There will be an expansion pack for GSB, and it’s still a little way off, but I did some work on it today so it’s fresh in my mind. Before I release it, there will be another mainstream GSB patch, mainly to improve the modding support to tidy things up and make mods more manageable. After the pack, who knows what’s next?
Anyway… current plans for the pack are to introduce a new race to the game. It will have the same variety of ships as the other races. The ships will also have a few race-specific modules, and some quite drastic ship bonuses. It was a relief to work out that ship bonuses can be negative, meaning this new batch of ships will have weak shields, weak armor, and very strong hulls. My plan is that these ships can take a sustained battering and rely on hull strength and repair systems. The new weapons will be kinetic bullet-firing stuff, like gauss guns / autocannons. I’ve been sorting out the sounds and visuals for them today. There will also be two new scenarios featuring the new race, and it will likely come pre-unlocked so if you buy it you can play with that race immediately.
The existence of a paid expansion pack means that some people will be uploading challenges other people can’t play. This is already handled, because there is a system for challenges to mark what ‘packages’ are installed, and thus the UI could flag challenges that you can’t play. I need to finalise the UI for that though…
Whenever a developer releases an expansion pack, there are always debates from a small subset of players that expect the content for free, or oppose the idea of expansion packs. Personally, I’m a huge supporter of them. I wish Company of Heroes had many more! The way I see it, expansion packs are about giving people options. Some people will snap up extra GSB content immediately. Many players will not. The main thing is you have the choice. Why release a game at a high price that puts some people off when you can release the core game at a lower price and let people choose if they want to have extra content?
I haven’t picked a price for the pack yet, I keep changing my mind on that. I’m only looking to recoup the cost of making it, so it’s just a matter of how many people I think will buy it, balanced against the art and sound costs and the time working on it.