at War
|Starfleet Command 2: Empires at War|
|Developer(s)||Taldren/Dynaverse Gaming Association|
|Release date(s)||December 20, 2000|
|Genre(s)||Space flight simulator game, Real-time tactics|
|Mode(s)||Singleplayer and Multiplayer|
|Part of the article series on
Star Fleet Universe
|Star Fleet Battles|
|Federation and Empire|
|Prime Directive (role-playing game)|
|Star Fleet Battle Force|
|Star Trek: Starfleet Command|
|Star Trek: Starfleet Command II: Empires at War|
|Star Trek: Starfleet Command: Orion Pirates|
Star Trek Starfleet Command II: Empires at War is the sequel to Star Trek: Starfleet Command.
This 'real-time' version of the computer game based on the in-depth Star-Trek starship combat simulation game Star Fleet Battles is the closest of the Star Trek: Starfleet Command series to the original game in details and options.
As a result of strong sales of Star Trek: Starfleet Command, Interplay Entertainment announced that their division of 14 Degrees East would license out a multi-game contract to the newly created game developer, Taldren Inc., run by Erik Bethke the lead designer of the series. The first of these games would be the sequel to one of Interplay's best known Star Trek PC games: Starfleet Command.
Taldren gave the second outing of the Starfleet Command series a major overhaul with new graphics, new weapons systems, a completely updated music background, and readings from George Takei (Mr. Sulu from The Original Series). The most ambitious feature was the hybrid development of both a peer-to-peer combat simulation with a client-server MMO world server for strategic battles, ship repair, and upgrades.
The biggest visible difference of Starfleet Command II was the graphics. Luminosity mapping, damage texturing, and shading were added to the graphical engine making Starfleet Command II. New races in the form of the Interstellar Concordium and the Mirak Star League were also added to the existing six races of Federation, Romulan, Klingon, Gorn, Lyran, and Hydran.
In 2001, a small development group composed of two fans of the game assumed responsibility for maintenance. KhoroMag, which is the combination of screen names for two fans of the game, Khoros and MagnumMan, received source code for the game after signing a contract with Taldren. This effort resulted in two official patches addressing over 150 bugs in the game, many of which were known, and some of which were discovered by code review. This was a great success, allowing Taldren more developer time to focus on their next release of Starfleet Command II: Orion Pirates.
Later in 2001, when Taldren California closed its doors, the non-profit organization the Dynaverse Gaming Association (who's parent company, XenoCorp Inc. is solely owned and operated by Frey Petermeier) took over running the online matchmaking services for Starfleet Command: Empires at War as well as continued development of Starfleet Command : Community Edition.
As of 2012, the DGA announced the open beta for Starfleet Command: Community Edition, as well as the possible development of Starfleet Command 4. The DGA owns the rights to the entire series of games, including Starfleet Command III.
The game features several different storylines which can be played from the perspective of multiple races. Each storyline would take the form of several unique missions interspersed throughout general gameplay.
All of the eight races may play though a campaign involving the return of the Organians, who are part of the original Starfleet Command game. The Organians, wary of interspecies conflicts, return with a "galactic superpower," the Interstellar Concordium who conduct a "war of pacification" by subjugating all other races into an enforced peace. In the missions, the player would attack ISC bases and sectors, eventually forging alliances with other races in order to overthrow the ISC.
There were also two unique campaigns for the Mirak and Lyran races involving a war between the two.
The game was to be followed up with a Starfleet Command volume III which would have told the story of the invasion by the Andromedans, but due to changing fortunes at Interplay, that was not to be.
- The game included a similar combat engine to its predecessor, but with improved stability and better graphics.
- The hex-based 'virtual universe' was introduced in this game, and was also adopted by Starfleet Command III.
- Some editions of the game shipped with a special bonus CD containing conceptual artwork for the game along with special MP3 files of the in-game music. One of the extra bonus MP3s, entitled 'The End of the Federation', is virtually identical to a piece of music called "Duel of the Fates" from the film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, this was an error stemming from a joke file.
- Several Canon Movie-Era ships were included with the game, all with Phaser-1s, (usually) a pair of Phaser-3s, (usually) rear-firing photons (a rarity in the game), more power systems, and marginally improved shielding. The ships tend to play badly against many of the more advanced ships in the game.
- One difference is the inclusion of fighters for almost all races. It matches Star Fleet Battles, which implemented fighters for most races. This has a marked effect on gameplay, as it provides a new offensive weapon and more moving units. This differs from the Star Trek 'world' itself, which never really featured fighters (except in later episodes of DS9); the closest equivalent were the ubiquitous shuttles such as the Galileo 7 prominently featured in the original Star Trek series episode "The Galileo Seven."
- Each player can now control up to three ships in formations.
- Persistent problems with the online universe meant that online dynaverse play wasn't available at launch. Although subsequent patching addressed many of these problems, Taldren and Interplay both failed to identify a monetization model that would have allowed for continuing maintenance of the first Star Trek MMO.
- Single player campaigns were, by player and fan-base standards alike, considered to be very poor and lacked much of the depth of the original.
- Plasma armed ships are much more heavily armed compared with drone armed ships of the same price.
- For competitive matches, certain BPV values gave others a huge advantage, for instance the most common BPV agreed on was 190 late, which provided users with access to the klingon c7, and federation bcf,bcj,bch, plasma races had a hard time finding a BPV that was able to compete, due to the extra cost of the cloaking device on Romulan ships especially.
- The cloaking device was not altered from the first game.
- StarFleet Command's Multiplayer switched from Mplayer to Gamespy which resulted in resent by fans of the series, the community was affected by the change.*
- Starlance League became the premier league for StarFleet Command, and most players would compete in "SL" Matches, these "SL" Matches would be posted to the now defunkt Starlance.com, and users could compare statistics.
- Starlance was the main influence behind the design of the Dynaverse, Starlance promised players a campaign similar to that Dynaverse for Starfleet Command 1, the campaign didn't last very long, and was shut down due to complications with running it.