We’ve been told time and again that the Cataclysm source code is lost. The Cata devs claim that this isn’t the case and nobody’s actually talked to them from Gearbox, but it’s understandable that GB wanted to get the product out of the door before working on any ‘might be’ options. I think that’s entirely fair.
We’ve been told that the source code- and by extension, the original art assets/recordings are needed for single player campaign, and that there’s lots of stuff- some story mechanics that wouldn’t fit in easily without that code. Some of that might be accurate, some of that… well I don’t work for Gearbox, so I can’t say.
But let’s put all of that aside for a moment and consider that it should be entirely possible to port the two Cataclysm races to the Remastered/HW2 engine for use in multiplayer long before any, if it ever, an attempt is made to make the Cataclysm story campaign available.
High audio fidelity isn’t really needed for battle chatter/ship announcements, and it’s easy enough to rip the existing audio files for that. The ships should all be functional in HW2, with a couple exceptions that would need some custom code, like infection beams, workers, the docking ships, the mimics, micro ships- okay a fair bit of custom code, I get that.
But I think it should be entirely possible, and more than that, that it’s worth doing.
I get that the multiplayer is in beta, and that it needs lots of fixes as is. We shouldn’t be looking to the future until we can get things nailed down here- and I understand that perfectly. That’s why this is a ‘what if’ rather than a request or petition or whatever.
Get the Cata maps, the races, the music for multiplayer… . I know some people weren’t fans, but I love the Cata sound track. And I think it’d be the best thing ever to have a six way duking it out online with every race represented. Maybe even hire Norsehound or one of the old Relic modders and release Turnaic and Kadesh races, for a full representation eight player matchup.
And then there’s how all the different ships interact. Cata’s ramming frigates are pretty cool and I’d love to see them, the beast’s options, while mostly infected taidan stuff, is eerie and cool, especially with the infection beam and missiles making them a constant threat. Leeches/microships would be pretty interesting since they’re hard to detect and would be useful for lots of stuff…
There’s all these possibilities, and I just want to thank Gearbox for giving us hope again. You’ve remastered and re-released the game, and you’ve said that you’re not done- that it’s a living breathing project that you’re not just going to abandon. So whatever it is, I’m looking forward to what comes next, be it patches, new content, the mod tools- whatever.