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In their lust, one corporation made a startling discovery while drilling in what was once a country called Iraq, or in ancient times Mesopotamia. A strange new kind of microbial plant with a very rapid mitosis was unearthed. Alone, it emitted a very low electromagnetic field, but as it multiplied the field increased exponentially. Excited by the prospects of a potential new energy source, the corporation invested into the plant’s study and proliferation.
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While examining the plant’s cellular structure, a scientist noted an oddly dense cluster of cells that seemed to serve no function, but consumed a considerable amount of the plant’s metabolism to maintain. The nucleus of the cells was grossly enlarged, dominating nearly all space inside the cells. DNA research revealed the cells to contain a massive, coiled strand of DNA, thousands of times longer than any terrestrial organism, yet the DNA was utterly dormant.
Curious, the scientists expanded the size of the testing environment and exposed the plants to direct sunlight. After a certain critical mass was reached, the electromagnetic field each microbial plant emitted stabilized, and the microbes instantly coalesced together. The mass rose from the floor of the test chamber, a writhing cloud of microbes. It hovered for a few minutes, and then darted around the perimeter of its limited surroundings.
Shocked, yet amazed and excited, the scientists present watched with anticipation. The cloud seemed to exhibit some form of intelligence, methodically probing the walls, ceiling, and floor. Once finished, it moved to the center of the room, where the sunlight was strongest. The electromagnetic field disappeared from the monitors, and the cloud fell to the ground as a fine mist.
Days later, the spot where the cloud had dispersed and come to rest grew outward and thickened. It continued to spread out to the extremities of the sunlight as a sort of moss. A mound formed in the center, growing taller with every passing day.
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The maturing central mass eventually took shape as what could only be described as a bizarre, unearthly tree. Strange crystals sprouted from the moss, glittering in the light. Harvested samples perplexed the scientists, who were unable to ascertain their function, though the molecular structure was found to be extremely unusual.
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Research abruptly ceased when a rival corporation assaulted the facility. Explosions shattered the containment unit and destroyed much of collected data and material. The facility was deemed unsalvageable, and the specimens presumed lost.
Weeks later, Observer agents learned of what the corporation had been researching, much to their chagrin. The humans had no idea what they nursed back to health, but the Observers were well-acquainted with what had been resurrected: the Metaphyte.
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This is the stage of STF: a covert war between corporations, the influence of the Observers, and the spread of the Metaphyte.
Metaphyte: Units are fast and adaptable, but not particularly strong. They use large armies of various warbreeds, which permit an adjustable, mobile strategy. Bases are simple and small, but the economy is most vulnerable. The tech tree is unit-centric and restricted by its secondary resource. Gameplay focus is on unit dynamics, breed management, and aggression. Metaphyte are ideal for players who like to concentrate on numerous armies and enjoy the assertive push of macro.
Observers: Units are invisible and manipulative, but not directly offensive. They only use a few unit types, but each kind has many abilities emphasizing strategic and tactical control. Bases are complex and cloaked, but limited in number and size. Gameplay focus is on teamplay, ability usage, base management, stealth and defense. Observers are ideal for players who like to concentrate on base building and enjoy the sense of control that devious stealth and abilities bring.
Humans require land as an abstract resource. This is represented by three key buildings, the Territory Claim, Sweatshop, and Oil Pump, which cannot be built near each other. Thus, Humans must expand their territory outward to construct more.
Shops earn cash, the Human's primary resource. Engineers loaded inside will generate even more cash. Units bunkered within a shop will trade in their killcount for resources.
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Pumps earn Influence, the Human's secondary resource. Engineers loaded inside will generate even more Influence. Units bunkered within a pump will slowly heal and regenerate more energy.
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As a Human, you are employed by a corporation to exploit resources in lawless third-world countries, protecting their investment with mercenaries while sabotaging any competition. Oil is a crucial commodity, and the more your operation ships out, the more favorable your employer will regard you.
When demand on a type of mercenary increases, their Influence requirement also rises. They won't work for just anyone. Since all companies hire from the same pool of mercenaries, the cost rises for all Human players.
Every three kills, Human units will gain an adrenaline rush, improving their reaction time and movement speed. The effect lasts longer with higher killcounts. The choice is yours as to whether you wish to keep the killcount of your units for longer adrenaline rushes, or to trade them in at a Sweatshop for resources.
Displays in the top right corner of the screen how much cash and influence you will receive next cycle, with taxes factored in. You can mouse-over the ticker to see additional information about your economy, such as how many Engineers you have and how many are out in the open, how many Sweatshops you have and how many Engineers are loaded inside them, how many Oil Pumps you have and how many Engineers are loaded inside them, what your current taxes are, and how many Hubs you possess.
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Displays in the lower right corner (above the HUD) when an update cycle passes on the Influence cost of mercenaries. The simplified version can be expanded by mousing-over it, detailing each type of mercenary and their new cost, color-coded to indicate whether the price rose, fell, or stayed the same. Units you do not have access to are not displayed.
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The more cash you have stockpiled, the more your employer skims from your income rate. It is ideal, then, to always keep your resources spent to ensure maximum cashflow.
Idle Worker Selection
Displayed in the lower left corner (above the HUD) is a count of how many of your Engineers are currently idle. Mouse-over this display for help on how to select them. Pressing the 0 key will select and cycle through each worker. Pressing twice in rapid succession will center your view on the selected Engineer.
[imgwh 640x480]http://stf.campaigncreations.org/Images ... shot02.jpg[/imgwh]
(Released March 6th, 2009)
Turns out it was how the mineral fields were made invisible. They didn't agree with the fog of war after being explored.
This is a quick fix intented for multiplayer only. I simply ordered all mineral fields to die on start, killing the bug but also disabling the Zerg AI. If you wish to play singleplayer, the original release is still your best bet. For online play, only use 0059b. Just be sure everyone else playing doesn't mistakenly load the original! That'll definately cause an immediate desync for them. =oP
Next release will include a long-term solution for mineral fields, as well as a rework of the Territory Claim mechanic.
Thank you for your patience!
Download STF Beta 0059
(Released March 1st, 2009)
Our first public release of the new STF! Only features the Humans at present. Remember, as a Beta, imbalance and bugs are to be expected. You can help our development process by playing as many matches against friends online as you can and giving us as much feedback as possible! Thank you, and we hope you enjoy!
If you're interested in the other two races, don't worry, they will be developed and released in due time. Each race will sport drastically different economies, tech trees, units, and gameplay. We cannot wait to show them to you!
This project is brought to you by...
The STF Team
Hercanic (Project Lead)
Poiuy_Qwert (Lead Programmer)
Calvin (Lead Artist)