AI War - 1.005 Release
-The game now supports maps with 40, 50, 60, or 70 planets in them.
-It is now possible to put constructors (space docks and advanced factories) into attack-move mode or free-roaming defender mode when setting their gather point.
-Ships that are produced from a constructor in attack-move or free roaming defender mode will now emerge in the same mode.
-Explanation of the AI Progress in Basic Tutorial 3 has been updated to note that AI Progress DOES affect AI Tech levels as well as the number of ships they build.
-The zoom is now smoother, and in general works a bit better. The zoom also now has a more constant speed, rather than accelerating as it gets further zoomed out.
-Holding the Shift key is now zooms in/out at double speed.
-There is now an "Allow Very Far Zoom" option in the settings window that allows players to zoom out much further than before.
-It is now easier to place ExoShields when in far zoom.
-There are now distinctly different blips on the minimap for metal and crystal deposits/harveters.
-The system tray icon has not been needed for a while, and has now been removed.
-The new "very far zoom" should no longer have issues on widescreen monitors.
-The zoom 2 button (E key) now scales outward appropriately when "very far zoom" is enabled.
-The speed of zooming, especially on very far zoom, has been much improved so that it is quicker to use.
-There is now a "Last Scouted" display option for the galaxy map. Hitting S will automatically switch to it.
-The "Last Scouted" text in the intel summary has been improved. The colors are a bit more helpful (green/orange gradation before flashing red), and it now shows hours/minutes/seconds timespan format instead of just showing raw seconds.
-When a ship takes damage, its border now flashes for two seconds in far zoom.
-A new "Minimap Display Mode" button has been added to the left of the minimap, complete with F5-F7 hotkeys that can be held to temporarily switch between the three non-normal modes.
-Certain ships (special forces command posts, astro train stations, ion cannons, force fields, fortresses, warp gates, and all of the specialized/capturable ships like advanced factories and research stations) now appear as icons in the intel summary on the galaxy map.
-When the game is minimized, it no longer plays music unless the game is in progress/paused. This prevents the game from continuing to play music when it is sending players to the videos screen.
-Holding Ctrl while left-clicking the button for either metal or crystal harveters now builds all harvesters of that type at the current planet. That makes it two clicks to build (or rebuild) all of your metal/crystal harvesters at any planet, as opposed to the longer manual process that it previously was.
-Ships now take into consideration the shots that are incoming against a target when they fire at it, so that they stop firing at a target that is already on its way to death (this prevents the issue of overkill that could previously occur, especially with cruisers.
-AI ships at guard posts will now retreat when they have been drawn out, but can't find a target.
-Cruisers now have a 50% penalty against themselves, which means that cruisers quickly killing off all the opposing cruisers in a battle will be less of a common occurrence.
-In recent releases, neither vampires nor cutlasses have been dealing any damage to enemies, making them utterly worthless. This was a bug introduced late in beta, apparently, and it wasn't caught until a player noticed it this week. Fixed.
-The dark gray is no longer a default color for AI players, since it is harder to see.
-A time-left-to-build count is now shown on the current item being built in every queue, in addition to the little progress bar. This is particularly useful with Starship Constructors and Missile Silos.
-When the energy balance for the local player was low or negative, the message was overlapping the knowelege income rate text. Fixed.
-Attack ranges are now drawn as un-filled circles unless your mouse cursor is over the ship. This makes it much easier to see the ranges in effect when there are large numbers of selected ships.
-Holding Z+X now shows all the enemy ranges in addition to the local player's ranges.
-Sniper ranges are never shown any more since they cause slowdown on older graphics cards and they always just hit everything, anyway.
-Metal and Crystal overflows now automatically go to the other players on a team, rather than just having them be wasted.
-There is now an option in the game settings that allows the music to keep playing while the game is paused.
-Flares now have a border on the minimap, and so are much easier to see when in the middle of a bunch of other like-colored minimap blips.
-The auto-targeting logic for the ships has been changed so that they will now concentrate fire appropriately, still without causing overkills.
-The Resources display mode of the Galaxy Map now includes a single count in dark red on the scouted planets not controlled by human players. This makes it easy to see where there are lots of resources amonst scouted planets, without reducing the ease of finding where there are unused harvester spots on the planets you do control.
-In the last prerelease version, the Last Scouted view of the Galaxy Map was not working correctly in the tutorials. Fixed.
-Free-Roaming Defender Mode now has ships return to the location you clicked when putting them into that mode after all the enemy ships on the planet are gone. This makes it work more like attack-move mode, and makes staging defenses on a planet even easier to oversee.
-Keyboard handling has been recoded to now use windows messages instead of DiretInput. This should allow for alternate keybindings such as software dvorak keyboard solutions to now function.
-Ship autotargeting now gives preference to targets that are closer and that can attack the ship, and targets that can shoot back over those that can't, all else being equal.
-Ship types that were on a planet, but no longer are, now show up as white in the planetary summary for 60 seconds (you can hover over them to find the last time they were seen on the current planet). This is useful for knowing what ships popped in and then out of a planet if they were destroyed very quickly, and it is also useful for keeping the planetary summary items from bouncing around too much when there is a lot of traffic in and out.
-Previously, hover tips did not function when the game was paused. Fixed.
-On larger screen resolutions, the planetary summary now gets taller.
-In past versions, non-resource ships were sometimes incorrectly being shown as resource-type blips on the minimap. Fixed.
-Pressing the hotkeys to switch between Galaxy Display Modes was not updating the "Current Mode" text in the hovertip for the Galaxy Display button. Fixed.
-The Score screen now expands to make use of widescreen monitors.
-Counter-Negative-Energy Turrets have been added as a new turret at command stations. These protect against the shots from Astro Trains and Munitions boosters (the former of which may be absolutely vital in some games on higher difficulties if you want to have self-sustaining defenses at highly traveled wormholes).
-Engineers now use 400 knowledge instead of 50.
-Mobile Repair stations are a new unlockable ship type under the DEF tab of your command stations. These heal any ships that come within their range simultaneously. Later releases will likely see extensions to this base ability.
-Ships will now avoid firing at targets under force fields unless there are no better targets outside force fields (except for ships like infiltrators, which can fire through force fields anyway, and so disregard this).
-The way that cutlasses and vampires react to being shot while pursuing another target should now be a bit better (they should no longer have a chance of just stopping dead).
-Science Labs have been moved to the right in the ECON menu of command stations.
-Science Lab II has been added to the ECON menu of command stations. These gather knowledge half as fast as a regular science lab, and cost 8x as much, but they are heavily armored for taking into high-level enemy planets.
-In recent prereleases, ships were sometimes closing their distance too far when attacking an enemy ship. Fixed.
-The keyboard shortcuts for three of the galaxy map display buttons have been remapped. We will endeavor never to change existing keyboard shortcuts, but in this case we felt it was worth it so that some of the new display keyboard shortcuts (see below) would be consistent with similar shortcuts in the main view.
-There are now galaxy display modes for showing the individual counts of crystal and metal on planets, as opposed to just showing all the resources combined. A small letter (M, C, or R) now identifies which of these modes is currently in use.
-There are now galaxy display modes for locating scouts, starships, starship constructors, and all constructors. All of these show totals from your entire team.
-There is now a galaxy display mode for showing incoming wave counts.
-There is now a galaxy display mode for showing how many hostile wormholes each planet has (enemy planets with a warp gate). This is invaluable for planning and managing your defenses.
-The game settings now support setting specific window width/heights (instead of always fullscreen), and it now supports having the cursor not snap to the window or having the toolbar be shown on the window.
-A message is now shown at the top of the screen when the game does not have input focus (so that players can see why their mouse wheel and keyboard inputs are not being registered).
-If the main game form does not have input focus for whatever reason, it will refocus itself the next time a player clicks it. This should prevent most issues with Alt-tabbing in and out with the new windows-messages-based keyboard input, and it should also prevent sub-fields (textboxes, mostly) in the application from inadvertently deciding to steal input focus.
-The message in the lobby about how to select a starting position also explains that this is how to select a ship type, and it also flashes so that new players will see to do this.
-In recent prereleases, the backspace key was not functioning in textboxes (but the delete key was). Fixed.
-The game no longer scales incorrectly when in windowed mode (that was causing slight graphics degradation, as well as slightly-off mouse click detection).
-The game now includes an "are you sure?" popup when being killed by Alt-F4 or clicking the window X in windowed mode. This prevents players from accidentally closing their game and losing their progress through a stray click or keypress.
-There is now a display mode in the Galaxy Map for finding "My Science Labs."
Thanks to Janster for suggesting the smaller galaxy maps as an option, for the idea to make constructors be able to directly produce ships in attack-move or free roaming defender modes, for alerting us to the issue of overkill (particularly with ships like cruisers), and for suggesting the improvement to the AI logic at guard posts.
Thanks for Quitch for pointing out the error in the AI Progress explanation, suggesting the zoom be made more smooth, suggesting the improvement for Harvester ExoShields,suggesting that metal and crystal deposits have different icons on the minimap, pointing out that they system tray icon is no longer needed, alerting us to the issue with very far zoom on widescreen monitors, suggesting the adjustment to the E key, suggesting adjustment to the zoom speed, the idea for having ships flash in far zoom when they are damaged, suggesting that the music be paused while exiting to the videos, suggesting the improvement to the resources display mode of the galaxy view, suggesting that the Free-Roaming Defender mode cause ships to return to a base location, for suggesting that the score screen be updated for widescreen, and for suggesting the "My Science Labs" mode in the galaxy map.
Thanks to Spelk for suggesting the minimap display modes, the idea to add icons to the intel summary on the galaxy map, the idea to make the flares more visible on the minimap, and the idea that spawned Mobile Repair Stations.
Thanks to Sowelu for suggesting that the dark gray not be a default AI color since it is harder to see, suggesting that the attack ranges be drawn as borders instead of filled, that there be a key for showing all enemy ranges, and for suggesting almost all of the planetary summary changes.
Thanks to keith.lamothe for suggesting the option to keep the game music playing while the game is paused, for several suggested improvements regarding ship autotargeting, and for suggeting the many new Galaxy Map display modes.
Thanks to freykin for reporting the bug with vampires.
Thanks to Black for reporting the issue with dvorak keyboards.
-Thanks to Blam Stokel for suggesting the improved targeting around force fields, and suggesting the Science Lab II.
-Thanks to Blam Stokel and netWilk for their suggestions about how to support an improved windowed-mode experience.
Thanks to multiple players for suggesting the enhancement for quickly building metal and crystal harvesters.