AI War - Current Post-6.000 Beta

From ArcenWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

Statistics For The Curious

  • Between 6.000 and 7.000, we pushed out 50 distinct public releases over 238 days.
  • Community contributors were (as always) a huge help. 123 Players were thanked over the course of the 500 individual changes that were made.

Prerelease 7.001

Release 7.000

(Released June 17th, 2013)

(No changes other than the version number, compared to 6.050)

Prerelease 6.050 Release Candidate 3

(Released June 16th, 2013)

  • The "Starfleet Commander" AI Type is now categorized as a "Harder" type.
    • Thanks to Kahuna, LordSloth, and Bognor for the suggestion
  • Zenith Hydra Heads are now immune to repair.
    • Note: the hydras themselves can still be repaired just fine.
    • Thanks to Diazo for the suggestion.
  • The Zenith Hydra Head (not the main body, just the spawnable) now starts in FRD automatically.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the suggestion.

Prerelease 6.049 Release Candidate 2

(Released June 15th, 2013)

  • Set metal and crystal cost of Lightning Torpedoes to minimal values to prevent efficient resource farming by scrapping them (producing them doesn't cost resources anyway).
    • Thanks to Niwantaw for the report.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed more shadow-projection units to be placed by a champ than the available shadow charge would permit, by holding shift and clicking repeatedly without moving the mouse at all. This could allow infinite shields while paused, in fact.
    • Thanks to MasterSJT and Spikey00 for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the SpecialForces and ThreatFleet logic could pick "staging point" planets that were human planets. Nothing quite like the SF deciding to "stage" from your homeworld.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the report.

Prerelease 6.048 Release Candidate 1

(Released June 14th, 2013)

  • MLRS Guardians (normal and Dire) hull type from medium => artillery, so that they don't counter their triangle counter (was fighters, is now bombers).
    • Thanks to zleorg for pointing this out.
  • Bumped all non-dire guardians up 2 exo cost tiers; partly because it was kind of silly to have Raid and Infiltration guardians start 1 tier lower than the Raid Starship (while being 50% to 150% more effective than it), but really all the guardians are pretty buff right now.
  • Added a tooltip to the Master Sound Volume slider that it does not impact the Music levels (only the Sound effects levels).
    • Thanks to Tridus for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed some bugs where normal AI retreat or target-priority logic could interfere with exo "galaxy-wide-chase" logic and cause dancing and indecisiveness, etc.
    • Thanks to Histidine for the report and save.
  • Fixed some bugs where normal AI retreat/attack/etc orders were being sent to hybrids, which could cause dancing and indecisive behavior, etc.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report and saves.
  • Modernized the Refugee Outpost's HBC-IV.
  • Added seven new AI taunts for various occasions.
    • Thanks to Cyborg, LordSloth, Hearteater, Faulty Logic, and others for the inspiration.

Prerelease 6.047 Activating Vengeful Sanding Machine MkIII

(Released June 13th, 2013)

  • Updated the Spider Guardian description to reflect that it doesn't fire sniper shots anymore (so scout starships aren't gonna help).
    • Thanks to relmz32 for the report.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where the Spire Maw was not doing attrition damage to its contents.
    • Thanks to Ricca for the report.
  • Updated the tutorials to reflect changes since 6.0.
  • Added new per-control-group toggle to the CTRLS window: Batch Auto-Explore
    • The idea here is to automatically build and send batches of scouts to get initial scout intel on planets you've never seen before. This is not at all optimal (you'll lose a _lot_ of scouts, and they won't generally concentrate their paths in an optimal fashion) but it can be great for picking up intel on a bunch of planets that are accessible with minimal micro.
    • Suggested usage:
      • 1) Pick a control group you're not using, and turn this toggle on for it.
      • 2) Build a separate Space Dock, and assign it to that control group.
      • 3) Set the space dock to loop build, and pause it.
      • 4) At that space dock, queue up the number and type of scouts you want in a batch (presumably all you can build, but if you've got some scouts stationed permanently elsewhere they won't be available for this so set the number accordingly).
      • 5) Make sure no other space docks are building those types of scouts.
      • 6) When you're ready to start building the scout batches, unpause the space dock. Having engineers on hand to speed-build the scouts is helpful but not required.
    • And that's basically it. The dock will build scouts until it has a full batch (according to the numbers you set) and then when the last scout is built it will automatically set the "auto explore" behavior on those scouts. As the scouts die the dock will build more and once it has a full batch again it will set those to auto-explore too. And so on.
    • This can actually cost a fair bit of metal and crystal, so once your scouts have stopped making progress you'll want to pause that dock again.
  • Lightning Torpedoes (spawned by Lightning Torpedo Frigates) can now be given direct commands from the player. Mainly this is to make sure you can scrap them if desired (so they don't set off an AI Eye) since they have a much longer lifetime than most spawned "drone"-type units.
    • Thanks to ZaneWolfe for the suggestion.
  • Fixed some issues that made non-packed-line line-place... really wonky.
    • Thanks to MaxAstro, Kahuna, and others for reporting this.
  • Toned down the mapgen initial unit seeding for planets adjacent to a human homeworld; goes easier on starships, fortresses, etc.
    • Thanks to... probably everyone for suggesting this.
  • Made counter-shot-range drawing use a similar optimization as normal firing range drawing (that if two circles of the same radius have centers within a certain zoom-based threshold of each other, only draw one of them) to cut down on Attractor-Drone-related lag.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the report and save.
  • Updated the tip-of-the-day section of the main menu.
  • Bumped the MkI Flagship up one exo-cost sub-tier so that they were no longer the only always-available "Heavy Frigate", as this was resulting in many exos having a _lot_ of MkI flagships.
    • Thanks to nitpik, TechSY730, and many others for reporting this.

One Last Round Of Buff Polls Before The Official Version

  • Grenade Launcher, in honor of winning BOTH polls:
    • From having no vs-hull bonuses to having 3x vs Light, Composite, CloseCombat, and Swarmer (same as the Flak Turret, which is basically a stationary grenade launcher).
    • From 80k+20k cap-m+c cost => 70k+10k.
    • From 30k cap-e cost => 20k.
  • Armor Booster, in honor of coming second in the for-humans poll and doing decently in the for-ai poll:
    • Now increases the armor of all boosted ships to a minimum of 1000, before piercing and the multiplicative part of the boost are applied.
    • Base Cap Health from 4,921,000 => 7.5M (so about 50% of fighters, though the armor boosters have a much lower cap and thus higher effective durability).
    • Base Cap DPS from 28.5k => 40k (so about 80% of a fighter, since it also has 6x bonuses).
  • Etherjets in honor of doing well in both polls:
    • Base Cap Health from 4,939,200 => 10M (about 2/3rds of Fighters, and jets are a high caps ship, so effective durability is much lower).
    • Base Cap DPS from 58.8k => 80k (about 60% more than Fighters, but makes Bonus DPS only about 9% higher than Fighters)
    • Cap M+C cost from 9k+27k => 9k+18k.
    • Cap E cost from 30k => 20k.
    • So the point of these is still the tractors and the cloaking, but they should hold their own a bit better in a fight now.
  • Anti-Armor Ships, in honor of doing well in both polls:
    • Base Ship Cap from 392 => 240 (Fighters have 192).
    • Base Cap Health from 5,488,000 => 15M (so near Fighters, but with somewhat higher cap means somewhat lower effective durability).
    • Base Armor from 150*mk => 0.
    • Bonuses (vs Heavy, UltraHeavy, Polycrystal, and Structural) from 2.4 => 5 (base dps is already 52% higher than Fighters, this makes bonus dps 26% higher than Fighters).
    • Armor Piercing from 10k*mk => Max (kinda in the name, right?).
    • Base Move Speed from 24 => 28 (so now same speed as Bombers).
    • So the point is that it ignores armor and is effective vs heavily fortified stuff, while no longer being curiously flimsy.
  • Raptor, in honor of doing well in both polls:
    • Base Ship Cap from 192 => 96 (so half fighters).
    • Base Cap Health from 4,939,200 => 7.5M (so half fighters, but with the lower cap has somewhat more effective durability).
    • Added Bonus vs Artillery (already had Light, UltraLight, and Refractive).
    • Bonuses from 1.8 => 6 (base DPS was 33% more than fighters, but bonus dps was 60% lower, now will be 11% higher).
    • Armor Piercing from 500*mk => 0.
    • Base Engine Health from 50 => 100.
    • Cap M+C cost from 16k+80k => 16k+40k.
    • So the point is still the speed and the cloaking, but more up to date in terms of combat stats.
  • Raider, in honor of doing well in both polls:
    • Base Ship Cap from 392 => 240 (so 25% more than Fighters).
    • Base Cap Health from 10,290,000 => 15M (so like Fighters, but slightly lower effective durability due to cap).
    • Armor from 150*mk => 0.
    • Base Cap DPS from 49k => 65k (so now 32% more than Fighters).
    • Vs-hull bonus types from Heavy, UltraHeavy, Artillery, Swarmer => Light, UltraLight, Artillery, Medium,
    • Bonuses from 4 => 5 (so bonus DPS now 10% more than Fighters).
    • Armor Piercing from 10k => 0.
    • Base Move Speed from 36 => 60 (so quite a bit faster than the normal 30-40 range of fighter-likes but nowhere near the 130+ league of Raptors and Raid Starships).
    • Cap M+C cost from 16k+47k => 12k+30k.
    • So these have be re-imagined a bit to be fast high-ish-cap raiders but not cloaked, with increased durability (since they're not cloaked) and designed to take down non-hardened targets.

Prerelease 6.046 Activating Vengeful Sanding Machine MkII

(Released June 12th, 2013)

  • Enclave Guardians base speed from 40 => 24 (fighters are 32, for reference, and the triangle counter to said guardians).
    • Thanks to chemical_art for inspiring this change.
  • Spire Civilian Leader Outposts now use the normal irreplaceable-capturable seeding (to put it way the waaaay out away from wormholes).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.
  • Dire Guardian Lairs now seed no closer than 4 hops from human homeworlds, instead of no closer than 2 hops.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for inspiring this change.
  • Distribution nodes no longer have the 20% chance of causing a savescum... I mean, of being trojan.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic, Kahuna, and others for inspiring this.
  • Fixed a typo in the Core Starship description.
    • Thanks to The Silent Watcher for the report.
  • Added Bradley Smith to the Special Thanks section of the credits roll, for the source code we adapted to develop the map untangler released in 6.044.
  • Zenith Hydras, since their implementation was adequate but not particularly inspiring:
    • Base Ship Cap from 128 => 64 (cap stats maintained).
    • Regen Rate from 9/8/7/6/5 minutes to 30 seconds.
    • Base Cap DPS from 150k => 100k.
    • Gains build points as it takes damage, and spawns a Hydra Head when its build points are >= (max health)/(1+mark), in other words every 50%/33%/25%/20%/17% of health.
      • Hydra heads have about 50% the health and 75% the DPS of a mkI Hydra, fire 2 shots every 2 seconds (instead of 8 shots every 8 seconds), and self-attrition to death in 30 seconds (or less, if damaged).
      • Note: the spawn check does not happen immediately upon taking damage, so a killing shot will not generally cause spawns. So if you can one-shot hydras it really cuts down on the pain they cause. If you can't... well, they can get pretty aggravating.
    • Thanks to chemical_art, TIE Viper, Wingflier, and Tridus for inspiring these changes.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing Astro Trains to stall when their route would take them through a strongly-held human world.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the report and save.
  • Fixed a few bugs that were causing Special Forces and Threatfleet ships to try to rally (when idle) to planets they could not reach without going through stronger human worlds than they were willing to actually enter. This would lead to said fleets "camping" right next to human territory instead of 3 hops back from it.
    • There are still some issues that can happen if you cut the AI homeworlds off from each other, but that will have to persist for now.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the report and save.
  • Renamed the Artillery Guardian to the Missile Guardian because it shoots missiles instead of the actual "Artillery" ammo type (which is fired by the Artillery Golem and Dire Artillery Guardian, etc).
  • Fixed a bug where the new starship-disassembling units (the expansion has a guard post, a dire guardian, and a core guard post with that ability) were not actually attrit'ing the swallowed starships.
    • Thanks to SNAFU for the report and save.
  • The Shark-plot consequences for losing a home command station are now 5x a normal command station, instead of 100x. This is relevant to co-op.
    • Thanks to Arkillion for inspiring this change.
  • Updated the Objectives screen with... a whole lot of stuff.
    • Thanks to Bognor, Tridus, Histidine, Mick, LaughingThesaurus, LordSloth, TechSY730, Burnstreet, Aeson, Kahuna, Qatu, and Aklyon for helping figure out what should be changed/added/etc.
  • Core Turret Controllers: halved core turret caps. We knew they would be OP in their last iteration, just wanted to figure out how much.
    • Now they'll be a straight upgrade over mkI turrets but not over mkI+mkII turrets. Except for the Sniper/Spider ones (which only have mkIs), but that's only for when you can actually take and hold them, etc, so we'll deal with that later.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion

Prerelease 6.045

(Released June 10th, 2013)

  • Made some slight modifications to the VotM logo to better line up with the other expansion logos.
    • Thanks to... quite a few of you, for the suggestion.
  • Struck the infamous Rotting Cow (and its nefarious associates) with the Planet Cracker.
    • In other words: refined the selection of background planets somewhat to focus on the better ones, and go with larger-res versions where available.
    • Note that since the updater cannot delete files from your installation, you'll still have planet images numbered above 37 but the game won't actually use them.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for inspiring this change.
  • Added "cleanup aisle three" cheat for destroying ALL units on a planet.
  • Added support for a sixth parameter to the "ilostit" cheat that specifies the player number to spawn the ships for. 0 through 7 are human players, 8 and 9 are the two AI players.
  • Added new chat command "load_script:(filename)" where you replace (filename) with the name (without extension) of a .txt file in your RuntimeData/ChatScripts/ directory. When run, this command will treat each line in that file as a chat line from you, including commands and cheats.
    • So for example you could have a file named "test.txt" in the ChatScripts directory, with the lines:
      • cmd:enable cheats
      • cleanup aisle three
      • ilostit,FighterII,-12300,6700,84,0
      • ilostit,BomberII,-10300,4700,84,8
    • And then execute that by entering "load_script:test" (without the double quotes, of course) in the chat box and pressing enter. The result is that it would wipe the currently viewed planet and spawn a group of fighters versus a group of bombers. This is probably useful for balance testing, among other things.
    • Thanks to Cyborg for inspiring this command.
  • The lobby "Untangle Map" button now applies the untangling to all alternate layouts, not just the official one. Makes sense, since the alternates should begin the game in the same state as the official.
    • Thanks to MaxAstro for the suggestion.

Prerelease 6.044 So That's What A Vines Map Looks Like

(Released June 10th, 2013)

  • Honeycomb maps now space their planets out more if there's room (won't affect old saves).
  • Removed the 3-fighter "advanced scout" sent by each AI wave. It was an effective way to soak some turret alpha (particularly AOE alpha) and it could mess with counter-wave defenses... but ultimately the player could defeat this effect with some trivial-but-annoying-to-execute micro.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic, chemical_art, and others for the suggestion.
  • The new title screen is now dimmer.
    • Also added a new "Disable New Title Screen" toggle to the graphics tab of the settings window (the toggle defaulting to on, at least for now).
    • Thanks to Kahuna, Faulty Logic, doctorfrog, and many others for feedback on the new image.

Map Untangling!

  • Thanks to Dr. Zoidzerg for putting us on the trail of the force-directed-graph method, and special thanks to Brad Smith for previously publishing a C# implementation (and permissive license thereof) that we were able to adapt and extend for AI War.
  • Added an "Untangle Map" button to the lobby (just under the big New Map Seed button), here's the in-game tooltip for description:
    • Some map types (notably Vines, Spokes, and Tree) produce maps that are difficult to read due to the links between planets being very long and crossing over each other a lot. You can use this button to run a "Force-Directed Graph" physics simulation that will generally result in a more readable map in those cases. This is certainly not guaranteed to fully untangle a map, in any event.
    • Untangling is not really recommended for map types that already don't have much link-overlap, but you're welcome to give it a try. The results are generally interesting, if nothing else. Maze maps usually remain readable but look more organic after this process.
  • Also added two new related chat-line commands:
    • cmd:untangle map
      • This is basically the same as clicking the "Untangle Map" button in the lobby, but can be used in-game (and thus on old saves).
        • PLEASE NOTE! This only applies to your alternate layout (accessed via the alt+right-click context menu on the galaxy map), not the official layout, as we very much want to avoid modifying that after game-start. So if you're looking at the official layout (or someone else's alternate) when you trigger this command, you won't see the results until you switch to your alternate layout.
        • Also, this change to your alternate layout is not sync'd to other machines in multiplayer; we may add that later but it's a little tricky because the untangling is happening on a separate thread, etc.
    • cmd:stop untangling
      • This simply stops the process started by the other command.

Prerelease 6.043 Controllers Out Of Control

(Released June 8th, 2013)

  • Neinzul Railpod cap m+c from 5k/10k => 5k/5k.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug where railpods were sometimes doing way more than half their health in self-damage per shot, when they should have been doing 50% + 1.
  • Fixed a few bugs where sniper units would neglect to close on radar-dampened targets even if this meant they could not fire on them.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where it was possible for a unit to get partially "stuck" with a "set by the player" destination when that destination was actually just "no destination". So it would ignore any "implicit" destinations like moving towards a target of opportunity that was out of range.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report and save.
  • Fixed a number of bugs where AI guard ships would try to come after targets further away from their guard posts than the normal "do not go more than X range away from your station" logic (combined with their own effective firing range) would allow. This tended to result in a bit of dancing back and forth when chasing radar-dampened stuff, etc.
    • Thanks to Burnstreet for the report and save which led to discovering these.
  • Added a "Decolonize" button to the scrap-confirmation popup when trying to scrap a (non-home, obviously) command station AND the Shark plot is active. The only differences from scrapping are:
    • Starts 2 minute countdown (which cannot be cancelled), and at the end of that the station is destroyed.
    • Does not cause shark-related penalties (though these still happen if the station is killed or scrapped normally before the countdown triggers the actual decolonization) or AI taunts, but does cause all other normal on-station-death things like the stall timer.
    • Does not refund any resources (not that this really matters, but it is a difference).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.
  • Replaced the main menu background.

Core Turret Controller Rework

  • So Core Turret Controllers were cool, but they weren't really accomplishing their main goal (make distributed defense easier and more desirable, without significantly buffing chokepoints) as well as we wanted. So we're trying something... a little different, you could say, if you were given to understatement. As part of this, we also changed the core-game mkII and mkIII turret costs and redefined the Spider Turret's relationship to the Sniper Turret.
    • Thanks to chemical_art, Tridus, Faulty Logic, Toranth, and others for inspiring these changes (whether they wanted to or not).
  • Higher-mark turrets (except the HBC) now use the mkI metal and crystal costs (yea, kind of a big change, but mainly just makes the higher-mark turret unlocks and core turret controllers more attractive).
  • Spider Turret:
    • Damage from what the Sniper does => half that.
    • M+C costs from (really big) => the Sniper's (which are still high, but not nearly as much).
    • K Cost from 3000 => 2000.
  • Core Turret Controllers:
    • Now all 8 are seeded in new VotM-enabled maps (sorry, old saves), instead of just 3 (or 4 on multi-HW games), to avoid situations where it gives you just Lightning, Flak, and Sniper and not much that can really fill the main combat role, and also to increase the total per-planet firepower available.
    • Now give full-caps instead of quarter-caps. This is pretty huge in terms of increasing that total possible per-planet firepower.
    • _Very_ importantly: Now a core turret cannot be placed on the same planet as a turret of the same type (needler, mlrs, laser, missile, etc) of a lower mark, and vice versa. This includes turret remains (cheese prevention).
      • So you can have Core Laser Turrets on the same planet as MkI, MkII, and MkIII Missile turrets (or needler turrets, or mlrs turrets, etc), but you could not have Core Laser Turrets on the same planet as MkI, MkII, or MkIII Laser Turrets.
      • The end result is that core turret controllers no longer really increase the total ceiling of turretry firepower you can pack onto a single chokepoint; they're still a benefit there if you weren't already unlocking mkII and mkIII of that particular turret type (as 1 cap of core turrets is better than a cap of mkIs plus a cap of mkIIs, but not better than mkIs + mkIIs + mkIIIs all together), but massively increase the amount of firepower you can put on any planet you want to defend (if you have the energy) without taking away from what's available for the chokepoint.

Prerelease 6.042 Activating Vengeful Sanding Machine

(Released June 5th, 2013)

  • Ship Design tab of Controls window: now,
    • If you have one slot selected, hold shift, and click on another slot:
    • Then instead of selecting that other slot, it copies the module type from your selected slot to this clicked slot.
      • If the clicked slot cannot hold that type of module, nothing happens (nor does which slot you have selected change).
    • Thanks to Toranth, Aquohn, Eternaly_Lost, and others for inspiring this change.
  • Champion module upgrades: now,
    • If you unlock a higher tier of a module:
    • Then any saved ship designs (of that player) with a lower-mark version of that same module type will upgrade to use the new higher mark.
      • Unless the newly unlocked mark is too high for the base hull, of course, in which case nothing happens for that slot in that design.
    • The same update is done for that player's list of "modules to immediately queue on champ respawn".
    • Note that this update only happens at the time of the new mark being unlocked, so it won't immediately impact old saves.
    • Thanks to Aquohn, Eternaly_Lost, Toranth, and others for inspiring this change.
  • Build times of Core Sniper Turret and Core Spider Turret from 50 => 150 to be more like most other core turrets, and be less drastic on the per-second economic impact.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the suggestion.
  • Special Forces Alarm Posts:
    • Chance of triggering on death from 50% => 0%.
    • Seeding frequency halved.
    • Alarmist AI half as likely to pick these when seeding an alarm (if it doesn't pick this it just does a normal Alarm Post).
    • AIP on death from 5 => 15.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring these changes.
  • Fixed a bug from the last month or so where some galaxy map display configurations would display allied units as if they were in a transport (that is, in parentheses).
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the report and save.
  • Improved the performance throttling logic for "should I let this ship request a new target list now?" to let ships with absolutely no target list check more than once every 2 seconds for a list if they are:
    • An aggregate-targeting leader with followers.
    • Or an aggregate targeting follower with a leader who does have a target list.
    • This will particularly help ships in Attack-Move actually start firing on targets (and stop moving) as they come into range rather than waiting a while and in some cases simply sliding right past the target.
    • This may also reduce performance in some cases, though generally in the bigger battles (where performance is most problematic) the ships in question have targets fairly soon anyway.
    • Thanks to Burnstreet for the report and saves that demonstrated the need and provided a testbed for this change.
  • AI Missile Guard Post seconds-per-salvo from 3 => 6, so DPS has been halved. This puts it at 2/5ths of many other guard posts, hopefully actually compensating for its huge range and such now.
  • The FRD-Engineers Toggle (both the global and the per-control-group ones) have been split out into FRD-Engineers and FRD-Rebuilders. The former no longer applies to Remains Rebuilders, and the latter applies exclusively to them.
    • Thanks to Wingflier and others for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug where engineers in FRD would not prioritize a player-given go-to-another-planet order over assisting local build queues (or whatever), even with the Multi-Planet-Patrol-FRD toggle off (if it's on then they should prioritize local assistance, etc).
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the report and save.
  • Now when a player unit enters a planet with a redirector post that would send them right back out through a nearby wormhole (generally the one they came in through), they set a quick movement waypoint about 2k-3k distance away, move to that, and then move to the target wormhole and get underway. This gives a chance for FRD or other logic to fire in case there's something on the planet that the ship should be dealing with rather than ducking right back in the wormhole without checking.
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the suggestion and testbed save.
  • Fixed some bugs with the carrier auto-deploy logic where it wasn't actually considering all human/ai strength on the planet when making the call on whether to do a pre-emptive partial (or full) deployment.
    • Also made the "only auto-deploy one carrier every 2 seconds" rule per-planet instead of galaxy-wide.
    • Thanks to Tridus, Cinth, and others for providing reports and saves where carriers were being too reticent.
  • Fixed another bug that was preventing core fabricator ships from showing up in the Ship Design list (this is just the Core Spire Corvette and Core Protector Starship, currently).
    • Thanks to Burnstreet for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where SF carriers considered themselves exempt from the "FINAL" cpa.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where Hunter-spawned Special-Forces H/Ks and guardians could be packed into an SF carrier... and then forgotten by the hunter plot, which would then happily spawn more of those units to fill in the gaps. Which in turn could very likely get packed away into carriers. Such an unfortunate malfunction.
    • Note, this won't remove H/Ks from SF carriers in old saves so in those saves you may get another round of hunter spawns, but it won't just keep packing the new ones away.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report.
  • Updated the ancient (on multiple levels) description of the toggle that causes ships repaired by a Mobile Space Dock to stay with the Dock rather than try to go back to where they were (given the lack of tugs, I'm not sure that even happens anymore).
    • Thanks to Bongor for the report.
  • Updated the Neinzul Enclave Drone descriptions to no longer mention a dependency on turret tech (as it's no longer true).
    • Thanks to Aklyon and Bognor for the report.
  • Turns out that the Sledgehammer AI type has basically been "vanilla" for a while. Now it sends waves 2.5x slower than other AI types, but gets a 2.0x wave size multiplier (would have gone higher, but it is an "easier" type). Also updated its description to reflect the new meaning.
    • Also modified the Technologist Sledgehammer the same way; previously it was just Vanilla with an extra tech level.
    • Thanks to Bognor for pointing out the unclear description.
  • Fixed the technologist AI type descriptions implying that they all got max-tech, instead of just higher tech.
    • Thanks to Bognor for the report.
  • Changed the objectives tab of the stats window to only show the "Scout For Points Of Vulnerability" objective if:
    • There are no currently scouted Data Centers, Coprocessors, or Super Terminals.
    • At least one of the above still exists somewhere in the galaxy.
    • Thanks to Bognor for pointing out that this objective line would show up at odd times.
  • Fixed the Gravity Drill Station description still claiming to reduce speeds to 8.
    • Thanks to Histidine for the report.
  • Removed the mention of mobile repair stations from the Support Corps AI Type description.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 and Bognor for the report.
  • Fixed a misspelling in the Retailatory AI Type description.
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for the report.
  • Corrected the Zenith Spacetime Maniplulator's description claiming it was a stationary ship.
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for the report.
  • Added a note to the Hybrid Hive Spawner description that destroying one reduces the hive pop-cap.
    • Thanks to Bognor for the suggestion.
  • Updated the Beam Starship description to note that the beam only hits up to 9 targets on the line, not all of them.
    • Thanks to Bognor for the report.

Prerelease 6.041 Brutalizing Expansion Features

(Released June 4th, 2013)

  • By popular demand, "The Core" AI type now no longer has penalties to wave size or reinforcement size, since the AI already always gets a 0.5 multiplier when getting mkV ships in those contexts to begin with.
    • Thanks to MaxAstro, Kahuna, and others for inspiring this change.
  • Foldouts can no longer be scrapped.
    • Thanks to Sundew for reporting that these could be scrapped for resources... infinitely.

New expansion Core Brutal Guard Posts

  • Thanks to the community members participating in the nominations and voting for this poll from which these ideas came. In practice we had to make some adjustments, but hopefully the results will still be pleasing (or is it deadly? I often confuse the two).
  • Core Shredder Drone Guard Post
    • This guard post is armed with a powerful shotgun weapon, but its main danger lay in the fact that when damaged, it spawns "Shredder Drones" which then attack human units. If one of these shredders does enough damage it replicates itself. Further, after a shredder has existed for 30 seconds it will automatically scrap itself and restores a chunk of health to the Shredder Drone Guard Post (if the post is still alive).
    • Thanks to Hearteater for suggesting The Nanoswarm Fortress, which this came from.
  • Core Hunter/Killer Factory Guard Post
    • This guard post is armed with powerful Energy Wave cannons, but a far greater danger lies within: if an AI unit dies on its planet or any adjacent planet, or if any adjacent planet is not AI-held, this factory deploys the fearsome Hunter/Killer unit it has constructed. After deploying the H/K, the factory builds another in 30 minutes.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for suggesting the Hunter/Seeker Factory, from which this came.

Revising/Polishing Expansion Stuff

  • The above brutal core guard posts are the last new content being added for the expansion, so now we're turning more directly to dealing with the feedback on what hasn't been well received thus far (or in some cases was well received, but there were still significant issues).
  • The Youngling Shrike has been promoted from "the unique unit built by the Neinzul Combat Carrier" to the replacement for the Neinzul Combat Carrier in the expansion's roster of new bonus types.
    • The Neinzul Combat Carrier still exists in the unit definitions, and will still exist in old games which have them (bear in mind that they don't get the Shrike for free anymore), but will not be seeded into new games. Perhaps some day we'll find an implementation of them that won't suffer from the chronic-dissatisfaction that plagued the old Neinzul Enclave Starship (which the NCC was honestly pretty similar to).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.
  • The Lightning Torpedo Frigate is now player-only (the AI can't get it anymore) and has had its stats reverted back to what they were before 6.040 (except for the change that lets the torpedoes live a lot longer and thus have a longer effective range).
    • Note: loading an old save with AI-controlled LTF's should result in those being quietly removed from the game.
    • Thanks to orzelek for the suggestion.
  • Protector Starship counter-modules rule change:
    • Shots which does 100,000 damage or more now take multiple counter-shots to stop (specifically, damage/50,000 shots, rounding down).
    • Shots cannot be partially stopped, so a counter-module will not fire on an incoming shot that it cannot fully stop.
    • Only one counter module can fire on a particular enemy shot (though it can fire multiple counter-shots to do so).
    • So, for example:
      • A counter-energy module has 100 shots at fully-loaded, and reloads 10 per second.
      • An AI Mothership fires 80 shots per salvo, 4 seconds per salvo, each shot doing 800k.
      • Previously, that counter module would totally shut down the mothership's initial salvo, take out 75% of the second salvo, and 50% of every salvo after that. In other words, you could say it did 4M "counter-DPS". And you get 2 counter-modules per mk*cap of protector starships, so full caps of mkI/II/III could stop 96M damage every second (actually more, against combatants with more "concentrated" shots than the Mothership).
      • Now, that counter module would have to put 16 "charges" into stopping each mothership shot, and so fully loaded would only stop 6 mothership shots. That's still 4.8M damage stopped from the initial salvo, which isn't bad. But for each follow-up salvo it would only be able to stop 2 or 3 shots (2.5 actually, on average). So its "sustained" counter-dps would be 2M per salvo or 500k per second. So 1M counter-DPS per mk*cap, or 6M counter-DPS for full I/II/III caps. Note that said full I/II/III cap can thus actually shut down a few mothership salvos entirely and stop 75% of the damage of the rest of them, which is pretty impressive (but finite). This gets much less effective if there are other energy-firing AI ships in the area soaking up counter-shots, of course.
      • For reference, a mk*cap of protector starships can mount 4M HP worth of wide-area forcefields, and a standard mkI forcefield can stop 20M damage (the full cap stopping 200M). So Prot Starships are still up there, but depending on the situation (i.e. how long the fight lasts, how many counter shots are being soaked by high-ROF ships, etc) don't necessarily add a whole lot more durability to a setup than a small/medium pile of forcefields.
  • The Shark plot has been split into Shark-A (only increases AIP on command station death) and Shark-B (only does the non-permanent AI bonuses: the immediate mini-exos and the later buff-to-CPA).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.
  • The strength of "waves" sent by Exotic and Vicious Exotic AIs has been reduced to about 1/5th of what it was, as Exotic was waaaaay stronger than even the Mad Bomber type.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.
  • The counter-post-heavy AI Subcommander type now seeds its first four posts as counter-posts, instead of all of them. The rest are picked from a very small set of types that, while annoying, do not involve a counter-wave.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.

Showdown Refinements

  • Thanks to Toranth, Cyborg, Faulty Logic, chemical_art, orzelek, Cinth, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Showdown Response:
    • Exo base sizes halved.
    • Superweapon-provoked multipliers halved.
    • Final exo "base" multiplier (what you get before adding the superweapon multiplier) reduced from 1 to 0.1, since the GSC is added on top of that. Basically if you have no superweapons the final exo should be just the GSCs with a smallish (about the size of 2.5 minute exos) escort each.
  • The superweapon-based increases to the response multiplier are now all conditional on the actual presence of said superweapons:
    • FS's was already conditional on the number of city structures you had.
    • The one for champs was already conditional on the number of champs you had, but is now also conditional on your highest available champ hull size.
    • Broken-Golems previously was not conditional, but is now conditional by the number of golems you have actually running (not counting broken ones yet to be activated), capping out at 4.
    • Botnet-Golem previously was not conditional, but is now conditional by whether or not you have an active Botnet Golem.
    • Spirecraft previously was not conditional, but is now conditional by the number of spirecraft you have actually running (not counting asteroids), capping out at around 24.
  • The "FINAL" CPA really does launch everything now.
    • Thanks to Toranth for providing a good save to test this with.
  • Showdown GSC:
    • Armor back down to levels that don't break "max armor piercing".
    • Range cut to about 1/5th of what it was.
    • Speed cut to about 1/3rd of a missile frigate's (on normal combat style, but not changing on epic or blitz even though said missile frigate's speed would change on those).
    • Now uses more appropriate graphics.

Prerelease 6.040 The Kinder, Gentler Sort Of Core Guard Post

(Released June 1st, 2013)

  • Arachnid Guard Posts now use Artillery ammo.
  • Lightning Torpedo Frigates:
    • Now costs the AI 1.5 as much in most contexts.
    • Torpedo Base speed from 50 => 30 (so slightly slower than a fighter on epic speed, now).
    • Torpedo Base health from 30k => 100, so most things should be able to shoot it down in one shot now.
    • Torpedo Lifetime from 20 seconds to 180 seconds, to extend its effective range.
    • Torpedo Explosion radius from 1500 => 1000.
    • Torpedo Base Attack Power from 1k => 5k, so it will hit _hard_ when it hits (a group of 40+ targets), but with the above it will be much easier for the player to prevent them from hitting.
    • Thanks to chemical_art, ZaneWolfe, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where:
    • A ship that is all of the below:
      • AI
      • Zombie
      • Cloaked
    • Would often essentially become "stuck" because they would not get targeting orders from the AI because they were a zombie, but they would not get targeting orders from the main thread because they were both AI and Cloaked (main thread avoids giving target orders in that case to avoid disrupting AI sneakiness, much the same way you might with putting cloaked units in stand-down).
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the report and (most importantly) a save where this was really easy to reproduce, and to many players throughout the months (years?) for reporting it.

New Core Guard Posts (Non-Brutal)

  • Added the 3 expansion Non-Brutal Core Guard Posts that won this poll.
    • Thanks to the community members participating in the nominations and voting.
  • Core Implosion Drone Guard Post
    • This guard post is armed with several high-power implosion cannons that are extremely dangerous to large targets, but are thankfully relatively shorter-ranged than most implosion weapons. Unfortunately, this post also launches "Implosion Drones" which (while much shorter-ranged still, and the drone self-destructs when it fires) charge at enemy ships to fire several lower-power implosion rounds.
    • Thanks to zharmad for the suggestion.
  • Core Arachnid Guard Post
    • This guard post is armed with massively powerful artillery cannon designed to cripple or destroy larger targets. It can't even shoot at smaller units.
    • Also swallows enemy starships that get too close.
    • Thanks to Histidine for the suggestion.
  • Core Riot Control Guard Post
    • This guard post fires many shells that aren't massively powerful but do significant engine damage. Also, the post mounts many tractor beams which paralyze their victims.
    • Thanks to Histidine for the suggestion.

Prerelease 6.039 Carrying The Combat

(Released May 31st, 2013)

  • Added updated far-zoom icons for the 7 expansion AI (non dire) guardian types.
    • Thanks to HitmanN for the pixelart.
  • Added final new Bonus Ship Type for this expansion: Neinzul Combat Carrier.
    • Lightly armored and armed for a starship, but can internally produce any type of Neinzul Youngling you have unlocked (includes Commandos, Tigers, Vultures, Weasels, Nanoswarms, and Fireflies) and is also the only thing that can produce the unique Youngling Shrikes.
    • Built from the Starship Constructor (or from the Advanced Starship Constructor, for the MkIV).
    • Shrikes are fast-attacking cloaked raiding ships, and you get basically "half a cap" of them with the combat carrier itself (whose dps isn't great, but the combined effect is fairly useful).
    • Thanks to pheonix89 for the suggestion.
  • MkV Youngling types now have self-attrition again, as they lost it solely to facilitate the use of Youngling-producing fabricators, but more recently it was changed such that those fabs teleport their units to the corresponding intragalactic warp gate (if any) with no paralysis time.
    • Thanks to Hearteater and others for inspiring this change.
  • Youngling Tiger now uses energy-bomb instead of shell ammo.
    • No, this really doesn't matter much, I just felt like it.
  • Fixed up the ARS-tab tech menu tooltips to show the stats for the mkIs instead of the mkIIs, and to no longer claim that an ARS unlocks both mkI and mkII.
    • Thanks to Vyndicu and... rather a lot of you jumped on this one, actually.
  • Showdown Device tweaks:
    • Showdown-device-related counterwaves now give 180 seconds instead of 30 seconds warning before the wave launchers, and no longer get the base 2x multiplier.
    • The Showdown-Device-related AI response scalings based on Broken Golems and/or Botnet Golems being on has been reduced and the scaling based on Spirecraft has been increased.
    • The Showdown-Device-related waves and counterwaves are now sized as if the AIP were 400 regardless of current AIP, since the SD mechanic is thematically setting aside the normal "guerilla war" concept and the AI is hitting back with everything it can (under the circmustances) rather than scaling with a certain perceived threat.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the inspiring these changes.

Prerelease 6.038

(Released May 30th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug from several versions ago (when Guardian types became AI-unlockables instead of always-have-all-available) that was preventing new Defender-mode games from being started at all.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the colony ship's menu would be blank until you clicked the CMD button, instead of defaulting to behaving as if it were on.
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where having a command station build another command station could trigger an AI taunt (that wasn't appropriate to the occasion).
    • Thanks to Orelius for the report.
  • Added a different tooltip when mouseovering the command station CMD tab to say that it's for switching to another station type without on-station-loss penalties.
    • Thanks to Aquohn for pointing out the confusion.
  • Fixed a bug where something whose shot was countered by a Protector Starship module would get a free reload (as it normally does when there's an overkill).
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for the report and save.
  • Finally fixed a bug where it was still possible for a Ship Design Hacker to trigger a counter-hacking response when on a planet with no available bonus types (and thus could not be hacked).
    • Thanks to Minotaar and Wingflier for the reports.
  • Amended the Grav Driller AI Type description to better reflect the quantity of drills seeded.
    • Thanks to LordSloth for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug where the military home station foldouts could trigger the shark plot logic when removed.
    • Thanks to ZaneWolfe for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the military home station foldouts required supply.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report.

Prerelease 6.037

(Released May 29th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug in the last version where some saves from the version before that would throw errors during load.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report and save.

Prerelease 6.036

(Released May 29th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug where AI reinforcements sent to a human-controlled planet (due to a troop accelerator still being there or whatever) sometimes spawning on top of the (human) command station.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug in the last version that was causing some old saves to act as if the new "Fast Drones" toggle was disabled.
    • Thanks to Wingflier and Vyndicu for the reports and saves.
  • Reverted a target sorting optimization from a few releases ago in case it was responsible for the recent rash of out-of-memory errors we've been hearing about.

Prerelease 6.035 Dire Protector

(Released May 29th, 2013)

  • The Neinzul Railpod now does not suffer damage reduction when firing out from under a normal human forcefield.
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for the suggestion.
  • Added new expansion Bonus Ship Type: Protector Starship.
    • Small Starship-class modular vessel designed to defend other ships via passive and active defense systems.
    • Specifically, each protector starship (shipcap is 2) gets 1 slot per mark, and each slot can take one of the following:
      • Counter-Missile Module
        • This module allows the Protector Starship to shoot down a finite number of incoming enemy missiles per second.
      • Counter-Laser Module
        • This module allows the Protector Starship to shoot down a finite number of incoming enemy laser shots per second.
      • Counter-Shell Module
        • This module allows the Protector Starship to shoot down a finite number of incoming enemy shells per second.
      • Counter-Energy-Shot Module
        • This module allows the Protector Starship to shoot down a finite number of incoming enemy energy shots (which is a broad definition including negative energy, energy waves, implosion shots, impulse reactive shots, flame waves, etc) per second.
      • Protector Shield Module
        • This module allows the Protector Starship to provide protection to any allied ship within range. The generator itself is relatively weak and cannot hold up under intense fire, but does protect a much wider area than most mobile shield generators.
        • Generally speaking the Protector's counter modules are much more efficient, but the shield module certainly has its uses.
    • Thanks to KDR_11k for the suggestion.
  • On the lobby section where you can disable Swallowers, Core Shield Generators, etc, you may now also disable "Fast Drones", which for now simply disables the Spire Blade Spawners and the Tackle Drone Launcher. The idea being that slow drones (like from the enclave starship and Lightning Torpedo Frigate) can be dealt with more easily.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for, um, "inspiring" this change.
  • Zenith Devastators:
    • Reload time from 10 => 5; dps maintained.
    • Now has 1.2x bonus vs heavy and ultraheavy, base-cap-dps from 200k => 170k so the bonus dps is now slightly higher than before, but the base is a bit lower.
    • Now cannot shoot at small targets.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for inspiring these changes.
  • The Custom (Narrow) and Custom (Broad) galaxy display modes now count enemy ships that are immobile and were there the last time the planet was scouted (unless the galaxy display filter excludes all enemy ships, of course).
    • Thanks to Bognor, onyhow, and many other players for inspiring this change.

Dire Guardians

  • Thanks to Wingflier, Cyborg, chemical_art, Hearteater, and many other players for inspiring these.
  • New games with the new expansion enabled will now seed a number of "Dire Guardian Lair" objects throughout the galaxy.
    • These will not be retroactively seeded into existing games, as if it puts one next to a non-AI planet things could get... rough.
    • You can prevent these from seeding by disabling the "Dire Guardian Lair" ship type in the lobby (on the same screen where you can disable Swallowers, Core Shield Generators, etc).
      • And they're never seeded below diff 7, at least for now.
  • When a dire guardian lair's planet is on alert (or simply not controlled by the AI at all anymore) it will gradually construct a "Dire Guardian" over about an hour and a half. Once launched they will try to find the best way to hurt you. These are very nasty units and will succeed in hurting you particularly if you are unprepared. But if you catch it by itself with enough firepower the fight should be pretty quick.
  • You may also opt to simply destroy a lair to prevent it from building more dire guardians, but when it is destroyed it will spawn 3 dire guardians in a "last gasp". 3 at once will be uncomfortable, but can be dealt with if you're careful.

Prerelease 6.034

(Released May 27th, 2013)

  • Added a note to the Zenith Devastator description that it is built at the Starship Constructor.
    • Thanks to Mick for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause unhandled exceptions when a CPA launched and would previously have dropped a carrier on a planet with no warp gate and no command station at all (still works fine as long as there's either an AI or human command station there).
    • Thanks to leb0fh for the report.
  • The planet-select dropdown in the per-planet controls window is now sorted alphabetically.
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the suggestion.
  • The showdown-device-activation-related counter-waves now have a "depth" of 4 instead of 90.
    • Thanks to Cinth for inspiring this change.

Prerelease 6.033 Bonus Tricks

(Released May 27th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug where disabling the latest expansion could still carry the hunter plot setting into the next game.
    • Thanks to Akylon for the report and save.
  • Increased the minimum size the target list sorting tries to generate, as last version's optimization apparently took it too far down.
  • Fixed a bug from recent versions where the counterattack posts were basically back to just sending waves everywhere.
    • Thanks to SNAFU for the report and save, and Cinth for bugging me incessantly about it.
  • Various units that do auto-unit creation that just dumps the new unit out into the game rather than internal transport space (including the Spire Blade Spawner, Neinzul Enclave Starship, etc) now do not do their unit creation if:
    • As before, when no enemy units are present at all.
    • Now, if all enemy units present are cloaked.
    • Now, if the spawner is controlled by the player (and not the AI) and all non-cloaked enemy units present are flagged "not dangerous" (i.e. has no attack) or are flagged "never include in threat or attack count" (i.e. a special forces guard post or a core shield generator).
    • Thanks to... well, this is another one of those "who has _not_ asked for this?" issues, but particularly thanks to Toranth for a save showing what happens when 16 HWs of Enclave Starships get bored (answer: total performance kill).
  • The Modular-fort version of the Insanity Inducer module has had its shots-per-second halved and its seconds-per-salvo doubled, because previously it could make the fort into a botnet all its own.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.
  • FS Exos are now included in the diff 8+ cpa/exo syncing logic introduced recently.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug that's been around for a couple of months that was basically causing reinforcements to ignore the reinforcement population cap rule.
    • Thanks to Bossman for the report and save.
  • The good news is that Core Eyes no longer have infinite tachyon. The bad news is that now the AI Home Command Station has it.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.
  • The CPA deployment logic will no longer drop carriers on planets with no "wave" warp gates (so a non-home command station isn't enough, but a warp gate is).
    • Thanks to Burnstreet for the suggestion.

New AI Toys/Tricks

  • Added seven new expansion-only types of AI Guardian for normal use and exos:
    • Infiltration
      • Be afraid.
    • MLRS
    • Munitions Boosting
    • Needler
    • Widow
    • Plasma
    • Shield
    • Note: as before, each AI only initially unlocks 3 guardian types, and gets more as AIP goes up. So you won't be seeing all of these types right from the start of every game or anything like that.
  • Added the concept of AI "subcommanders" to the expansion: each mkIII+ non-home AI planet has a chance (with higher marks having a higher chance) of getting a "subcommander personality" which allows it (during mapgen) to pick from a special set of new AI command stations, a special set of new AI guard posts (sometimes mixed with the existing ones), and place both station and guard posts according to its own whims.

New Bonus Ship Types

  • Many thanks to the community members discussing and voting in the poll from which these were drawn. Still two more winners to add in a later release, but wanted to go ahead and get these into the game.
    • Also thanks to community member HitmanN for the far-zoom icons and borders for the bonus ships.
  • Added new expansion Bonus Ship Type: Lighting Torpedo Frigate.
    • Has modest firepower in its own right, but primarily attacks by launching miniaturized versions of the Lightning Warhead (that do not increase AIP when detonated, of course).
    • Thanks to pheonix89 for the main suggestion behind these.
  • Added new expansion Bonus Ship Type: Zenith Devastator.
    • A powerful starship designed by the Zenith during their ancient wars against the Spire (who heavily rely on shields). Its shots completely ignore forcefields (though the devastator itself does not ignore forcefields).
    • Thanks to chemical_art for the main suggestion behind these.
  • Added new expansion Bonus Ship Type: Neinzul Railpod.
    • Mature Neinzul organism without the time-limited lifespan of a Youngling. The railpod is basically an organic railcannon, with effectively infinte range. The downside is that firing the cannon does tremendous damage to the railpod itself, generally destroying itself after only two shots. Despite this limitation, railpods can contribute significantly to "burst" damage either defensively or offensively, and a group of space docks loop-building these with engineer support effectively becomes a large artillery battery.
    • Thanks to Hearteater and TechSY730 for the main suggestion behind these.
  • Added new expansion Bonus Ship Type: Zenith Hydra.
    • A potent short-range combatant that breathes (plasma) fire and can regenerate its own health over time.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for the main suggestion behind these.

Prerelease 6.032 Tumbleweeds In The Stars

(Released May 22nd, 2013)

  • Fixed a longstanding bug (which also affects more recent map types) where there was a very predictable pattern of "which AI owns which planet?" in several map types.
    • Thanks to Toranth for pointing this out.
  • Core CPA posts now schedule a CPA for 10 seconds out rather than using the normal timing, because generally that would result in the CPA coming too late. Post description updated to accurately reflect the change (the description having been part of why it was shifted to the normal timing before).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.
  • The Core CPA Post logic now uses the same size calculations as normal CPAs.
  • Corrected the CoN Neinzul Youngster AI Type's description to include that it launches waves 2x as frequently, and often (rather than always) sends pure-youngling waves.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the report.
  • The new expansion's Exotic and Vicious Exotic AI Types now show a timer for when their next exo "wave" will launch, with a lead time similar to normal waves. They no longer announce the moment of launch, since this would be redundant (and normal waves and such don't bother with it).
    • Thanks to ZaneWolfe for inspiring these changes.
  • Added the new expansion's "minor" faction: Showdown Devices.
    • Won't spoil the details for now; the in-game journals you get from capturing them should point you in the right direction for now.
      • But we will mention the ultimate point of the faction: alternate way to win, and ultimate stalemate-breaker.
  • Somewhat reduced the number of target comparisons necessary when building a target list in the normal auto-targeting logic, which should help performance in big battles.

Prerelease 6.031

(Released May 20th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug in the wave-substitute-exo logic where Vicious Exotic wasn't getting any bonus over Exotic at all.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report.
  • Fixed a bug introduced a few weeks ago where the "The Core" AI Type was not getting its traditional mkV ships (in any case).
    • Thanks to Kahuna, tmm, and Coppermantis for the report.
  • Human command stations (other than the Home one) can now construct another command station within 2000 range of themselves. Just like with building a new station via colony ship this destroys the original station and the new one must be built up from 1 health, BUT unlike using a colony ship this does NOT trigger the on-death "command station building stall", and so can be used to upgrade a station without incurring that penalty. At the same time, it has limited cheese value because you can't put the station way on the other side of the planet and thus play "monkey in the middle" with AI attackers.
    • Using the new station-upgrading-itself method also avoids the effects the expansion's Shark plot normally has when a human command station dies. It's unlikely that the new station will survive if the old one would not have, however.
    • Thanks to Toranth and many other players for inspiring this change.
  • The exo "substitute waves" launched by the expansion's Exotic and Vicious Exotic AI Types now come with an initial announcement in the chat log that the wave has launched.
    • Thanks to Toranth and chemical_art for inspiring this change.
  • The expansion's Chivalric AI Type now also considers Spire Civilian Leaders to be non-targetable.
    • Thanks to Tridus and tmm for inspiring this change.
  • The prefix for "Strength" in most places is now Str instead of S, since S looks a bit like 5 in that font.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where the "offensive nemesis" component of the AI's response to human champions could spawn too many nemesis champs because the previously spawned ones were dropping out of threatfleet due to being cut off from the AI HW's, and the "how many should I spawn?" logic for that particular bit counted TF nemesis units against its cap. Now it will count normal-Threat ones too.
    • Thanks to Tridus for the report.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions that could cause AI thread errors if an AI threat ship no longer had a current planet (were swallowed by a maw or whatever, there's a few different ways this could happen).
    • Thanks to vinco for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug with the expansion dual-type AIs where several "negative" flags (like "does not send waves" from Turtle or Support Corps) basically never had an impact on a dual-type AI even if present on both types.
    • Thanks to Coppermantis for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the "# of aggressive ships on this planet" alert control was only counting "threat" ships, not "attack" ships, when an "attack" ship is usually just a threat ship which happens to be on a human-held planet.
    • Also changed the alert text color from green to red.
    • Thanks to Cyborg for the report/suggestion.
  • The expansion's Vengeful AI Type's response to CSGs B through E being blown up has been adjusted downward to account for the fact that multiple generators are dying all at once because popping one pops that whole network.
    • Thanks to Wingflier for bringing the multiplying-pain effect of the above to our attention.

Prerelease 6.030

(Released May 18th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug where human champions were still increasing the size of CPAs somewhat.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the report.
  • Fixed a bug in the Vengeance-expansion AI Type "Vengeful" where its tantrum attacks would not happen if Vengeful was the secondary type of that AI instead of the primary.
    • Thanks to Aklyon for the report.
  • Fixed a typo calling a unit the mk5 variant the "Flak Turret Mk VV".
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the report.
  • Fixed a bug in the expansion Hunter plot where turning it all the way up to intensity 10 would cause unhandled errors periodically. This may have been an effort to shield you from what that plot does on intensity 10.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report and save.
  • Fixed a couple bugs in the "x out of y in service" display for the expansion's per-planet-cap core turrets.
    • Thanks to Tridus for the report and save.
  • Added some bits of the expansion's Shark plot that weren't implemented in 6.029.

Prerelease 6.029

(Released May 14th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug where AI threat ships could get stuck on a planet because there was a target that was marked VeryLowPriority (meaning that the AI cannot shoot at it) but nonetheless caused it to consider the enemy presence interesting enough that it didn't want to reassign the threat to a different planet. The only example we're aware of right now is the Core Warhead Interceptor, which is often not captured by the player anyway, but the problem has been fixed in general.
  • Fixed a bug from a few versions ago where giving an auto-load command to ships in a control group with the control-group-uses-control-group-move toggle, it would generate unhandled errors and fail to actually auto-load.
    • Thanks to Burnstreet for the report and save.

Prerelease 6.028 So I Rewired It

(Released May 14th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug in recent versions that was causing a dramatically different distribution of guard post types. Notably, it was causing a ton more counterattack guard posts than normal.
    • Thanks to ussdefiant and others for reporting.
  • The Tachyon Guardian has been renamed to the Tachyon Sentinel
    • They also no longer show up under the count of "Guardians" but rather the count of "Sentinels". You can use the Custom Broad filter to just get one or the other, now.
  • Guardian seeding changes:
    • Since guardians were made more, well, "interesting" a few things have come to light:
      • Having Wormhole Guard Posts get them makes some map types a lot harder than others, due to highly variable numbers of wormholes.
      • Having all planets start with their maximum number of guardians is both painful and somewhat diminishes the importance of the guardian each planet can get in a reinforcement (if it's below its cap).
    • We're:
      • Making wormhole guard posts not get guardians during initial seeding or reinforcements.
      • Making the initial seed of guardians only get a certain % of the actual max per planet:
        • If Diff <= 7 then 25%, else if Diff <= 8 then 27.5%, else if Diff <= 9 then 30%, else if Diff <= 10 then 32.5%.
        • If it's a homeworld, core world, or superterminal planet this is multipled by 3.
        • If it's not one of the above, but does have an ARS, AdvFact, ASC, CSG, or Broken Golem, this is multiplied by 2.25.
        • If it's not one of the above, but does have a Fabricator of some sort, this is multiplied by 1.5.
        • So if a planet has 4 non-wormhole guard posts and a fab (but nothing more important), then on diff 7 it gets to seed at (4*0.25*1.5)=1.5 locations, which means the command station will get a guardian (it would be more on higher difficulties, but 1 on diff 7) and that's it. But the next planet will start with that extra 0.5, so if it's the same exact situation it will wind up getting to seed at 2 locations (command station and first post) with nothing left over.
      • Now when checking for adding a guardian during a reinforcement, it no longer skips the chance if the planet happens to be controlled by the other AI player than the one sending the reinforcement (if it does indeed do a spawn it will be based on the planet owner's difficulty and unlocked guardian types and controlled by the planet's owner, however).
    • Thanks to chemical_art, Hearteater, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where the Spire Corvette IV could not be built at an ASC unless you had an AdvFact too (and had unlocked the Corvette III, of course).
    • Fixed a related bug where the MSD could only build mkIV stuff if you personally held an AdvFact, the foldouts given to other players were not sufficient for them, but are now.
    • Thanks to Shadowsand for the report.
  • The Advanced Hybrids "mobilization" mechanic has been disabled until we can find an implementation that is neither negligible (in its first implementation it garnered a highly-voted bug report for not doing anything at all, though it was actually working) nor overpowering (in its current implementation it was... ow).
  • The golem build times have been adjusted so that all of them cost the same rate per second to build, and thus have different build times. This helps for instance with not having to grab every engineer in existence to build the Cursed Golem in a reasonable time because its costs are actually fairly low.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for the suggestion.
  • Tackle Drone Launcher cap health from 17,850,000*mk => 10M*mk.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.
  • Enclave Guardian health from 8M*mk => 4M*mk.
    • Thanks to Kahuna, Hearteater, chemical_art, and others for inspiring this change
  • Changed the total-AIP thresholds at which the AI gains new bonus ship types from 100/200/300/etc to 100/250/400/550 (100 and +150 for every one after that, instead of just every 100).
  • Remains Rebuilders now lose their cloak briefly after a friendly command station dies on that planet. This gives the AI a chance to prevent the human from trivially rebuilding everything from scratch out in the middle of nowhere. Though if you have a tachyon-free path from one of your other planets to the one you just lost, it's still quite easy (just FRD-move the rebuilders to the lost planet) to get everything back on line once the AI forces are gone.
  • Special Forces Guard Posts and Core Shield Generators are now never counted as Attack or Threat on the top bar, since players commonly leave them as-is and they're (relatively) innocuous.
    • Bear in mind that an SFGP is a valid SF rally point if the planet is (or suddenly becomes) neutral.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.
  • Added a "i c u" cheat to temporarily tachyon the currently viewed planet.
  • Added a "did i break your concentration" cheat to temporarily EMP the currently viewed planet (both friend and foe).

AI Improvements

  • The AI code itself has been largely unchanged for years and has served quite well. But as various additions and changes have been made to the game some things have gotten a bit strange with the existing AI code, so as part of the major "base game" work for 7.0/Vengeance we've put a lot of work into renovating the AI code, digging in to find out exactly what's going on in there, fixing some longstanding bugs, improving the AI's response-time and actual decision-making.
    • Due to the sheer volume of changes, it's possible something really got messed up ;) We've done many hours of testing (both singleplayer and multiplayer, if you're curious) and the AI seems to be working fine. Actually more dangerous than before, in some ways. But if you run into bugs please let us know!
      • Though do keep in mind that some things that look like "units dancing back and forth" are actually just the AI making legitimate reactions to changes in the situation (new enemy ships entering the planet and/or leaving it, changing between moving towards a wormhole or its wait-point because the balance of power on the other side changed, etc), but making them more quickly than it used to.
    • Thanks to TechSY730, Faulty Logic, Cyborg, and many other players for inspiring these changes.
  • Replaced the "Firepower" metric (which was basically just BaseDPS, not considering other stats) with the "Strength" metric (which, while not perfect, has been used with success elsewhere and seems to be a much better measure for comparing groups of units to see which one is stronger; something that the game does rather a lot in AI logic, as well as some other placess).
    • You're likely to see situations where the AI is undervaluing/overvaluing some things and making... "questionable" decisions about when to commit to an attack, etc. Your reports (and save games) will be helpful in fixing these cases.
  • Converted several AI checks that were based purely on ship count to determine force-levels to instead use the "Strength" metric.
  • Drastically reduced the number of individual "GameCommand" messages generated by the AI thread by making it send similar orders as a single command. So if 200 of one AI's ships on one planet all decide they want to attack a particular unit in the same "tactics cycle", that will be sent as one command instead of 200. This really cuts down on the round-trip time between when the AI makes a decision and when it hears back on the results.
  • Significantly improved the syncing of unit updates from the main thread to the AI thread to be more "fair" when choosing which updates to send when there are too many to send at once so that the AI doesn't have to wait as long (on average) for updates on a particular unit, without increasing the max updates per frame (just slamming more data across the queue isn't going to help, in general).
  • Fixed some race conditions where:
    • If:
      • 1) The AI sends a command on a particular unit.
      • 2) There are a ton of unit updates needing to be sent to the AI such that it takes many cycles for that particular unit's update to actually get through and processed by the AI thread.
      • 3) The main thread's acknowledgement of the command gets back to the AI thread before that particular unit update gets there.
      • 4) The AI thread gets back to another "tactics cycle" after that command acknowledgment but before that unit update.
    • Then the AI thread could look at the same unit, see what it saw before, and (due to other things being different, or simply some of the logic randomization) issue a second command to the same unit that's different and possibly contradictory of the first.
      • In the case of "go to a different planet" orders this could easily produce the kinds of "dancing back and forth" behavior reported several times in the past. It also wasn't particularly effective.
    • So now we've changed it to not try to give commands to a unit until it has received both the command acknowledgment and the unit update reflecting the last command given to that unit.
  • Significantly reduced the processing load of the AI thread (mainly the "individual ship tactics" logic, which is most of what that thread does) so that it can react faster to changes in the game-state.
  • Improved the AI's handling of "wait points", where it delays a ship's entrance into a wormhole in order to better concentrate forces against the humans.
    • Previously when asking "is it safe to move this threat to its next destination planet?" it would only consider the strength of the threat on that group's current planet (and anything actually on the target planet), but now it also considers any other threat (on other planets adjacent to the target) waiting to go through.
    • It now asks that question (is it safe, blah blah) even when moving on to other AI-held planets. Unless it's a special forces ship, which is just supposed to charge in if it's an AI planet.
    • If it decides a ship needs to wait, the ship now waits somewhere not directly on top of the wormhole leading to the target planet, because that position is far too vulnerable to tractor shenanigans and such.
      • Thanks to a suggestion by LordSloth, if the Lazy AI toggle is on it will use the old sit-on-top-of-the-wormhole behavior. Interesting correlation with the username...
  • The "where should this threat ship go next?" logic has been significantly improved to consider both the difficulty of reaching a target planet and the desirability of doing so.
    • Also, a threat ship enroute to a planet can now cancel that path if the target planet becomes no longer desirable (meaning that it has no human command station or human-controlled irreplaceable, i.e. something else got there first and took it down). The ship can then pick a new destination.
  • If a ship is in a part of the galaxy that the AI cannot reasonably easily gather forces from (meaning there's some nasty human chokepoint cutting it off from the AI homeworlds), the AI will no longer try to enlist that ship into the Threatfleet. The "local threat" logic is better in those cases.
    • Note that ships already in threatfleet behavior (from previous saves, or before you cut it off from the AI HWs, etc) will stay that way.
  • The individual-AI-ship-tactics logic no longer considers golems an "irreplaceable" target unless it has local superiority on the planet, so the presence of a golem won't override retreat behavior or general targeting priorities unless the AI has a decent chance (in theory) of actually taking it down.
  • The individual-AI-ship-tactics logic now considers harvesters, engineers, etc to be lower priority than enemy military vessels if the total enemy strength on the planet is over a certain absolute threshold, unless the AI has better than 10:1 superiority. It will still shoot at those other targets if they're the best "targets of opportunity" in range at a particular moment, but it will no longer cause a huge fleet to voluntarily diminish its own concentration-of-power to go after harvesters when the player fleet is roaring down with blood in its eyes.
  • The individual-AI-ship-tactics logic now considers most forms of "drones" (enclave drones, spire blades, tackle drones, champion bay drones; but not deflector/attractor "drones" or ordinary younglings) to be lower priority than most other things regardless of the local balance of power. It will still shoot at them if they're the best "targets of opportunity" in range at the particular moment, but it won't break off to chase something moving 50 times faster than it could ever dream of and/or is going to die in 5 seconds anyway.
  • Certain AI ships (like Carriers, H/K's, etc) now use a new "Bullheaded targeting" flag which makes them heavily prioritize going after military command stations, logistics command stations, modular forts, forts, heavy beam cannons, and other command stations (in basically that order). This is a bit more heavy-handed than we typically are in the AI logic and we wouldn't want to do it for the bulk of the AI forces, but it seems this is more effective at dealing with the most serious threats on the battlefield than the previous logic (which could sometimes see a fully loaded carrier going after a single missile frigate while a Mod-Fort was field-refitting the entire AI fleet with supplementary exhaust ports, etc).
  • Spire Civilian Leaders and Zenith Power Generators are now considered full "irreplaceables" when under human control. Previously they were not given that level of priority in all areas and the AI would sometimes pass up an opportunity to kill them.
  • Fixed a bug where the AI would consider an irreplaceable target "unshielded" if it was protected only by non-movement-blocking forcefields. Given the power of Spirecraft Shield Bearers (or even just normal Shield Bearers) that wasn't a safe assumption.
  • Fixed a bug (introduced back in the days when we tried to implement paint-attack, probably) where the AI sending a list of targets for a particular ship would actually result in it being set to go after the last ship in the list (because the commands were not being queued, but overriding each other).

Cross Planet Attack Refinements

  • CPA changes:
    • Now when a CPA is launched:
      • If all these conditions are true:
        • Difficulty is 8 or higher.
        • Elapsed game time is 5 hours or more.
        • A broken-golems-hard, botnet-golem-hard, and/or spirecraft-hard exo (notably, not FS exos) is charged to at least 60%.
        • The CPA's actual number of freed ships is over a certain minimum threshold (in general, on diff 8+ it will be).
      • Then those exo(s) will launch within 90 seconds after the CPA does.
        • Please note that the strength of these exos will be whatever it was built up to, NOT necessarily 100% (unless it just happened to be 100% at the right moment).
    • CPAs now deploy all their units via carrier, to help its initial push have a similar velocity across the map and to cut down on the significant slowdown that often happens right after a CPA launch where the AI is shoving thousands of threat ships into carriers.
      • Also, to avoid cases where CPA ships were being put into a carrier containing only two ships or something silly like that, if a planet doesn't have enough ships to justify a carrier of its own those are "rolled over" on to the next planet that's launching CPA ships, and it will keep doing this until it has enough for an at least decently-sized carrier load.
    • CPA units no longer start as Threatfleet, just normal Threat. With the AI improvements listed above Threat is actually more immediately dangerous in some ways, where Threatfleet is still probably better at dealing with situations where the game-state at that particular moment just doesn't have a good way to hit the player.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring these changes.
  • This has an impact outside CPAs, but probably impacts them most: Carriers now automatically deploy some (but not necessarily all) of their units when they reach an area where the human has some presence.
    • The number deployed is based on an internal idea of the minimum number of AI ships the carriers should try to keep "in the air" on that planet at once. This ranges from 250 when the human presence is fairly trivial compared to AI strength there, up to 2000 when the AI thinks human forces pose a significant danger to the carrier fleet.
    • When a carrier deploys units in this particular way, it is forced to simply deploy the ships that are actually inside; no combining into higher-marks or core guardians or whatever.
    • Note: despite the fact that the AI's not getting any extra ships out of this, or stronger ships or whatever, this actually substantially increases the danger posed by carriers in many cases. It also makes them less annoying to fight because as long as you kill everything they deploy they'll eventually fully deploy (and thus disappear) even if you leave the auto-target carriers toggle off.
    • Thanks to Cinth, Eternaly_Lost, and others for inspiring this change.

New Debug/Logging Commands

  • In the course of the AI renovations mentioned above we had to improve our tools for telling exactly what was going on inside "the black box" and we figured that some of you are curious (or strange) enough to want to see this info too. More importantly, the ability to gather this info yourself will help in case of strange AI bugs that don't reproduce after save/load, because you can record the logic as it happens and send us the logs so we don't have to rely entirely on being able to reproduce the bug itself (which sometimes just isn't possible or feasible). So these new debug commands are available for any player to use.
    • Note 1: naturally, this information can be exploited to find stuff out about your game-in-progress that will give you an advantage. Up to you if you want to do that, but consider this your "spoiler warning".
    • Note 2: Unlike Advanced Logging, which generally does not have a big impact on performance, these forms of logging can cause signficant slowdown on the AI thread. It will generally still be faster than it was before (though unit-ai-logging something with 4000 potential targets could get hairy) but it will degrade the AI's response time and thus degrade its effectiveness to some extent. There's probably at least one of you who will exploit that.
    • Note 3: Much of the info is human-readable, particularly if you're used to code variable naming conventions, but some of it can be a bit... dense ;)
  • Added a debug chat command: "cmd:log ai wait"
    • If used in MP this only affects the host, since only the host runs the AI thread.
    • If you're in planet view when you give the command, this tells the AI thread to generate a "LogicLog_AICheckForClearingWaitPointsAgainstSpecifiedPlanet_AIThread.txt" log file in your RuntimeData directory whenever evaluating whether to clear wait points (i.e. charge!) against that planet.
    • If you're in galaxy view when you give the command, this tells the AI thread to stop said logging.
  • Added a debug chat command: "cmd:log ai threat choice"
    • If used in MP this only affects the host, since only the host runs the AI thread.
    • Toggles a debug flag which defaults to false, but when true writes entries to "LogicLog_AIChoosingThreatAttackTarget_AIThread.txt" whenever the AI is trying to pick a new planet-to-attack for normal threat.
  • Added a debug chat command: "cmd:log ai for unit,(ObjectNumber)" (so an example usage is: "cmd:log ai for unit,4270993", without the quotes)
    • If used in MP this only affects the host, since only the host runs the AI thread.
    • Sets a debug variable to the object number specified.
      • If this number does not correspond to an actual unit (for instance, -1, which is the default value) then this effectively disables this bit of logging.
      • Probably the easiest way to get the number of a particular unit:
        • Pause.
        • Zoom in far enough to be sure you're looking at just that unit and not a group of them.
        • Press F3 to turn on the game's normal debug-output mode.
        • Hover your mouse cursor over the ship.
        • The tooltip's first number is the FGObjectNumber ("Foreground Object Number"), and that's what you use as the parameter to this command.
    • Anyway, when this is set, when the AI is considering that particular unit or giving it any commands it will generate entries in "LogicLog_AILogicForIndividualShip_AIThread.txt".
      • Note: this log can be pretty voluminous, particularly if the unit is a military ship with a lot of targets to pick from because it records all the decision-making on what targets are eligible and the sorting between them (thankfully that does not actually involve comparing every ship to every other ship, but it could involve up to 5 comparison-lines for every single enemy ship, every time it runs the individual-ship-logic).
  • Added a debug chat command: "cmd:log ai commands"
    • If used in MP this only affects the host, since only the host runs the AI thread.
    • Toggles a debug flag which defaults to false, but when true writes entries to "LogicLog_AIIssuedCommands_AIThread.txt" whenever the AI generates commands for the main thread.
    • Note: the info in this is often not really human-understandable because the GameCommand objects are in a fairly generic form at the time the log is generated. Mainly you'll see the name of the command type and a bunch of numbers following it which usually indicate which ship(s) the command is to and what ship(s) or planet(s) the command concerns (ships to attack, planets to travel through, etc).
  • Added a debug chat command: "cmd:log ai cpu time"
    • If used in MP this only affects the host, since only the host runs the AI thread.
    • Toggles a debug flag which defaults to false, but when true writes entries to "LogicLog_AIProfiling_AIThread.txt" at the end of each AI "overall cycle" (which includes three executions of individual-ship-tactics, three executions of ship-waiting-logic, and one execution each of several more minor routines, as well as a number of half-second waits, etc).
      • Each line includes the sample name, the total milliseconds recorded against that sample during the overall cycle, the number of times the sample was hit during the overall cycle, and the average milliseconds per hit (just the first number divided by the second).
    • Note: at the end of the cycle it actually writes the results twice: once in rough "chronological order" of when the samples were started/stopped, and once in descending order of how much time the samples took. Subsamples are always grouped under their parent samples in both cases.

Prerelease 6.027

(Released May 6th, 2013)

  • Hid some for-next-expansion AI Types that were peeking out.
  • The nebula starships and non-human modular forts that can be built as champion rewards now scale up with the number of champions in the game if that's more than the number of human homeworlds.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic, Cinth, and others for inspiring this change.

Prerelease 6.026 The Guard Before The Storm

(Released May 6th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug where an ARS would still give mkII for free when hacked.
    • Thanks to kasnavada for the report.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions that caused most AI guard posts to seed 1 mark higher than the planet they were on.
    • This does not retroactively apply to games created during those versions, since the bug was in mapgen itself.
    • Thanks to LordSloth for the report.
  • Hero and Modular Fort Photon Lances now have reload times of 1 second (so 3 seconds total cycle time with the beam duration).
  • Fixed a bug where the Ship Design window would not show the Spire Corvette IV or Spire Corvette V even if you could build them (due to holding the ASC or the Core Spire Corvette Fab).
    • Thanks to resonence for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where if you were playing FS where your only neighboring AI planets are mkIV (causing the first two recoverables to spawn on your HW) and you started building either the subspace receiver or the refugee outpost before the actual very first second of the recoverable's existence (due to the auto-pause upon scanning, probably), the next signal would not spawn.
    • Thanks to Vyndicu for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where coordinated AI ships (exo followers and hybrid escorts) could get "stuck" moving very slowly if too far from their leader but still on the same planet as their leader.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 and Hearteater for the reports and saves.
  • Fixed a bug where some AI units that should wait with a threatball were not actually waiting and just cruising through the wormhole to an ignominious demise.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report and save.
  • Since the AI's not used them effectively (or consistently, or really anything-positively) for quite some time, the AI no longer gets Engineer Drone or related units.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug where some units like Nanoswarms could get "stuck" at "just exiting a wormhole" speed even after fading fully in, until their next full recalculation.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for the report and save.
  • The order of turrets on the build and tech menus has been rearranged to keep all the combat turrets together and to put the "core 4" types (needler, laser, mlrs, missile) first.
    • Thanks to Bognor for inspiring this change.
  • Enclave Starships:
    • Higher-mark drones no longer require turret research.
    • Drone spawning counts doubled.
    • Drone health from 2000*mk => 40k*mk (so about half a fighter, now).
    • Drone DPS increased by 50%.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Advanced Factory and ASC health from 440k => 4M.
  • Fab health from 1M => 4M.
  • The AI now unlocks new bonus types at every 100 total AIP instead of every 200 total AIP, and the unlocks are rolled separately for each of the two AI types instead of for the AI team as a whole.

Making Guardians More Interesting/Varied

  • A lot of this is prep work for the expansion where we're planning to add more guardian types and to have the AI not have every guardian type in every game.
    • Thanks to Radiant Phoenix, Hearteater, Wingflier, TechSY730, Lancefighter, chemical_art, Histidine, and LordSloth for inspiring these changes.
    • Special thanks to Hearteater for a lot of the numeric work that went into this.
  • Each AI player now no longer has all guardian types available to it, but instead has tachyon guardians (which are basically unchanged from before) plus 3 of the other guardian types chosen at random. At 50 total AIP and every 100 AIP thereafter (so 50/150/250/etc) it will unlock an additional guardian type, similar to how it unlocks additional bonus ship types for the AI.
  • For-planet-guarding Guardians are now seeded one mark lower than the planet they're seeding on, but their stats have been adjusted upward to maintain the same general level of power in these cases, and the AI-core and AI-HW planets still get mkV guardians. This allows a greater range of power between "guardians you run into on low-mark planets" and "guardians you run into in the endgame".
    • Note especially that this means that a guardian's DPS or health being doubled in the stats below indicates "staying the same" for most of the guardians you encounter in new games generated from this version onward.
    • They've also all been shifted up one level in exo-budget-cost, so their increase in individual stats won't as drastically increase their utility to the AI in exos.
  • The blanket Guardian immunity to fusion cutters has been removed.
  • The blanket MkV Guardian immunities to orbital mass drivers, artillery ammo, and sniper shots have been removed.
  • Artillery Guardian:
    • Health from 400k*mk => 1M*mk.
    • Armor from 200*mk => 0.
    • Damage per shot from 160k*mk => 482k*mk.
    • Armor piercing from 320k*mk => 0.
  • Beam Guardian:
    • Health from 800k*mk => 2M*mk.
    • Armor from 300*mk => 0.
    • Damage per shot from 33k*mk => 38k*mk.
  • Carrier Guardian:
    • No longer allows AI ships to take refuge in it, but instead generates drones internally up to a load of 100, to be unleashed upon the unsuspecting human forces.
    • Renamed the Enclave Guardian.
    • Ammo type from Dark Matter => Energy Burst.
    • Armor from 300*mk => 10k flat.
    • Damage per shot from 600*mk => 4.5k*mk.
    • Shots per salvo from 31 => 12.
    • Seconds per salvo from 10 => 4.
    • Bonuses from 3 vs Heavy => 5 vs CloseCombat, Refractive, and UltraLight.
  • EMP Guardian:
    • Health from 1.12M*mk => 2M*mk
    • Armor from 300*mk => 0.
    • Armor Piercing from 0 => 10k.
    • Shots per salvo from 31 => 24.
    • Seconds per salvo from 10 => 6.
    • Damage per shot from 600*mk => 6k*mk.
    • Now EMPs a planet both on entrance and exit, instead of just entrance.
  • Flak Guardian:
    • Health from 1.12M*mk => 2M*mk
    • Armor from 100*mk => 1k*mk.
    • Get immunity to fusion cutters (other guardians are losing it).
    • Seconds per salvo from 10 => 6.
    • Shots per salvo from 5 => 8.
    • Damage per shot from 5.5k*mk => 6.6k*mk.
    • Bonus vs Composite replaced by Bonus vs Polycrystal (other bonuses left as is).
  • Gravity Guardian:
    • Health from 800k*mk => 1M*mk.
    • Armor from 300*mk => 0.
    • Damage per shot from 40k*mk => 175k*mk.
    • Bonus vs Heavy replaced by Bonus vs UltraLight (other bonuses left as is).
  • Laser Guardian:
    • Health from 880k*mk => 1.5M*mk.
    • Armor from 300*mk => 1k flat.
    • Armor Piercing from 300*mk => 1k flat.
    • Damage per shot from 3.4k*mk => 10k*mk.
    • Instead of 5x vs Polycyrstal, Light, and Refractive it now gets 5x vs Polycrystal, Artillery, and Medium.
  • Lightning Guardian:
    • Health from 1.12M*mk => 2.5M*mk.
    • Armor from 600*mk => 1k flat.
    • Seconds per salvo from 18 => 10.
    • Damage per shot from 6k*mk => 3.7k*mk.
  • Raider Guardian:
    • Health from 400k*mk => 2M*mk.
    • Armor from 375*mk => 1k flat.
    • Damage per shot from 11k*mk => 32k*mk.
    • Bonus vs UltraHeavy replaced by Bonus vs Turret (other bonuses left as is).
  • Self-Destruct Guardian:
    • Health from 20k*mk => 750k*mk.
    • Armor from 0 => 10k.
    • Damage from 100k*mk => 75k*mk.
    • Armor piercing from MAX => 0.
    • Added bonuses vs Light and Polycrystal.
  • Sniper Guardian:
    • Health from 400k*mk => 1M*mk.
    • Armor from 150*mk => 0.
    • Seconds per salvo from 6 => 8.
    • Shots per salvo from 5 => 4.
    • Damage per shot from 19k*mk => 64*mk.
    • Bonuses from 4x vs Medium and Polycrystal => 4x vs Medum, Refractive, Ultra-Light, Composite.
  • Special Forces Rally Guardian:
    • Health from 800k*mk => 2M*mk.
    • Seconds per salvo from 10 => 5.
    • Shots per salvo from 1 => 5.
    • Damage per shot from 10k*mk => 50k*mk.
    • Gained 5x bonus vs Turret.
    • Any planet one of these is on is considered a valid target for the AI's Special Forces, even if it is a neutral or human planet.
  • Spider Guardian:
    • Base speed from 12 => 60.
    • Health from 400k*mk => 1.5M*mk.
    • Armor from 150*mk => 1k flat.
    • Armor Piercing from 0 => 1k.
    • Removed auto-kite behavior.
    • Now has infinite engine health.
    • Range from Infinite => 15k.
    • Ammo from Railgun => Shotgun.
    • Seconds per salvo from 6 => 4.
    • Damage per shot from 3k*mk => 4k*mk.
    • Bonuses from 4 vs Medium and Polycrystal => 5 vs Artillery.
  • Spire Implosion Guardian:
    • Health from 800k*mk => 2M*mk
    • Range from 7000+1000*mk => 30k.
    • Seconds per salvo from 1 => 4.
    • Shots per salvo from 1 => 4.
    • Damage per shot from 0.25%/0.5%/1%/2%/4% => 1%/2%/3%/4%/5%.
  • Starship Disassembler Guardian:
    • Renamed to simply "Disassembler Guardian".
    • Health from 2.4M*mk => 1.5M*mk.
    • Armor Piercing from 8k*mk => 100k flat.
    • Ammo from Antimatter Bomb => Dark Matter.
    • Seconds per salvo from 2 => 3.
    • Damage per shot from 4k*mk => 175k*mk.
  • Tractor Guardian:
    • Health from 1.12M*mk => 3M*mk.
    • Armor from 450*mk => 10k flat.
    • Bonuses from 3x vs Turret => 3x vs Swarmer and Medium.
    • Damage per shot from 35k*mk => 54k*mk.
  • Tachyon Guardian:
    • Armor from 150*mk => 0.
    • Didn't change these to make them more durable or more dangerous to fit the others since these aren't following the others into "not always on in every game". There's been requests to make them less ubiquitous but that would require an overhaul of the scouting game so it's just being left as-is for now.
  • Vampire Guardian:
    • Health from 800k*mk => 1M*mk.
    • Armor from 50*mk => 1k flat.
    • Bonuses from 3x vs Polycrystal, Medium, and Neutron => 3x vs Refracfive, Neutron, and Swarmer.
    • Seconds per salvo from 3 => 2.
    • Shots per salvo from 4 => 8.
    • Damage per shot from 4k*mk => 9.5k*mk.
  • Warp Gate Guardian:
    • Attack Range from 6k => 30k.
    • Ammo from Minor Electric => Antimatter Bomb.
    • Seconds per salvo from 2 => 30.
    • Shots per salvo from 1+3*mk => 4 flat.
    • Damage per shot from 4k*mk => 125k*mk.
    • Gained 3x bonus vs Structural, UltraHeavy, and Heavy.
  • Zombie Guardian:
    • Health from 266k*mk => 2M*mk.
    • Armor from 300*mk => 0.
    • Seconds per salvo from 2 => 4.
    • Shots per salvo from 2 => 4.
    • Damage per shot from 60k*mk => 55k*mk.

Prerelease 6.025

(Released May 1st, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug preventing most foldouts from spawning in multiplayer.
    • Thanks to darkarchon for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where winning any game would give you all the "beat AI Type X" achievements you met the difficulty requirements for, instead of just the ones for the AI Types you were playing against.
    • Thanks to Histidine for the report.

Prerelease 6.024 The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Buff (or Nerf)

(Released April 29th, 2013)

  • Added a unique identifier (ObjectType) to the ShipDataFull.xls and ShipDataStatsOnly.xls exports.
    • Thanks to Diazo for the suggestion.
  • The AI's main carrier-creation logic now no longer redeploys ships to a carrier on a different planet (generally it put everything on its homeworld) but instead to carriers on their own planet. This can result in more carriers than before and thus not quite the same "unit count savings", but in practice it works (in testing it still condensed a 45,000 ship CPA down to a level that ran smoothly on +10 on a decent machine, at least until the shooting started).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.
  • The "try to synchronize new waves with an announced CPA" rule that applies on diff 8+ now aims for launching the waves 90 seconds after the CPA "launches" instead of at the same time, to make actual attack-overlap more likely.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where the radar dampening on mkII/mkIII turrets was... awry.
    • Thanks to Winge for the report.
  • Added new per-control group toggle: Suspend Spending If Resources Less Than.
    • If your combined metal+crystal reserve is less than this number, units in this control group will temporarily cease the following activities (even if specifically ordered to do them) :
      • 1) Spending resources on its own build queue (for Space Docks, Starship Constructors, etc).
      • 2) Spending resources on its own self-building (for Turrets, Forts, etc that are still under construction).
      • 3) Accepting assistance from engineers on its build queue or self-building.
      • 4) Providing assistance to another unit's build queue or self-building.
      • 5) Repairing other units.
      • 6) Accepting repairs from other units.
    • If a ship is in multiple control groups, the highest value of this setting takes precedence.
    • One important use of this is for "use excess resources" assignments, so if you want your merc space dock to turn anything over a total of 1.5M resources into merc fighters, you can do that with this new toggle with minimal micro.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this addition.
  • Added new global toggle to controls window: Harvester Autobuild Ignores Cloaked And Immobile Units
    • If this toggle is checked, your command stations will automatically build harvesters on empty resource spots even if there are AI ships present, as long as all of those AI ships are either cloaked or immobile (a Special Forces Guard Post is a good example of an immobile unit you may choose to not destroy but don't want to prevent harvester auto-building).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic and many other players for inspiring this addition.
  • To address widespread player feedback that the recent buffs to starships went too far, as well as some other longstanding starship-related feedback:
    • Flagship Radar Dampening from 8,000 => 12,000.
    • Zenith Starship Radar Dampening removed.
    • Zenith Starship base capHealth from 36M => 32M.
    • Zenith Starship base capDPS from 40k => 36k.
    • Spire Starship Radar Dampening removed.
    • Spire Starship base capHealth from 24M => 22M.
    • Spire Starship base capDPS from 180k => 160k.
    • Bomber Starship base capHealth from 36M => 33M.
    • Bomber Starship base capDPS from 150k => 135k.
    • Plasma Siege Starship engine health from 3k => 100k (which is much more normal for a starship).
    • Plasma Siege Starship base capDPS from 90k*mk => 100*mk.
    • Plasma Siege Starship base move speed from 12 => 14.
    • Thanks to TechSY730, Zeyurn, _K_, Aquohn, chemical_art, Zeyi, Hearteater, Diazo, Wingflier, Radiant Phoenix, Faulty Logic, Aklyon, Dichotomy, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Advanced Research Stations now no longer give MkII of their bonus type for free, but:
    • They now grant 500 extra Knowledge immediately upon capture.
    • Not directly related to ARS's, but related to Knowledge balance: researching a MkIII triangle or bonus ship type now costs 4000 instead of 6000.
      • The idea being that we're no longer going to count "You get MkIVs of this type if you also have an advanced factory" when computing the cost of these. In theory that yields a cost of 3750 but we went with 4000 since mkIII units are slightly more than 1.5x as useful as MkIIs. We're not yet sure of whether to apply this same philosophical change to MkIII starship costs, as the balance of those is still very much in flux.
    • Thanks to kasnavada, TechSY730, Hearteater, Cinth, LaughingThesaurus, Wingflier, Winge, chemical_art, Kahuna, Faulty Logic, Zeyurn, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • The AI's response to K-hacking and Ship-Design hacking now has a few new tricks, getting progressively trickier as the overall hacking-antagonism "category" (listed in the alert box) gets higher.
    • Also educated the AI that it is not, in fact, efficient to attempt to cook food at interplanetary distances with tachyon radiation. Judging by its past frequency of counter-hack tach bursts, it apparently thought this was feasible.
    • Haven't added the trickiness here to ST hacking yet, we'll see how it goes here first.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring these changes.

The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Buff, Part 2

  • Continuing the work from the previous version: mostly responding to a recent community poll with these, specifically with an eye to making some lesser-taken unlocks more worth their knowledge cost (by increasing usefulness, decreasing K cost, or both).
    • Thanks to TechSY730, Hearteater, Zeyurn, Faulty Logic, Vyndicu, Winge, chemical_art, Toranth, Kjara, zharmad, KDR_11k, and the poll voters for inspiring these changes.
  • The researchable Command Station Upgrades (mkII/mkIII of econ, logistical, and military stations), in honor of doing quite well in that poll, now also create (after a few seconds when the foldout logic fires) a "sub station" next to your Home Command Station that basically provides all of the benefits of one of the corresponding stations. This is cumulative, so unlocking econ II and econ III will cause your home command stations to have both the econ-II and the econ-III sub stations.
    • Note: in case there's confusion, these are not modules but totally separate units. They're permacloaked, even the military ones that can fire while cloaked (the idea being that the AI doesn't have to kill it, just the home station).
  • As part of responding to the Enclave Starship doing very well in the poll, added new global toggle to controls window: Brave Enclave Starships.
    • If this toggle is checked, your Enclave Starships will suppress their normal self-preservation instincts to avoid being included in a selection with military ships.
    • Note: this applies to the enclave starships of the player who's brave-enclave-starships toggle is checked, regardless of who is trying to control them in a multiplayer game with Allow Team Control on. Allied Player Enclave Starships will still be wimps unless their owners check this toggle too.
  • In honor of doing very well in the poll, and in order to assist in plans for revising the Enclave Starship:
    • The Mobile Repair Station:
      • Now has the capacity to build mkI-III ships that you've unlocked.
      • Now also has the capacity to build mkIV ships that you've unlocked mkIII of, if you ALSO control an Advanced Factory.
      • Now has a Radar Dampening range of 8000.
      • Now has a brave toggle on the Controls window.
      • Has been renamed to "Mobile Space Dock".
    • The Enclave Starship no longer has a build queue (see below, it's being repurposed to produce drones in another fashion).
  • Neinzul Enclave Starships, in honor of doing very well in the poll (and past polls of this nature...) :
    • The MkIV version is no longer unlocked by K but instead built at the Advanced Starship Constructor if you've already unlocked MkIII.
      • K cost from 0/2000/2000/14000 => 0/1000/3000 (like the flagship, leech starship, heavy bomber starship, etc).
    • Base Cap HP from 6M*mk => 20M*mk.
    • Build menu has been removed.
    • Instead of a build menu, this ship now automatically produces a group of drones every 10/9/8/7 seconds. That group will contain 1 of every drone type you have unlocked via turret research:
      • MkI Needler/Laser/MLRS/Missile drones are now automatically available.
      • MkII drones can only be built by MkII+ enclaves and are unlocked with MkII turret research (into Basic/Laser/MLRS/Missile turrets, respectively).
      • MkIII drones can only be built by MkIII+ enclaves and are unlocked with MkIII turret research.
      • MkIV drones can only be built by MkIV enclaves and are unlocked with MkIII turret research (there being no MkIV turret research).
    • Enclave Drones now automatically start in FRD.
    • Enclaves themselves can no longer be cloaked (for the same reason the Spire Blade Spawner cannot be cloaked).
    • The Mercenary Enclave Starship is now equivalent to a MkIV, instead of a MkII.
  • The MkII Transport, in honor of doing quite well in the poll:
    • Has been renamed to the Assault Transport.
    • Cap from 20 => 10 (metal cost, crystal cost, and build time doubled accordingly).
    • Unload rate from 20/sec => 200/sec (so effectively instant.
    • Where the normal Transport causes all unloaded ships to do a full reload cycle before firing, the Assault Transport unloads them at halfway through the reload cycle (or wherever they were in the reload cycle when they loaded into the transport, whichever is greater).
    • The Assault Transport has cloaking.
    • The Assault Transport has an attack. Unloaded, the cap of Assault Transports has a little over half the bonus-cap-dps of the mkI fighter so it's not very impressive (particularly considering the K cost). But every 10 ships in an assault transport gives it an additional shot-per-salvo, so a fully loaded cap of these is actually fairly powerful (but nowhere near as powerful as that many normal combatants). And before you ask, yes, Science ships (and other unarmed things) count for this, but 2,000 science ships involves a... rather prohibitive economic cost, considering the payoff.
      • This attack can be suppressed by putting the unit in stand-down mode; everything else it does (loading, unloading, cloaking, etc) will continue to function just fine but this will prevent it from unilaterally breaking its own cloak. At the same time, the attack behavior can be used (while not in stand-down) to suppress the cloak so you can use the transports' traditional "damage sponge" role.
    • Health from 2x a normal transports => 4x.
    • Knowledge cost from 4000 => 3000.

Turret Rebalance

  • This general category did well in the poll, and much feedback followed on what to do about it. Ultimately we went with a general proposed set of numbers from Hearteater, omitting some of the proposed changes and making a few extra ones.
  • Basic Turret:
    • Base Cap Health from 14.7M => 38.4M.
    • Base Armor from 300 => 10k.
    • Shots-per-salvo from 3 => 1.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 10 => 3.
    • Base Cap DPS from 235,200 => 168k.
    • Armor Piercing from 150 => 0.
    • Bonuses from 2.4x => 3x.
    • Penalty vs CommandGrade removed.
    • K-Cost from 0/500/1500 => 0/1000/1750.
      • Each step is now 250 less than the new "standard" turret K costs; historically this has been a very low-priced turret because historically it was a much weaker turret than the others. It's been in the same league as the others performance-wise for some time, however.
  • MLRS Turret:
    • Base Cap Health from 19.6M => 39.6M.
    • Base Armor from 450 => 0.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 8 => 10.
    • Base Cap DPS from 205800 => 216k.
    • Bonuses from 2.4x => 3x.
    • Penalty vs CommandGrade removed.
    • K-Cost from 0/2000/3000 => 0/1250/2000.
  • Flak Turret:
    • Base Cap Health from 24.5M => 60M.
    • Base Armor from 750 => 0.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 7 => 6.
    • Base Cap DPS from 420k => 315k.
    • Attack Range from 4500/5500/6500 => 5000/6000/7000.
    • Bonuses from 2.4x => 3x.
    • Bonus against Refractive removed and replaced with bonus against Light.
    • Penalties vs CommandGrade, Heavy, and UltraHeavy removed.
    • K-Cost from 0/2500/3000 => 0/1250/2000.
  • Missile Turret:
    • Base Cap Health from 9.8M => 28.8M.
    • Base Armor from 150 => 0.
    • Base Cap DPS from 264,600 => 171k.
    • Armor Piercing from 90k => 0.
    • Bonuses from 2.4x => 3x.
    • Penalty vs CommandGrade removed.
    • K-Cost from 0/3000/4000 => 0/1250/2000.
  • Laser Turret:
    • Base Cap Health from 29.4M => 36M
    • Base Armor from 300 => 1000.
    • Shots-per-salvo from 3 => 1.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 4 => 8.
    • Base Cap DPS from 220,500 => 180k.
    • Armor Piercing from 750 => 1000.
    • Bonuses from 2.4x => 3x.
    • Penalty vs CommandGrade removed.
    • K-Cost from 0/2500/3500 => 0/1250/2000.
  • Heavy Beam Cannon:
    • Base Health from 850k/2.55M/7.65M/40M (at caps 12/8/4/1) => Base Cap Health of 36M*mk (this probably makes the mkIV an unspeakable monster of a turret, we'll see).
    • Base Armor from 800 => 0.
  • Lightning Turret:
    • Base Cap Health from 19.6M => 48M.
    • Base Armor from 800 => 10k.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 18 => 15.
    • Base Cap DPS from 435,600 => 337,500.
    • Bonuses from 8x vs Refractive, 4x vs Artillery, 2x vs Neutron => 3x vs Refractive, Neutron, UltraLight, and Polycrystal.
    • Penalty vs CommandGrade removed.
    • K-Cost from 0/1500/2000 => 0/1250/2000.
  • Sniper & Spider Turrets:
    • Base Cap from 232 => 192.
    • Base Cap Health from 23.5M => 19.2M.
    • Base Armor from 1000 => 0.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 6 => 8.
    • Base Cap DPS from 141k => 112,500.
    • Bonuses from 5x vs CloseCombat, 4x vs Medium, 4x vs Polycrystal, 6x vs UltraLight => 5x vs same types.
    • Penalty vs CommandGrade removed.
  • Tractor Turret K-Cost from 0/2000/4000 => 0/1250/2000.

Prerelease 6.023

(Released April 23rd, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug in the previous version where the new control-group-specific sticky-formation toggle wasn't working.
  • Fixed an unhandled-errors bug in the last version with auto-load.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the report and save.

The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Buff, Part 1

  • Mostly responding to a recent community poll with these, specifically with an eye to making some lesser-taken unlocks more worth their knowledge cost (by increasing usefulness, decreasing K cost, or both).
    • Thanks to TechSY730, Hearteater, Zeyurn, Faulty Logic, Vyndicu, Winge, chemical_art, Toranth, Kjara, zharmad, KDR_11k, and the poll voters for inspiring these changes.
  • Human Raid Starships, in honor winning a recent community poll:
    • MkIIs and higher now have immunity to missiles.
    • MkIIIs and higher now have cloaking.
    • MkIVs and higher now have immunity to gravity.
    • K cost from 0/4000/4000 => 0/2000/3000.
  • Mobile Repair Station K cost from 4000 => 3000.

Prerelease 6.022 Honored Bugs

(Released April 23rd, 2013)

  • The Diff > 8 escalation of the "Alternative Minimum AIP" rule that's used for computing how fast golems/spirecraft exos are "grown" has been toned way down to make the first exo less of an "I Win" button for the AI on the highest difficulties.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic and Kahuna for inspiring this change.
  • Nebula Detail now defaults to 60%.
    • When loading from a version from before 6.022 you have it set to 100% (the previous default) it will be set to the new default.
    • Thanks to Kahuna and TechSY730 for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed an error in a recent release preventing it from actually giving cloaker starships mine immunity.
    • Thanks to onyhow for the report.
  • Fixed some weird bugs with pathing through planets bordering unexplored nebulae in a game with hide-unexplored-planets.
    • Thanks to MaxAstro for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where human intragalactic warpgates could not be placed on a planet with an AI warp gate (for instance, an exogalactic wormhole on the human homeworld due to a backdoor-hacker AI).
    • Thanks to Tie-Viper for the report and save.
  • Removed the rule in the wave-size calculation where it used "(AIP * 0.8 ) ^ 1.1" instead of just AIP on diff >= 8.
    • Thanks to... everyone? ... for the suggestion.
  • More nebula balance stuff:
    • The recently-added "small base death causes one-time surge in large base production" rule:
      • Is now not applied to the GraySpire-vs-Dysons, HumanResistance-vs-RavenousShadow, or Explosive-colony-ships nebula scenarios.
      • Fixed a bug where it wasn't applying to the neinzul bases in the early 3-way sceanrios.
      • On the scenarios where it does apply, is now about 1/5th as strong as it was (it is still multiplied by champion hull size).
    • Champion missile module attack power from 60k*mk => 50k*mk.
    • Ravenous Shadow, due to feedback that the last nerf was excessive (though the reduction in move speed and attack range were well received) :
      • Base Health from 700M => 750M.
      • Base Damage per shot from 54k => 65k (5k more than pre-nerf).
      • Shots-per-salvo from 40 => 45 (back to pre-nerf).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic, zharmad, Aquohn, Toranth, Cinth, Poko, Vyndicu, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Added new per-control-group-control, Ship Movement Defaults To Group-Move:
    • When this is set to "On", all your ships in this control group slow down to match the slowest ship in your selection at the time the order is given (disregarding engine damage) so that they don't get farther apart while moving. Normally all ships move at top speed regardless of other ships in the selection.
    • When this is set to "Default", the global group-move policy will govern.
    • When this is "Off", this behavior will not happen for ships in this control group even if the global group-move toggle is on.
    • Note: the group speed only cares about ships in the selection; if there are other ships in this control group but not in your selection then their top speed will not be factored in to the group's top speed.
    • Also, if your selection contains ships from other control groups then those ships will follow the group-move policy of that control group (or just your global group-move setting, if they are not in a control group), and thus may go at a different speed.
    • If a ship is in multiple control groups with conflicting settings for this, the priority order is as follows: Off, On, Default.
  • CPA ships now go straight to threatfleet rather than spending 30 minutes in normal threat behavior, as that was allowing them to be more easily intimidated (by forts, for example) into just sitting on the other side of a wormhole from a huge human chokepoint. Certain humans are too good at arranging accidents for threatballs for that to work well.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.

Honored (and now dead) Bugs

  • In honor of it winning the "bug of the year" poll, we've fixed the one (several bugs, actually) where Advanced Research Stations, Super Terminals, Broken Golems (normal and botnet), Fabricators (all three categories), Dyson Spheres, Neinzul Rocketry Silos, and Dark Spire Vengeance Generators were only seeding on planets belonging to the first AI player. Depending on which type that player was (scorched earth, notably) this was capable of being very... interesting.
    • Note: this is not retroactive for old saves, since the seeding has already happened there.
    • Thanks to amethyst, Winge and the poll voters for bringing this (and its importance) to our attention.
  • In honor of it coming in fourth for the "bug of the year" poll, we've fixed how the scaling turret types were still using the old ship caps and not the ones adjusted to work on ultra-low caps without rounding errors (so they've been moved from the base of 196-on-high to a base of 192-on-high, with their cap-health, cap-dps, cap-m, cap-c, and cap-e kept very similar, though not necessarily exactly the same). Specifically this applies to:
    • Basic Turret
    • Laser Turret
    • MLRS Turret
    • Missile Turret
    • Flak Turret
    • Lightning Turret
    • Sniper Turret
    • Spider Turret
    • Tractor Turret
    • Note that this does not apply to the counter turrets, the grav turret, the tachyon emitters, or the HBC, as those don't scale with unit caps anyway (the counters and gravs and tachyons because their usefulness varies much more if cap is changed, the HBC because it's already low cap).
    • Thanks to TechSY730, orzelek, and the poll voters for inspiring this change.
  • In honor of it coming in second in the "bug of the year" poll, we've fixed a number of bugs that were preventing the preferred-target rules (and to some extent the focus-fire rules) from working on hybrids or other units with a modular forcefield.
    • The Focus-Fire toggles and preferred-target rules have also been made somewhat more enthusiastic about their jobs in general (specifically, when looping over secondary targets in range after reaching overkill-saturation on the primary target).
    • Thanks to KDR_11k and the poll voters for bringing the importance of this to our attention, and specifically to orzelek for providing a save where the problem could be reproduced.
  • In honor of it coming third in the "bug of the year" poll, we fixed the "Defensive Hybrids are Mobilizing" condition appearing to do nothing. It was actually working as intended in our tests, but since you wanted it to do more, well, it does more now.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 and the poll voters for bringing the importance of this to our attention.

Prerelease 6.021

(Released April 16th, 2013)

  • Fixed a null-exception bug in the AI code caused by the recent fix to the retreat logic.
    • Thanks to fuzz_head and Chthon for the reports and saves.
  • Put a bandaid on a bug where one of the 3rd expansion's units is being redirected to look for some of its buy-button images in the 4th expansion's directory. Need to fix the underlying problem but that proved to be a major rabbit hole.
    • Thanks to rickynumber24 for the report.

Prerelease 6.020

(Released April 15th, 2013)

  • EMP Guardian pulses no longer get announced if you do not at least have basic vision (at least one non-blind unit) on the planet where the pulse occurs.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where scouts could not be directly sent through unexplored wormholes when the everything-starts-unexplored toggle was on.
    • Thanks to MaxAstro for the report and save.

Prerelease 6.019 Nebulous Diligence

(Released April 15th, 2013)

  • Offensive Nemesis champions now do not start unless the player has completed a nebula (win or loss) or the game clock has reached 3 hours.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.
  • Normal AI reinforcements now have an "effective AIP cap" of (AIDifficulty^2)*5.
    • So, for example, a Diff 7 AI's normal reinforcements will not increase from AIP increases past 245 (on Diff 8 it'd be 320, on Diff 9 405, and on Diff 10 500).
    • The main reason for this is that reinforcements tend to produce stalemates rather than player-loses outcomes. If the player really oversteps the viable AIP range then waves or CPAs or something like that should step in to kill them, but reinforcements generally aren't going to do that.
    • Thanks to kasnavada for inspiring this change.
  • The Lazy-AI toggle now also disables the AI's counter-spawns when a human deepstrike is detected.
    • Thanks to Cyborg for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where counterattack posts actually had an effective range one less than their mark level, rather than equal to their mark level.
    • They're also more likely to target "deeper" than they were previously, as targeting the "surface" planets is something waves can generally already do.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report and save.
  • If a modular ship is immune to EMP, it now also protects its modules from EMP.
    • Thanks to KDR_11k for inspiring this change.
  • Cloaker Starships are now immune to mines.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.
  • Astro Trains now no longer inherently have tachyon emission (so the Tachyon train still has a planet-wide tachyon effect, but that's it).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.
  • Finally fixed a longstanding bug where the "Attacking AI ships should wait at least 30 seconds before retreating" rule was not working. It's possible there are other behaviors which may cause retreat-like results, but this fixed the reproducible case we had.
    • Thanks to Diazo for the report and save, and many others who reported it through the months/years.
  • Made the normal-offensive-nemesis part of the champion counterbalance check roughly every 5 minutes instead of roughly every minute. So they won't respawn quite so quickly after dying, on average.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.
  • For the base vs base nebula scenarios, the old "rubberbanding" effect of increasing both sides' production for each dead small starbase (the side that lost the base would get more of an increase) has been entirely removed. Instead, killing a small starbase causes an immediate spawn at the corresponding large base (but has no further impact on production). The size of this counter-spawn is partly determined by the highest size champion you've unlocked at the time.
    • This will probably need some further balancing, let us know about your experiences with it.
    • Thanks to Aquohn, Zeyi, TechSY730, LordSloth, Toranth, chemical_art, Histidine, and others for inspiring this change.
  • Spire Champion beam cycle time from 4 seconds => 3 seconds. Previously it had the same "optimal" dps as the Zenith champion, but with the additional quirks of the photon lance mechanic. Now it has 33% higher optimal dps than the Zenith one.
    • Thanks to Radiant Phoenix and Cinth for inspiring this change.
  • Core Guard Posts:
    • AIP-on-death from 2 => 1.
      • Would have just removed it altogether, but keeping it helps make sure it will avoid various autotargeting and aoe related considerations that might result in these being unintentionally killed.
    • If Lazy-AI is off, killing one of these now causes an immediate one-time AI counter-attack from one or more warp gates in the galaxy.
    • Thanks to chemical_art and TechSY730 for the suggestions.

Prerelease 6.018

(Released April 9th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug in the previous versions (and possibly earlier, but unlikely) where it was impossible to send a champion through to a previously-unexplored nebula unless you were playing on complete-vis.
    • Note: a side effect of the fix is making nebulae follow the same visibility rules as other planets on the map, so they'll no longer be hidden in non-complete-vis games.
    • Thanks to Poko for the report.

Prerelease 6.017 Defending The AI's Front Lawn

(Released April 9th, 2013)

  • AI-controlled speed boosting units still have their speed-boosting effect even in stand-down mode.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a grammatically incorrect apostrophe in one of the ending journals.
    • Thanks to Bognor for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where units that fire counter-missiles did not note it in their description.
    • Thanks to Bognor for the report.
  • Thanks to Bognor and others for reporting a number of textual errors:
    • Corrected the Core CPA post's description saying the CPAs were launched immediately.
    • Corrected several Plasma-Siege unit/module descriptions not noting that they could not target small ships.
    • Corrected Bomber Starship description still saying it cannot target small ships.
    • Corrected Modular Fort descriptions not noting that the more exotic module types become available with champion upgrades.
    • Corrected Logistical Command Station descriptions implying a different level of armor compared to other command station types.
    • Corrected Zenith Power Generator description claiming to have an operating cost and claiming to increase AI waves against the planet.
    • Corrected Tachyon Beam Emitter and Stealth Tachyon Beam Emitter description claiming to be "stronger" (technically, stronger than a tachyon drone, but it doesn't really matter).
    • Corrected Spire Teleporting Leech description claiming that the unit is "large", when it's not targetable by stuff that cannot target "small" units.
    • Corrected Cloaker Starship description claiming to be "fast".
    • Corrected Spire Blade description claiming the wrong duration before self-destruct.
    • Gave the Armored Warhead Armor so that it's, well, Armored.
  • Wormhole Guard Posts are now listed as such in the planetary detail window when mousing-over a planet on the galaxy map.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for inspiring this change.
  • Minor Faction enclave ships no longer get the massively-high collision priority that human-controlled ones get.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic, TechSY730, and others for inspiring this change.
  • Added note to the Spire Shard Reactor description explaining that it can power 1 Spire Shipyard AND 1 Spire Habitation Center, anywhere in the galaxy. This was already explained elsewhere in the game, but not here.
    • Thanks to Fealthas for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug preventing the "Avoid Pathing Through This Planet" control from working in many cases.
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the report and save.
  • Added a "Lazy AI" toggle to the AI Modifiers section of the lobby.
    • If this is on (off by default), the AI will not care enough to be bothered with the following (newly implemented) self-preservation measures:
      • Maintaining a powerful strategic reserve to defend the AI homeworlds, even when it does not feel threatened. Instead, its strategic reserve will be proportional to AIP (capping out around 200 AIP).
      • Increasing the AIP floor by 10 for every homeworld-guarding Core Guard Post that is killed.
    • Decreased AIP-on-death of AI Home Command Stations from 100 to 20.
      • This applies to Lazy-AI games too, but is intended to counterbalance the increase the core posts give to the floor on Non-Lazy.
    • The overall point of these changes is actually to make AIP feel less restraining: if you're playing a Non-Lazy AI you're going to need a certain amount of power to take down the homeworlds due to the strategic reserve, and if the core posts are going to bump up your AIP-floor anyway you may as well be above the floor before that happens. At the same time, it's not actually forcing you "off the floor" until that final assault on the HWs, so it's up to you whether you want to start ramping up earlier or "just-in-time". Of course, on high difficulty levels you may not be able to survive the escalation, but that's kind of the point of the high difficulty levels :)
    • Thanks to chemical_art, Cyborg, Histidine, Hearteater, Faulty Logic, Diazo, TechSY730, Toranth, Winge, _K_, Wingflier, and others for inspiring these changes.

Prerelease 6.016 Deflecting Attraction

(Released April 3rd, 2013)

  • To fix a problem in recent versions where some guard posts were countering their triangle counters:
    • Needler Guard Post hull type from Light => Medium (so now countered by fighters, which they do not counter).
    • MLRS Guard Post hull type from Medium => Heavy (so now countered by bombers, which they do not counter).
    • Missile Guard Post hull type from Artillery => Light (so now countered by missile frigates, which they do not counter).
    • Laser Guard Post hull type from Heavy => Neutron (so now countered by missile frigates, which they do not counter).
    • Thanks to TechSY730, Kahuna, Space Cowboy, and many others for inspiring this change.
  • New maps will now seed quantities of guard posts more appropriate to their planet's internal "AIStrengthLevel" (something that's been part of mapgen since 2009, but its factor into guard post count was obscured on any diff >= 7 for the most part) and the AI's difficulty level.
    • This will generally result in a significantly smaller galactic population of guard posts on diff 7 and thereabouts, which should help lessen the blow of the recent guard post buffs on the folks who don't intentionally play the really punishing difficulty levels.
    • Thanks to Space Cowboy for inspiring this change.
  • Exos from golems-hard and spirecraft-hard are now more aggressive on diffs higher than 8, with 8.3 getting a very slight boost, 9 a modest one, and 10... well, it's likely to hurt.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.
  • To prevent an exploit providing massive "brownout insurance" without the intended ongoing costs for said, Matter Converters can no longer be paused while under construction (they already could not be paused after construction).
    • If this is a problem an alternate fix would be for its ongoing m+c consumption to happen even while it's still under construction.
    • Thanks to Wingflier and Toranth for the suggestion.
  • AI forts and superforts no longer self-regen.
    • Thanks to eRe4s3r for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where Neinzul Youngling Weasels were not attracting missile shots aimed at nearby allies.
    • Their coverage is still not completely perfect; when a weasel dies any units that it was "covering" may temporarily be susceptible to missile lock, and once the missile is locked on it will go after them. But the weasels will attract most of the incoming fire.
    • Thanks to Cyborg for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where lots of units trying to do cloaking boosting in the game could cause others to have temporary "interruptions in service", so to speak.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report and save.
  • Fixed a longstanding (back to the beginning of Ancient Shadows) bug where some minor faction ships could get stuck on a planet's central point because they were trying to path to a nebula (but obviously could not actually do so).
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the report and save.
  • Deflector Drones, in honor of developing quite a reputation for being, um, "usefulness-challenged" among a substantial portion of the playerbase:
    • Base mkI cap-health from 5,213,600 => 10,880,000.
    • Base mkI cap-dps from 54880 => 76160.
    • Base move speed from 24 => 32 (so now same as fighters).
    • Base radius of the protection effect increased from 1000 => 9000.
    • No longer reduce the damage done by laser weapons to nearby allies; instead they now attract laser fire against nearby allies to target them instead (much as the Youngling Weasel does with missiles).
      • Please, if you know a physicist please prevent them from thinking too much about this: it could pose serious health risks.
    • Has been renamed to "Atrractor Drone".
    • Thanks to Kahuna, Diazo, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Added new per-planet control to the CTRLS window: Avoid Planet During Auto-Pathing
    • If this is on, the game will try to avoid including this planet in the path when you give a move order on the galaxy map to a non-adjacent planet.
    • Note that this only applies to newly created paths: orders you've already given will remain unchanged, including "standing orders" on space docks and redirector rally posts, etc.
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the suggestion, and many others for feedback over the years leading to this.
  • On new maps, Advanced Factories, Advanced Starship Constructors, and Fabs will now be fairly aggressively seeded far away from the planet center, while maximizing the distance from the nearest wormhole, to make defending these irreplaceables at least somewhat more feasible.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for inspiring this change.
  • Intra-Galactic Warp Gates:
    • The post-warp-paralysis time for units using a "Intra-Galactic Warp Gate - Mercenaries" or a "Intra-Galactic Warp Gate - Advanced Production" (which routes units from an AdvFact or ASC) has been reduced from 60 seconds (120 on non-friendly planets) to 4 seconds (8 on non-friendly planets).
    • The post-warp-paralysis time for units using a "Intra-Galactic Warp Gate - Fabricators" has been completely removed.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for inspiring these changes.
  • Allied Roaming Enclave logic:
    • The enemy-power threshold at which it considers a planet worth its attention (based on total allied enclave strength) has been raised by about 25%.
    • The enemy-power threshold at which it considers a planet too dangerous to attack (based on total allied enclave strength) has been raised by about 100%.
    • Thanks to Wingflier, TechSY730, and others for inspiring this change.

Prerelease 6.015

(Released March 27th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug in the last version that could cause unhandled errors when launching some exos.
    • Thanks to orzelek for the report and save.
  • Fixed several bugs with cloak-boosting in the last version.
    • Also added a rule where something unloading from a cloaked transport is now also cloak-boosted for about 2 seconds so a nearby cloaker starship has a chance to pick it up for boosting and avoid a "blink".
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the report and save.

Prerelease 6.014 De-Faulting The Logic

(Released March 27th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug in the last version where counterattack posts were mostly just sending ships on AI planets rather than human ones.
    • Thanks to Vyndicu for the report and save.
  • Fixed an unhandled-exception bug with the resource auto-conversion logic when player resources would overflow to other players.
    • Thanks to Bronzite and Fleet for reports and saves.
  • Fixed an unhandled-errors bug with the nemesis logic in Defender mode (it was assuming the game started with an AI HW, which is technically not true in Defender). This could also cause a desync in MP.
    • Thanks to Cowinatub for the report and save.
  • Cloaking boosting (both the normal variety some cloaking ships can do for other cloaking ships, and the type the cloaker starship can do for all not-immune-to-cloaking units) now has a residual effect for at least 1 second after the boost goes away.
    • This effectively prevents "cloak blinking" when escorting warheads through wormholes and so forth, where a unit with more than ample cloak-boosting support right next to it could still become very briefly uncloaked while the cloaker starships shuffled around.
    • This also serves as a buff to cloak-boosting in general, for keeping scouts alive and whantot.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the rule "a ship is always considered in firing range of something that is tractoring it, or the forcefield guarding said tractor" was actually inverted. So AI fighters (for example) could be stuck in a tractor+FF trap without firing on anything if its other desired targets were out of range.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for the report and save.
  • In honor of being in the top-10 in the mantis vote tallies: Since a rule was added more recently that makes it so engines automatically repair themselves, we've removed the rule that makes ships with zero engine health have a minimum speed of 1.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the suggestion and... a whole lot of players for supporting that mantis record.
  • In honor of being in the top-10 in the mantis vote tallies: Units that cause AIP-on-death no longer do so if they are destroyed while still under construction.
    • Thanks to vinco and a bunch of supporters for inspiring this change.
  • CPAs have been made a bit more ferocious in some circumstances on diff 10 (with a lesser impact on other greater-than-9 difficulties). Waves and exos have also been buffed somewhat in that range.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for... "inspiring" this change.
  • On Diff 8+ the AI may now choose to delay a wave when there's a CPA already in the announcement box. Not that there'd be any particular reason for it to want to do that. No, not at all.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.
  • Increased cost-to-the-AI for including a spire starship or zenith starship in an exo.
    • Thanks to Diazo and many others for inspiring this change.
  • AI Home Command Stations are now immune to AOE (including warhead detonations).
    • Would have done this for human home command stations too, but inevitably someone would get overwhelmed by an electric shuttle wave and then file a bug report when said shuttles just kind of stared helplessly at the human home command station.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.
  • Now when a carrier is nuked, all its not-immune-to-nukes units are destroyed rather than deployed. This makes them more consistent with transports (which use a different internal mechanic, but the player doesn't really see the difference usually).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for reminding us that fridges are not, in fact, going to protect you from a nuclear explosion. Even very large fridges with guns.
  • Normal (non-homeworld) guard posts:
    • Needler, Laser, MLRS, and Missile guard posts have had their shots-per-salvo multiplied by 5, and damage adjusted downward to maintain DPS.
    • Missile guard post DPS down 25%.
    • Anti-starship guard post DPS doubled.
    • Thanks to TechSY730, Hearteater, and many others for feedback on the new guard post stats.

Prerelease 6.013 Core Foamhammer

(Released March 19th, 2013)

  • Heavy Bomber Starship:
    • Is now able to hit fleet ships again.
    • Base CapDPS from 120k*mk => 150k*mk.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic (most recently; probably dozens of players over the past several months) for inspiring this change.
  • Regeneration Golem:
    • Instead of having self-attrition (100% to 0% in 2 hours) it now has self-regeneration (0% to 100% in 4 hours).
    • AIP-on-activation (for golems-medium) from 25 => 15.
    • Base Health from 200M => 400M.
    • Metal/Crystal "build" cost (these are never built, but this impacts repair costs) from 20M/20M to 10M/10M.
    • Now has vampirism (heals itself by the damage it does).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic, Hearteater, Aeson, onyhow, Jonz0rz, ZaneWolfe, Vyndicu, Wingflier, chemical_art, TechSY730, and the voters in the community poll that inspired these changes.
  • Spire Corvette II/III knowledge cost from 2500/6000 => 2000/5000 because the module upgrades require separate knowledge expenditure (you get something else for that other spending, which is why the reduction here is not bigger).
    • Thanks to ZaneWolfe and others for inspiring this change.
  • To make the Astro Train plot a bit less "Automatic Death On Wheels":
    • The Regenerator, Nuclear, EMP, Shield, and Cargo trains are now autotargeted.
    • Cargo train health from 400M => 20M.
    • Cargo train armor from 10k => 1k.
    • Nuke train health from 40M => 10M.
    • EMP train health from 40M => 10M.
    • Thanks to Hearteater, Diazo, and many others for inspiring these changes.
  • Removed the "can only get at most a 20% munitions boost" rule from starships, so they now have the default cap of +400% that everything (that doesn't have a specific cap) has. Can tweak this back downwards if it's too much, but since starships now have much lower average cap-dps than fleet ships and fleet ships have the +400% cap, in theory this should be at-least-not-totally-insane.
    • Thanks to chemical_art, Lancefighter, Winge, and TechSY730 for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug in the last version where having the Spire Corvette bonus ship type and switching to the SCRV tab of an Advanced Starship Constructor could cause the ASC's build menu to be "stuck" on that tab.
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the report and save.
  • MkII Transport health-lost-on-hop-outside supply from 35% => 26%, so instead of "can go 2 hops outside supply and have 30% health left to deal with normal damage" (like the MkI) it "can go 3 hops outside supply and have 22% health left to deal with normal damage".
    • Thanks to... well, a lot of players asked for this but it was a long time ago and I'm not seeing anything in Mantis when I look... let me know who you are if you want to show up here :)
  • The chase-exos for the recover-first-city-shard and building-first-city parts of the Fallen Spire progression have been toned down somewhat, and the later chase-exos increased somewhat. Player feedback seems to consistently indicate that those first-city ones were too strong, and the later ones (the chase exos, not the pre-announced ones) relatively underwhelming.
    • Thanks to Diazo and others for inspiring this change.

Congratulating The Winners Of The "Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: Player-side (III)" Poll

  • Thanks to Hearteater, TechSY730, Faulty Logic, Histidine, Dichotomy, Wingflier, chemical_art, Diazo, Toranth, Eternaly_Lost, Radiant Phoenix, Marmu23, laughingman, Winge, Aeson, Bognor, ZaneWolfe, and the poll voters for inspiring these changes.
  • Metal Manufactories and Crystal Manufactories, in honor of winning the poll, have been removed from the game! Instead: The Automated Energy Hamsters have returned from retirement, seeing an opportunity to synergize their unique skillset and capitalize on the market created by player dissatisfaction with the Manufactories. Specifically:
    • If something you're building requires either more metal or more crystal than is available, the Automated Resource-Conversion Hamsters will perform Just-In-Time conversion of the other resource into the needed one. The process is inefficient, however, and consumes 1.5 times as much of the converted material as it produces of the other.
      • If the new "Max Resource Conversion" galaxy-wide control is set to -1 (the default), then there is no limit to how much this as-needed conversion will convert per second. Otherwise, it will not convert more than the specified amount per second. If it is set to zero, the automatic conversion is effectively disabled.
    • If something causes you to gain either more metal or crystal than the resource cap will let you hold, the extra amount tries to convert into the other resource (at a 1.5:1 ratio, like with conversion-on-spending). If the other resource also hits cap, it then does the normal logic for the excess (first tries to distribute it to other human players, and if that doesn't work just dumps it all over the floor).
  • In honor of coming in third in the poll, the Spirecraft Scout:
    • Removed normal attrition while on higher-mark enemy planets.
    • Instead limited the range of these like we do with transports:
      • When hopping out of supply, they take 50/34/25/20/17% of max health in damage. This gives it a maximum effective range of 2/3/4/5/6 hops outside supply.
      • They cannot be repaired by another unit under any circumstances.
      • While on a friendly planet they auto regenerate fairly quickly (from 0% to 100% in 30 seconds). So if you're ok with roughly half the effective range you can reuse them.

Congratulating The Winners Of The "Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (III)" Poll

  • Thanks to Hearteater, TechSY730, Faulty Logic, Histidine, Dichotomy, Wingflier, chemical_art, Diazo, Toranth, Eternaly_Lost, Radiant Phoenix, Marmu23, laughingman, Winge, Cinth, Aeson, onyhow, and the poll voters for inspiring these changes.
  • Ravenous Shadow, in honor of tying for second:
    • Base Speed from 84 => 75.
    • Base Attack Power from 60k => 54k.
    • Shots per salvo from 45 => 40.
    • Base Attack Range from 17k => 15k.
    • The combination of those 4 roughly-10% nerfs should be pretty significant. It's supposed to be a pretty nasty combatant, and you really have to pull out the stops with distracting fire and providing shielding (both from your modules and your projected-shield-ability) for the enclaves to save many of them. But it should be substantially easier now.
  • Interplanetary Munitions Booster, as an honorable mention (4th place, if it matters):
    • AIP-on-death from 20 to 5.
  • Gravity, in honor winning this poll (and coming in second on the player-side) ... well, actually, we can't nerf gravity. But we can nerf all the artificial gravity units!
    • All grav-well units except the player home forcefield generator (but including the grav drill) have had the "speed ceilings" they enforce upon victims multiplied by 4. So the mkIII grav turret used to slow things down to 2, but now slows them down to 8 (the old ceiling on the mkI, incidentally), and so on.
    • Grav Turret knowledge unlock cost from 750/3000/4000 => 500/1500/2500.
    • Since gravity is no longer as game-changing, immunity to Gravity has been removed from the following units:
      • Hunter/Killer
      • Spire Starship
      • Raptor
      • Spire Corvette
      • Super Hybrid
      • All Golems (except the Devourer)
      • All Spirecraft (except the Spirecraft Scout; all scouts are immune to gravity)
      • Resistance Fighter ships (from the base game minor faction)
      • Marauder ships (from the base game minor faction)
      • Most of the units retaining this immunity do so because they need to travel at a consistent speed to make sense (Zenith Trader, Devourer Golem, Astro Trains, etc), rather than to counter the grav-well units.
  • In honor of tying for second in the poll, Counterattack guard posts:
    • Can no longer just send a wave anywhere, the target must be within X hops of a warp gate, where X is the mark level of the counterattack guard post in question.
    • Wave timer down from 14 minutes => 10 minutes, due to player complaints that it was annoying to have to wait that long.

Core Versions Of 18 Additional Fleet Ship Types

  • Added Core (MkV) versions of the 18 fleet ship types (15 base game, 3 TZR) that did not already have them:
    • Space Tank
    • Sniper
    • Electric Shuttle
    • Vorticular Cutlass
    • Infiltrator
    • Eye Bot
    • Autocannon Minipod
    • Deflector Drone
    • Ether Jet
    • Shield Bearer
    • Anti-Armor Ship
    • MLRS
    • Munitions Booster
    • Teleport Raider
    • Teleport Battle Station
    • Zenith Auto Bomb
    • Armor Booster
    • Zenith Viral Shredder
  • Core Fabricators for all of the above are now eligible for seeding as fabs during mapgen.
  • Since the available variety has increased, the number of Core Fabs seeded during mapgen has been increased by 2.

Prerelease 6.012 Darkened Sky, Altered Starship

(Released March 12th, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug where Hive-Golem wasps were contributing way too much charge to a vengeance generator on death.
    • Thanks to Vyndicu for the report.
  • Fixed a bug in the previous version where the AI could get a single (non-respawning) offensive nemesis champion even if the human players had no champions.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the report.
  • Now when starting the game your initial metal/crystal stockpiles are 200k/200k instead of 20k/20k. It may sound like a lot but even just a homeworld's starting resource generation amounts to the difference in only a few minutes, so it's not much of an advantage. But it does help the first few minutes of the game not drag on so much (due to running a zero'd out economy - that will still happen to a lot of players but it won't be as bad).
    • Thanks to Wingflier, Moonshine Fox, LaughingThesaurus, Diazo, Winge, TechSY730, and Aeson for inspiring this change.

Starship Rebalance (Later-game power, role compared to fleet ships)

  • We got a lot of feedback about last version's changes to the Spire and Zenith starships, and much of it pointed to starships in general being pretty good in the early/mid game but falling off the pace compared to fleet ships in the later parts of the game due to the Advanced Factory making mkIV fleet ships available and starships having no real parallel to that. So let's see what happens if we change that.
    • Note that this shouldn't have much of an impact on the early game at all; mainly it comes into play when you're in a position to actually take-and-hold the new capturables and have the resource income to use them.
    • Also note that starship-only games will still generally not be viable in harder scenarios because the resource costs are so high. These aren't intended to be able to replace fleet ships in all roles.
    • Thanks to chemical_art, TechSY730, Winge, Faulty Logic, Diazo, onyhow, Hearteater, Dichotomy, Jonz0rz, Wingflier, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Amendments/Fixes to some of the Spire/Zenith Starship changes from last version
    • The change in the last version where the Spire Starship and Zenith Starship were effectively mkII/III/IV instead of mkI/II/III has been reverted.
    • The AI now pays more for these in exos than it did before, since the cap reduction made them individually stronger than they used to be.
    • Waves including these now get one mark lower than they used to, due to the lower ship cap and higher individual strength. This can result in a wave not having Spire or Zenith starships available to it at all.
  • Added a new type of important capturable structure: the Advanced Starship Constructor.
    • These are very similar to Advanced Factories, but instead of mkIV fleet ships these can produce the mkIV version of a starship you already have the mkIII of.
    • The Scout Starship and Enclave Starship already have mkIV versions at the normal starship constructor and are not on this one's menu.
    • The Cloaker Starship and Riot Starship do not have mkIV versions (the former because it didn't seem necessary, the latter because otherwise no AI ship would ever have working engines again).
    • But all the other types (Flagship, Zenith Starship, Spire Starship, Heavy Bomber Starship, Plasma Siege Starship, Leech Starship, and Raid Starship) now have mkIV versions. Like with fleet ships, they are not unlocked directly but are available at the advanced production structure when mkIII is unlocked.
    • These try very hard to not seed on the same planet as an Adv Fact.
    • In new games with CSGs on, a planet with an ASC will get a CSG-B generator like a planet with an AdvFact would.
  • Added Core Fabricators (specifically, in the "Experimental Starship" category) for producing the mkV versions of the Flagship, Spire Starship, Zenith Starship, Plasma Siege Starship, Leech Starship, and Raid Starship.
    • Also, the experimental starship category of fabricators now seeds an extra fab at the beginning of the game (so from 2 => 3, on single-HW games).
  • The Heavy Bomber Starship mkIV is now produced at the Advanced Starship Constructor, and no longer produced at the bomber-star fabricator (that now produces the mkV variant).
  • Spire Corvette:
    • MkIV is no longer researchable or buildable at a normal starship constructor, but instead can be built at an Advanced Starship Constructor if you've unlocked the MkIII version.
      • Knowledge cost of mkIII from 3500 => 6000 now that you get the mkIVs "for free" with an ASC. This makes the knowledge costs of the corvette identical to other bonus types.
    • Base Cap DPS of the main weapon from 120k*mk => 300k*mk (same as Spire Starship, and the corvette's modules are its extra boost for being a bonus type rather than a core type).
    • Beam cycle time from 10 seconds => 3 seconds (so an actual reload of 1 second, plus the 2 second firing time), damage adjusted to maintain DPS.
    • Note that these are really considered a "bonus fleet ship" for balance purposes, they're just built like a starship.
  • Another important point about starships that's really come to light that starships have been competing with fleet ships more-or-less directly in terms of Knowledge-costs and thus players are seeing them as replacements for fleet ships when they're really supposed to be more of a supporting category (like, for instance, turrets: turrets are great, but they don't displace the role of fleet ships). So we're trying something new with that too:
  • The knowledge costs for the Flagship, Heavy Bomber Starship, Plasma Siege Starship, and Leech Starship are now 0/1000/3000 and the the costs for the Zenith Starship and Spire Starship, are now 500/1000/2500, for a total of 4000 to unlock mkIII (and thus mkIV if you have an ASC), compared to the 8500 K needed to do the same for a triangle fleet ship type.
    • In return, the overall dps of starships is coming down: you'll still be getting a good deal in terms of DPS-per-K return, but you won't be able to "buy" all your DPS that way because there's only so much total starship cap available.
    • Overall, the effect is to make starships "as a category" more explicitly a support-role compared to fleet ships "as a category", while still emphasizing them as individually-powerful (and very durable, relative to fleet ships) units. You can probably still go "starship-only" in easier scenarios, or in the early (and maybe mid, with an ASC) game in a harder scenario, but in general going "starship-only" is just not going to give you the needed core of firepower to replace fleet ships. But you won't be paying fleet-ship-levels of K to get them, either, which is the main thing.
  • Flagship:
    • Ship cap from 4 => 2 (health and damage adjusted to maintain cap values).
    • Munitions boost range from 2000+(1000*mk) => 4000+(2000*mk) (which also increases the "total ship area" it can boost simultaneously) to compensate for fewer individual boosting platforms.
    • Base CapDPS from 50k => 30k.
    • Cap m/c cost from 240k/160k => 120k/80k.
    • Cap e cost from 40k => 20k.
  • Zenith Starship:
    • Ship cap from 2 => 1 (health and damage adjusted to maintain cap values).
    • Base CapDPS from 50k => 40k.
    • Cap m/c cost is 80k/120k (has been since last version, but worth mentioning).
    • Cap e cost is 20k (ditto).
  • Spire Starship:
    • Ship cap from 2 => 1 (health and damage adjusted to maintain cap values).
    • Base CapDPS from 300k => 180k.
    • Cap m/c cost is 90k/110k (has been since last version, but worth mentioning).
    • Cap e cost is 20k (ditto).
  • Heavy Bomber Starship:
    • Ship cap from 4 => 2 (health and damage adjusted to maintain cap values).
    • CapHealth from 28M => 36M.
    • Base CapDPS from 140k => 120k (would have dropped it more, but generally getting a feel that these felt underpowered previously).
    • Cap m/c cost from 340k/60k => 170k/30k.
    • Cap e cost from 40k => 20k.
  • Plasma Siege Starship:
    • Ship cap from 4 => 2 (health and damage adjusted to maintain cap values).
    • Base Cap DPS from 100k => 90k (would have dropped it more, but generally getting a feel that these felt underpowered previously).
    • Cap m/c cost from 60k/340k => 30k/170k.
    • Cap e cost from 40k => 20k.
    • Base move speed from 8 => 12 (now same as missile frigate, the slowest triangle ship).
  • Leech Starship:
    • Ship cap from 4 => 2 (health and damage adjusted to maintain cap values).
    • Base Cap DPS from 72k => 40k.
    • Cap m/c cost from 240k/160k => 120k/80k.
    • Cap e cost from 40k => 20k.

Dark Spire Revamp

  • The Dark Spire minor faction is a lot of fun, at least for players who like that kind of thing.
    • But over the months two key problems have been identified:
      • It doesn't take much of a spawn-spiral to lead to 50k+ of the things in the game, which is kind of a deathblow to the cpu. Minor factions taking over the galaxy is fun (if you asked for it in the lobby settings), but it needs to still run on your machine.
      • Particularly once there are a lot of Dark Spire spawned, they don't really do much.
    • So we're making several changes to keep the cpu cost of these under control while retaining their overall power, and giving them a little bit of extra logic to keep them from behaving in an ineffective manner.
    • Thanks to Jefferson, chemical_art, Cinth, Vyndicu, Faulty Logic, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • The Dark Spire Wraith has had its health, damage, and strength-cost (used when computing how many to spawn) doubled.
    • Effectively this halves the size of their spawns while keeping the overall power of those spawns the same.
  • The Vengeance Generators now spawn different versions of the 3 Dark Spire minor faction ships, with different stats to better facilitate spawn "packing":
    • Normal Combat Ship: 5 times as powerful as the Wraith.
    • Advanced Combat Ship: 5 times as powerful as the Normal Combat Ship. So like 25 Wraiths.
    • Command Ship: 5 times as powerful as the Advanced Combat Ship. So like 125 Wraiths.
    • Note that already-spawned Dark Spire ships in old saves will have the old stats and not really be affected by any of these changes (so if you've already got 50k of the guys running around, this isn't going to help your cpu).
  • The chance of what ship it will pick in a spawn is now weighted by the number of vengeance-spawned Dark Spire ships in the galaxy already; below 100 it's more heavily weighted towards Wraiths, above 1000 it picks the command ship a lot more often, etc. This tends to make its numerical explosion slow down rapidly as the milestones are passed, without really slowing down the overall power growth of the faction.
  • Since the individual spawns can now be much more expensive, the game tracks a "debt" for the spawns that delays the next trigger accordingly. So if it picks a command ship it's going to need more "fuel" to get the next spawn than if it had just picked exactly the right number of Wraiths to fill its budget.
  • About every 5 minutes:
    • All non-command vengeance-spawned dark spire ships without a leader will look for a command ship on that planet to pick as a leader (if there are multiple such command ships, they split roughly evenly).
    • All command ships without a chase target pick one. Each command ship is hardwired to either go after the humans (picks a human command station), the AI (picks a non-invincible AI guard post that isn't a counterattack or special forces post), or just kind of wander (doesn't pick a chase target). The command ships will be roughly divided evenly between those three categories.
  • All the vengeance-spawned dark spire ships (not the ones from the nebula) are now immune to the black hole generator.

Prerelease 6.011 Nemesis of the Dubious Honor

(Released March 5th, 2012)

  • MkI-MkIV carriers are no longer immune to nuclear explosions (mkV still are, but you basically have to have an AI at tech level V for them to show up, and that's not easy to do in a game you plan to win).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug in the last version where the friendly-enclave-pop-cap was computing as if all planets were non-AI (so the base of the calculation was generally at least 4 times as big as it should have been.
    • Thanks to Aziphos for the report and save.
  • Added a column to the reference export which lists all the types of modules that the ship on that row can mount.
    • Thanks to Diazo for the suggestion.
  • Minor faction neinzul younglings (generally launched from roaming enclaves) now give far less "charge" to a Dark Spire Vengeance Generator when they die.
    • Thanks to Vyndicu for reporting where this was causing problems. If by "problems" you mean a galaxy completely overrun by Dark Spire.

Congratulating The Winners Of The 9th Worst-Unit Poll

  • Decoy drones, in honor of tying for first in the latest what-needs-a-buff poll:
    • Ship cap from 9 => 40 (but the AI pays about the same for them as it used to, since these were already strong enough for the AI).
    • Base energy cost from 1000 => 250.
    • Base speed from 14 => 26 (so now same as bombers).
    • Base health from 200k => 1M.
    • Thanks to Dichotomy, Faulty Logic, LintMan, Vacuity, Diazo, and the voters for inspiring these changes.
  • AI Guard Posts (not the core ones, the normal ones), in honor of tying for first in the latest what-needs-a-buff poll (after many months of feedback that these were not threatening enough) :
    • Short Range Guard Post:
      • Renamed To Needler Guard Post.
      • Hull Type from Medium => Light.
      • Base Health from 700k*mk => 3M*mk (about 1/5th a cap of fighters).
      • Base Attack Range from 6000 => 7500 (same as needler turret).
      • Shots-per-salvo from 1 => 5.
      • Base DPS from 1267*mk => 50k*mk (right around a cap of fighters).
      • Vs-Hull-Type bonus list from "Heavy (2x), Artillery (3x)" => "Heavy, UltraHeavy, Structural, Artillery (all 6x)" (same types as needler turret, same multiplier as fighter).
    • MLRS Guard Post:
      • Hull Type from Heavy => Medium.
      • Base Health from 700k*mk => 3M*mk.
      • Base Attack Range from 7000 => 12000 (same as MLRS turret).
      • Shots-per-salvo from 11/21/31/41/51 => 30.
      • Base DPS from 1700*mk => 50k*mk.
      • Vs-Hull-Type bonus list from "Light (16x), Swarmer (8x), Neutron (4x)" => "Light, Swarmer, Neutron, UltraLight, CloseCombat (all 6x)" (same types as MLRS turret).
    • Missile Guard Post:
      • Base Health from 700k*mk => 3M*mk.
      • Seconds-per-salvo from 7/6/5/4/3 => 3.
      • Base Attack Range from 17k/27k/37k/47k/57k => 27k (same as Missile turret).
      • Base DPS from 13k*mk => 50k*mk.
      • Vs-Hull-Type bonus list from "UltraLight (8x), Medium (6x)" => "UltraLight, Medium, Polycrystal, Neutron, Composite (all 6x)" (same types as Missile turret).
    • Passive Guard Post:
      • Renamed To Laser Guard Post (hey, at least it's not now the Passive-Aggressive Guard Post).
      • Hull Type from Structural => Heavy.
      • Base Health from 1.4M*mk => 3M*mk.
      • Shot type from flare => laser.
      • Base Attack Range from 8000 => 9000 (same as Laser turret).
      • Shots-per-salvo from 1 => 4.
      • Base DPS from (negligible) => 50k*mk.
      • Vs-Hull-Type bonus list from (well, nothing) => "Refractive, UltraHeavy, Polycrystal, Heavy (all 6x)" (same types as Laser turret).
    • Anti-Starship Arachnid Guard Post:
      • Hull Type from Light => Polycrystal.
      • Base Health from 1.4M*mk => 3M*mk.
      • Base Attack Range from 10k/12k/14k/16k/18k => 14k.
      • Seconds-per-salvo from 15 => 5.
      • Base DPS from 10k*mk => 500k*mk (bear in mind these cannot target small stuff, it's an anti-starship sort of thing).
      • Vs-Hull-Type bonus list still empty, but now has 0x multiplier vs Scout hull so it doesn't just gank your transports.
      • Shot type from laser => energy wave (so now like a sentinel frigate shot; just aesthetic for the most part, makes it stand out better).
    • Stealth Guard Post: didn't actually need a buff, but:
      • Renamed to Cloaker Guard Post.
      • Are now un-cloakable; they still cloak stuff near them but will always be revealed themselves.
    • Special Forces Guard Post: also didn't need a buff (the SF ships are the important part of SF, really), but these no longer count for purposes of the "if no AI guard posts are present, an AI Eye self-destructs" rule.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic, LaughingThesaurus, Vacuity, TechSY730, Diazo, Hearteater, chemical_art, and the voters for inspiring these changes.
  • Spire Starships, in honor of coming in third in the poll:
    • Ship cap from 4 => 2, with health and damage adjusted to maintain same cap-health and cap-dps.
    • Effective mark level from 1/2/3 to 2/3/4, so that the mkI is balanced like a mkII starship, the mkII is balanced like a mkIII starship, etc.
    • Knowledge cost from 1000/2500/4000 => 1500/3000/4000, in accordance with their effective mark promotion (this makes the cost of getting to mkIV the same as with a triangle fleet-ship type, though this is without the benefit of having mkIs and without the need to get an advanced factory).
    • Beam cycle time (from the beginning of one beam to the beginning of the next, so including the 2 seconds the beam is actually being fired) from 10 seconds => 3 seconds, damage adjusted to maintain DPS.
    • Base Cap-Health from 16M*mk => 24M*mk.
    • Base Cap-DPS from 240k*mk => 300k*mk.
    • Thanks to Diazo, Faulty Logic, Winge, chemical_art, Dichotomy, TechSY730, and the voters for inspiring these changes.
  • Zenith Starships, as an honorable mention from the poll:
    • Ship cap from 4 => 2, with health and damage adjusted to maintain same cap-health and cap-dps.
    • Effective mark level from 1/2/3 to 2/3/4, so that the mkI is balanced like a mkII starship, the mkII is balanced like a mkIII starship, etc.
    • Knowledge cost from 1000/2500/4000 => 1500/3000/4000, in accordance with their effective mark promotion.
    • Base Cap-Health from 24M*mk => 36M*mk.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 8 => 4, damage adjusted to maintain DPS.
    • Thanks to chemical_art, Faulty Logic, TechSY730, Diazo, and the voters for inspiring these changes.

Reworking The AI's Counterbalance To Champions

  • Now, when the humans have champions, the AI gets some offensive nemesis champions.
    • It doesn't check for this until 60 minutes into the game.
    • After that, it checks roughly every minute.
    • The target quantity is = (number of human champions * highest human champion hull size * (AI Difficulty / 7)) / 2, with a minimum of 1 for the first AI player (there must be at least one human champion to trigger this, though).
    • If the current number of offensive nemesis units is less than the target, it randomly picks one of the four champion frigate hulls and does a spawn of those on that AI's homeworld.
      • The count spawned is 1/10th the target number of champions or 1, whichever is greater.
      • The spawned nemesis champions start in Threatfleet behavior (and there's no rule that can take it out of that).
    • Overall this is a bit more similar to the Heroic AI type's special feature than we're entirely comfortable with, but that AI type is still the only way you'll see enemy champions larger that frigate-size, etc.
    • Thanks to Wingflier, Histidine, Faulty Logic, Dichotomy, Confirmation_Bias, and others for inspiring this change.
  • Now when there are human controlled champions, the AI is gradually given a supply of points to spend on responses. Right now that's just "special forces nemesis unit" and "threatfleet nemesis unit" (above and beyond the perpetually respawning ones mentioned above). More responses were planned but time for working on this release (this week at least) is running out.
    • Thanks to Wingflier, Histidine, Faulty Logic, Dichotomy, Confirmation_Bias, and others for inspiring this change.
  • Now that the above two counter-balances are in place the previous 20%/8%/4%-of-a-normal-player increase that each champion was adding to pretty much all other threats (20% for waves and 4% for exos, etc) has been removed. The overall effect may be too kind to the player, but the above counter-balances can be augmented and adjusted accordingly.
    • Thanks to Toranth and others for inspiring this change.

Prerelease 6.010 Back From The Valley

(Released February 22nd, 2013)

  • Fixed a bug where allied roaming enclaves would sometimes launch all their squadrons in the first sim cycle after the game was loaded, even if there was no reason whatsoever for them to launch.
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the report and save.
  • The main special forces population logic now tracks its "strength debt" from buying more than its budget on a particular spawn. The overspending happens due to random selections picking high-strength individual ships, and previously was simply ignored but will now count against the budget of the following spawn(s).
    • The result is that it still tends to overspend on every pulse (every pulse that actually happens, anyway) but the actual total spawn over time is effectively controlled by total strength spent, ending the low-cap-ship loophole.
    • Thanks to Minotaar, TechSY730, Hearteater, Kahuna, and others for anecdotal and log-based evidence of the problem.
  • Friendly roaming enclaves (the normal-space ones; not the ones temporarily in a nebula scenario) now have a population cap based on the number of non-AI-controlled planets (i.e. planets you've killed the AI command station on) and the intensity of the roaming enclave faction.
    • So there's not a hard-cap per se, in that you can increase it by taking more territory. And who wouldn't like to get more AIP, right?
    • Mainly this is to prevent lag, but also helps bring the friendly enclaves a bit down from their previous overpowered-ness.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.
  • The individual ships in the friendly enclave launched-squadrons now have 4x the health and 4x the dps, but the enclaves produce them 1/4th as fast and can hold a maximum load 1/4th as numerous.
    • Just trying to keep the CPU impact of these down in the more extreme situations.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.
  • Rebalance of the Ancient Shadows "brutal pick" core posts:
    • Teuthida
      • Drone lifetime from 240 seconds => 60 seconds.
      • Spawner health halved.
    • Wrath Lance
      • Rotation speed halved.
      • Health halved.
    • Grav Reactor
      • Drone lifetime from 240 seconds => 60 seconds.
      • Spawner health halved.
    • Thanks to Diazo, TechSY730, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • AI Strategic Reserves:
    • Replenishment rate down to about 2/3rds what it was.
    • Now homeworld-defense spawns only happen if the reserve is at least 25% full, so the follow-up reserve spawns will be much more spaced out.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for inspiring these changes.

Prerelease 6.009

(Released November 21st, 2012)

  • Fixed a longstanding but rare bug that could "eat" a carrier during the loading of the game if the conditions were such that a carrier was eligible for deploying its contents immediately.
    • Further, this would happen on the host and then again on the client when the client received the game data, leading to a desync-on-load.
    • Thanks to Zebreu for the report and save.

Prerelease 6.008

(Released November 21st, 2012)

  • Fixed a null exception bug that could happen in some cases in the ally-enclave logic.
    • Thanks to ussdefiant for the report and save.
  • Fixed the logic generating the LogicLog_AIMechanic_CounterHacking.txt file when Advanced Logging is on to use the proper platform-specific newline instead of just \n (which makes it look like all one line on windows).
    • Thanks to ussdefiant for the report.

Prerelease 6.007 Burying The Hatchet

(Released November 20th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug where the Armor Booster Astro Trains were not actually having the armor boost effect.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report.
  • Fixed longstanding bug where it was possible to tractor a hostile ship through a wormhole, even if it was a cannot-go-through-wormholes unit type.
  • Fixed a bug where AI threatfleet ships could get stuck on a planet with human-controlled remains on it because it made the AI think there were still enemies to kill there.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for the report and save.
  • Over time the number of files generated by Advanced Logging under various circumstances has grown a fair bit and it could be difficult as a player to know what to delete when you wanted to clean out old logs, etc. To cut down on this we started combining some related logs (the SF-like mechanics into the SF log file) but this just caused confusion. The naming conventions were also pretty variable and frequently one half of the wave log would get submitted and not the other, etc. These logs are obviously not something players need to worry about, but it's very helpful when players submit them in cases where logic problems are suspected, so it'd be nice if they were easier to find. So the names of the generated files are being changed to something that's much easier to make sense of in your file system:
    • (listed as "new name" <= "old name")
    • LogicLog_AIMechanic_CarrierEarlyPopCombination.txt <= CarrierEarlyPopComputationLog.txt
    • LogicLog_AIMechanic_CounterHacking.txt <= CounterSaboteurSpawns.txt
    • LogicLog_AIMechanic_Reinforcements_AIThread.txt <= ReinforcementsLog_AIThread.txt
    • LogicLog_AIMechanic_Reinforcements_MainThread.txt <= ReinforcementsLog_MainThread.txt
    • LogicLog_AIMechanic_SpecialForces.txt <= SpecialForcesLogicLog.txt
    • LogicLog_AIMechanic_StrategicReserve.txt <= SpecialForcesLogicLog.txt (so it's no longer combined with the SF log)
    • LogicLog_AIMechanic_ThreatFleet.txt <= SpecialForcesLogicLog.txt (so it's no longer combined with the SF log)
    • LogicLog_AIMechanic_Waves_AIThread.txt <= AIThreadWaveComputationLog.txt
    • LogicLog_AIMechanic_Waves_MainThread.txt <= MainThreadWaveComputationLog.txt
    • LogicLog_AIPlot_AstroTrains.txt <= AstroTrainLogicLog.txt
    • LogicLog_AIPlot_HybridHives_AIThread.txt <= HybridHyjinksLog_AIThread.txt
    • LogicLog_AIPlot_HybridHives_MainThread.txt <= HybridHyjinksLog_MainThread.txt
    • LogicLog_EventAttackPopulation.txt <= EventAttackCompositionInfoLog.txt
    • LogicLog_MinorFaction_DarkSpire.txt <= DarkSpireMinorFactionLogicLog.txt
    • LogicLog_OffroadScenarios.txt <= OffroadScenarioLog.txt
    • The old files are not being deleted (the game doesn't know if there's anything in there you still want), but you can use the above list as a reference to find and remove them if desired.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for inspiring this change.
  • Command Station rebuilding behavior:
    • Now when the stall timer is running because the previous human station on the planet was destroyed, the remains rebuilders cannot do anything with the command station remains until the stall timer is up.
    • Once the stall timer is over, Remains Rebuilders looking for something new to rebuild will give command station remains absolute priority.
    • The stall timer on non-military command stations from 4 minutes => 2 minutes (military ones still get 1 minute).
    • Thanks to Sunshine, DrTall, TechSY730, Varone, Hearteater, Lancefighter, KDR_11k, and Astilious for inspiring these changes.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the modules of the imperial spire minor faction ships were not minor faction (and simply owned by the first player). Not much impact gameplay-wise, but it was weird.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter and others for the report.
  • In response to ongoing occasional reports that the imperial spire fleet still sometimes stalemates vs the AI at the end of FS on 10/10, the non-player-controlled ships and modules have been substantially buffed again (the biggest ships are approaching 32-bit arithmetic limits here, folks) and if things drag on it starts sending in more ships each spawn.
    • Thanks to Eternaly_Lost for the report.
  • Logistics Stations:
    • Enemy Speed Reduction from 50% at all marks => 18.75% / 37.5% / 50%.
    • Ally Speed Increase from 100% (which all command stations give) to 200%.
      • They also all still give the +40/60/80 to ally speed, which other command stations don't give.
    • Thanks to... well, I think a bunch of people suggested something like this to give a reason to unlock the higher marks, but I can't find records of it right now.
  • Spire Railcluster hull type from Polycrystal => Composite.
    • The previous setting was an experiment to see what happened if a unit was a counter to the triangle ship (fighter, in this case) that counters it. What happened is that the ship is a lot harder to kill under normal circumstances than we'd intended for something that does that much damage that quickly.
    • So now the triangle counter for these is the missile frigate, which may survive long enough to kill it.
    • Thanks to Chris_Stalis, TechSY730, and others for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug where the new dropdown-with-text-filter controls were not triggering the "a textbox is active, don't handle most key-binds normally" logic, so pressing the P key while typing into the text-filter would pause or unpause the game, etc.
    • Thanks to contingencyplan for the report.

Human-Ally Roaming Enclaves Return

  • Long ago the Roaming Enclaves minor faction could spawn human-ally variants in addition to the currently-possible AI-ally and enemy-to-all variants. But they weren't very bright, and tended to get killed a lot despite many changes to make them survive better. Eventually they listened to the human players saying that the enclaves were stupidly suicidal and made a very wise decision for their own survival: they left the galaxy.
    • But since then there have been many requests for the return of the human-ally enclaves, and in recent months we've added some logic to the game for other reasons that happens to make this kind of AI much easier to accomplish.
    • So, while these were re-enabled (in their dumb state) in a particular champion-related case, they've now been re-enabled generally, so you'll see them eventually if you have the Roaming Enclaves minor faction enabled.
      • Thanks to Cyborg, Spikey00, TechSY730, Sunshine, Faulty Logic, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • The Control logic for these human-ally ones has been completely redone so that all human-ally roaming enclaves in the game act as a coherent fleet. This greatly enhances survivabiltiy and coolness.
    • They also pay careful attention to how much firepower they have, the enemy firepower on potential target planets, and the enemy firepower on planets they're thinking of pathing through to get to the target.
    • There are five basic types of behavior the coherent-fleet logic can do:
      • Priority-defense of human homeworlds.
        • If a human homeworld comes under any not-completely-trivial attack (for reference, this means "more than about 50 mkI triangle ships on high caps" or the equivalent), the next fleet-logic check will drop whatever is being done and send them all back to that homeworld.
        • This takes priority over any other behavior.
        • You may tell the enclaves to not consider this behavior by sending "cmd:disallow enclaves prioritize homeworld" through chat, and tell them to start considering it again by sending "cmd:allow enclaves prioritize homeworld" through chat.
      • Defend human planets.
        • Considers moving to any planet with a human command station and an AI presence.
        • You may tell the enclaves to not consider this behavior by sending "cmd:disallow enclaves defend planets" through chat, and tell them to start considering it again by sending "cmd:allow enclaves defend planets" through chat.
      • Assist human attacks.
        • Considers moving to any planet without a command station or with an AI command station, if both the humans and AI have a presence there and the humans have a fighting chance (at least half the AI firepower).
        • This behavior is OFF by default but you may tell the enclaves to consider it by sending "cmd:allow enclaves assist attacks" through chat, and tell them to stop considering it again by sending "cmd:disallow enclaves assist attacks" through chat.
      • Attack independently.
        • Considers moving to any planet without a command station or with an AI command station, and an AI presence.
        • This behavior is OFF by default but you may tell the enclaves to consider it by sending "cmd:allow enclaves attack independently" through chat, and tell them to stop considering it again by sending "cmd:disallow enclaves attack independently" through chat.
      • Idle rally
        • If there's nothing else to do, rallies the enclave fleet to the human planet furthest from the human homeworlds that still prevents all pathing from an AI planet to a human homeworld. If no such solid chokepoint exists, it falls back on a human homeworld (if one of the homeworlds is such a chokepoint for all the others, it picks that one).
        • This behavior is always available, you can't tell them to not do nothing if there's nothing to do.
    • When considering behaviors other than the emergency homeworld defense and the "nothing else to do" rally:
      • It won't pick a planet if the AI firepower is way lower than the enclave-fleet's, or if it's high enough to be too much of a threat to it.
      • It won't consider a planet if it can't get from the human homeworlds to there without moving through a planet with enough AI firepower to threaten the enclave fleet.
      • If more than one planet is found eligible by the enabled behaviors, it picks randomly between the ones nearer the human homeworlds.
      • Once a planet is chosen it sticks with it as long as it remains eligible, or gets the emergency-defend-homeworld override.
    • A note on these enclave-related chat commands:
      • They're experimental: historically we haven't done direct-human-control of minor factions for a lot of reasons and that's not really what we're doing here (it's pretty indirect and general). But we wanted something a bit more meaty with this faction's behavior in the sense of it feeling like an ally that's fighting alongside you rather than directly under your control (we've already done that with most of the Fallen Spire stuff, and to some parts of the nebula faction stuff) or only participating in a very simple fashion (we've already done that with the human resistance and dyson spawns, etc).
        • That said, it's very hard and perhaps impossible to get these enclaves to do something even moderately complex without it clashing with what some players want them to do. So we're experimenting with these "chat directives" to see if that kind of very high-level influence is sufficient to give these a general appeal to the various kinds of player who want a "computer-controlled sidekick" in the game.
        • So these commands, and potentially the new behaviors as a whole, may just go away if things are found to just not work out. Or potentially some kind of new interface will be needed for them, in which case it would probably need to be part of an expansion if we do another one of those. For now it's a lot like text-chatting with a human ally in multiplayer.
      • These commands are not cheats (so they do not require "enable cheats", and do not flag the game as having had cheats done).
  • An enclave will not deploy its squadrons until on the target planet determined by the fleet-logic, or it falls below half health. When just idle-rallying it won't launch squadrons even on the target planet unless that planet comes under significant AI attack.
  • The spawning logic has also been changed:
    • Time between spawns was previously based on both faction intensity and AI Difficulty, but is now based on just the intensity. The difficulty-based factors have been changed to always use the higher-end values so that spawns will happen more frequently on lower difficulties than they used to.
      • For reference: on faction intensity 4 you'll generally see the first spawn at 73 to 88 minutes into the game, and new spawns every 31 to 46 minutes after that. Intensity 1 is about 1/4 as often (with a longer initial delay), and intensity 10 is about 4x as often (with minimal initial delay).
    • When spawning, instead of randomly picking between spawning enemy-to-all, ai-ally, or human-ally enclaves it does a spawn of all three (in different places).
  • Stats-wise these have been left alone (although that's pretty buff right now, possibly OP) except for a few changes to cut down on hair-pulling:
    • Now have Radar Dampening 20000, so it does't protect them from much but does help against really long-range strikes from superforts, bombards, etc.
      • For reference, human-built enclave starships have radar dampening of 8000 or lower, so this particular change may actually be too weak.
    • Are now immune to Orbital Mass Drivers, since the alternative was letting them kill the OMDs in self defense, which didn't seem desirable since those are not autotargeted.
    • May now fly through enemy forcefields, but still can't directly shoot things under them.
    • The launched squadrons can no longer traverse wormholes, to keep them from buzzing off and annoying all kinds of AI stuff. The enclaves will have new ones to launch before long anyway.
    • Both the enclaves and their squadrons are now allowed to kill (autotargetable) guard posts and do other behaviors that free threat. since their deployment is now more regulated and they tend to clean up what they free.
      • They're still scrupulous about never killing anything that causes AIP on death, or is otherwise not autotargeted (ion cannons, SF guard posts, distro nodes, etc).
  • If you're curious about the spawning and high-level control logic, advanced logging will generate a LogicLog_MinorFaction_RoamingEnclaves.txt file in your AIW installation's RuntimeData directory (when any of that logic happens, of course).

Prerelease 6.006 The Pain Train

(Released November 13th, 2012)

  • Rebel Human Colony health from 400k => 5M.
    • Thanks to Don Carsto for reporting a situation where AOE apparently killed one of these as an afterthought.
  • Fixed some longstanding GUI issues with the handling of mouse-down (where it should have been mouse-up) with textboxes.
  • On the Stats Window, Reference Tab, changed the "Target Ship" dropdown such that when you click on it, the main button (just above the dropdown list) converts into a textbox; if you type something into that the dropdown list is filtered to only contain items which which contain what you typed.
    • The dropdown has been really bad for a while due to the sheer number of items, but more recently it's become even worse to the point that some items simply couldn't be selected because "one pixel down" on the scroll bar was more than one "page" of options.
    • Thanks to Nypyren and chemical_art for inspiring this change.
  • In response to the then-#2 item on the mantis voting list: Added two new options to the Galaxy Display dropdown on the galaxy map:
    • Custom Search (Narrow)
      • Allows you to pick a specific type of object (example: MkII fighter, MkIII Hardened Forcefield Generator), and displays the count of detected units of the specific type on each planet.
    • Custom Search (Broad)
      • Allows you to pick a category of object (example: fighter, forcefield), and displays the count of detected units of types in that category on each planet.
    • Both of these use the "text filtering" mechanism just implemented for the reference dropdown, so you you can get to the desired selection faster.
    • Both of these can be keybound like all the other galaxy display options, but default is unbound.
    • Thanks to PineappleSam for the suggestion and a whole ton of other players for supporting it on mantis.
  • In response to a longstanding request from many players to make Astro Trains interesting:
    • The plot is now like the other variable-intensity plots, with settings from 0 to 10 (can be set differently per AI player).
    • The intensity controls the number of stations seeded during mapgen.
    • Trains no longer spawn during mapgen, but about every 20 minutes the game will check to see if the number of trains in the game is less than the "supplied population" of trains (which is based on plot intensity and whether the AI in question is a Train Master), and if there's room it spawns a group of trains at a randomly selected station.
      • This group will move together through the rest of the game.
      • The size of the group is based on plot intensity and whether the AI is a Train Master.
      • All told, the result is that an AI with Astro Trains on will build up to 10 groups, with the size of each group being bigger on higher intensities.
    • The vanilla "Astro Train" and "Turret Astro Train" no longer get spawned into the game. The Regenerator and Speed-Boosting trains still exist, but no longer have guns.
      • None of the new types have guns either. The danger posed by these is based on other mechanics.
    • Each new train's type is picked randomly from the set of eligible types, which is based on plot intensity and weighted to favor the less dangerous trains (so the more dangerous ones still happen but are rarer). Do note that the really nasty trains don't show up at all unless the plot intensity is fairly high.
    • The following new train varieties have been added (brace yourself, this isn't going to be pretty) :
      • Cargo
        • Harmless in itself, but each "delivery" contributes towards a counter for that player, and when that fills up (you'll see an alert once it's past 50%) it spawns some surprises. The spawns are unpleasant but not massively so (unless you're on intensity 8 or higher, where you're asking for it).
      • Tachyon Jammer
        • Prevents human tachyon emitters from working on the planet it's on.
      • Gravity Jammer
        • Prevents human gravity emitters from working on the planet it's on (the limited-range stuff, not planet-wide stuff like logistics stations or grav drills).
      • Tractor Jammer
        • Prevents human tractor beams from working on the planet it's on.
      • Forcefield Jammer
        • Prevents human forcefields/shields from working on the planet it's on.
      • Radar Jammer
        • Acts like the unit of the same name: halves attack range of everything on the planet. There's also a MkII variant that only halves enemy (to the AI) ranges.
      • Armor Booster
        • Acts like the unit of the same name: boosts armor of all AI ships on the planet.
      • Armor Inhibitor
        • Acts like the unit of the same name: negates armor of all enemy-to-AI ships on the planet (also disables shields, like that unit does, though that may be changed in the future for both; it's a holdover from when the armor inhibitor was the shield inhibitor).
      • Attack Booster
        • Boosts the attack of all AI ships on the planet.
      • Tachyon
        • Provides planetary-wide tachyon coverage for the AI.
      • Gravity
        • Halves the speed of all enemy-to-AI ships on the planet.
      • Tractor
        • Has a bunch of tractor beams.
      • Widow
        • Has a bunch of paralyzing tractor beams.
      • Shield
        • Basically a shieldbearer (the shield does not push enemy units). Has a lot less health than most of the other trains and is thus somewhat feasible to kill.
      • Repair
        • Basically a super-MRS.
      • EMP
        • Basically an EMP-guardian in train form. This is another one of the train types that's got way less hp and thus more feasible to destroy than others. If you have scouting on a planet with one of these, it shows up in the alert box.
      • Nuclear
        • Kinda like an EMP guardian, but only triggers on non-destroyed planets with a human command station present. Oh, and it's a nuke instead of an EMP. Destroys itself when it goes off. This is one of the train types that's got way less hp and thus more feasible to destroy than others. If you have scouting on a planet with one of these, it shows up in the alert box.
      • Note: several other train varieties are under consideration, including others submitted by players in the past, but this seemed like a good set to start the mauling.
    • Astro Train Station AIP-on-death from 1 => 3 to make "just blow up all the stations" less of an obvious choice to train-troubled players.
    • Any old save with trains in them will have all trains removed (they're the wrong types of trains and wouldn't fit into the new logic due to how they spawned); the stations will spawn new ones over time until the train cap is reached.
    • Thanks to Sunshine, Toranth, Draco18s, TechSY730, Kahuna, Hearteater, and others for inspiring this change. They probably wish they hadn't said anything.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where gravity turrets (and other finite-gravity-well generators like Spire Gravity Drains) would continue to function even if in stand-down, paralyzed/EMP'd, or out of supply (for the turret; the fleet ship doesn't need supply).
  • Fixed a bug where a couple icons for the Spire Shadow Frigate were missing; they'd not been used for a long time but recently we started using them, but not everyone has them. This patch should fix that.
    • Thanks to Deus Draco for the report.
  • Fixed a bug with carrier early-pop unit combination that could cause desyncs in MP, and for carriers to simply not produce any units in SP.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter, Night, Lord Of Nothing, and Drin for reports and saves.
  • Special Forces now combines ships into carriers if SF non-carrier'd population gets over 3000 (aims to bring it down to 1500 or so).
    • These carriers, and any ships they deploy, will all be Special Forces and follow that logic.
    • Thanks to Dressari and Bruteforce123 for reporting a case where there were so many SF ships flying around it was causing massive lag just from that.
  • Fixed a bug where raid eyes could be triggered by enemy presence on adjacent planets.
    • There seemed to be reports of raid eyes going off on the presence of 1 enemy ship, but upon review we couldn't find a clear report of this, or a save of it happening, nor did our tests reproduce any such behavior. If you have one, please mantis :)
    • Thanks to Lancefighter and contingencyplan for reporting.
  • Spire Corvette main-gun range from 3500 => 8500.
    • This is still shorter range than its shortest-range module, last we checked, so it should still work fine there.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the suggestion.
  • Superfortress build time increased to 2.5x of what it was; still costs the same and with engie assistance you can still build one basically as fast, but now the per-second costs of unassisted construction are not quite so bleak.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for the suggestion.
  • Core Eyes, as a group, are now roughly as likely to be picked as each of the other brutal-pick AI HW structures. Each core eye is still equally likely to be picked, compared to other eyes.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the suggestion.

Prerelease 6.005 Burning The Candle At Both Ends

(Released October 31st, 2012)

  • Since it was the sole winner (that beat the "none of the above" option) of the "Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: Player-side (II)" poll, Tackle Drone Launcher:
    • Drone's self-attrition now happens on a per-frame basis rather than per-second, so that the distance it can travel after engaging tractors is much more consistent (for a given amount of health-left-when-starting-tractors).
    • This deals with the tendency since the attritions-faster-when-tractoring change was made for drones to pick up their loads just after the second ticked over and thus get nearly a full second of additional flight time and go way further than intended. Overall it's a fairly big nerf, though it also makes the results look cooler in general.
    • Thanks to the players who provided feedback and votes on this.
  • Improved the rendering of the planetary summary sidebar to use the same approach for drawing the ship icons and borders as the game normally does for far-zoom ships. Previously that sidebar was blurring the icons a fair bit due to using a different method.
    • Thanks to HitmanN for bringing this to our attention and helping us figure out what was happening.
  • Since threat now behaves more intelligently when "stonewalled", removed the /10 modifier that turret firepower was given when evaluating whether a threatball should attack. Before it was better that they just get it over with, but now it's better that they regroup with other threat and look for an opening.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 and many other players for suggesting.
  • In honor of being one of the winners of the "Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (II)" poll, the autobomb-like colony ship in the nebula scenarios has received moderate nerfs to speed, health, and damage. Combined, those three moderate nerfs are fairly severe. Surely if we overdid it someone will let us know (yea right, not with that scenario).
    • Thanks to the players who provided feedback and votes on this.
  • Fixed a bug in the past couple versions where the Spire's Frigate-level champion was using the wrong icon in the planetary summary.
    • Thanks to Jeffersn for the report.
  • Redid the far-zoom icons for the 9 LotS bonus ships:
    • Spire Armor Rotter
    • Spire Blade Spawner (and Spire Blade)
    • Spire Gravity Drain
    • Spire Gravity Ripper
    • Spire Maw
    • Spire MiniRam
    • Spire Stealth Battleship
    • Spire Teleporting Leech
    • Spire Tractor Platform
    • Thanks to HitmanN for more excellent pixelart.
  • Also in honor of being one of the winners of the "Aim the Nerfbat of Damocles: AI-side (II)" poll, the Zenith Bombard:
    • Now "costs" the AI 150% as much to spawn in all contexts (or nearly all of them, at least; hybrids wouldn't pay attention to this when picking up their escorts, they just pick zombards less often).
    • Thanks to the players who provided feedback and votes on this.
  • In honor of being one of the winners of the "Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VIII)" poll, the Teleport Raider:
    • Ship Cap from 488 => 320. (those are high-cap-scale numbers)
      • Health, Attack, M+C cost, and E cost automatically adjusted accordingly, before the further changes below.
      • This just cuts down a bit on the inevitable disadvantages of being so high-cap in terms of damage loss to armor, etc.
    • Cap Health from 5.145M*mk => 10M*mk.
    • Cap Base DPS from 49k*mk => 70k*mk.
    • Armor Piercing from 300*mk => 750*mk.
    • Effective Range from 7k => 8k.
    • Cap Energy cost from 25k => 20k.
    • Thanks to the players who provided feedback and votes on this.
  • Also in honor of being one of the winners of the "Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VIII)" poll, the Infiltrator:
    • Ship Cap from 544 => 320. (those are high-cap-scale numbers)
      • Health, Attack, M+C cost, and E cost automatically adjusted accordingly, before the further changes below.
      • This just cuts down a bit on the inevitable disadvantages of being so high-cap in terms of damage loss to armor, etc.
    • Cap Health from 11,124,400*mk => 15M*mk.
    • Cap Base DPS from 49320*mk => 70k*mk.
    • Now has bonus vs medium (of 4x, like its other bonuses).
    • Base Move Speed from 26 => 32.
    • Now has cloaking (between the name and the role, it just doesn't make sense not to).
    • Ammo type from Flare => Dark Matter, to prevent excessive nightmare generation.
    • Thanks to the players who provided feedback and votes on this.
  • And in honor of being third place in the winners of the "Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VIII)" poll, the Superfortress:
    • Now being balanced as a MkV version of the MkI fort, but with a ship cap of 1 instead of that type's 5. So roughly 25x as nasty as a FortI. You can go hide now.
    • At the same time, removing the AI version's 3x health multiplier. It seems unnecessary now.
    • Base Armor from 5k => 500k.
      • This basically means it has 5x the listed health, and puts the effective cap-health at about 50% higher than a cap of theoretical MkV forts. To compensate, it's about 3 times easier to take down than those would be if you're hitting it with stuff that ignores armor, strips it away, or somehow overpowers half a million of it.
    • Seconds per salvo from 3 => 2.
    • Shots per salvo from 120 => 250. (I said you could hide)
    • Base move speed from 3 => 12 (same as forts)
    • Thanks to the players who provided feedback and votes on this.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where the Doom Accelerator Cannon modules were largely confused into thinking they were Impulse Reaction Cannon modules.
    • Thanks to Bognor and chemical_art for the report.
  • Honorable mention from the "Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VIII)" poll, the Zenith Power Generator:
    • Build cost (from trader) from 7.2M total m+c => 5M.
    • Base Max Health from 100k => 2M.
    • Ongoing metal+crystal cost (10 each per second) removed.
    • Energy production from 400k => 600k (equivalent to 4 planets' worth of energy collectors).
    • Thanks to the players who provided feedback and votes on this.
  • Another honorable mention from the "Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (VIII)" poll, the Champion Drone Bays:
    • Bomber Drone base movement speed increased from 70 => 84.
    • Slicer Drone base movement speed increased from 140 => 168.
    • Interceptor Drone base movement speed increased from 90 => 110.
    • Champion Drone bays production:
      • Interval between "batches" from 2 => 5.
      • Batch size from 1 => 3.
    • Thanks to the players who provided feedback and votes on this.

Prerelease 6.004

(Released October 29th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the last version that had changed the colors of your ships in the planetary summary.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the report.

Prerelease 6.003 Fortress-size It

(Released October 29th, 2012)

  • Fixed a longstanding (forever, basically) bug where non-wave AIs (Turtle, Support Corps, etc) would not launch waves even in a Defender-campaign game.
    • Thanks to Gith, Cinth, and others for reporting this.
  • AI Home Command Stations have been taught a new self-preservation technique for dealing with a very specific threat.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for inspiring its new sense of humor.
  • Removed the range-check when deciding whether a champion should gain experience from a kill on a planet. Now if it's on the same planet as the thing dying, it gets XP.
    • Note that the majority of champion XP normally comes from winning nebula scenarios, which already give XP to all champions in the game.
    • Thanks to contingencyplan, Moonshine Fox, Wingflier, and Cinth for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug where AI spire corvettes were always spawning with MkI modules when they should have been using (corvette mark)+1 (max 5, of course).
    • This will not impact AI spire corvettes that already exist in savegames prior to this version; just newly-spawned ones.
    • Thanks to ussdefiant for the report and save.
  • Adjusted Fallen Spire shard speeds again, since the increased intensities necessary to match the increased speed were a bit much early on. Now the first shard is back at the original (1/4 of recent) speed, the first city shard is 1/2 of recent, the second city shard is 3/4 of recent, the last shard is actually 5/4 of recent, and the others are unchanged. The intervals between chase spawns have been adjusted accordingly.
    • Thanks to the participants of this poll and for their feedback on this issue.
  • Added modular-fort versions of the following champion modules:
    • Acid Jet.
    • Paralyzer.
    • Polarizer.
    • Impulse-Reaction.
    • Heat Beam.
    • Nanosubverter.
    • Insanity Inducer.
    • Translocator.
    • Doom Accelerator.
    • Photon Lance.
    • Rail Cluster.
    • Rail Cannon.
    • Plasma Siege Cannon.
    • Flak.
    • Bomber Bay.
    • Interceptor Bay.
    • Slicer Bay.
    • So that's all of them. They follow the same racial affinities as the champion modules (spire doesn't get drones but gets the absurdly big energy weapons, etc).
    • Each is available to any human player's modular fortresses if any human champion has them. Fortress modules only go up to MkIII, though (champion modules go all the way to MkV).
    • Thanks to Cinth for reminding us to make this happen.
  • Redid the far-zoom-icons for all the Ancient Shadows bonus ship types:
    • Neinzul Scapegoat.
    • Youngling Firefly.
    • Saboteur.
    • Spire Corvette.
    • Spire Railcluster.
    • Tackle Drone Launcher.
    • Zenith Medic Frigate.
    • Zenith Reprocessor.
    • Zenith Siege Turret.
    • Thanks to HitmanN for the excellent pixelart.
  • Redid the far-zoom icon for the Spire champions (the others had a fair bit of internal contrast, but this one looked pretty washed out.
    • Thanks to HitmanN for this one too.
  • Added two new cheat codes (entered during the game via the chatline, if cheats are enabled) :
    • running with scissors
      • Removes all AI Eyes (sentry/ion/parasite/nuclear/etc) from the game.
    • revenge is best not served
      • Removes all Counterattack Guard Posts from the game.
        • Note, this will result in the ships guarding those posts being freed as threat. Not generally a big deal if done early in the game after you have some defenses, however.
    • Thanks to triggerman602, LaughingThesaurus, and Lancefighter for inspiring these.
  • AI special forces growth rate is now about 0.5x what it used to be, but max strength is now about 1.5x what it used to be. An overall nerf, in general; we'll see where we need to go from here.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the suggestion.
  • Corrected an obsolete description for the counterattack guard post saying the resulting waves were low-warning.
    • Thanks to Lord of Nothing for the report.

Prerelease 6.002 Better Than A Stick In The Eye

(Released October 25th, 2012)

  • Fixed a really longstanding bug where human rebel colony rebellions couldn't happen if the player had not conquered any mkII AI planets.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic and others for reporting.
  • Amended the tooltip that the lobby shows when you mouse over the button that disables cloaking ships to note that it does in fact disable scouts and this makes for a fairly different game.
  • Tackle Drones now self-attrition much faster once their tractors have engaged, which drastically reduces how far out of the fight they can throw enemy ships while not reducing their effective "get to the enemy at all" range.
    • In fact, their overall base time-to-live has been increased from 7 to 9, to make sure they can reach the enemy in most cases.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic, Kahuna, Hearteater, and others for inspiring this change.
  • The AI now has some more tricks to use when responding to knowledge hacking, only used fairly rarely except when dealing with certain recently exploited player cheeses.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for sealing the fate of many.
  • Deepstrike threat:
    • Now triggers 1/20th as often, but each spawn is 20 times as big.
    • Now respects relative unit strength (so 1 blade spawner != 1 fighter, cost-wise).
    • Now spawns on a random AI planet instead of always on an AI homeworld.
    • Now spawns with the ThreatFleet behavior instead of just normal threat.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring these changes.
  • Fixed bug where champion-only players could try to build units from the zenith trader. Not really succeed, lacking resources, but try.
    • Thanks to bonreu and Coppermantis for reporting.
  • Respawning champions owned by a Normal+Champion player now respawn at that player's home command station (if alive) rather than using the "respawning command core" logic (which Champion-Only player champions still do).
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the suggestion.
  • Finally got around to finishing the AI Eye changes from the poll it won some months ago.
    • Added the following new eye types:
      • Raid Eye (like a raid engine if it's triggered too long)
      • Nuclear Eye (nukes the planet, and itself, if it's triggered too long, really hurts on AIP)
      • Threatening Eye (spawns threatfleet ships elsewhere in the galaxy every 5 seconds or so of being triggered)
      • Translocating Eye (powered-up version of the mkIII military command station's new weapon, only fires when eye is triggered)
      • Plasma Eye (massively-higher-Rate-of-Fire version of the mkIII plasma siege starship's weapon, only fires when eye is triggered).
    • Added "Core" variants of the Sentry, Raid, Threatening, Translocating, and Plasma eyes.
      • These are only seeded on AI homeworlds, and are now the only eyes eligible for seeding on AI homeworlds (so Ion and Parasite eyes are now only seeded on non-homeworld planets).
      • They are immune to nukes and a few other things normal eyes aren't.
      • They emit planet-wide tachyon coverage (even when powered down, for those types that can power down).
    • Thanks to the many players who voted for the Eye in that poll, and to Hearteater, Faulty Logic, madcow, and others for suggesting some of the specific changes made here.

Prerelease 6.001 There's Always At Least One

(Released October 22nd, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug where if player 1 had the "Engineers do not assist allies" toggle checked, the allied large starbases in nebulae would not repair champions controlled by players 2-8.
    • Thanks to Kronic and menzel72 for the reports and save.
  • Fixed a bug where unlocking the MkI champion missile module would count as MkV for the purpose of the Specialist achievement.
    • Thanks to Jeffersn for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a localization-missing error that could happen on the high scores window.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • The "Reduce Visual Stimulation" now suppresses the "whiteout" effect of warhead detonations, etc.
    • Thanks to Jeffersn for the suggestion.
  • Fixed several potential unhandled-errors and desync situations that could happen with the scrap-wave mechanic.
    • Thankfully scrapwaves basically never happen due to other AI-population-compression mechanics, so this wasn't actually a big deal. Good to have fixed anyway.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the Stats window -> Military tab -> "# Built" column values ended in a % sign.
    • Thanks to Volatar for the report.
  • Fixed a bug in the CTRLS window -> Ship Design tab where changing a design and then switching templates or unit types before saving (and confirming when it asks if you're sure you want to discard the changes) would leave the display in a very confused state.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic and chemical_art for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where a scapegoat could regen any number of allied ships that died in exactly the same frame, rather than just one.
    • Generally this wouldn't be a big deal due to the number of ships dying during a particular frame being fairly low, but when a Spirecraft Martyr goes up... let's just say that the Abominable Intelligence found a counter to the martyr. But it's been fixed now.
    • Thanks to Switch for the report and save.
  • Changed Ravenous Shadow speed to not vary with combat style (it's now always what it used to be on Normal combat style), since the champion's speed doesn't vary there.
    • Thanks to Cinth and Coppermants for the suggestion.
  • The game no longer seeds wormhole guard posts on wormholes that lead to nebulae, since this was confusing in games without champions (the wormholes are still seeded in that case, because champions can be added midway).
    • Note: this won't affect saves from previous versions, because the posts are already seeded there.
    • Thanks to Volatar and other for reporting the confusion.
  • Brightened the "Shields" display that shows on the resource bar when using a champion.
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for the suggestion.
Personal tools