What should we aim at for Atmospheric missions in our first release?

Option 1 - Stay with the current mission plan, atmospherics in Act 2
Total votes: 8 (89%)
Option 2 - Insert an atmospheric mission into Act 1
Total votes: 1 (11%)
Option 3 - Combine Acts 1 and 2, get the atmospherics into Release 1 (No votes)
Total votes: 9

Atmospheric missions - How important are they in Release 1?

One thing that TI's always been about has been atmospheric combat. We figured out how to do it in retail, and while it's nothing special now, it's still soemthing that I know is expected of us. However, there's an issue.

Atmospheric combat was always planned to be associated with the Aesir, and the Aesir aren't a major part of Act 1. In fact, until quite recently, there was no atmospheric combat whatsoever planned for Act 1. However, as the release date went backwards, and it became apparent that we would have to go episodic, we've considered adding a mission into act 1, just so people wouldn't be disappointed that we hadn't delivered on one of our core promises.

So, now we come to the poll. Basically, we have three options:

1. Stick with the original plan, hold back on atmospheric combat until act 2, and shoot for the 2011 release
2. Insert an atmospheric mission into act 1 - we have the infrastructure to do this in terms of models for stuff on the ground, but to make a decent terrain model will take time which will add pressure to the 2011 release date - how much is unknown.
3. Release Acts 1 and 2 together - Act 2 is quite short, and almost entirely FREDded. This would mean getting atmospheric combat in the first release, and would save generating many new assets, but does have some other additional time factors, namely getting the low poly aesir fleet up to release quality (I'm not talking about HTLing all their ships, but there are some pof errors, standin weapon sprites, that sort of thing).

They're more or less in time order - i.e. 1 is the easiest to get into our 2011 timetable, 3 is probably unlikely to be possible by the end of 2011. But I think of this as a fairly big issue, and I want to see what people think about this before we make a decision (note, I'm not promising that the poll will decide for us, but it will be a big factor).
TI - Coming in 2011 - Promise!
"Everyone has to wear clothes, and if you don't, you get arrested!" - Mr. T
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