'88Flak is, at it's core, is a mod for Freelancer that is designed to challenge even veteran Freelancer players at their own game. The mod's brutal arena-like combat, class-based ship system, and total weapon rebalance, the mod is, in my opinion, one of the hardest mods I have ever played. The mod is incredibly fast paced, violent, and situations can escalate from bad to worse in seconds.
Tell me more about the gameplay
'88Flak's fighter system has been largely reworked to be more class-based. No single ship, not even a capital ship, is better than another; only better at certain jobs and tasks. The Stealth Light Fighter, a very fast , very weak version of the Light fighter equipped with a 90 second cloak, for example, is excellent for getting in, scouting out a particular location, and leaving before a confrontation is caused by it's cloak going offline after 90 seconds. However, the Light Fighter itselfprides it's speed and agility to be the best dogfighting craft available. The Light Fighters in '88Flak are quick and nimble, though they do not posess immense amounts of power capacity. For this, these ships are great as escort ships and superiority fighters. I won't tell much more about the classes, because I'd really love to see some of you all on our server sometime checking them all out for yourself.
You mentioned a weapon rebalance, what's up with that?
'88Flak's combat is extremely brutal. Fighters are extremely fast compared to vanilla Freelancer, and there aren't massive numbers of nanobots and shield batteries at your disposal. Most fighters only get two full shield and two full hull repairs. However, exceptions like the COmbat Freighter and Stealth Bomber exist, getting four repairs of one type, but none of the other. When you combine this cutthroat combat system with the fact that weapons are extremly fast in terms of projectile speeds (in the 4,300 range), and evading other fighters' fire is extremely difficult.
How much does '88Flak add to the universe?
Little to none. It's original creator, FoxUnit01, wanted to keep the game as close to original Freelancer as possible, while still achieving a very aggressive gameplay that was very fluid. SInce almost everything was changed, it was opted to leave the universe mostly alone. However, there are quite a many number of noticeable changes to the universe.
For one, there are no trade lanes. The iconic trade lane rings have been replaced by small defensive weapon buoys. These buoys glow green and have Small-Capital class defense guns and Small Weapon Platform Missiles on them. While they're not very durable, and probably won't save your skin in a PvP fight, they can be helpful against NPC swarms, or just to find your way from point A to point B by following the pretty green lights.
Another noticeable difference is the destructible stations. Nowadays, this isn't the most spectacular feat, but one thing is completely unique to '88Flak: Disableable jumpgates and Jumpholes. Jumpgates, just like the old tradelanes, can be disrupted for quite a length of time. If I am not mistaken, it takes approximately 20 minutes for a jumpgate to turn back online. However, it can be repaired by a repair turret, and it instantly becomes traversable again. If the other side of a jumpgate is destroyed, you can still pass through (Example, From New York to Texas Jumpgate is disabled, you can still go through the Texas to New York Jumpgate), these rules apply to most all Jumpholes as well.
I like capital ships; Got any?
Yes, as a matter of fact, we do. Each house's Gunboats, Cruisers/Destroyers, and Battleships are flyable. The craft are currently divided into Large and Small capitals, each one being represented by a different class. Gunboats and Destroyers/Cruisers are in the same class of small capitals, and remain largely the same in terms of ship stats. However, Gunboats' hardpoints are mostly centered towards the forward arcs on a ship, while cruisers and destroyers favor a more panoramic outlook on firing arcs. Battleships occupy the Large Capital class of ships. Battleships recieve primary cannons, Flak cannons, and dual-barelled and tri-barelled missile turrets. Small capitals get a weaker variant of the Primary turrets, a chaingun-like defense turret set, and a multitude of single, double, and tri barreled missile turrets. These two ships represent opposite ends of the spectrum, with all capitals representing a more anti-fighter focus, while Large Capitals represenpower when it comes to killing other capitals and stations.
And the AI?
'88Flak's AI has been largely improved. NPC ships will now attempt to evade fire, use countermeasures and mines, nanobot and shield battery usage, and other things. In addition, the AI prioritize targets based on their ship. For example, a Stealth Bomber would prioritize a Battleship over a fighter, because it is specially tailored to kill capital ships. However, a light fighter would engage the Stealth Bomber instead, as the Light Fighter is designed to kill other fighters.
In addition, '88Flak has many AI "Bots" which are super powerful NPC ships equipped with many high-tech equipment pieces, and are even more advanced in terms of AI than standard NPC ships.
What other Features you guys have to offer?
- Player-Dockable ships. luxury Liners and Large capitals can house fighter craft within their hull. Liners can hold a single fighter, while battleships can house four. Also, stations are flyable by players, and these can house eight fighters.
- "Battledust" creates ambient clouds of dust in a battle that adds to the cinematic aspect of space combat.
- Rare Equipment system. Remember the Odenames from vanilla freelancer? Well there are no traditional codenames in '88Flak. Every time you get majority damage on a target, you have a minute chance of that NPC dropping a rare weapon or piece of equipment. These items range from sniper systems to weapons, to shield and power capacity boosters, to armor plating. If you are lucky, you may even get a rare power supply which allows you to purchase one of the current five rare ships.
- Flyable Nomads
- Arena system. Alaska has been transformed into an Arena system with 3 different PvP arenas and 3 different NPC arenas. The NPC arenas are full of the AI Bots mentioned earlier. Also, there are a number of Challenge systems, which require un-assisted kill tokens to enter, along with a large sum of credit chips in your cargohold. this severely increases the risk of doing a challenge system. However, should you complete them and get past the 3rd level of AI bots, the Elite AI Bots, you are awarded with a chest full of rare weaponry and equipment for you and your friends, which you'll surely need to complete these challenges.
How active is the server?
The server is active, yet not many players play flak. Many players do not stick around because it doesn't apear to have a lot to offer on the surface, with very few players even achieving a cloakable fighter or doing anything the mod prizes itself for. However, there are regular players who are almost always on (Such as myself), and the people who are a member of ine cor unme tame, and would be glad to assist you in your first steps in the game. to rtsis the reason I am posting this is to get more people informed about 88Flak so that our server numbers can grow and intice more players that are used to playing on large servers to stick around some.to playing on large servers to stick around some.
This isn't your mod, why are you posting about it?
I am not the creator of 88Flak FoxUnit01 was the father of the mod and lends a helping hand to the new team of developers that maintain the mod. I am one such member of the team. In total there are five developers actively working on '88Flak, and updates are often, with our latest Vr 1.27 RC135 being on January 23, 2011.
http://memes.no/88flak/forum is the best place to start. Server info, mod downloads, rules, regulations, troubleshooting and support can all be found here. I encourage all those who read this to give '88Flak a serious consideration for a mod they'd like to become a part of.
Look forward to seeing you on the server.