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The award-winning Discovery modification was designed as a full-scale expansion pack for Freelancer. It breathes new life into the familiar PC game by adding lots of new features without taking away the atmosphere and balance of the original. Discovery allows players to develop and explore far beyond the reaches of un-modded Freelancer, both in multiplayer and in singleplayer modes. The modification adds 97 new systems, 255 new ships, hundreds of new weapons, equipment and commodities, new factions and NPC encounters, its own storyline, and much more - everything seamlessly integrated into Freelancer universe. View distance limitations, 2 billion player credit limit, and 10 million item price limit are all things of the past for Discovery.
Discovery removes the singleplayer campaign, replacing it with an online player-driven narrative, and a continually changing universe via its regular updates. As such, its focus is primarily on a multiplayer experience, coming with many server-side enhancements by default (typically implemented by FLHook).
Discovery v4.87 is the third version of the mod that was developed from the start by the Discovery Development Team, a dedicated group of 3D and 2D artists, coders, designers, writers, and testers.
This version of the mod was designed primarily to deliver much needed progress to the storyline. Many systems have been changed, some removed and some merged. It was the development team's intent to build on the lore of as many factions in the game as it was possible.
But the storyline is not everything. The dev team has also done all in its power to improve the gameplay flow in many systems, and the storyline was driven in such a way as to provide as many opportunities for roleplay as possible, while also not breaking established lore. To further deliver better gameplay, many balance changes have been made (specifically to fighters) in order to improve the flow of PvP fights, so that they can in the end become more interesting and intense than they were in v4.86. As an example, v4.87 saw the introduction of a major rework of the entire Light Fighter shipline, with all-new exclusive equipment and guns balanced for them.
And of course it wouldn't be a Discovery release if it didn't have many new or improved ship models ready for the player to discover and enjoy themselves in. Many talented modellers have submitted exceptional work which further enhances the quality of the mod, and will allow for a far more immersive experience.
The economy has been revamped once again, with not only many new commodities being added, but the economy specifically designed to support the needs of base builders. Realistic chains of material harvesting, refining, manufacturing and retailing now exist. There are more than enough trade (or smuggling) opportunities for any hauler out there.
To give a fuller sense of immersion into the dangerous Sirius sector, NPCs throughout the entirety of the mod have been updated to feature better weaponry, but also fewer numbers. No longer will NPCs appear to die in droves, instead small patrols of NPCs will be something to be aware of. Capital worlds will also be properly protected by specially outfitted defenders, to enforce safety in the core worlds.
Furthermore, v4.87 has had yet more infocard updates, thousands of new rumors, and other little bits of information for players to enjoy discovering. It also included many FLHook plugins, such as Player Bases, Jump Drives and Cloaking Devices, all designed to create a much more dynamic universe for the player to experience.
- At least 160 new pilotable ships of different classes, including brand new ships, custom ships based on original game models, and ships previously available only for NPCs: Starblazer, CSV, Juni's Defender, advanced versions of House fighters, transports, trains, liners, gunboats, cruisers, destroyers, and battleships.
- Each new ship carefully customized - weapons, shields and equipment balanced, cameras placed where they should be.
- A custom installer, meaning that Freelancer Mod Manager is no longer required
- Over 100 new systems, including a brand new house, Gallia
- Numerous new bases both in new and original systems.
- Player credit limit increased to 2 billion; maximum item price increased to 1 billion.
- New assignable hotkeys for up/down strafe and selecting sub-targets.
- Evolving storyline about the war between Bretonia, Liberty and Gallia, the conflict between Liberty and Rheinland, and the pirate war between Corsairs and Outcasts.
- View range increased - you'll see stations, ships, trade lanes from a longer distance.
- Numerous new factions, including 35 Gallic factions, a Freelancer faction, and more.
- Many dozens of balanced new guns and turrets for fighters and capital ships.
- New equipment, including armor upgrades, scanners, thrusters. Plus Cloaking Devices and Jump Drives.
- Player bases, which - as the name suggests - enable players to set up their own bases to produce various kinds of equipment, or to serve as defense platforms or trade outposts
- New commodities and trade routes; all ships drop pilots when destroyed.
- Battleship encounters in most populated systems, Nomad battleship encounters in the Unknown systems.
- PVE events throughout the Sirius sector.
- Battleship killing missions available, all mission rewards increased.
- NPC AI enhanced, NPCs use shield batteries and nanobots.
- Faction IDs available for role-playing purposes. ID item also serves as a tractor beam.
- Serverside options when activating the mod: server administrators can set starting money and reputation, choose character uniform.
- Correct and complete infocards for all new ships, items, and commodities.
- Everything is ready to start your own server: IONCROSS data files included.
- And last, but not least - retained original Freelancer atmosphere and play-style.