- Game version:
Systems alliance Space Vehicle, Normandy Stealth- Reconnaisance One.
This legend of Sci-Fi gaming comes from Bioware's 2007 title, Mass Effect,
And is likely as familiar to most of you as the room you're sitting in while reading this.
I'm certainly not the first to recreate it in Starmade, and only you can judge how it fares compared to the other uploads, but I can confidently say it does something the others don't;
It contains a ridiculiously excessive amount of docked entities - close to a hundred, in fact- to replicate pretty much all the animated parts you've seen in the game;
-So long as the Mass Effect core is running (big spinny thing in the rear of the lowest level), the wings will tilt as you reach 20% top speed, and pull in the secondary boosters as you go past 80%.
-The thruster nozzles are in fact turrets; Make sure they are on, by clicking "Ship / Entity Structure / Rail Collective / Activate all AI turrets" (although they should be ON by default)
Then select "Rail Turret Axis" on your action bar, (1. page, 4. slot), and enjoy the front two and rear four nozzles follow your movements.
The experience is somewhat marred by the fact that they'll be moving in the opposite direction as they should, and they tend to shake when they hit their limits or attempt to traverse on an axis they do not have.
I recommend to turn off "Draw Logic Connections" in Options/ Adv. Graphics, as the new mini buttons draw lines from the center of the cube they occupy, and are rather unpleasant to look at otherwise.
-Enter the ship on the left side of the neck. The airlock is operated by buttons. the outer hatch will slide out and up, and the inner hatch splits 4 ways, after a thorough decontamination process, of course.
For the best experience turn your gravity on.
Can also be operated from pg 2. of the ship's action bar.
-The escape pods -WHAT ESCAPE PODS? The normandy won't be destroyed! DON'T MAKE ME RELIEVE THAT MOMENT!!!!
..... There are some escape pods. Open any inner hatch, the outer cover panel lifts away as well. Enter one and click the launch command once.
Say goodbye to a dream and watch it crumble to dust.
Or y'know, use them as a lazy man's shuttle pods. They can be reattached.
Can also be launched from the ship's action bar with a 15 second delay. No, it's not enough to get up from engineering.
-The star map lights up as you climb the commander's dais.
-The door to the comm. room opens as you approach it.
-The doors leading to the crew deck are opened by a button, but they close themselves after you're gone.
-Captain's cabin and med bay has automatic doors.
-Elevator can be called and sent up and down. It's "speed" is authenthic.
-Cargo ramp can be opened / closed by a button on the closest pylon. Handle with patience, it's slow as well.
Also has an action bar command.
-Enter the Mako and click "Drop" to ..... drop. Just don't undock via the rail docker, it's a tight fit there.
Will automatically open the ramp for you.
Action bar'd as well.
-Doors to engineering section are automatic as well.
-You can shut down wing animation by stopping the Mass Effect Core.
WARNING! Some parts may get stuck in online play due to server microlag.
Gameplay wise, I've tried to replicate the Normandy's abilities as close to the original as the game would let me.
It's greatest strength turned out to be it's speed, with a TtM ratio well above 2.5, and a mobility chaaaa - NO! I won't call it a chamber! A chamber is an empty space! Not a brick!
.... A mobility ..... module? Module. For better turn rate. It's pretty good.
There's also the most basic jump drive possible for short-range FTL flight, so that checks out as well.
It wouldn't be much of a Stealth-Reconnaisance vessel if it didn't do, well, stealth and recon, but that's where the 2.0 systems started to frown on me.
Originally, the Normandy had the best stealth systems in the known galaxy, and could stay undetectable on any sensor net for several hours, before the heat build-up would kill the crew. It didn't go "Invisible" however.
Now in SM, duration wise you either get a pitiful few seconds or opt for permanence, like I did.
It was bad news however when something crossed their path from the unknkown parts of the galaxy, as the Collectors spotted them with contemptous ease, so I was prepared to compromise on a strength 4 system, alas, there was only enough capacity for a strength 2, which is kinda sad. Jamming also fit, but not lock-on protection. (how can you have one without the other?)
I strongly feel stealth was split to too many pieces.
Recon wise, there was just enough cap. for a simple strength 1 scanner.
The ship sports 2kk shields with 100k regen, which, I was to soon discover, a basic oldschool pirate station can rip apart like candy wrapper. You know, THOSE stations we used to make fun of, and use for target practice.
Weaponry wise, the SR-1 was seen to fire a grand total of a single missile in the entire game, and the SR-2 was seen firing cannons from the base of it's wings at a respectable rate, so that's what I went with;
-1 unit 100% guided missile launcher, 100% EM
-2 units 50% rapid fire cannon, 100% Kinetic. The recoil is so bad it'll have the ship doing sommersaults in a few shots. Good luck hitting anything...
General arse covering:
Size is a bit off. Not as much as you'd think, though. Some fans speculate the Normandy to be 155 meters long, based on what you can see in-game.
Most people know the interior and the exterior doesn't match; Parts were obviously cut for ease of gameplay, and to save time. What fever people will notice, the stages where you get to walk around the exterior of the ship (various docking bays) required to visually scale down the hull as well. (less pointless running, less scenery to render, etc.)
By my guesses, half the decks would be outside of the ship if you went below 250. I kinda had to oversize some interior parts, so I ended up with a ship closer to 300 meters in length.
You'll notice the top level is a lot longer than you might remember from the game.
Matching the cockpit to the actual bow of the vessel required a new, sloped hallway, and access points to the escape pods were decided by their external location as seen in ME:2's intro.