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Colosseum is a total conversion for Escape Velocity Nova by JoshTigerheart, specifically his "JoshTigerheart's Department of Total Conversions". The plug-in puts a heavy emphasis on combat related game play involving fighters and carefully outfitting one's ship to achieve maximum efficiency in battle. The play is supported by a story and a gradually increasing difficulty as the player advances in rank. Colosseum also brings several weapons that are more unique than those typically found in a plug-in.
The TC has also recieved Steelix's Seal of Approval.
Colosseum has a variety of features, which include...
- Challenging fighter combat.
- Three unique ships available to fly, each with unique outfits available to them and their own advantages.
- Various weapons, some fairly unique or different in nature, such as fire exhaust ports or fields of ionization.
- 3rd person limited writing view point, as opposed to the trend of the 2nd person limited perspective.
- Focus entirely on battle aspects of Nova, which means no trading, plundering, selling captured ships, cargo hauling missions, etc.
- Various types of battles. Match types include Duels (1v1), Handicap Matches (2v1), Power Duels (1v2), and Team Battles (6v6).
- No superior ships or weapons. Every choice in ships, weapons, and outfits will have drawbacks of some sort.
- Instead of of a Trade Center, CTC has a Stock Market, where all goods are stocks, which have fluctuating prices. This is meant as a secondary means of income.
- Timeshares that grow the longer you have them to serve as another secondary income source.
- All weapons use ammo or energy, so one must be careful to not waste shots.
Coyote - The smallest craft size wise, it holds the least space, but is also the hardest to hit. The Coyote is also often the fastest ship the player can fly and encounter, as it is equipped with the unique Prowler Engine, giving it a significant boost to speed, handling, and acceleration without any drawbacks.
Lynx - The middling craft, a bit larger than the Coyote and, as a result, can typically carry more equipment. The Lynx is also the only ship that carries an armor known as Biotanium. This unique outfit grants the Lynx a significant armor bonus as well as armor regeneration, a feature not available to other ships. Hence, if one leaves a hostile Lynx alone for too long, it can fully restore itself.
Wolf - The largest of the ships. Can hold the most weapons, but is the easiest to strike. It's size, however, enables it to carry a Point Defense Laser Turret, allowing it to automatically fire at any fighter near it as well as shoot down incoming missiles. The other fighters are too small to properly mount the weapon, making it a unique selection to the Wolf.
Laser Cannon - A weak basic cannon type weapon, akin to Nova's Light Blaster. Shots from this weapon drain energy. There is a swivel and rear swivel version of this weapon. There is also a point-defense version mounted on the Wolf.
Chaingun - It shoots bullets at a high rate and even has riochet sound effects when it strikes a target, a feature not present with other chainguns, including Nova's Hail and Storm Chainguns. There is also swivel and rear swivel versions of this weapon.
Ion Bolt Cannon - A stronger cannon weapon that uses more energy than the Laser. Swivel and rear swivel versions also exist.
Thunderbolt Generator - A basic beam weapon, it fires a continous lighting beam that drains energy at a fair rate and occasionally goes into a burst reload cycle. It is able to ionize from prolonged contact with a target ship.
Heat Seeking Missile - A basic missile weapon. It is unaffected by asteroids or sensor interference, but is the easiest to jam, and can turn back and hit the shooter if jammed. They're quick, light weight, cheap, and weak. In the Teaser they will loose their lock if the target is not directly ahead, but this is no longer true. This defect was given to Sonar Missiles. Heat Seeking Missiles were also notorious for being overpowered in the hands of the player in 1.0, though this has since been corrected.
Sonar Missile - A powerful missile weapon. Unjammable, unaffected by sensor interference, and does lots of damage. On the downside, it looses its target if its not directly ahead, may be distracted by asteroids, and missiles, while not limited in count by launcher, take mass.
Electron Pulse Discharger - A weapon similar in style to the SAD Modules of EVO and the Seeker Drones of EVC. They travel slowly, but are released simultaneously and travel for a long time. Additionally, they inflict high shield damage and heavy ionization, but do little to armor. Also, they are the only fully homing weapon that uses energy as opposed to ammunition.
Ionization Field Generator - At the expense of no damage and high energy cost, this weapon creates a field around the armed ship that ionizes anything caught in it instantly. This field appeared in the teaser as many green beams firing in random directions around the ship. In the final version, the field is completely invisible, but has the same area of affect. Despite the lack of damage, it can have a great impact on the outcome of a battle.
Flame Exhaust - This weapon shoots flames out the back of a player's ship, hitting enemies who are behind and giving a modest boost of speed to the ship using it. Does quite a bit of damage, but uses a quite a bit of energy and occasionally has to enter a cool down cycle. Plus the short range often leaves the user vulnerable to enemy weaponry. It lends itself well to the roasted fighter manouver.
Burst Laser - A shotgun style weapon thats an improvement over the basic laser. It shoots a larger blast that splits into smaller bolts and covers a fair area. It has a recoil though. It is fairly powerful and multiples shoot at the same time, though it drains a bit of energy.
Flare Cannon - Fires a shot that "bursts", or subs, into a few smaller shots with a short, 360 radius from the burst. Glancing shots from this weapon are quite weak, but a properly aimed series of shots deals a very high amount of damage, sometimes able to kill the target outright. It fires in quick bursts before going into a reload and is somewhat difficult to use.
Trap Cannon - A semi-homing weapon that does nothing when fired for about two seconds. After that period, the shots from the weapon suddenly materialize and will be "shot" towards the target ship and will curve slightly in an attempt to hit it. Due it's nature, it can be used as a long-range weapon or to attack an opponent from multiple directions.
Illegal and Other WeaponsEdit
May contain spoilers
Flame Thrower - Works in the same vein as the Flame Exhaust, except is stronger, shoots forward, and has no cool-down cycle. Additionally, ships can carry more than one.
Burst Ion Bolt Cannon - Works similar to the Burst Laser, but with Ion Bolts instead, and therefore is much stronger.
Defensive Ion Bolt Turret - Similar to the Defensive Laser Turret, but uses Ion Bolts instead.
Goods - Making a cameo from Edwards' Teacup TC, shots from Goods are slow and weak, but fire rapidly and use no energy.
Goods Turret - Turreted version of the Goods.
Pulsar Gun - Originally a medium ship weapon, the Pulsar Gun fires powerful rounds of energy shells that inflict quite a bit of damage. The weapon is only seen in post-storyline events.
Hector Cannon - Originally was going to be used only by the Captain Hector pers, but went on to become an illegal weapon. The Hector Cannon is a powerful chaingun with a high rate of fire, high amounts of damage, and a long range.
Flak - Anti-ship weapon mounted on Colosseum Station. Some pers and defense fleet ships carry it as well. It inflicts large amounts of damage over a small, splash radius and is turreted.
Nuclear Pulse Emitter - Works similar to the Electron Pulse Discharger, except is far stronger and faster. It also explodes with a large radius, making it dangerous to be near the weapon when it detonates for any reason. The NPE is the only true illegal weapon in Colosseum, as in it's not merely a rule breaking weapon, but one that'd be illegal by the game's government to carry. This is because it is a stolen military weapon.
May contain spoilers.
Little is known of the story in CTC due few details being released.. An early intro exists for the Fighter class, which was written in third person past perspective, thus diverging from the traditional EV style of second person present.
The Fighter intro depicts the player character as a restless individual in a galaxy with no war. The character looks for something more exciting and discovered the Colosseum Sector. The character, apperantly skilled at tinkering with fighter craft, created a modified fighter craft he/she is very fond of and gets a ride from a freighter to get to the Colosseum Sector. Upon arrival, inspectors reveal the player's ship does not fit regulations, forcing the character to purchase an old Coyote and leaving him/her trapped in the sector, as he/she has no way to pay for exit from the sector.
Josh commented that the primary objective is to become the champion in your respective class. He also has possible plans to tie in illegal weapons and outfits into the story as well.
End of spoilers.
During the course of Colosseum's development, Josh periodically released screenshots. Early pictures recycled graphics from all games in the triology, but as time passed, graphics were switched to "free to use if credit given" images. During the course of beta testing, the graphics were updated again with completely original designs supplied by various artists. Each release of screenshots reveals more graphics than the previous.
Additionally, during development screenshots sometimes revealed things Josh didn't mention explicitly in an update, often until sometime later. Several weapons have been shown off, but some things that weren't explained until after release. For example, an early alpha shot depicted a ship using the Flame Thrower.
As of 1.1, Colosseum carries a folder of screenshots of various stages of development.
Before the plug was released, it already recieved criticism, particularly for it deviating from the EV series tradition use of the 2nd person limited perspective in favor for a 3rd person limited view point. An example of what an intro may look like under this style was posted early in development, but since has been revised. Critics claim that using this perspective would make Colosseum no longer feel like Escape Velocity and give the player no control over the actions of the character. However, others have countered that it would be unique, bring new flavour to the text portions of the game, and mission briefings worth reading instead of over skimming the text for the objectives.
Also, there were critics of the planned storylines. JoshTigerheart stated that storylines would mostly be like tournaments, having no betrayal, intrigue, etc. Critics claimed this would make CTC have dull and uninteresting stories. However, in a responce to such a critic post, he said, "...but there will be other storylines elements to keep it interesting." and "I just go an idea I could do using the nickname field..."
Ironically, despite the pre-release critics, Colosseum's storyline was one of the main subjects of praise in the game, despite having some typos scattered about. This came a bit to Josh's surprise, who has stated that the story wasn't the TC's main priority and could have been better if it had been. Praise was also given to the gameplay, many players enjoying the fast pace and difficulty, but stating that it got easier as the TC progressed. Some have suggested that the loss of difficulty was the result of adjusting to Colosseum's play style, as opposed to it actually getting easier. Additionally, the graphics, largely created by albuminouslump and Crusader Alpha, but plenty of others as well, has received positive attention.
On April 1st, Josh "released" Colosseum TC as an April Fools joke, managing to fool at least a few people. He went as far as to make seven empty plugs and a readme containing "APRIL FOOLS!" available for download from Save File. The April Fools joke was publicly exposed by Belthazar, not knowing that Josh had said in the readme he wanted to do it himself on the day after. Also, the joke was done by "Josh Tigerheart's Department of Jokes That Oughta Die".
Due to a large amount of time spent on the project and a lack of remaining ethusiasm for it by its sole developer, Colosseum TC was released with roughly 1/3 of the planned content. Specifically, a complete fighter segment is included in the final release with capital ships nowhere to be seen and a single medium ship with a single weapon for aid class popping up in post-storyline segments. The latter two classes may come in later updates, either as expansions to the TC itself or has stand-alone files. For awhile, it was unknown whether these portions would be done by Josh himself or third parties.
Lately, however, it has been unofficially revealed that LNSU of the Nova community has undertaken doing the medium ship portion of Colosseum in comments made by both himself and Josh, though no official announcement has yet been made. Also, JacaByte has taken on the Capital ship portion. Unfortunately, LNSU has decided to focus on programming an EVnext engine, Dawn of Infinity, and discontinued work.