AI War:1.301 Release

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NEW ART - Philippe Chabot


Updated Planetary Summary Box Button - Minimap Display Mode Minimap (In Three Sizes) New Build Button Style New Tech Button Style Combat Style Buttons Polished Galaxy Map Buttons Ready/NotReady in the Lobby New Animated Cursor Splash Screen Image New Menu Button/Background/Tooltip images ButtonPanelConnector New Galaxy Map Background and Border images Updated Asteroid Belt Images New Small Asteroid Images Updated Galaxy Map Planet Icons New Icons For Metal/Crystal Harvesters Updated Icons For Metal/Crystal Updated Icons For Most Ships Updated Control Group Icons For Planetary Summary Updated Player/Enemy/Ally Icons ShotLightning ShotSniperLazer ShotMissile SmokeTrail ShotElectric


UPDATED SOUND EFFECTS - Pablo Vega


ShotDoubleLazer ShotMissile ShotMissile2 ShotMissile3 ShipExplode


Co-Op Improvements


-There is now a Manage Players button in the in-game menu for the host in all non-tutorial games. This new panel allows the host to rename players, add/remove players, and change player colors. A full sync is required after the contents of this panel are saved.

  When a new player is added to an in-progress game, they start out with the basic starting resources, and a random bonus ship type (which may or may not be the same as any other player's bonus ship type), but no ships.  They do not get a home planet command station, and they are dependent on whatever the existing game players choose to give them in order to get started.  Players that are never given any ships can simply watch in a basic spectator mode.
  When an existing player is disabled, nothing much happens.  All of their ships remain, and are simply controllerless.  However, as noted below, the remaining players can interact with those left-behind ships in a variety of useful ways.

-Home command stations can now be gifted between players. It is also now possible to give away your last controlled command station.

-Now that it is possible for home command stations to be gifted between players, the HOME LOST message is now dynamically set based on whether the player controls and home planet command stations at the time or not.

-The Give button is now shown even in single-player games, and allows players to give ships to themselves.

-It is now possible for any player to select ships that are not owned by active players, and to then give them to other players, or scrap them. It is also possible to give a number of other commands to these sorts of ships, just mainly as a sort of quick ability to manage them in the case that a player has had to leave the game for a while but will later return.

  Also, the normal rules of gifting ships still apply, so if the recipient player has not unlocked the gifted ship, the gifted ship will not make the transition.  Thus if the remaining players want to control the ungiftable ships, they will need to do it via issuing orders to the ungiftable ships while they still belong to the original player.  This is simpler in practice than it sounds, and simply lets the human players control all of the needed ships on the map without allowing for exploits that would let them take advantage of these new mechanics to get around ship caps or ship unlock requirements.
  To quickly gift all of the ships from a planet from one player to another, just zoom way out, hold Ctrl, and select all the ships.  Or select fewer numbers of ships to divide the ships up more precisely. This makes dividing up control of the ships of an absent player extremely flexible and straightforward.

-When an active player name is blank or "???" in the Manage Players interface, players with any name can connect into that slot and the name will become whatever the connecting player's name is.


New Game Mechanic - Supply


-Engineers, Mobile Repair Stations, Mobile Builders, Space Docks and other Constructors, Resource Ships, Force Fields, and Turrets, all now require supply. This means that they will only function if they are within 1 hop of a player-controlled planet.

   Thus players can still act as raiders, but they do so without the aid of supply-type ships to keep their raiding self sustainable without reinforcements (in other words, without being able to seed docks and engineers all around the galaxy).  Thus an important new addendum to existing offensive strategies is picking planets that will grant tactical advantages such as supply for offensive turrets or engineers.  
   Supply is also needed for science labs and energy reactors, so this also means that players will need to take well-connected planets in many cases to do knowledge raiding.  Knowledge raiding is still an important part of gameplay, as is raiding, but the strategy required for both is now a bit more complex.

-Previously, if a planet had been destroyed (nuked), it was not allowed to have a command station build on it. Now command stations can be built on these planets as normal, which is necessary for capturing any structures that might remain on those planets.

-Planets that have been nuked no longer give or receive supply. So other structures beyond the command station can no longer be built on these planets, engineers do not function on them, etc.

-Advanced Factories no longer require Supply to function (this makes them work better with nuked planets, and other similar situations).

-Non-home command stations now require supply to function. Since command stations create their own supply, normally this has absolutely no effect. But on destroyed/nuked planets, this means that a non-home command station is unable to provide its own supply, and is thus able to be built, but unable to build anything else.

-Plum-colored supply lines are now drawn in the galaxy map between planets that have supply. The intel summary in the galaxy map also now notes whether or not each planet has supply.


AI Updates


-When the AI has overwhelming odds against the human players, it will now attack more vigorously than before.

-The placement logic for AI home planets is now much better, so that they are rarely going to be at all near one another in new games. This gives them much more of a chance to regroup and defeat the human players after one of the AI players is destroyed.

-The AI is now vastly much more intelligent with how it deals with exo-shields. Previously exo-shields could be used to distract the AI, but no longer.


Performance


-The Lidgren Network library is now used for networking; this makes the game use UDP rather than TCP, and vastly improves network performance for players in high latency/ high packet loss areas.

-A slight change has been made to the internal game timing -- there are now 50ms instead of 45ms per internal game cycle. This makes for a more even number of cycles per second, and also provides a bit of a load reduction for lower network/gpu/cpu specs.

-Some more internal performance tweaks have been made.

-The AI is now throttled to 200 commands per game turn, which prevents it from flooding the game with commands and thus causing it to hang.

-Full game syncs are now sent in smaller chunks, making it so that a progress percentage can now be shown on the client. On the server, a number is now shown by the "WAIT" messages, indicating the count of messages that have not yet been sent to the client. The connecting clients also reports their status percentage to the server, and the server shows that percentage by each client. For other clients that have already connected, that status percentage is also now shown so that they know what is going on with other players connecting in.

-A new system of render caching is now used for far zoom icons, which reduces the load on the GPU by 1/2 to 2/3 in large battles when zoomed out. This is particularly notable with 3,000+ onscreen ship icons at once, but it also has an effect on smaller groups of ships, too.


Interface / Other Graphical/Auditory Improvements


-The quick-buttons at the bottom of the screen are now shown in the galaxy map.

-The count of enemy ships (as seen on the galaxy map) is now shown for the current planet on top of the command stations quick-button at the bottom of the screen.

-There is now a splash screen that gets shown while the game is loading.

-Several improvements have been made to the tab appearance in the lobby and settings windows.

-All of the in-game menus have been redone in a much more attractive and visible style.

-Control groups are now the first item shown in the planetary summary, and then the current player's ships, allied ships, and finally enemy ships.

-The planetary summary is now grouped into multiple sections (mobile military, fixed military, mobile nonmilitary, and fixed nonmilitary), each with a different color pattern to make the section type clear.

-The scrolling nebula effect at the start of the game is now faster and smoother, and the background stars don't scroll at all. This makes for a nicer look in general there.

-The in-game menu has been condensed slightly, and has been given some color updates to make some of the buttons more at-a-glance visible.

-Ships are now back to having selection circles in far zoom instead of having their icon color get lighter. However, now the selection circle is white instead of the color of the player, and is layered on top of any indicators for force field protection, cloaking, etc.

-The mixing of sound effects during battles is now much better scaled, so that the game now sound significantly different when there is a small battle versus a big battle versus a giant battle.

-A gray box is now shown behind the incoming waves warning to make it easier to read against bright planet backgrounds.

-The scores and incoming waves box now have a thin border around them to make their contrast better against dark backgrounds.


Galaxy Map Updates


-A huge number of updates have been made to the look of the galaxy map, both in-game and in the lobby. It is much more maplike now, like a starmap monitor on an actual spaceship.

-The galaxy map now has a scattering of extra stars and asteroids in it (these are for visual effect only).


Minimap Updates


-There are now three levels of zoom to the minimap. The bigger levels are usually going to be unsuitable for small monitors, but are a godsend for players with larger resolutions.

-Dragging is now supported on the minimap. This is mostly useful when very zoomed out, or when using one of the larger minimap sizes.

-Zooming while the mouse cursor is over the minimap now causes the window to center on the minimap location under the cursor. This makes it easy to zoom in on a minimap location, for instance.


New Ships


-A new ship, the Decloaker, has been added. It is like a super Tachyon Drone, with an attack like a Mark II Short Range turret, fast movement, and a really massive coverage area for its tachyon beams.

-Three new Gravitational Turrets have been added. They greatly slow the move rate of all ships in their radius. This makes them particularly effective against melee ships, or other ships that are immune to tractor beams.


Ship Logic Updates


-Ships will no longer accidentally move too far into range of their target if they are already in range of their target when they are given an order to attack that target.

-The way that the ship caps work in multi-home-planet-command station situations is now better. Instead of multiplying the ship cap of all players, the effect is localized to players with more than one home planet command station.

-Sniper Shots are now gold, and have a more muted sound effect to make them less annoying on sniper-filled planets.

-Ships that are firing out from under allied force fields (which are protecting them), now damage all the protecting force fields by 2x the amount of damage they are dealing to the enemy ships. Thus it becomes much better to place the turrets and other stronger ships outside of force fields unless you want to hurriedly repair them after an assault, while leaving weaker ships and defenseless ships under the force fields for maximum protection. This also acts as a serious nerf to the player practice of clustering hundreds of turrets under a force field to make an unstoppable force.

-Previously, whether a shot hit a ship or a forcefield was precalculated when the shot was fired and then never reevaluated. Now it checks to see which it should hit when the shot actually impacts.

-When a ship protected by an exoshield is destroyed, the exoshield is also now destroyed. That was always previously the intent, but in recent releases that was not happening.


Ship Balance Updates


-Raiders, which were supposed to be immune to tractor beams (as their unit description text says), were not. Fixed.

-The attack range of raiders and teleport raiders has been made much more midlevel, to help differentiate them from your standard fighters and similar ships.

-The range of core turrets has been increased from 7500 to 8500.

-Engineers Mark III now have infinite engine health.

-Scout starships no longer have the ability to attack, but they now have 80,000 health instead of 50,000 and move at a rate of 28 instead of 25.

-Dreadnoughts are now immune to tractor beams.

-Previously, harvester exoshields had a mild attack. With the increase in turret strengths, that is no longer neccessary. The attack has been removed.

-The balance of cutlasses has been changed significantly. They now have more health and do much more damage, but their base attack now has damage equal to their health. So if they are going up against high-health targets, they will kill themselves in one hit;if they are going up against multiple weaker targets, they will be able to kill several of the smaller targets before they themselves are killed. Additionally, cutlasses are now much less effective against resources, constructors, and command stations/posts, but are much more effective against turrets. This prevents them from being the scourge of human players when the AI is using them, but should make them a lot more useful for players and AIS to use on the battlefield.

-The regen rate of cutlasses has been doubled. Now it takes 7.5 minutes for them to fully heal themselves from 0% health, rather than 15 minutes.

-Regular fortresses are now mobile, but are unable to go through wormholes the same as their superfortress cousins. This makes the fortress a lot more distinct from just building a bunch of turrets, and should make it more useful in general for players.

-The Mark I and II force fields are now mobile, but are slower than the already-mobile Mark III force fields. This will help players correct for bad forcefield placement, and also make for more consistency with this line of ships; in the past, often new players did not realize that any of the forcefield levels were mobile.

-Force fields and fortresses are now immune to tractor beams. Force fields also no longer have regen, but now can be repaired by engineers.

-Bomber starships are no longer strong against turrets, instead now having a minor penalty against them.

-No starships other than bomber starships are now strong against forcefields.

-Cutlasses and teleport raiders are now weak against turrets instead of strong against them.

-Fighters are now 12x stronger against cutlasses, and bombers and cruisers are now 50% weaker against them.

-The force fields used by the AI are now different from those used by the human players. They now have a gold hue to them, and they work as forcefields previously did -- they are not repairable, and they are not damaged by ships shooting out from under them. They are otherwise identical to their player-controlled counterparts.

-All starships except the scout starship are no longer immune to snipers (This makes spider turrets effective against them, for example).

-The AI will no longer abandon its guard posts in order to chase armored missiles.

-Starships, Fortresses and SuperFortresses, and Armor Ships now fire through shields. This does NOT refer to forcefields, which are different despite the fact that many players mistakenly call them shields, but rather to the shield rating on individual ships. Thus the ships above become much more effective against highly-shielded ships such as high-level bombers.


Misc Changes


-Bombers are now called Heavy Bombers to be more descriptive about their true nature for new players in particular.

-Handicaps no longer affect energy production.

-It is now possible to have negative handicaps that go as low as -300%. For AI players, handicaps in general do not affect the starting number of ships on each planet, but they have a major effect on the size of waves and reinforcements at planets.

-There is now a header to the AI War intro story text, and the story text appears more quickly.

-The message about player's home planet command statiosn being under attack is now a lot more specific, noting the exact planet(s). This is invaluable for when a single player controls more than one home planet.

-The in-game ALSO SPECIAL THANKS TO part of the credits are now alphabetized so as to not give the appearance of favoritism amongst the players there. Previously it was ordered by the order in which they were added to the list.

-When multiple waves of AI ships are coming at the same time, those waves are now ordered by planet name.

-Docks/Constructors that are unable to finish building a ship because of lack of resources or lack of energy now flash red.

-There is now a better error message for when sound files are missing.

-The health of each command station is now shown in the tooltip text of the command stations quick button.

-When generating the UnitRelativeChart.xml, which is used for player information and the wiki, the game now also generates the UnitRelative.dat file (even when not in debug mode), which is what the developers need to compile into the application in order to update the unit stats. This lets staff other than the developers compile these .dat stats files and send them to the developer for inclusion in the compiled game.

-The Paused text in the galaxy map has been moved down to a more pleasing location (where it does not overlap the game timer).

-There is now a confirmation message when the combat style button is clicked, to prevent accidental clicks on it from causing players to need to save and reload.

-The reactors quick-button now shows which reactors have poor efficiency.

-The images for metal and crystal have been made a bit more distinct in shape. Additionally, the icons for the metal and crystal harvesters now match the actual resource icons.

-There is now a "Needed Energy To Reenable" notice on ships in low-power mode, which will help inform players why they sometimes can't reenable a ship at a specific time.


Bugfixes


-Previously, when taking ships out of low-power mode, the ship could not come out of low power mode unless there was energy free equal to the total full energy use of the ship. When in reality, the needed free energy is only equal to the full energy use minus the low-power energy use. Fixed.

-There was previously a bug in the settings screen where on some computers the notices at the very bottom could overlap each other and the quit button. Fixed.

-Previously, force fields were disappearing if the generator was offscreen and not selected. Fixed.

-The lobby tooltip text was a bit out of date for the visibility options. Fixed.

-The buildpoint display text on the hover menu of space docks was way off. Fixed.

-There was previously an issue with the timing of the game on very fast CPUs in very low-load situations. It was running the game at too fast of a speed if the game simulation was able to get more than 30ms ahead of itself (something only made possible by very fast CPUs and recent performance improvements). This 30ms cap was previously in place as something of a safety valve, but it is no longer needed and has thus been taken out, thus fixing the timing issue in the process.

-The find mode instructions were not displaying recent versions. Fixed.

-Previously, it was possible to click into "obstacle" planets such as black holes and asteroid belts. This was in error, and has now been corrected.

-Drag selection now works properly when the cursor is over clickable objects like the scores list and the buttons and minimap. Drag selection also now works better when dragging and scrolling the screen.

-Fixed a minor issue with the sound effects for the home planet command stations being hit.

-Previously, when ships were just being created for a player, they would use double their actual needed energy. Fixed.

-Previously, if parasites/leeches did more than 100% damage to a ship, they could reclaim it with more than 50% starting health. Fixed.

-The description text for metal/crystal harvesters was still referring to them losing efficiency as more are built, which is no longer correct. Fixed.

-Some minor inacurracies were fixed in the first tutorial.

-Partial fog of war was previously called by the wrong name in the dropdown in the lobby. Fixed.

-There was previously a game freeze bug in very rare circumstances when cross-planet attacks were initiated against players. Fixed.

-In recent releases, a bug was preventing AI players from reinforcing their own home planets. This was making the endgame WAY too easy for players. Fixed!

-The word "reinforcements" was misspelled on all the guard posts in the game.

-Previously, sometimes ships that were being pushed or displaced by force fields would become invisible. Fixed.

-Previously, after clearing a cross-planet gather point for a constructor, ships would still travel to the first planet on the old queue. Fixed.

-Previously, lightning shots that were mostly offscreen would disappear incorrectly. Fixed.

-Previously, the menus were not centering correctly in the game when the window titlebar was shown. Fixed.

-Previously, some of the menus and windows (like the View Controls window) could sometimes show up too tall when the window titlebar was shown. Fixed.

-There were previously some issues with the "ready checkbox" state being able to get out of sync in the lobby. Fixed.

-There were a few issues with mouse cursor position calculations when the window titlebar was shown and/or the window was moved around. Fixed.

-Previously, all ship icons were flashing for the first two seconds of a new game. Fixed.

-Previously, the windows "error" sound effect would play when players hit enter in the in-game chat textbox. Fixed.

-There was previously some textual overlap in the control group hover text when the tooltip font size was increased. Fixed.


SPECIAL THANKS


-Thanks to Tankor Smash for suggesting the quick-buttons remain available in the galaxy map, for providing initial concept mockups of the new iconic combat style buttons, for suggesting that the low energy message be moved down, for suggesting a special in-game cursor, for reporting the issue with force fields not rendering when their generator was offscreen, for reporting a minor typography error, for suggesting the paused text be moved in the galaxy map.

-Thanks to Huw for reporting the issue with raiders not being immune to tractor beams.

-Thanks to liq3 for reporting the bug with the crash in 1.202A, for reporting the issue with the ship caps when one player leaves a game, for reporting the issues with gravitational turrets in low power mode, for reporting the issue with exoshields not working in some of the prereleases, for suggesting the balance changes to cutlasses, for suggesting the improved regen for cutlasses, for suggesting that starships do better against highly-shielded targets.

-Thanks to eRe4s3r for reporting the extra peice of panel behind the minimap display button, for reporting the issue with the buildpoint display on space docks, for suggesting negative handicaps, for suggesting improvements to how capturing nuked planets works, for suggesting that the AI home planet logic be improved, for reporting the issue with damaged ship icon blinking, for reporting the issue with AI home planet reinforcements not working.

-Thanks for darke for suggesting the improvements to the build button overlaps, for suggesting that engineers III have infinite engine health, for suggesting there be added detail on the HOME command station under attack warning, for reporting the textual overlap in the control group hover text with increased font sizes, for reporting the issue with tooltip overlap and the mission summary.

-Thanks to Haagenti for suggesting that the range of core turrets be increased, for suggesting that the AI be more vigorous when it has overwhelming odds, for reporting the issue with the harvester text being out of date, for reporting the issue with unsupplied science labs, for reporting the spelling error with reinforcements.

-Thanks to Narmio for suggesting the renaming of bombers to heavy bombers, for reporting the misspelling of Laser as Lazer in a few spots.

-Thanks to Lars Bull for suggesting that the count of enemy ships on the current planet be visible without switching to the galaxy map, for suggesting the improvements to drag selection, for reporting the issue with the home planet command station, for reporting the issue with home planet command stations exploding incorrectly in the prereleases, for reporting the issue with ships using double their needed energy on creation, for reporting the parasite overkill issue, for suggesting the improvements to wave order, for suggesting the docks flash red when unable to build ships because of lack of energy, for suggesting the gray box behind incoming wave warning text, for suggesting the new minimap interactions for zoom, for reporting the issue with clearing cross-planet gather points, for reporting the issue with lightning shots that were mostly offscreen, for reporting the issue with ship icons flashing during the first two seconds of a new game.

-Thanks to MorphingJar for reporting the issue with ships in low-power mode having trouble coming out, for suggesting the "Needed energy to reenable" notice.

-Thanks to dumpsterKEEPER for reporting the overlap of text in the settings screen, for reporting several minor glitches in the first tutorial, for suggesting that the reactors quick-button show which ones have poor efficiency.

-Thanks to Kalzarius for reporting the tooltip text being out of date for visibility options in the lobby, for suggesting that starships no longer be immune to snipers, for reporting the issue with the primary mission objectives, for suggesting that the command stations quick button include the health of each command station, for reporting the issue with tooltip overlap and the mission summary.

-Thanks to Velox for pointing out the problems with scout starships revealing their positions by firing.

-Thanks to Warnstaff for suggesting that scout starships get speed/health boosts in exchange for losing the ability to attack.

-Thanks to theDirefulMachine for reporting the issue with the timing of the game running a bit too fast at times.

-Thanks to Larry Park for reporting that the find mode instructions were not displaying, for reporting the issue with the View Controls window size when window titlebars were enabled.

-Thanks to etgfrogs for reporting the issue with unthrottled AI command queues.

-Thanks to Valarauka for suggesting the sectioning and colorizing of the planetary summary, for suggesting the clients report their connection progress to the server and the other clients, for reporting the issues with the Autocannon naming.

-Thanks to Thasero for suggesting that dreadnoughts should be immune to tractor beams.

-Thanks to Tals for suggesting the ability to add new players to an in-progress game, for suggesting the progress indicator during full syncs, for reporting the issues with the chat messages being shown under the bottom buttons in the galaxy map, for reporting the issue with ships being made invisible when pushed by force fields, for suggesting that players with any name should be able to connect to player slots with ??? as the name.

-Thanks to RCIX for reporting the issue with shots sometimes hitting ships that are under force fields but were not when the shot was fired, for reporting the naming issue with the partial fog of war issue in the menu.

-Thanks to Oewyn for reporting the issue with space tugs and other tractor-beam type ships picking up mobile force fields.

-Thanks to tional for suggesting that the AI home planet logic be improved.

-Thanks to CautiousChaos for suggesting buttons to grow/shrink the minimap incrementally.

-Thanks to Idlework for suggesting scrolling on the minimap.

-Thanks to Sprouto for reporting the game freeze bug with cross-planet attacks.

-Thanks to Pandemic for reporting the ready state sync issues in the lobby.

-Thanks to Echo35 for reporting the issue with supply lines between supplied non-player planets.

-Thanks to Volatar for suggesting a solution to the problem of the windows error sound effect playing when enter is pressed on the in-game chat window.

-Thanks to Lars Bull, Echo35, Idlework, darke, Tals, Volatar, Calvin Southwood, dumpsterKEEPER, Tankor Smash, Admiral, and Ashery for all contributing ideas for the major new co-op dropin/dropout functionality.

-Thanks to KibbeZero, ldlework, and Volatar for reporting the issues with the mouse cursor position getting off when in windowed mode and moved around.


AI War:AI War