Last week, we published the first of three blog posts detailing the upcoming faction overhaul in Barotrauma 1.0. In these posts, we will elaborate on the new features and additions, and give more insight into the different factions of Europa. The first post focused on the Europa Coalition, so now let’s delve deeper into their rival, the Jovian Separatists.
The Jovian Separatists
To get the full picture on the history of the Separatists, first we have to talk about their origins, a political party called the Jovian People’s Movement. The JPM was formed around the same time as the Coalition, and was in direct opposition to the political ideals and methods of their rival. The JPM wanted to build a democratic society on Europa through nonviolent means and model it after earlier civilizations on Earth. The Movement amassed a large number of supporters and became a noteworthy challenger to the Coalition in the general election of Europa.
A couple of weeks before the election was going to take place, however, there was a nuclear disaster in the colony of Tormsdale, the unofficial headquarters of the JPM and the independent colonies. The reactor meltdown and ensuing explosion dealt a devastating blow to the Movement, with many of their supporters among the deceased.
“Rescue teams have only been able to find four survivors who happened to be outside the outpost at the time of the incident, and the remaining 106 inhabitants are presumed dead.”– News report at the time of the Tormsdale incident
Despite this tragedy, the election was not rescheduled, and the crippled JPM could not gather enough votes to overtake the Coalition. The Tormsdale incident was declared an accident, but the timing raised suspicion among the JPM’s ranks, with many believing the Coalition had a hand in it. Tensions boiled over and attacks were made against Coalition submarines and outposts. Even though the leaders of the JPM denounced the acts of violence, the party was declared a terrorist organization. Not long after, the JPM was no more and the Jovian Separatists rose from its remains.
“The JPM was not behind the assassination. The Movement strives to make Europa a more democratic society by non-violent means.“– Harlow Petran, JPM founder, on the assassination of Herbert May
After decades of Europa remaining firmly under the rule of the Coalition, the Jovian Separatists have slowly but surely regained their foothold. They have once again grown strong enough to provide a challenge for the Coalition, with multiple outposts joining the fight for freedom.
Has the Coalition controlled the lives of Europans for too long? Is the time ripe for change? The Jovian Separatists strive to deliver Europa from the grasp of an authoritarian leadership and put the power back in the hands of its people – through means peaceful or otherwise.
Faction overhaul: New hires, more captain talents
As we mentioned last time, the faction overhaul will introduce lots of new missions and events. For the lore-hungry, this also entails lots of new writing: we wanted the factions to feel alive and not like faceless organizations, so we have written a handful of new characters, each with their own stories to share.
As you progress through the stories of all the factions and gather enough reputation from completing missions, you will also get to hire new NPC crewmates. These new hireable faction-specific characters have higher skill levels, more experience points and better gear than normal hireable NPCs. The new faction hires come in two tiers, “normal” and “elite”, if you will, depending on how much reputation you have gained.
Even further down the road, when you become a trusted household name for your chosen faction, some familiar faces may even volunteer to join your crew. Maybe you can already guess who some of them are!
The faction overhaul also introduces the captain’s third talent tree which we held off on at the time of the talent rework last year. This tree is titled Politician, and as the name suggests, it has everything to do with the factions of Europa. In short, the talents in this tree focus on reputation gains and making use of those to the benefit of your crew.
The Politician tree encourages you to pick and stick with a faction, as your crew will gain perks based on your affiliation with one. The affiliated faction is the faction with which your reputation is higher, and affiliation grants you bonuses with that faction depending on the talents chosen; things like faster reputation progression, higher mission payout, discounts on submarine services, or discounts in shops.
The Politician tree also brings back the Commendations and Medals which were temporarily removed from the game earlier. These function largely the same as before, giving lots of experience to the chosen crewmember.
We also added a little twist: the Medal instantly gives enough experience for any new character to obtain their first five talent points. This helps new characters catch up faster and be ready to join the fight with you.