Intrepid's role at the end of WC4

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
At the end of the game, we see Intrepid becoming a training carrier. In the final scene, Blair's back with Confederation patches on his flight suit, which Maniac and the rookies also have. But it also appears that *Panther* is wearing Confed patches as well on her flight suit. Was the UBW Navy re-absorbed into Confed or was this a special case with the Intrepid? There seems to be some precedent for crossing back over, as both Hawk and VADM Wilson return to Confed (and Wilson reverts back to a Navy Captain to command Midway).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I don't think the entire militia was absorbed... Sosa, for instance, remains as Blair's Border Worlds liason when he takes over the Confederation fleet at the end of the novel. I am guessing the Confederation did, however, have a pretty strong say in what hardware they were and weren't allowed to keep... and you may recall that there's a moment in the novel where Paladin blows up upon hearing that the Border Worlds are operating their own carrier, saying that alone guarantees there will be war. So in whatever political give and take that happened after the game it seems the Intrepid returned to the Confederation.
 

Dragon1

Rear Admiral
In addition, Confed seems to like to use destroyers as fighter training ships anyways. Blair (and/or LaFong) first experienced combat while flying as cadets off the destroyer TCS Formidable. Perhaps Confed reacquired the Intrepid after the Border Worlds crisis and simply decided to keep it as a training ship rather than scrap it, or it replaced one of the training destroyer-carriers.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
IIRC the intrepid's bridge was destroyed and not replaced, and the ship itself had more then some battlescars.

With ships like the Victory being turned into a museum and likely most of it's class decommissioned(I don't know if there is any information on the resources available and how many carriers they "mothballed" after the Kilrath war was over) I don't see why they would keep using the scarred battledamaged Intrepid and not assign another more recent mothballed carrier for training purposes?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Per the novel, she underwent repairs just after Wing Commander IV for Blair's flag-showing tour of the Border Worlds. So there's some investment there. I could also see using Intrepid as a training carrier being something of a political gesture in and of itself, the ship that kept the peace is now training the new generation of pilots.

Both False Colors and Action Stations mention the Confederation using old ships for carrier training, so it's not too disconnected from other things we've seen. It's also not totally clear what's going on with the Intrepid: is it just training new pilots on carrier operations or is it some kind of Top Gun style school run by Blair? Or something in between!
 

Crimsonstar

Spaceman
I was rather disappointed that the game didn't show the novel's ending. I read the novel first and was really confused about a lot of things when I first played the game. I stayed with Confed longer as Blair did in the novel at first and regretted it. It wasn't until years later that I found out that the book was based on an early draft of the script. Though I never was a fan of Sosa being a possible romantic interest. Blair does put on flag rank in the other ending and in Prophecy, so guess it wasn't a total loss. Guess Maniac did a lousy job on the Kiev and got demoted.
 

Dragon1

Rear Admiral
When I was 15, Wing Commander IV was the best game I had ever played. The FMV was, and still is, the best of any game from that era. The space combat is exhilarating even today. Dogfights are fast paced and dangerous, unlike the plodding battles and clunky mechanics of other space sims then and now.

The game still ranks way up there, but it's not even close compared to the other WC games. Wing Commander IV did a really crummy job conveying to the player any motivating reasons to defect. On my original playthrough, I didn't even realize the *rescue* of the bio-convergence scientist was a kidnap job until Blair said so in the final debate with Tolwyn! I found out all the nasty SRA/Project stuff long after I had already defected, and most of that only in the final missions. Before defecting, all I really had to go on was that Seether was some kind of psychopath in Confed service, that Paulsen fired my war buddy Eisen from his command because he had been snooping around sensitive fleet records, and that Confed began shooting down ships that flew the opposing flag in its territory. In fact, the Border Worlds actually were the provocateurs, declaring independence and invading Confed airspace with cruisers. I didn't even understand why I was defecting. And then on top of it, we are forced to defect or lose the game, torpedo our own carrier, and fly missions in support of the KILRATHI! I'm sorry but I'll take Hawk's side on this one. If my home world had been proton bombed, I'm not sure I would care to help Melek find a new place to call home either. When we actually take on Confed again, we do so by participating in a muddled proxy war, stealing a carrier undergoing refit, raiding fighter production facilities, and attacking a lightly protected communications base. Who knows how many honored veterans of the Kilrathi War we actually killed in our two week stint as pirates? At least we meet Pliers, Panther, and Hawk, which makes our time on the Intrepid at least somewhat tolerable. But then Vagabond dies! Catscratch dies . . . I think. And Maniac is given nothing to do for the rest of the game.

That being said, I still love Wing Commander IV. I just see it through different eyes now.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
It wasn't until years later that I found out that the book was based on an early draft of the script.

This isn't strictly true, Forstchen and Ohlander had the same draft script that was used for the film shoot. But that's ALL they had, they didn't have a game design document or anything visual... so they weren't imagining what we are when we plug in what the Intrepid ended up looking like or who they cast as Hawk and so on.
 

EmuMusicFan

2nd Lieutenant
Before defecting, all I really had to go on was that Seether was some kind of psychopath in Confed service, that Paulsen fired my war buddy Eisen from his command because he had been snooping around sensitive fleet records, and that Confed began shooting down ships that flew the opposing flag in its territory.

I think the presence of this psychopath was just a microcosm of the overall bizarre atmosphere of the Confederation at the time. Maybe all these veterans would slowly feel the change of the atmosphere.

Then Paulsen ordered Blair to shoot down Eisen - A strange new superior suddenly came in a weird atmosphere ordered our hero to shoot down his old hero superior? Blair chose to believe what he trusted and believed.

And then on top of it, we are forced to defect or lose the game, torpedo our own carrier, and fly missions in support of the KILRATHI! I'm sorry but I'll take Hawk's side on this one. If my home world had been proton bombed, I'm not sure I would care to help Melek find a new place to call home either.

Blair should rescue Melek's convoy, both in the public interest and in his personal relations.

Under the Geneva Accords, Melek's convoy should be rescued at this time, "we're obligated to help all ships in need. " And politically speaking, it is in the interest of humanity to unleash goodwill on the Kilrathi who are willing to cooperate.

Let's not forget that the critical reason Blair was a living hero and not a martyr after the war was because Melek let him go at the time. We can certainly argue that Melek had to do that at the time in order to surrender, but that in itself shows that Melek is not a crazy warmonger. This episode in WC3 novel of Melek's surrender is great. He first showed his differentce from the emperor's family, then step by step he disarmed Blair's confrontational mindset, made Blair accept his analysis of the situation, and finally announced their surrender.

Who knows how many honored veterans of the Kilrathi War we actually killed in our two week stint as pirates?

It is the same for UBW. This might be the point of Blair's conversation with Panther.

But then Vagabond dies!

I'm also not happy with the plot design of Vagabond's certain death.

Catscratch dies . . .

He survived. By 2701 he is Major General Troy Carter, TCSF (Ret.)
 
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Sylvester

Vice Admiral
This isn't strictly true, Forstchen and Ohlander had the same draft script that was used for the film shoot. But that's ALL they had, they didn't have a game design document or anything visual... so they weren't imagining what we are when we plug in what the Intrepid ended up looking like or who they cast as Hawk and so on.
Indeed - hence Ohlander's description of the Vesuvius. I think he writes it as two cigar-shaped launch bays attached to a central body and well blended, which in my mind's eye I pictured as something like a Wing Commander take on a Battlestar, vice the (quite large) but relatively conventional design that the Vesuvius was in the game.

Also, from his descriptions, I take it Ohlander imagined Lexington as a Confederation-class dreadnought and not as something more like the upscaled Victory that it is in-game?
 
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Crimsonstar

Spaceman
Indeed - hence Ohlander's description of the Vesuvius. I think he writes it as two cigar-shaped launch bays attached to a central body and well blended, which in my mind's eye I pictured as something like a Wing Commander take on a Battlestar, vice the (quite large) but relatively conventional design that the Vesuvius was in the game.

Also, from his descriptions, I take it Ohlander imagined Lexington as a Confederation-class dreadnought and not as something more like the upscaled Victory that it is in-game?
Blair did mention his quarters looked exactly like Angel's in the novel. It was also stated that she was born in the Border Worlds which is rather peculiar as her file states she was born in Belgium on Earth. I found it rather confusing about the exterior of the Concordia-class looking almost exactly like the Yorktown-class. The only major difference was that the interior was a lot more cleaner and that everyone wore more formal uniforms. Not sure when the Lexington-class carrier came to light even though Saga ain't canon. Love to think it is and I love switching back and forth with WC3 and Darkest Dawn.

Back on topic, I would imagine the Intrepid's bridge got repaired in the intervening time and that Blair's "VIP Berth" was a lot more comfortable than what he had to sleep in during the Black Lance affair.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Also, from his descriptions, I take it Ohlander imagined Lexington as a Confederation-class dreadnought and not as something more like the upscaled Victory that it is in-game?

This is an interesting circle because it's a case of the book getting the screenwriters' intent exactly and then the realities of game development resulting in something that didn't match. The Lexington is introduced as "a carrier of the Concordia-class" in the scene direction and while we super nerds know it's actually 'Confederation class' the intent was that instead of the Victory we'd be seeing one of the Confederation's main carriers instead, the same type as the Concordia from the WC3 intro.

It was also stated that she was born in the Border Worlds which is rather peculiar as her file states she was born in Belgium on Earth.

The context for that one is pretty important, since it's not reality but a nightmare Blair is having about killing her :D (In reality Blair is from the border worlds and the book knows that).

Not sure when the Lexington-class carrier came to light even though Saga ain't canon.

That's the carrier from Armada which Saga for some reason decided was every carrier in the universe. It's not the same Lexington as the one from Fleet Action and WC4, which was a fleet carrier that was destroyed and then rebuilt at the very end of the war.
 

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
This is an interesting circle because it's a case of the book getting the screenwriters' intent exactly and then the realities of game development resulting in something that didn't match. The Lexington is introduced as "a carrier of the Concordia-class" in the scene direction and while we super nerds know it's actually 'Confederation class' the intent was that instead of the Victory we'd be seeing one of the Confederation's main carriers instead, the same type as the Concordia from the WC3 intro.
Was it a matter of rushed development that they didn't want to necessarily build sets that matched more to the WC2 interiors or was it a matter of not being able to do a reasonable 3d model for the Concordia?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
[QUOTE}
Was it a matter of rushed development that they didn't want to necessarily build sets that matched more to the WC2 interiors or was it a matter of not being able to do a reasonable 3d model for the Concordia?
[/QUOTE]

I don't think anyone would've cared too much about matching Wing Commander II.... and in fact the film shoot didn't require the design of the ship be locked down, the sets don't match the Concordia or the Victory.

It's a case of boring old video game producing being done as intended. The team starts with a list of all the assets that are needed and puts together estimates for how much time (man hours and then back then render hours) everything would take. Doing a new hero quality carrier model for the Lexington (which was needed for a bunch of shots) just wasn't as big a priority as the fighters, Vesuvius, environments, etc. And it's not a case of needing everything to show up at once at the end, you have to schedule it out so everything is delivered in order. Origin's limited SGI machines were slammed 24/7 on WCIV, they had to start pumping out finished shots months before the game went gold... also why the somewhat obvious hull number error on the Vesuvius and St. Helens couldn't be fixed!
 

Dragon1

Rear Admiral
LOAF, does the rush and drain on resources explain (or help explain) why some of the capship textures appear to be unfinished or broken? There's one side of the Lex that always seems to bug out when I fly towards the ship at a certain angle. Some of the turrets also appear to pop in and out of existence depending on the angle or distance from the model. Although stuff like this seems quite common for the era, WC4 appears particularly plagued by the problem. Also, large explosions don't always display properly.
 

Pedro

Admiral
The game still ranks way up there, but it's not even close compared to the other WC games. Wing Commander IV did a really crummy job conveying to the player any motivating reasons to defect.

Initially true (the book does a much better job of building up Eisen's defection), but I guess they wanted half of the players to stick with confed for a bit. Still if you had any doubts if you selected the confed track that defection was the right option that's all on you :)
 

EmuMusicFan

2nd Lieutenant
Initially true (the book does a much better job of building up Eisen's defection), but I guess they wanted half of the players to stick with confed for a bit. Still if you had any doubts if you selected the confed track that defection was the right option that's all on you :)
Off-topic, I always felt it was not reasonable to let WC 4 finish filmingand production in such a short period of time.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
LOAF, does the rush and drain on resources explain (or help explain) why some of the capship textures appear to be unfinished or broken? There's one side of the Lex that always seems to bug out when I fly towards the ship at a certain angle. Some of the turrets also appear to pop in and out of existence depending on the angle or distance from the model. Although stuff like this seems quite common for the era, WC4 appears particularly plagued by the problem. Also, large explosions don't always display properly.

Yes and no! There's a more specific issue here which is that Wing Commander IV was intended to include a major overhaul of the Strike Commander game engine which would allow for higher resolution textures. The art team set out focusing on much more detailed textures for the ships while the programmers worked on the overhaul and it just didn't come together. In the end they weren't able to make the overhaul work in time and the artists were forced to significantly reduce the quality of the work they'd done... resulting in muddy looking ships where things like individual rivets became fuzzy blobs.
 

Star Rider

Rear Admiral
This is an interesting circle because it's a case of the book getting the screenwriters' intent exactly and then the realities of game development resulting in something that didn't match. The Lexington is introduced as "a carrier of the Concordia-class" in the scene direction and while we super nerds know it's actually 'Confederation class' the intent was that instead of the Victory we'd be seeing one of the Confederation's main carriers instead, the same type as the Concordia from the WC3 intro.
That would explain Maverick being familiar with the layout having served on Concordia.
That's the carrier from Armada which Saga for some reason decided was every carrier in the universe. It's not the same Lexington as the one from Fleet Action and WC4, which was a fleet carrier that was destroyed and then rebuilt at the very end of the war.
The Armada version of the "Lexington Class" only had a length of 725 meters a mass of 4 Octomills or 3.25 Million KG in Terran which converts to around 3250 Metric tons according Googles conversion calculator. Weapons wise she was equipped with 10 flak guns.

Based off of some notes of that Dragon1 posted on the CIC forums years ago during the days of Wing Commander Against all Odds... The Saga version of the Lexington Class had a length of 925 Meters with a mass of 90,000 tons, and was equipped with 12 Dual Laser Turrets and 3 Triple Cell Missile Launchers equipped with Pilum Friend or Foe Missiles.

90,000 tons is heavier then the Bengal Class which held the record for war time carriers at 80,000 tons

The Confederation Class itself weighs in at around 73,000 tons

The Vesuvius Class being the heaviest at 250,000 tons
 

Dragon1

Rear Admiral
Based off of some notes of that Dragon1 posted on the CIC forums years ago during the days of Wing Commander Against all Odds... The Saga version of the Lexington Class had a length of 925 Meters with a mass of 90,000 tons, and was equipped with 12 Dual Laser Turrets and 3 Triple Cell Missile Launchers equipped with Pilum Friend or Foe Missiles.

Ughhh . . . yeah that was me some years ago. If we're really looking for non-canonical carriers, I kind of like the 850 meter Polaris-class Carrier that shows up in the Prophecy development material. The specs for that ship just feel right for the immediate post-WC2/3 era, especially with the ship's focus on ion weaponry, a type featured on the Midway-class, and its 250-ship fighter wing. It's a great mid-point between an older Concordia-class and a new Vesuvius-class. In my own head canon, I see these ships as being state of the art in 2668-9, with a few completing construction after the war. Then, by 2671, whatever were left on the slips were canceled and broken up as scrap due to the post-war funding situation. During their late-war heyday, I could easily see a Polaris give a Bhantkara a run for its money!

There's also the 1200 meter heavy carrier that show in one of the early drafts of Victory Streak, but I'm glad that didn't make it to print. This ship is something like 35,000 tonnes, which seems far too light for a ship of its size when measured up against every other carrier except the Armada Lexington.

I kind of envision a post-war navy looking something like this in 2680: 1 Midway-class CVX with 9 more under construction, 4-5 Vesuvius-class CVs, 10 other heavy CVs (Concordias, Lexingtons, Polaris?), 20 Light CVs (Eagle-class), 200 or so cruisers with fighter wings, and 1000 destroyers with fighter squadrons. But again, that's just in my head.
 
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