AI War - 1.013 Release
-Scout starships no longer have the munitions boosting ability.
-Fixed some logic oversights with the AI trying to make its ships attack targets that are immune to the attacking ship's shots.
-When in placement mode, the entire text of the ship info is no longer shown. Now it just shows the name of the ship, any special tips, and the costs and time to build. This makes it much easier to see past it when building.
-The amount of starting crystal and metal updated to 20,000 each for players (up from 10,000 and 5,000 respectively), to help rebalance the start of the game since the AI is now so much more fearsome at the start. This also helps to give players a faster start, reducing the amount of time spent in the initial fortification and defense of their single planet.
-The amount of starting knowledge has been increased to 10,000 per player from 1,000. This lets players further customize their civilizations right from the start, and with all the many added techs that have been added to the game, this also lets them experience a bit more per game. Plus, for some of the really expensive techs (like Fortresses), this provides an easier way to get access to those without players necessarily feeling like they are waiting too long between tech upgrades. Think of this like picking starting abilities for a character in a western-style PC RPG.
-These additions of metal, knowledge, and crystal are retroactively applied to existing savegames.
-The attack range of fortresses has been quadrupled, their shield rating has been halved, their health has been increased by 2 million, and they now have a min hit percent chance of 80%. They now also have a 90% attack penalty against bombers, in addition to space tanks.
-The range of Mark II-IV electric shuttles was being displayed as 900 less than it actually was in-game. Fixed.
-All force fields, exoshields, and the fortress now have infinite engine health.
-Explosions are now much more impressive, and are clearly differentiated from shot impacts.
-Metal harvesters now produce 6 metal each instead of 5. This makes them consistent with crystal harvesters, and should reduce the too-common need for metal manufactories.
-Explosions are now additive-blended instead of alpha-blended, which makes them look even more vastly better.
-Star backgrounds for the game are now procedurally generated. This makes them look much better, and especially vastly better on any resolution other than 1024x768. They also use much less RAM than before. Still more visual upgrades to come with this in the future.
-The various ship-to-ship lines are now drawn wiht a much more impressive visual style using additive blending. This also lets the game render half as many component lines for each compound line, which increases the overall draw efficiency.
-All of the shot special effects have been greatly improved using additive blending and other related techniques. Missiles now have a smoke trail, and all shots are larger (large enough that they can actually be seen from a lot of the far zoom distances).
-The method for rendering the planets has been completely changed, and now supports rotation. All of the planets now have a rotation speed of some degree. This paves the way for the other planet graphics improvements that are planned (for now, many of them still don't look all that wonderful).
-There is no longer an outer boundary to the planetary area. This makes the game feel a bit less bounded (and prevents snipers from being trapped against the edge of the planetary area), and also allows for several performance improvements on the CPU and the GPU. Ships that are built via direct placement can still not be built too far from the planet area's center, though, so this prevents the issues of players going way off in the distance to build their defenses away from any wormholes.
-The overzoom feature has been removed as it is now redundant -- the "very far zoom" now works like overzoom in general. The black bars that were shown are no longer shown.
-There is now an arrow that gets shown at the edge of the minimap when the viewport window goes too far off the minimap's bounds.
-The game now shows a message explaining why a placement mode ship cannot be placed at whatever location it is blocked from being placed at.
-Cloaked enemy ships no longer cause placement mode ships to be unplaceable. This prevents players from being able to sweep for enemy ships by attempting to place a turret or other ship in locations that they think have cloaked ships.
-Junk and rock objects are now skipped from being drawn if they are to be drawn as less than 5px in size. This lowers the load on the GPU somewhat when viewing a large planet at very far zoom.
-Shots are now skipped from being drawn if they are to be drawn as less than 2px in size. This lowers the load on the GPU somewhat when viewing a big battle at very far zoom (and those shots would be barely perceptible anyway at that range).
-There was previously a bug wherein a very few rare map seeds (such as 1315917969) could cause the game to lock up when the map was generated. Fixed.
-Individual ships may not queue more than 15 attack targets. Also, targets beyond the first that are queued by the AI are no longer kept in savegames. Additionally, the AI will no longer attempt to queue targets as this was only a minor adjustment and caused more problems than it solved. AI ships now use a different technique to make sure they are better able to chase groups of player ships.
-The relative priorities of force fields and countershooters has been reversed. This makes it possible for counter-shooters to protect force fields.
-Fixed a bug that could cause the game to lag extremely severely when many MLRS ships had their missiles targeted on ships inside the protection radius of something that fires counter-missiles.
-AI Core Command Stations are now immune to missiles and sniper shots, in addition to firing counter-shots for these types. The only practical difference this makes is to make impossible the autotargeting or manual targeting of missile/sniper type ships onto the AI Core Command Stations.
-Ships now do a better job of not firing on ships that they have 0% chance of hitting, even if the player told them to do so (in situations where the target is immune to the firing ship's shots, etc).
-Ion cannons now fire 4X faster, and have 4 simultaneous shots instead of just one, which makes flooding them with low-level ships vastly much harder.
-Shots should now more quickly die when their target leaves the current planet.
-The sound effect files are now all stored in the ogg format, which saves space and paves the way for doing more improvements to the sound effects without making huge updates for players.
-The background nebula images are now blended even better than before, and a few more images are used in order to make the effects even more dramatic.
-The background stars/nebulas are now rendered in a larger area that scrolls slightly as the camera pans around. This gives a much better impression of movement for players. There is also now a slight zoom factor to the background stars/nebulas, to make the whole appearance look more dynamic.
-Several fixes to the third basic tutorial.
-The intermediate tutorial has been improved: wormholes are now guarded as they are in the real game, which makes scouting as hard as it should be; both group-move and the auto-building of harvesters are now mentioned in this tutorial.
-There is now a visual zoom indicator in the form of black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. These black bars get larger as the player gets further zoomed-out, thus giving an easy indicator of exactly how far out the players are zoomed. This black bar overlays the background starfield but nothing else, so it does not restrict visibility in any way (and it also is mostly behind what would typically be interface elements, anyway). This has the added effect of a nice-looking letterbox effect when very zoomed out.
-The overkill model has now been updated so that ships will still fire at enemy ships if the incoming shots will do less overkill than 2x the strength of the firing ship. This will cause 1 or 2 wasted overkill shots in a lot of battles, but will also solve a lot of the other overkill-related problems.
-Colony ships are now immune to being insta-killed, which makes capturing planets with an ion cannon on it a lot easier.
-Space docks that have a large number of "unbuildable" ships that have already hit their cap will now cycle through all of the unbuildable ship types very quickly, thus making it only around 0.5seconds less efficient than if there were no unbuildable ships in the queue at all.
-There was previously a bug that was causing planets that were destroyed to not let their ownership be later changed to nothing (this would happen if a player nuked an AI home planet and then later killed the AI). This could actually prevent players from winning. Fixed.
-The AI thread will no longer recieve "turn starting" messages when the game is paused, which will prevent it from issuing a bunch of orders while the game is paused and nothing is going on.
-There is now zero chance that shots will hit ships that have just moved to another planet.
-A prior bug was still preventing shots from disappearing if their targets went out of range. Fixed.
-A bug could cause excess shots to be fired and performance to go severely downward when MLRS ships were brought near counter-missile sources and fired on nearby ships. Fixed.
-All mobile-military teleporting ships (so, tele-raiders and tele-battle stations) are now briefly paralyzed (unable to move, shoot, etc) when they come out of a teleportation. The severity of the paralysis is based on the distance they moved. This helps make them not quite so all-powerful as they have been in recent releases, although the specific values of this balance may be tweaked more in the future.
-The "No Warning On Waves" logic was incorrectly being triggered for one of the AIs, but not the other, because they AIs were mistakenly only warping into human planets from planets that the AI player individually controlled (not by planets that the AI team as a whole controls). So in situations where the players have only one warp gate adjacent to their planets, one of the AIs would start coming in with no warning from their other planets on the higher difficulties (and on lower difficulties, they would just reinforce instead). Fixed.
-Ion cannon mark levels have been renamed to Mark I and Mark II, instead of Mark II and Mark III. The functionality of them has not changed, but the naming will hopefully be more clear to most players.
-The way that overkill is handled is now separate for snipers versus for other ships. That way incoming long-range sniper shots won't impede the ability of closer-range turrets to kill the ships more quickly.
-Ion cannons will no longer be placed on planets directly adjacent to player home planets.
-AI ships that would sometimes act indecisive should now be decisive.
-Harvesters now do a better job of snapping to the appropriate nearest harvest point, especially when there are several harvest points very close together. Also, issues with harvesters not being able to be placed on a point that is too near to other large fixed-position ships is now fixed. Also, issues with harvester auto-placement sometimes being unable to place a harvester that could be manually placed, is now fixed.
-The shields of shield bearers are no longer infinite, and shield bearers now have 1,000x more health. This lets their force fields work a bit more predictably, and solve the various issues that they were causing with ship targeting in battle. The size of their force fields has also thus been increased a lot.
CHANGES FROM PAST PRERELEASES
NEW ART - Philippe Chabot
Planet - Iapetus Planet - Dione Planet - Europa
NEW ART - eRe4s3r
MiniMap MiniMapBlip (contributed) MiniMapBlipCrystal (contributed) MiniMapBlipMetal (contributed) MiniMapFlare MiniMapFlareBorder MiniMapWormhole MiniMapWormholeActive Explosion ExplosionSmall
UPDATED SOUND EFFECTS - Pablo Vega
ShotBasic ShotBasicEnemy ShotBasicLaser ShotBasicLaserEnemy
-Thanks to Revenantus for suggesting that scout starships not have munitions boosting, for reporting the display bug with electric shuttles, for reporting the map lockup issue.
-Thanks to Lars Bull for reporting the issue with AI ships targeting immune targets, for reporting the issue with the new title screen showing hover text for ships, for suggesting that shots no longer disappear when the player is very zoomed out, for suggesting that there be a visual zoom indicator, for suggesting that colony ships not be insta-killable, for reporting the various issues with harvester placement.
-Thanks to Marisa Park for suggesting the placement mode text reduction.
-Thanks to darke for suggesting the buffing of fortresses, for suggesting that ion cannons be made more formidable.
-Thanks to eRe4s3r for yet more art-mods-that-turned-official, for suggesting additive blending for explosion, for reporting the issue with MLRS firing at core command stations, for suggesting that munitions booster lines be more subtle, for reporting the bug with the destroyed planets being un-loseable, for reporting the second issue with MLRS ships firing near counter-missile sources.
-Thanks to Pandemic for suggesting that force fields have infinite engine health, for suggesting the specific way to rebalance the teleport battle stations.
-Thanks to bssybeep for reporting the issue with queued attack targets causing savegames to get extremely slow.
-Thanks to Kalzarius for reporting the issue with the galaxy map background changing inappropriately, for reporting the issue with shots being able to hit ships that just moved to a new planet, for reporting the bug with shots chasing ships for too far, for reporting the "No Warning On Waves" bug.
-Thanks to gstelmack for suggesting that the tutorials mention the auto-building of harvesters more prominently.
-Thanks to dumpsterKEEPER for suggesting that the intermediate tutorial be updated to make scouting more realistic.
-Thanks to Haagenti for suggesting the improvement to how unbuildable ship types in a queue are handled, for suggesting the rebalancing of the teleport battle stations, for suggesting that ion cannons no longer be placed on planets adjacent to player home planets.
-Thanks to CautiousChaos for reporting the issue with turrets still being delayed by sniper shots even after other overkill improvements were in place.