AI War:Current 4.0 Beta

From Arcen Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search



Release 4.000

  • Added Mouse tab to the Input Bindings screen; it's just a static listing of controls and cannot be edited, but it is necessary for completeness.
  • Settings importer will now prompt yes/no to overwrite existing settings files, if any are found.
  • Fixed crash bug when trying to start a game with an expansion disabled when the "last used" AI Type for one of the AIs requires that expansion.
    • Thanks to Winter Born for reporting.
  • The starting setup of the intermediate tutorial is now much more like a real game.
  • The layout and design of the intermediate tutorial is now massively different, accounting for the addition of unique guard posts and the removal of turrets. Also adding guardians on a few planets, and accounting for the new-style AI home planets. And a few other goodies, like adding in a fabricator for the players to capture.
  • Fixed bug where the put-in-low-power button was working but not visible for ships without build queues.
    • Thanks to zebramatt for reporting.
  • Fixed a conflict between Alpha1 and N+Alpha1; previously it wasn't possible to properly use the latter to filter the ships affected by a drag-box select action.
    • Thanks to Nightchill for reporting.
  • Fixed vertical alignment of toggle labels with their toggles.
    • Thanks to zebramatt for reporting.
  • Tip of the day that refers to the manual now displays a button (in place of "Open Link In Browser") that, when clicked, opens the manual in whatever pdf viewer the user has set as default.
  • Fixed some omissions and errors in the Neinzul minor faction descriptions.
    • Thanks to themachineissentient for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where an AI ship that was trying to attack a human ship was still in low-power mode and thus restricted to hurling itself bodily at the target.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause the messages window to not always scroll when it should, especially with long tutorial messages.
  • The tutorials are all now played on Normal speed rather than the former Epic. This prevents the ship movement, etc, from feeling sluggish, and doesn't really make the game feel any more difficult since the AI ships almost never take the initiative here, anyway. Better first impression, and all that.
  • By default, the screen no longer dims and the music no longer stops while paused. That option can still be unchecked in settings to go back to the old default if players wish.
  • The intermediate tutorial has been hugely revamped in general.
    • It now introduces the CTRLS screen, including rebuilders and engineer FRD automation.
    • It now covers using starships as a key part of every offensive, as well as the benefits of scout starships.
    • It now includes a LOT more offensive/defensive tips that players really ought to know when playing for real.
    • The tutorial now includes a much more natural difficulty progression, so that players won't feel so lost when starting their first real post-tutorial campaign without the hand-holding.
    • It now includes tips for a better economy, as well.
    • Knowledge Raiding is no longer included in this tutorial, as it's now quite secondary.
    • It covers getting surprised by the enemy, and instructing the player to pause to have time to react.
    • It also now skips the part on ion smashing, as the other parts of the tutorial are now more interesting and basically cover that, making this a lot less interesting.
    • The intermediate tutorial is also now six steps shorter than before, although a lot of the existing steps are more robust and interesting than before. It should take about the same amount of time to complete as before.

(Released October 26th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.908

  • Epic/4X-like has been renamed to Epic (Slower), to avoid confusion with people not familiar with the 4X subgenre.
  • The loading images and loading gameplay window at the start of the game no longer impacts the display of the license keys menu or the display of the player profile menu or the new "do importer" logic.
  • Fixed a bug where Tachyon Guardian MkIs were being seeded on all AI home and core worlds instead of MkVs.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting.
  • Completely redid balance of the Space Tank, to be instead much more like a variant of the bomber, with the following differences:
    • 50% lower move speed.
    • 20% greater metal cost.
    • Zero crystal cost.
    • No bonus against CommandGrade hull type, replaced with bonus against Polycrystal hull type.
    • 20% greater shot damage.
    • 25% faster shots.
    • 20% less health.
    • Gets armor-piercing = its armor rating.
  • Bombers (and thus tanks, see above) base attack power increased to 3x of what it was, special hull-type-bonuses cut to 1/3rd of what they were. This makes them a bit more effective against armor-rating.
  • On non-friendly planets, speed boosters now can no longer increase speed to more than 2x of the original value. They can still boost stuff up to near-light-speed on planets controlled by the same team.
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for reporting that they were out of control.
  • Vampire claws no longer have armor, to make them not quite as hard to kill. It's still necessary to use the right counter (laser turrets are good, check the reference tab), but now swarms of fighters can bring them down too, in a pinch.
  • Sentinel Frigates are now immune to insta-kill.
  • Music is now paused during multi-step processes (GameInit, StartGameFromLobby, and LoadGame) to avoid skipping, and since the music track changes from the title screen to in-game anyway.
    • Thanks to Invelios for the suggestion.
  • Fixed an inaccuracy on the Zenith Power Generator tooltip regarding the strength of its bonus to enemy waves.
    • Thanks to themachineissentient for reporting.
  • A new Tip of the Day feature is now on the main menu, providing randomized tips on each startup, which players can cycle through.
    • Thanks to Winter Born for suggesting, and for many players for submitting tips (they are credited in-game with each tip).
  • Previously, it was possible for the paused and similar messages to get lost behind the chat messages window. This was particularly troubling in the tutorials. Fixed.
  • Previously, loading a savegame from a tutorial could lead to wormhole positions being switched around, and probably some other similar stuff like that. Fixed so that the start of a tutorial now does a full sync to make sure it's consistent with all that logic.
  • Reimplemented the control group double-press-to-center-on and triple-press-to-switch-to-other-planets-with-ships-in-this-group functionality.
  • Changed the Edit-Key-Bind method from "pick from this miles-long largely-unordered-dropdown-list of frequently-unfamiliar-key-names" to "press the desired key". Left clicking the bind-part (modifier-1, modifier-2, or key) enables rebinding mode for that part; left clicking again disables it (keeping any change you made) and right-clicking it (while rebinding is active) sets it to KeyCode.None. Clicking Save on the window keeps your changes, Cancel reverts the KeyBind back to its previous KeyCode values.
  • Harvester Exo-Shield regeneration increased so that self-healing from nearly dead to full takes 30 seconds, instead of 2 hours.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for complaining.
  • Reimplemented scrolling story/credits on main-menu screen.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause massive numbers of AIErrors to be logged when playing the tutorials.
  • AI ships now automatically come into existence out of waves in FRD mode. This gives them a faster reaction time in their first few seconds of life, rather than waiting a second or two for commands from the AI thread.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where loading savegames of tutorials with incoming waves was resetting the wave timers.
  • The third basic tutorial has now been massively updated, with lots of new and interesting info that really all players should know. It has tips on group move, attack-move, and free roaming defender mode, most notably, as well as a few more combat situations to actually make use of those ships that the players built.
  • The game now stretches the GC by 300mb instead of 200mb at the start. With the recent fixes to the memory leak in the savegames, this was now safe to do, and it pushes out the frequency of the music skipping.
  • The special thanks to players section has been massively updated with the backlog of hopefully all the players who are supposed to be on there (SO much has happened since 3.120). If your name should be on there and isn't let us know -- it's not intentional if we msised you and you met the criteria!
    • As a side note, normally we say "non-bugfix suggestions," but in the case of AI War 4.0 and CoN we're including bug reports also, as that was such a huge help for us above and beyond even what it normally is.
  • The artillery golem no longer self-damages as it attacks. It has vastly less health, though, and now only fires half as often.
  • The armored golem is no longer self-damaging as it attacks, but also has vastly less health -- but vastly more armor.
  • The botnet golem is no longer self-damaging, but now has a lot less health and far lowered move speed.
  • Lightning Turrets now have extremely high armor piercing ability, as well as a hefty bonus against refractive hulls.
  • In recent releases, due to some of the memory-static fixes, we accidentally introduced a bug where "adjacent to enemy warp gates" was actually meaning "on a planet with an enemy warp gate."
    • Thanks to zebramatt for reporting.
  • The Pre-4.0 Settings Importer has been updated to look in more locations that actually have the settings files, rather than pointing to a default wrong location, and it has also been updated to pull over the disabledaitypes and altplanetnames files.
  • The game itself has been updated so that on first run on Windows it now prompts players if they want to run the importer or "begin fresh," and the importer can be launched via a button in the settings window for those players who will be playing the game via a distribution service that doesn't use our start menu shortcuts.

(Released October 26th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.907

  • The description of the Harvester Exo-Force-Field has been made more brief.
    • Thanks to LanceFighter for suggesting.
  • The Harvester Exo-Force-Field has been renamed to Harvester Exo-Shield, its original name, since there's no longer a reason to differentiate between force fields and shields. Also, Force Field Bearers are now back to being called Shield Bearers, for the same reason.
  • Tachyon Guardians are now shown as icons on the intel summary for planets, as they are very relevant for scouting.
    • Thanks to KDR_11k for suggesting.
  • Fixed the lightning AOE graphics in far zoom, which were showing up too large in the last release.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting.
  • Fixed an inaccuracy in the Tractor Beam Turret descriptions.
    • Thanks to Dazio for reporting.
  • In the prior version, the AI Loop was being restarted every time the game was saved. Whoops. This would add a lot of lag to the save process.
  • Added several features to the Reference tab of the Stats window:
    • Filter By "Scope" can be used to restrict the compared types to:
      • Ships in My Selection
      • My Ships On This Planet (empty if you have no scout intel)
      • Friendly Ships On This Planet (empty if you have no scout intel)
      • Hostile Ships On This Planet (empty if you have no scout intel)
      • My Ships (anywhere you have scout intel)
      • Friendly Ships (anywhere you have scout intel)
      • Hostile Ships (anywhere you have scout intel)
      • Ships I Can Build (default) (currently doesn't account for fabricators or advanced factory)
      • Ships I Can Build Or Unlock
    • Filter By "Category"
      • Noncombatants
      • Non-warhead Combatants (default)
      • Fleet Ships
      • Starships
      • Turrets
      • Warheads
    • The ship types now use TypeName instead of ShortName for description, and so are easier to identify.
    • Also, mousing over a ship name (either the select-dropdown or the first column of the grid) will display the buy-menu detail tooltip for that type.
    • Clicking one of the names in the first column of the grid will select it in the dropdown.
    • Scrollbar on the grid has been removed in favor of paging buttons, this is important for performance when the actual data set is very large.
    • In addition to the "View Reference" context menu item when you have ships selected, if they have a target-to-destroy there will be a "View Target Reference" item that will open the reference tab with the target selected in the dropdown. If there are multiple targets amongst the ship in your selection, it picks the first one it finds.
  • Fixed several inaccurate or misleading things (and the can't-click-the-close-button bug) on the Objectives tab.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter and orzelek for reporting.
  • Temporarily removed some keybinds that refer to features not yet re-implemented.
  • Fixed bug that was preventing various abstracted-factory units (like Neinzul Roaming Enclaves) from scaling properly with the unit cap.
    • Thanks to Dazio for reporting.
  • Added a "grace period" where the counters for roaming enclaves and preservation wardens don't start counting up until a certain time has elapsed. Currently it's 20 minutes * (10 - AI Difficulty) for the roaming enclaves, and the same (except 15 instead of 20) for the wardens. So for Diff 7 that's 1 hour, and 45 minutes, respectively.
  • The global "3x larger" waves from the last release have been removed. Instead:
    • On difficulty 6+, waves are 3x larger.
    • On difficulty 7+, waves are 6x larger.
    • On difficulty 8+, waves are 9x larger.
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox and quickstix for suggesting.
  • Also, the single-starship-with-every-wave is now only included on difficulty 6 and up.
    • However, on difficulty 8+ it now includes two of them.
    • And on difficulty 9+, it now includes three of them.
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox for suggesting.
  • Put in some more safety checks that should prevent occasional wonky drawing of the lobby.
    • Thanks to Winter Born for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug that could lead to the player starting positions getting silently reset in a multiplayer lobby.
  • Zenith Power Generators now produce 400k energy instead of 200k, owing to their increased cost. They also now have a 4x wave bonus, rather than a 2x bonus.
    • Thanks to Winter Born for suggesting.
  • The AI Progress costs of the Zenith Reserves have all been about cut in half.
  • The AI Progress cost of the Distribution nodes has been reduced from 2 to 1. Also, the possible and minimum amounts that they give out have both been been doubled. And, in the case of a trojan node, the amount that they take away has been halved.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for suggesting.
  • The last of memory-rootedness fixes, for now, has been put in place. The amount of permanently-added memory after loading a savegame is now only about 2mb, down from 10mb in the recent releases and 100mb a week ago. We'll investigate this more post-4.0, but at this stage there are much bigger fish to fry.

(Released October 25th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.906

  • Fixed bug where a randomly selected Train Master AI Type would not automatically enable the Astro Trains plot.
  • Mostly fixed the memory leaked when quitting a game (so starting several games one after another could lead to out-of-memory situations). There is still some leakage, but it's about 10% or less of what it was; we're working on the rest.
  • Waves in general will now be three times larger.
  • Previously, black hole machines had an infinite ship cap, but they now have a ship cap of 2.
  • The following Zenith Trader costs have changed in light of the new (more powerful) player economy:
    • Black Hole Machines are now 4x more expensive.
    • Ion Cannons Mark I and II are now 4x more expensive.
    • Higher-mark Ion Cannons are now 2x more expensive.
    • Counter Spies are now 4x more expensive.
    • Super Fortresses are now 4x more expensive.
    • Orbital Mass Drivers are now 6x more expensive.
    • Zenith Power Generators are now 3x more expensive.
    • Planetary Armor Boosters and Inhibitors are now 6x more expensive.
    • Radar Jammers I and II are now 5x more expensive.
  • The ship cap of transports has been dropped from 60 to 20, but transports now only cost 1/5th the former amount of energy.
  • The health of scouts is now 7x lower; they were overpowered, lately.
    • Thanks to Ozymandiaz for reporting.
  • The health of scout starships is now 2x lower, but their crystal cost is now 4x lower.
  • Sometimes the bottommost nodes of X maps could actually be so low as to be unclickable. Fixed.
  • The sync complete message was not always disappearing for the host before. Fixed.
  • Yet more memory-use-reduction has been put in place for the AI thread.
  • The game speed indicator on the stats tab was not previously doing as good a job as it should have, especially in multiplayer lag situations. Fixed so that now it is actually accurate.

(Released October 24th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.905

  • Previously, the AI Loop, if it was running, was not always killed right before a full sync. This could lead to the AI being more or less comatose after a Manage Players use, for instance. This was probably also a memory leak to a mild degree, but definitely would cause excess memory use, at any rate.
  • Yet more work has been done to improve the rate of memory utilization in the mono gc.
  • In recent versions, since the new combat model was introduced, the old logic for "if a tractor beam is holding me, I can definitely shoot it even if it's out of my range" was gone. That's now been added back, which makes it so that tractor beam turrets can actually be hit by enemy ships, etc.
  • Tractor beam turrets now cost 3/5 what they did in recent versions, and have 3/5 of the health, number beams, etc, scale. Their base health values have also been reduced by a fair degree, to make them not so impenetrable.
  • The move speed of Zenith Electric Bombers has been reduced from 40 to 15.
  • In the prior release, having the pre-ship caps not affect ships with a low cap was a bad idea (Zenith Electric Bombers). That's now back in.
    • However, it now won't scale down below 30%, so things like Zenith Electric Bombers will be at 30% the wave size of other units, rather than 10%
    • Thanks to Dazio for reporting.
  • Siege MkI attack power from 64k => 192k (this was intended to have already been done with the increase to the other marks, but got lost in the shuffle).
  • Siege MkI/II/III base range from 20k to 35k (actual range is a bit different from base range).
  • A few minor memory improvements to the GUI, more to come on that later after we track down some more serious stuff.
  • Ships being unloaded from a transport now must go through the full reloading process before they can fire. This is not normally a big deal but does make it harder to insta-gib stuff with Sieges unloaded from a transport.
    • Thanks to IranianChaos for reporting the imbalance.
  • Fixed a bug with the "select player to show data for" being mislabeled and showing on more tabs than it should have in the stats window.
  • The game is now strictly limited to 12 open disk threads at a time. Previously it would usually be that few or fewer, anyway, but in a few cases it could get higher and this could lead to jerkiness on windows and potentially crashes on OSX.
    • Thanks to freeman08 for inspiring this change.
  • More check code has been put in place to prevent too many guardians from being added to a guard post during reinforcements. Previously that could still happen during double-reinforcements and other similar events.
  • The resources line is now the bottom line of the intel summary (below energy reactor counts) for real. Whoops that it wasn't before.
  • Previously, Raid engines and AI Eyes could be triggered by minor factions. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Ixiohm and orzelek for reporting.
  • Previously, when holding Ctrl with the HUD enabled, wormholes would disappear. Fixed.
  • Various rebalancing of guardians to be a little less painful all around, buffing a couple of the reportedly-less-dangerous ones.
    • Base health from 1,000,000 * markLevel to 800,000 * markLevel.
    • Sniper guardian attack power from 2,600 * mL => 2,000 * mL.
    • Spider guardian simultaneous shots from 30 to 20.
    • Tractor guardian:
      • Attack power from 800*mL => 600*mL.
      • Number of tractors from 50 + 30*mL => 50 + 20*mL.
    • Tachyon guardian simultaneous shots from 1 + 10*mL => 1 + 7*mL.
    • Flak guardian simultaneous shots from 1 + 20*mL => 1 + 10*mL.
    • Beam guardian:
      • Attack power from 3000*mL => 4000*mL.
      • Given armor piercing of 500*mL.
    • Artillery guardian:
      • Simultaneous shots from 1 + 5*mL => 1 + 3*mL.
      • Attack range from 35000 + 5000*mL => 25000 + 4000*mL.
      • Armor rating from 600*mL => 200*mL.
    • Laser guardian:
      • Simultaneous shots from 1 + 4*mL => 1 + 6*mL.
      • Armor rating from 3000*mL => 1000*mL.
      • Given armor piercing of 500*mL.
    • Raider guardian simultaneous shots from 1 + 20*mL to 1 + 14*mL.
  • Space tank armor from 30000 => 1500.
  • Armor armor (no pun intended) from 1500 => 15000.
  • The display of the planets in the background is now much better (sizing/positioning wise, it's a lot more like in SlimDX).
  • The explosions and shots now render under the far zoom icons in far zoom, making it easier to see what's going on clearly in that strategic view.
  • Fixed a bug with force fields and other similar upscaled objects sometimes disappearing in far zoom.
  • Fixed a bug that could sometimes cause pieces of explosions to get culled when they were really still onscreen.
  • Shots and explosions now won't shrink beyond a certain size in far zoom, which makes the battles a lot easier to see from very far zoomed out.

(Released October 23rd, 2010)

Prerelease 3.904

  • The ranges of the human tractor beam turrets have been significantly increased.
  • In the prior version, the AI was sometimes not always knowing when a ship was dead. This was a problem for when it would reinforce to planets in particular. Fixed.
  • If the AI sends reinforcements to guard something that turns out to be dead (which happens legitimately, if somthing dies at just the wrong time), those reinforcing ships now fizzle and disappear.
  • The "this key has been held down for x seconds" display no longer shows when the hud has been disabled (for those scenic views).

(Released October 23rd, 2010)

Prerelease 3.903

  • Ported last two stats tabs from the SlimDX version; the graphs stuff is all that's left.
  • Previously it was possible for AI ships in low-power-mode to be guarding a guard post that couldn't fire upon any player ships which in turn were able to fire on the forcefield protecting them all, without waking up the low-power AI ships. Fixed so that angering the forcefield will anger the AI ships under it. This may result in some of the AI ships leaving the ff's protection in a tactically poor fashion, but the alternative is staying put in a tactically poor fashion in other cases.
  • There is now a bit better of a speed throttle on the way that data is sent to the AI thread, leading to less lag on the main game thread when there is a bunch that needs to be sent to the AI.
  • The way that the AI thread gets updated data about units in the game is now through a separate data channel from the way that it gets commands to send waves, updates about planet ownership, and other things. This has several advantages. First, because we're able to avoid boxing some structs, this is much more memory-static. Secondly, it prevents the AI thread from getting sluggish on processing things like waves because of a backlog of units to update in ultra-high-unit-count games (north of 70k). Third, it allowed for the better speed throttle mentioned above, without causing a more general lack of correctness on the part of the AI thread.
  • An ENORMOUS performance improvement has been made for the game host in large unit-count games in particular. The AI thread sync logic is now using generic queues instead of lists, resulting in state-sync operations happily taking under 8ms for 15,000 synced units, rather than taking 8ms for only about 20-30 synced units. This effect will be most pronounced in games with more units.
  • Another similar large improvement has been made to the pooling of explosions, shot graphics, etc.
  • A similar, but smaller improvement has been made to the sending of large, mult-part network messages.
  • The way that sound effects are pooled has been adjusted downward once again, to keep the amount of disk access and sound over-bleeding to a minimum. This makes the battles sound a little less chaotic, which is another plus, and hopefully it will help (or fix) the remaining OSX crash. This is a mild boost to performance on both platforms, incidentally.
  • The garbage collector is now once again being stretched, this time by 200mb, in order to make sure that there's a certain minimum heap size that would keep audio skipping down. If too-frequent audio skipping is still an issue for some folks, then we'll put in a settings option that would allow people to increase the memory usage of the game in exchange for fewer garbage collections.
  • Previously, the new Children of Neinzul title music track was never playing. Whoops! Fixed.
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox for reporting.

(Released October 23rd, 2010)

Prerelease 3.902

  • Fixed bug in previous version that was causing "Save Game" to produce 0-byte saves.
    • Thanks to many for reporting and not lynching us over the overwritten saves.
  • Fixed incorrect localization-lookup in the objectives tab.
    • Thanks to Kalzarius for the report.

(Released October 22nd, 2010)

Prerelease 3.901

  • Zenith Polarizer damage is now multiplied by the square root of the target's armor rating instead of by the target's armor rating. Base damage increased by 12x.
  • Fixed problem with several of the bigger mouseover-info windows where text wrapping over from a line could fail to bump the next line down, thus causing visually overlapped text.
  • Fixed a rare key-does-not-exist exception in SelectionDescriptionWindow.
  • Ported Military, Economy, and Technology tabs of Stats screen, two more to go.
  • Saving and loading of games is now going to cause a small bit more of a hiccup in game execution, but will also use massively less memory and should have almost no chance of causing out of memory errors.
  • Many various other small improvements have been made to memory-static-ness, to keep the game running smoothly and garbage-collecting (which causes a hiccup in the music, etc) as rarely as possible.
  • In the prior release, "event flare creators" like the mining golem would cause the galaxy map to display oddly and throw a bunch of errors.
    • Thanks to Giegue for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug with UnitData being null on a few units when sent to the AI Thread.
    • Thanks to ciaran for reporting.
  • Lower-ship-cap ships (like vampires) no longer have the size of their offensive waves scaled downwards.
  • The size of waves now scales up by a linear(ish) amount with higher difficulties above 5. The actual math is rather convoluted, though, as the number being affected is a baseline number that then gets washed, inflated, and deflated a number of times afterwards. But, it should create waves that are more appropriately-sized as traditionally was the case in AI War, though scaled for the ship caps of course. Since 3.189 and a bit before, things were far lower than they should have been, making waves all but inconsequential at times.
    • Thanks to Collic for suggesting the bump.

(Released October 22nd, 2010)

Prerelease 3.900

  • Galaxy helper window now switches during "find mode" to displaying the ship type being looked for.
  • Made distance-between-windows-and-screen-edge and distance-between-adjacent-windows more consistent throughout the gui.
  • Fixed a bug that was sending some errors to ErrorsReportedByEngine.txt that were supposed to go to UnhandledErrors.txt.
  • Fixed bug in recent versions where the tooltip text was drawn with an extra blank line on top of it.
    • Thanks to zebramatt for reporting.
  • Fixed some windows-drawing-over-tooltip issues caused by a triumph of hope over experience.
  • In the prior version, the ship selection sound was playing when any left mouse click occurred in-game. Fixed.
    • Thanks to SNAFU for reporting.
  • In the prior version, it became impossible to select ships by single-clicking in far zoom. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Nightchill for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where planetary-summary-mouseover-tooltips would retain stale unit data from previous games within the same app-execution, which was a problem with the unit-cap-scaling being able to change between games.
  • Ion Cannon reload times now scale with the unit cap, so they still fire every 2 seconds on High, 4 seconds on Normal, and 8 seconds on Low. This is to maintain relative balance against fleet ships. This means that they are now less effective at stopping scout swarms on Normal and Low (since scout caps don't scale), but we do not anticipate many complaints from that.
    • Thanks to orzelek for pointing out the imbalance.
  • Added explicit re-initialization to all gui windows for when the app clears the entire game out of memory. This does not impact a lot of outside-the-game windows (the main menu, settings, etc), but should help prevent cross-game artifacts and memory issues, etc.
  • Fixed bug where the key-binds for changing the GalaxyDisplay to DetectedHybrids or DetectedHybridFacilities were not doing anything.
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox for the report.
  • Previously the loca-strings for the GalaxyDisplay and GalaxyDisplayFilter items included a description of which keys to press to trigger them. Since the keybindings are now dynamic those were no longer necessarily accurate and have been removed. In the future we can have them display the actually-currently-bound key like some of the other context menus but that will require some refactoring of those particular menus that will have to wait until post-4.0.
  • Steamworks integration for both Mac and Windows is now in place. It's confirmed working on the windows side, but we have yet to get that fully confirmed on the Mac side because of some further Steam-related setup that needs to happen.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing AI taunts not only to not play, but to create a memory leak (slash file-handle leak) especially on the OSX side. This was also the cause of sound effects suddenly cutting out on the OSX side in the cases where it would do that.
    • Huge thanks to millejoh, freeman08, vonkolberg, and Ymihere for helping us track this tricky bug down!

(Released October 21st, 2010)

Prerelease 3.801

  • Previously, single-clicking a single ship was not making the ship selection sound. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Salamander for reporting.
  • Also, single-clicking a ship that overlaps another ship led to them both being selected. Fixed so that only the closest ship to the mouse cursor is actually selected, which is the same as the logic used to be in SlimDX. This had only been left out in error.
  • The "bounding box" for the neinzul enclave minor faction ships was too large. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting.
  • All-new graphics have been created for the Avenger, the Neinzul Enclave Starships, and the Hybrid Hives. There had been some complaints about the Neinzul Enclave Starships, and I wasn't a fan of how low-res they were (they had been done too small, and then scaled up by the artist), so I did all-new ones. This is the first time that avengers and hybrid hives have had their own unique graphics.
  • The logic for the starting counts of guardians was not applying correctly in the prior version; it was still always starting with two on all difficulties. Whoops.
  • The health of Neinzul Weasels was 10x too high. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Draco18s for reporting.
  • The "would you like to reconnect to the disconnected server?" message now only pops up once every 60 seconds at most, rather than immediately popping up again after you are disconnected. This makes it actually possible to use the menus to quit and do something other than reconnect, etc. It also will no longer actually pop up when the player has the in-game menu or the settings menu open.
  • The energy line is now displayed above the resources line in the planetary summary.
    • Thanks to themachineissentient for suggesting.
  • The health of captive human settlements, home human settlements, and human cryogenic pods, has all been increased 10x.
    • Thanks to themachineissentient for suggesting.
  • The base attack power of impulse reaction emitters has gone up 6x.
    • Thanks to orzelek for suggesting.
  • The attack recharge for bomber starships has improved from 24s to 18s. Bomber starships are now unable to hit fleet ships, instead going for the high-value targets only, given their high attack power. They also now have more armor, which scales up with the mark level of the starships.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for suggesting this in very specific terms.
  • Some error prevention code has been put in place for the generating of maps in the lobby; this may have been causing some issues with players not seeing or getting what they expect in multiplayer sometimes.
    • Thanks to Draco18s for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug with the lobby that could cause it to have its visual state differing from the actual underlying selected options on the second run of the lobby on a game start.
    • This also led to things such as AI Modifiers that were visually "already selected" not taking effect for real until they were clicked again. Fixed.
    • This fix also causes the lobby to remember its existing state when players click out of it and back in.
    • Thanks to bug reports related to this from zebramatt, orzelek, Moonshine Fox, Winter Born, mrsmithal, and dumpsterKEEPER.
  • Fixed a missing localization error in the lobby when generating a new game fails.
    • Thanks to ciaran for reporting.
  • Previously, the presence of an active textbox on the screen was disabling all keyboard shortcuts. Now it only disables all of them except the take screenshot shortcut (F12), and the debug info toggle shortcut (F3). This lets these fucntion in the lobby, now, which is a common desire.
    • Thanks to Draco18s for reporting.
  • Previously, when playing with an unrevealed galaxy, there was no indication of how many wormholes each planet has. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Draco18s for reporting.
  • The wormhole counts in the lobby by each planet are now color-coded to make them more visible and helpful to new players.
  • The bonus ship tooltip now displays over top of the lobby options panel, to avoid causing players to be unable to see the names of planets they hover over near the bottom of the screen.
    • Thanks to zebramatt for reporting.
  • The Message Log button now moves around to make sure it stays on the screen at various resolutions.
    • Thanks to themachineissentient for reporting.
  • Autosave is now enabled for tutorials.
    • Thanks to ciaran for suggsesting.
  • The bonuses for the armor ship have been shifted around such that they are now just generally great against small, light craft in addition to turrets, command stations, and structural stuff.
    • Thanks to orzelek for suggesting they be made more purposeful.
  • The chat window no longer hides all the other game windows while it is open.
    • Thanks to themachineissentient for reporting.
  • Fixed a missing parenthesis in the Armor Inhibited toolbox line.
    • Thanks to Toll for reporting.
  • Previously, mercenary etherjet tractors still had an infinite ship cap instead of x3. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting.
  • The hull attack bonuses of cloaker starships have been removed, as they have no attack!
    • Thanks to Nightchill for reporting.
  • The license keys entry textboxes now automatically strip out extra whitespace and newlines, making it easier to cut-and-paste into them from various external sources.
    • Thanks to Oewyn for reporting.
  • Core Warhead Interceptors are no longer destroyed with the AI command station. This means that they can actually be captured now.
    • Thanks to noideafornickname for reporting.
  • Expansion/trial checking, which happens quite a lot, is now much more memory-static. Yay.
  • The expansion logos are now drawn on the main menu in addition to the main game logo if the expansions are installed and enabled (full or trial mode).

(Released October 21st, 2010)

Prerelease 3.800

  • The description text for armor ships and teleport raiders has been tweaked to no longer refer to turrets.
    • Thanks to zebramatt for reporting.
  • It is definitely now not possible for starships or guardians to be part of cross-planet attacks or border aggression.
  • If the AI thread manages to give any attack orders to its ships which are guards, should no longer cause those guards to desert their posts.
  • In recent releases, AI ships that were guarding could still "break their tether" at the end of their guard radius, which would turn them free and into threat. Now they remain tethered unless fired upon. This does not apply to coordinator-ships, namely hybrid hives.
  • Alarm posts no longer cause guardians to give up their posts -- just the smaller ships.
    • Thanks to Dazio for suggesting.
  • The ship ability "AI Will Abandon Post To Pursue," and its related functions, has been removed.
  • In the last version, mouse scroll wheels with very low sensitivities could wind up not functioning at all. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Fleet for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause blank tooltips to appear when hovering over blank sections of the planetary summary.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter and zebramatt for reporting.
  • When all the ships from a slot in the planetary summary have died, the slot hangs around for 60 seconds by design. However, in recent releases it was confusingly like the slots with actual ships, so now it shows without the backgrounds in those cases.
    • Thanks to themachineissentient for reporting.
  • The text for the buttons in the lower-left corner of the screen has been a bit too large for its buttons for a while, we just hadn't gotten around to correcting that. Fixed.
    • Thanks to zebramatt for reminding us.
  • The graphic for the map, stats, ctrl, tech-category, buy-category, etc, buttons has been updated.
  • The starfield graphics have been updated to in general have less background noise, leading to blacker blacks in the non-star portions. This helps to avoid the starfields looking "muddy" on certain monitors.
    • The amusing thing was that some players complained this was "not realistic," when actually some of the most complained about images were actually cropped from the public domain hubble images. But you can't please everyone. ;)
  • Previously, the text for the riot control starship templates was showing too low and overlapping other buttons. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Kalzarius for reporting.
  • Flak Turrets and Flak Guardians now do 0.3x damage vs Heavy hull types, and 0.2x damage vs UltraHeavy hull types.
  • Hybrid Hive (hull, not ff-module) armor from 500 to 1000, health from 1,500,000 to 2,000,000.
  • Hybrid Hive forcefield generator hull type from (default) to Structural, the same as normal ff-generators (they used to be intentionally different, but with the simplification of damage bonuses there isn't room for that). Health from 500,000 per mark level to 600,000 per mark level.
  • Switched "Galaxy Map" and "Minimap" options on the map-button context menu.
  • A new in-game music track, "The Last Chapter," has been added to the base game.
  • The number of available sound effects at any one given has been chopped in half, to avoid a crash issue on some OSX machines. It shouldn't really affect playback even in large battles, as there was already a different kind of limiter, but it should prevent the crash.
  • Fixed an error that could cause threads to hang open (and memory to leak) if a sound effect had an error while loading. This would not have affected most people, but would have caused eventual crashes in the rare circumstances when it did come up.
  • Previously, when pausing the music during pause it would start a new track on resume of the music. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Inglonias for reporting.
  • Previously, the manufactories description was still referencing control nodes. Fixed.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for reporting.
  • Previously, regen was still taking effect when units were still under construction. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Toll and Ozymandiaz for reporting.
  • Implemented Achievements and High Scores buttons on the main menu.
  • The pause text at the top of the screen now shows up in the same position on the galaxy map that it does on the planetary view. It also now moves out of the way when you move your mouse cursor there.
    • Thanks to vonduus for suggesting.
  • Players now get two mark II scouts at the start, rather than just one, and now get more manufactories of each type.
  • The human player home planet starting units are now neatly ordered, as they were kind of overwhelming before.
    • Thanks to superking for suggesting.
  • The health for all fleet ships is now 40% higher. The intent here is to make them a little sturdier, and that's hard to do when their base health is just so low.
    • Thanks to themachineissentient for inspiring this change.
  • Mark I Youngling Tigers accidentally had 100x too low of health. Fixed.
    • Thanks to RCIX for reporting.
  • Lightning turrets have had their ship caps dropped by half, but their build time has improved substantially.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting the build time slowness.
  • Self-building units with either a metal-cost-per-second over 1100 or a crystal-cost-per-second over 1100 will no longer be auto-assisted during construction (but you can manually order units to assist).
    • Thanks to Winter Born for the report.
  • Lightning Turrets now scale with ship-cap-scale. They did not do so originally because their caps were already very low at the time, but they have since had their base cap increased into the same range as other turrets.
  • Mark II Radar Jammers were working in the wrong direction (only affecting allies instead of enemies). Fixed.
    • Thanks to Toll and Draco Cretel for reporting.
  • Fixed a number of tooltips in the game that were referring to ship-vs-ship bonuses that no longer exist.
  • The counter-missle, counter-sniper, and counter-dark-matter turrets no longer require supply.
    • Thanks to Xira for suggesting.
  • The armor booster tooltip has been updated to be more clear, saying 3X instead of 200% (they are actually equivalent).
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for reporting the confusion.
  • There are now separate sliders for the mouse wheel zoom speed and the keyboard zoom speed.
    • Thanks to Toll for suggesting.
  • The size of Neinzul waves has been reduced 5x, as it was now out of balance with the new ship caps, etc.
    • Thanks to Oewyn and themachineissentient for reporting.
  • A lot of the flashing was previously slowed down far below what it was supposed to do. This led to things like the planet icons disappearing for 5 seconds at a time. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Toll and RCIX for reporting.
  • Removed the "peek through wormhole" function of the new minimap implementation because it was leading to significant confusion.
  • Player ships now move 2x as fast as enemy ships, rather than 1.4x as fast.
  • Many changes have been made to the lobby:
    • The various planet message texts now have backgrounds to them, to keep from blending in with whatever is behind them.
    • The enemy ship counts are now shown below the planet rather than on top of it, and no longer flash, and are drawn lighter.
    • The text for the mark levels of the planets now uses the smaller-but-prettier-and-more-legible mark-level number images used on actual ships.
    • All of this text now disappears as you move the mouse over them.
    • The following hover text colors have been improved for visibility: anything that was light red, knowledge, anything that was light green.
    • The text size for the planet names has been decreased quite a bit, and has been slid upwards to no longer overlap the ship counts, etc.
    • The the font size for the ship counts and other overlays has been increased, while the font size for the priorities has been left at its former smallish value.
    • The general galaxy map instructions and find instructions are once again now visible at the bottom of the screen (they were being covered by the buttons window).
    • Thanks for various reports related to these by: zebramatt, Toll, Draco18s, Burnstreet, vonduus, Moonshine Fox.
  • Added a chat textbox and send button to the messages tab of the stats window; upon entering that tab the textbox will automatically get keyboard-focus so you can start typing without clicking into it, and it will catch the Enter key as a click to the send button.
  • The message log will now automatically scroll to the bottom when receiving a new message (also done for the lobby chatlog).
    • Thanks to themachineissentient for the suggestion.
  • There is now a "MESSAGE LOG" button in the upper-right corner of the screen during the game, which goes straight to the messages tab of the stats window.
  • The planetary summary overlay in the galaxy map has gotten a bit of a visual revamp.
    • It is now tall and thin, rather than fat and wide.
    • It now only moves between the left and the right sides of the screen, rather than ever jumping to the top.
    • The counts for the icons at the top are actually now legible.
      • Thanks to akronia for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug in the AI pathing in the last version, which was causing the AI thread to crash and restart every so often.
  • AI players are now only allowed to add guardians to planets that they control. This slows the rate of guardian reinforcement somewhat, and it also makes it so that different planets can have different difficulties of guardians (more on that in a minute).
  • The per-guard-post cap of guardians is now difficulty-dependent:
    • On difficulty 5 and below, the only guardians that the AI gets are the "freebie" tachyon guardians.
    • These are always there at every difficulty level mentioned hereafter.
    • On difficulty 6, the AI only gets a single guardian at each guard post, and it cannot ever rebuild these when they die.
    • On difficulty 7+, the AI can rebuild guardians, but only gets a single one per guard post (and only starts with one).
    • On difficulty 8+, the AI can rebuild guardians and gets two per guard post (and starts with two).
    • On difficulty 10+, the AI can rebuild guardians and gets three per guard post (and starts with two).
  • In the prior release, it was still possible to see special forces guardians. That should account for all of the unprovoked guardian bum-rushing. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the report.
  • The health of the Neinzul Enclave Starships was recently accidentally reduced by 5x. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Salamander for reporting.
  • Added a small helper window to the right of the global game-button window on the galaxy map, that displays the current galaxy-display and current galaxy-filter, clicking them allows you to change them.
  • Previously, it was possible for starships and other planetary-roamer type ships that were included in a wave to an AI planet to simply be planetary roamers instead of actually attacking the player immediately. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting.
  • The number of targets that flak shots would hit was recently 5x too high, which made them incredibly too deadly. Fixed.

(Released October 20th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.719

  • Added "Reduce Visual Stimulation" toggle to the Graphics tab of the Settings window. Not intended for general use as it really cuts down the graphical quality by disabling many of the animations, but helps some players who are sensitive to strobing effects, etc. No guarantees that it disables everything it should; if you use this feature and find something that it should be disabling, please let us know.
  • The max health of missile turrets was previously incorrectly low. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Thasero for reporting.
  • The bomber starship techs were showing up horizontally in the tech menu, and did not have proper knowledge costs associated with themselves. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting.
  • The per-second costs of metal and crystal are now shown in a smaller parentheses in the ship costs line in tooltips. This will help with planning economic expenditures without diverting attention from the total fixed cost of these ships.
    • Thanks to Fleet for suggesting.
  • Anti-Starship arachnids no longer have any bonuses against any type of hulls, and now have 4x higher base attack. They were one-shotting light starships before.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting.
  • Fixed error that had changed the Siege MkI's crystal cost to 192,000. Back to 64,000 now.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting.
  • The AI players no longer build anti-starship arachnids on their planets in response to player starships arriving. That's outmoded thinking, as the AI already has plenty of stuff around for the AIs.
  • Certain structures were unbuildable in the last version, and structures could not be built while pause. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Dazio and themachineissentient for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing incorrect text wrapping (and sometimes thus text overlap) in the ship tooltips.
    • Thanks to Kalzarius for reporting.
  • The borders on the outside of the screen for the resource bar and the button windows are no longer cut off.
  • The Neinzul Regeneration Chamber no longer requires a knowledge unlock, and no longer requires supply.
    • Thanks to themachineissentient for suggesting.
  • Fixed bug where minor faction ships firing upon AI guardians (and other AI ships guarding a guard post) could lead to those AI ships turning into threat, by no fault of the human player.
    • Thanks to Dazio for the report and save.
  • Hybrid Hives back up to 1,500,000 health (on the hull).
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the suggestion.
  • Previously, the max zoom level was determined based on the screen resolution. Changed to be resolution-independent.
  • The zoom distance at which shots are drawn has been increased.
    • Thanks to themachineissentient for suggesting.
  • The crystal costs on bomber starships have been dropped drastically, and their speed has been increased somewhat, while their attack range has been decreased a bit. Additionally, their ship cap has increased from 2 to 4 per mark level.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the suggestion.
  • The game no longer does any initial stretching of the GC memory. With the recent improvements to memory-static-ness, this was no longer needed, and it lets the working memory used by the application stay far smaller, on par with what the SlimDX version of the game was using.
  • Heavy beam cannons now properly rotate to their targets as in prior versions.
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox for reporting that they did not.
  • The "Network host initialization error" message, which was previously occurring every other time that a player tried to start a network server with one run of the game, has been resolved.
    • Thanks to Toll for reporting.
  • Hybrid plot
    • Difficulty scaling: the initial number of hybrid facilities (including hive spawners) and the maximum-hybrids-alive-at-once calculations (which is based on planet count and spawner count) are now scaled by the total number of human-players/human-homeworlds and the highest AI difficulty (facility count only scales by the former). A single player with one homeworld playing on difficulty 7 has a factor of 1.0; on difficulty 10, 3.0; two players on diff 7 have 2.0, etc.
    • The maximum-hybrids-alive-at-once number is now capped at numberOfPlanets * difficultyFactor, which is 4 times the number of hybrids supported by just the planet count. This allows the number of spawners (each of which support an additional 2 hybrids, which is down from 4) to have a significant impact on hybrid population without it exploding into the 500s or crazy stuff like that (unless you're playing with a lot of players or homeworlds or high difficulty).
  • Clicking the Map button in the lower left hand corner will now (if on the planet view) pop-up a brief menu with a button for switching to the galaxy map, and a button for displaying the minimap. This method of displaying the minimap differs from the existing button (T) in that the minimap will remain displayed until you click the Map button again, or hit T (or whatever you've bound that one to).
  • Added some "defensive programming" to prevent crashes due to occasional problems loading sound files on OSX.
    • Thanks to vonkolberg for the report.
  • Fixed a fairly embarassing bug in our own code that was over-estimating the severity of a few errors passed up to us by Unity. Notably the infamous lost-cursor crash when ctrl+alt+del'ing on a 64-bit windows OS. These errors will still "happen" and will be logged to ErrorsReportedByEngine.txt, but the application will no longer halt on those errors. It will also no longer halt on other unhandled exceptions, but will log them to UnhandledErrors.txt (as it has all along) and try to continue running instead of halting. The results of the latter may not be pretty if you get a genuine crash, but it might effectively "fix" several crashes people have been having.
  • A given error from unity will only be logged once per app-execution, to prevent lag while on the ctrl+alt+del screen (which would otherwise turbo-fill your error log if allowed).
  • When there are multiple reinforcements happening at once due to golems or simply spending more than one reinforcement point at a time, the guardians will now only get reinforced a single time. However, if both AIs spend reinforcement points at that planet, then you could still see two guardians showing up near the same time.
    • Thanks to Toll for reporting the balance issue with this.
  • The old "Snap Cursor To Window" game setting has been removed, as there is no way to do this in Unity.
  • By default, LeftShift and RightShift are now treated as the same key (same with LeftAlt/RightAlt and LeftCtrl/RightCtrl). There is a new toggle on the interface tab of the settings screen to make the game treat those two separately.
    • Thanks to many people for reporting this. Repeatedly.
  • There is also a new toggle on the interface tab of the settings screen to suppress the normal "multi-building-while-holding-shift" behavior that happens when, for example, placing tractor turrets by holding down the left-mouse-button and shift. The default behavior is the same as it's always been, but with this toggle you can use shift solely for the purpose of "do not clear the item out of my cursor when I place one".
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox for suggesting.
  • Fixed a bug where world-level (as opposed to gui-level) mouse-up and mouse-move events were not triggering while the mouse cursor was inside a GUI window. It is correct that mouse-down world-events not happen in such a case, but up and move are supposed to keep firing, and now will (again).
    • Thanks to zebramatt for the report that led to the discovery.
  • Fixed a long-standing bug with icon-grouping where ships inside one icon group that continuously "switch" which one is the lowest health would result in the health bar "jittering" back and forth. An example is placing two tractor turrets, and the health "racing" as they grow. Now it won't switch unless there is a >= 5% difference in health, or there is a full-refresh of the icon grouping data (which happens whenever you move the view at all, etc).
  • Fixed a bug where mouse-over on a ship while in ship-placement mode (like placing a tractor turret) would result in the ship-mouseover-detail-window coming up but being totally blank. It will now not draw the ship-detail window at all, consistent with the behavior in 3.189 and before. Instead it is supposed to draw a small window telling you what you're placing, how much of the ship cap you're using, and max ship cap; we're still working on that.
  • Fixed an out-of-memory-on-startup crash from trying to tokeninze a ridiculously long ConstructionTemplates string (from previous corruption) from the settings file. Note that this fix would cause any construction-template data larger than 50000 to be treated as empty on loading the game. Not such a big deal since construction templates aren't even available in the Unity version yet, though, and when we re-implement it we can store them in a separate file altogether.
  • Fixed bug in EyeBot description.
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox for reporting.
  • A ton of zooming changes:
    • An entirely new system for zooming has been implemented, which ensures that the amount zoomed out is always equal to the amount zoomed in.
      • Thanks to Morslok, Oewyn, Ozymandiaz for reporting.
    • The old "Zoom Speed" game setting has been removed in favor of a new "Zoom Increments" option.
      • Thanks to Burnstreet and RCIX for suggesting.
    • Previously, the "Default zoom speed is fast" setting was not working properly. Fixed.
      • Thanks to Burnstreet for reporting.
    • The game now starts much further zoomed out when it does its "scenic zoom" in after starting a new game or loading a save, which gives players a better quick overview of what is available right from the start.
    • A new "Zoom Speed" game setting has been added, and works very differently from the old version. This one actually affects the speed of going between zoom levels, rather than how far apart the levels are. The default speed is now faster than in the prior Unity versions, so the zooming doesn't feel sluggish.
      • The speeds of the various types of zooming (mouse wheel, keyboard pageup/down, etc) are now a bit more custom tailored under the hood so that they feel equivalent when you pick a given zoom speed in the settings.
    • Previously the Page-Up zoom in key was always centering on the mouse cursor, even with the "Zoom-In Hotkeys Center on Cursor" settings option checked (previously, that setting was only applied to Q,W,E, R). Fixed.
      • Thanks to zebramatt for reporting.
    • Previously, the zooming would shut off completely when the game speed was +10.
      • Thanks to zebramatt for reporting.
    • Previously, when the zoom speed was set slow, and the zoom was actively moving in while centering on the cursor, it would follow the cursor as it moved around rather than zooming in on where the cursor was when the zooming started. Fixed.
      • Thanks to Oewyn for reporting.
    • The default keybinds for zooming in and out (pgup and pgdown) were backwards. Fixed.
    • The way that the zooming in and out with pgup and pgdown is handled has been completely redone from the ground up, and is now far smoother and more responsive than it's ever been.
    • A number of animations in the game, as well as the mouse input for panning and zooming, are now properly decoupled from the game speed increases/decreases. This also fixes some timing issues in the same areas occurring from using different performance profiles. This still isn't perfect, but it's making it at least playable at all the levels.
    • There is no longer a time delay required before changing directions in zoom. In the SlimDX versions this was a protection that was needed, but in Unity it was making it feel jittery when rolling the mouse in and out.

(Released October 19th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.718

  • The dropdown will now close if there are any mouse clicks outside it.
  • Fixed a bug where initial run was not properly asking for profile (player name and default color) and license keys.
  • Fixed a bug where a corrupt settings.dat would generally lead to a crash rather than acting like no settings.dat was present.
  • Engineer drone health has been increased 10x, as has mobile builder health. Cleanup and rebuilder health was already at or above these levels.
  • Engineer drones, cleanup drones, rebuilders, and mobile builders all now cost 0 energy to operate. When the player energy availability is in shambles, it's no fun not being able to build engineers to help the new reactors along.
  • The AIs now send leech starships in waves and reinforcements at lower tech levels than they did in the past.
  • Bomber starships no longer have multiple shots. They also now have 200x higher base attack power, and no bonuses against any hull types. They also no longer deal any engine damage, and have higher engine health. Their reload speed has been halved. They are simply ultra-strong raw-damage units against any target, but with a slow reload speed.
  • Siege Starships also now have no bonuses against any other ship types, but now have 3x overall stronger attack. This solves the problem of them not being strong against starships in recent releases.
  • Human players are now allowed to build mark I-III bomber starships. The Bomber Starship Fabricator is now the Bomber Starship Mark IV Fabricator. AI players will also now use all these starships, too.
  • The following starships no longer require technology unlocks, and are available to the players right at the start: Bomber I, Leech I, Raid I, Siege I. The goal here is to make starships clearly more central to the game, with players having a starting selection of these as well as fleet ships, so that they can make more informed decisions when deciding what to upgrade.
  • Similarly, the following turrets no longer require technology unlocks, and are available to the players right at the start: Laser Turret I, Missile Turret I, Lightning Turret I, Flak Turret I. The goal here being that players start out with more of a varied arsenal, and can experiment with various turret types without having to gamble knowledge that they might not want to spend. The idea being that then players will be able to get more familiarity with turrets in general, and can then make more informed decisions.
  • Missile Turret II and II now costs an extra 1000 knowledge each, and Flak Turrets II and III now cost an extra 750 each.
  • Previously, there was a 5x health boost being applied to a lot of various types of ships, but now it only applies to the fleet ships built at the space dock. This makes things a lot less confusing for us internally, and brings the starship health down substantially (they were extremely overpowered until recently).
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox for reporting that starships were too durable in the prior version.
  • The energy required for tractor beam turrets and gravitational turrets was excessive, and has been reduced by 10x.
  • The AI no longer gets any guardians at all on planets adjacent to the player home planets. This is consistent with ion cannons, AI Eyes, etc.
  • Space Docks, Starship Constructors, Missile Silos, Mercenary Docks, and Advanced Factories all now take 1,000 energy to run. This is a 10x reduction for most of them, but it brings mercenary docks up from 0.
  • Fixed bug where AI was giving its low-power ships attack orders rather than waiting for them to be woken up properly.
  • Moved F3-Debug part of ship-mouseover-tooltip to the next-to-cursor tooltip box, since there wasn't room for it in the main tooltip-window anyway.
  • The home planet seeding has changed substantially for players:
    • Players no longer start with three outposts on their home planet. This was counterintuitive and hard to manage.
    • Playrs no longer start with a missile silo.
    • Players now only start with a mobile builder if they are playing multiplayer.
    • Players now only start with a mercenary space dock if they are playing on difficulty 7 or higher.
    • Players now only start with home human settlements if they are on difficulty 6 or higher, and the number of home human settlements is the difficulty level - 5 (rounded down to the nearest whole number).
    • Players now only start with cryogenic pods if they are on difficulty 7 or higher, and the number of home human settlements is five times the difficulty level - 6 (rounded down to the nearest whole number).
  • Home human settlements and human cryogenic pods are now both immune to blade attacks.
  • There is a new "Player Home" force field generator that is now seeded with the player starting position. It has a size equal to those "Core" force fields that the AI uses on their home planets, but the strength is only that of a mark I human force field generator. This gives a bigger protection radius, but no more protection-time-when-under-attack than in the past.
    • Once this force field is lost, you'll have to build from your standard pool of force fields, as these can't be rebuilt.
  • Fixed bug where alerted AI units at a guard post were not waking up their fellows from low-power-mode.
  • Passive guard posts and counterattack guard posts now have a small, token attack that helps them alert their guards when enemies are near.
  • Wormhole guard posts are no longer perma-cloaked, and now have a small, token attack like the passive guard posts. These can now be seen and attacked if you wish, although they have 400 million health, so in MOST cases that's a colossal waste of time. But in an event where you have a ton of firepower and the desire to clear a wormhole without clearing the planet, you can do so.
    • Having these visible also helps to reduce confusion about spawned guardians for things like turtles, where there are multiple wormhole guard posts instead of just one.
  • Turret costs and effectiveness are now 3/5 what they were in recent releases. Given that their ship caps are no longer reduced to 3.189 their prior levels, this makes them still more awesome than they used to be without being quite so expensive. It also rebalances the basic turrets a bit, since they only have one shot, etc.
  • The far zoom icons for guardians now rotate like those for starships do.
  • The way that the health scales up for the higher-level vampires was previously far out of balance. Those have been nerfed back down to reasonable levels.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing guardians to go into special forces mode on some occasions.
  • Fixed bug where special forces ships would free themselves to attack scouts, leading to eventually attacking the humans.
  • Fixed a bug that could erroneously free AI starships from distant planets.
  • Youngling Weasels are no longer eligible for homogeneous waves.
  • Youngling Tigers Speed 20 => 60, lifetime 1 minute => 2 minutes. Hopefully this will make them more suitable as homogenous waves, etc.
  • Astro Trains moved from optional-ship-category to AI Plot. This plot is automatically enabled for Train Master AIs (it is no longer possible to start a new game against a Train Master without trains; we may add a "Vanilla" AI Type later on to fill that role).
  • Fixed a bug from the start of the Unity versions where selecting Advanced Hybrids without Hybrids would not automatically enable Hybrids. Note that this automatic-enabling happens on game-start, and does not automatically toggle any buttons on your actual GUI, etc.
  • In recent betas, the ship building outflows were often extremely wrong, and varied with the performance profile, etc. Not as much testing on those as we should have had. Those issues are now fixed.
    • Huge thanks to Lancefighter for not only finding the issue, but also doing extensive comparison tests and providing a savegame where we could do the same.
  • In recent betas, the repair outflows for healing ships were not only massively too expensive, they were also hugely variant based on the performance profile in use. This has now been fixed.
    • In our tests, the very high and insane profiles were perfectly identical, however on extremely low there was a difference in cost of about half of one percent. This miniscule difference is based on the precision of the operations in question, and is unavoidable, and is generally small enough that it seems quite trivial.
    • Huge thanks to Lancefighter for not only finding the issue, but also doing extensive comparison tests and providing a savegame where we could do the same.
  • In the last version, there was a crash bug on multiplayer clients right after starting a new game from the lobby. Fixed.
    • Thanks to noideafornickname for reporting.
  • The summary for Shield Ninnies in the lobby still refers to Planetary Shield Boosters/Inhibitors. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Toll for reporting.
  • Added new Reference tab to the Stats screen, it's a fairly powerful tool for seeing which ship types are strong against which.
    • Added a "View Reference" option to the when-ships-are-selected context menu, it opens the Reference tab for the selected ship's type (if multiple ships selected, the first ship's type is used).
  • Balancing:
    • Basic turrets, MLRS turrets, Laser turrets, and Missile turrets have had their 3x attack multiplier removed and instead fire 3x as many shots. MLRS turrets were firing many more shots than was intended, so their actual shot-count increase is much less than the others.
    • Metal harvesters; hull type Medium => Structural (crystal harvesters still refractive), Armor: 600 => 30000, Health: 8000 => 40000.
    • Crystal harvesters Armor 500 => 30000, Health 9000 => 40000.
    • EyeBot
      • AttackPower 320 => 2000 for mkI, similar for higher
      • Bonuses: Heavy 260 => 20, Structural 180 => 20, Turret 100 => 20, Scout 10 => 2
    • Spider V (Anti-Starship Arachnid)
      • AttackPower 4800 => 20000
      • Bonuses: Heavy 100 => 20, UltraHeavy => 20, PolyCrystal 16 => 3
    • Laser Gatlings
      • AttackPower 30 => 180 (similar for higher)
      • Bonuses: Polycrystal 90 => 15, Light 90 => 15, Refractive 30 => 5, Turret 6 => 1
  • The way that the positing logic for the game buttons in the bottom left of the screen are handled has been revamped to get rid of some bugs.
    • Thanks to freeman08 for reporting.
  • The "ghost" intel summary that was sometimes showing up on very large monitors is now removed.
    • Thanks to zebramatt for reporting.
  • If a guard post has more than two guardians assigned to it, it will automatically prune down to two guardians. This is a safety measure just in case something happens with the normal logic for making sure that guardians don't get too plentiful per-guard-post.
    • Note that there is a single "freebie" tachyon guardian at every AI-controlled wormhole that is not guarding any of the guard posts, and which therefore doesn't count.
    • Thanks to Toll for reporting.
  • Minefields are now repairable.
    • Thanks to orzelek for suggesting.
  • No ships in the game now have a damage bonus of more than 50x against any hull type; this keeps things a little more sane, with things not being QUITE such hard counters, though of course it's still significant.
    • Armor ships now have 10x higher attack, and 10x lower attack bonuses.
    • Acid Sprayers now have 4x higher attack, and 4x lower attack bonuses.
    • Resistance fighter/bombers, resistance frigates, and anti-armor ships now have 2x higher attack, and 2x lower attack bonuses.
    • The AI Arachnid Guard Posts are now unable to hit smaller craft (like the siege starships cannot), but their range has been increased and their base firepower has been increased massively. All of their hull-specific bonuses are now gone.

(Released October 18th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.717

  • Added code to clear various static temp-working lists right after they are used to prevent them from holding on to references to ships from previous games (and thus planets from previous games, and the ships on those planets, etc; technically it shouldn't still have a reference the planet but you never know), and dead ships from the same game. All this would have lead to the game requiring more memory than necessary.
  • Mostly reverted a previous change and made the ship-mouseover-tooltip anchor to the top of the the buy-queue window instead of the buy window, since the tooltips were making it very difficult to use the queue buttons.
    • Thanks to Draco18s for reporting.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where grenade and flak ships did not realize they could not damage immune-to-aoe ships and would fire ineffectively.
  • Guardian health is now 5x lower across the board. They do still have their attack buffs from the last release, but now they are much more fragile overall. The goal is to have them be fairly fragile, but at the same time a real counterattack risk (they do a lot of damage) if they slip past you.
  • The Polycrystal bonus of Artillery Guardians has been swapped out for a Turret bonus.
  • Flak Guardians, lightning guardians, and tractor guardians all now have a bonus against turrets.
  • The amount of "Stretching" of memory done at the start of the game has been cut from 400mb to 200mb. This will make garbage collect ions a bit more frequent, but also should help stave off the "too many heap sections" error.
  • The range of the flak guardians has been increased somewhat.
  • In previous versions, the beam guardian was having the same description as the artillery golem. Fixed.
  • Five marks each of two new guardian types have been added to the game: Laser and Raider. These are the last pre-4.0 guardians, and they help to round it out so that there are not such high concentrations of flak, beam, and artillery guardians.
  • The number of starships included with each enemy wave is now shown in the alert for the wave.
  • A new AI Eye unit is now seeded throughout the galaxy. Raider-type aggressive AIs use fewer of these, turtle-type AIs have one on pretty much every planet.
    • AI Eyes are a direct feed back to the AI core network: when player ships gang up on the AI overwhelmingly, alarms are tripped and higher-level AI ships come pouring out of the Eye. Either kill the eye first, before bringing in your gigantic fleet, or just do guerrilla-style raids on planets with an Eye. Specifically, the AI Eyes make sure that your ships only ever outnumber the AI ships 2:1.
  • The number of starships included with each enemy wave is now shown in the alert for the wave.
  • Guardians now have 100k engine health, and guardians can now be repaired in general by the AI (engine and otherwise). It was a bug that they couldn't be repaired before, but even so it's unlikely that the guardians will get healed all that often because of the nature of how they tend to go on the counterattack offensives.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for suggesting the engine health buff.
  • Orbital mass drivers are now able to attack guardians.
    • Thanks to Toll for suggesting.
  • Transports are now classed as Scout hull type, which makes sense if you figure what they're for. So are colony ships, for similar reasons.
  • All guardians are now completely unable to hit the scout hull type.
  • A new AI Carrier unit has been added to the game:
    • Built by the AI to contain offline overflow units from its planets when it has too many units to keep online, and to then deliver those units as a payload to key human planets. Each carrier contains 200-1200 ships that will come active when the carrier is destroyed. After a single barracks is built at a planet, the AI builds carriers instead.
  • The base metal/crystal generated by the home command stations and command station cores has been increased by 50%. This is aimed at making the very early game easier, with players getting off to a quicker start than ever. Withe guardians and similar on every planet, this is quite needed.
  • Fixed a bug that was previously letting far too many guardians get built. A maximum of 2 guardians per guard post, wormhole, or command station should be in the game.
    • Thanks to Draco18s for the report.
  • Significant reduction in transient memory allocation on the AI thread, to reduce the frequency of Garbage Collector activity in the app in general, and thus the frequency of hiccups in the music and input handling, etc.
  • Made some improvements to the way that repair costs are handled; hopefully fixed the bugs reported in the last release, but we'll have to retest to see.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting.
  • Fixed a regression that had caused the multiplayer lobby to not work in the last version or two.
    • Thanks to Draco18s for reporting.
  • The dropdown will now close if there are any mouse clicks outside it.

(Released October 16th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.716

  • The AI will no longer abandon guard posts to pursue the scout starships of the player.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting.
  • Fixed some draw-order issues involving the context menu.
  • Fixed more of the unknown-window-id crashes; this time it was the fundamental issue so that could be the last of them.
  • Made Buy/Tech tooltips snap to the top of the buy/tech button menu, rather than to the top game-button window.
  • Fixed bug preventing "High" unit cap setting not working in some cases.
  • Fixed more recent bug causing threat to climb at about 1 minute 30 into the game (actually separate from other threat-blossoms in the past).
  • Scrap waves now come into effect when there are 100k ships in the game, rather than 150k.
  • The logic for border aggression now scales with the unit cap scale, and also is vastly more tame during the early game in particular, but also pretty much in general. UNLESS you have a mega ton of ships, then it gets a bit more aggressive than before, so it now is more reactive to what you do.
  • The Guardians have largely had their health boosted 10x, and many of them now have their number of shots scaling up with their ship level.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for suggesting.
  • The Attack Power of ships in general had been being boosted 50% in recent releases to combat the prior recharge-timing changes; however, with the even more recent removal of shields making shot hits more certain to hit, this was again causing an imbalance. The 50% boost to all attacks has been removed.
    • Thanks to orzelek for suggesting.
  • Fixed a bug in the last version that was causing no waves to ever be sent from the AI.
  • Short-range turrets no longer have any crystal cost, and now have doubled metal costs. MLRS turrets now have had their metal and crystal costs swapped (making them more expensive on metal than crystal, now).
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox and orzelek for suggesting.

(Released October 16th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.715

  • (Hopefully) fixed an issue that could cause the mouse cursor position to be reported in the upper left hand corner when not moving on certain OSX installations (but not all, and we never could duplicate this directly).
    • Thanks to freeman08 for reporting.
  • Fixed gui draw order problems (tooltips and/or dropdowns drawing under stuff).
  • Fixed an error causing many exceptions on the AI thread when processing logic for the Hybrids. This was probably also messing up the hybrid's behavior to some degree.
  • 40 new types of Guardians have been added to the game (5 each of 8 different overall types): Sniper, Spider, Tractor, Tachyon, Lightning, Flak, Artillery, and Heavy Beam. As with the guard posts, the variety of types of guardians will grow with time.
  • Most AI-controlled wormholes now have a Tachyon Guardian at them, putting the scouting balance approximately back to where it was before the AIs lost turrets. The difference now, however, is that if these tachyon guardians are destroyed, the AI is very unlikely to rebuild them (though it sometimes will). This makes it possible to "carve paths" for scouting, whereas before it wasn't really feasible to do that.
  • Fabricators (the capturable specialized factories) now cost 0 energy to run (instead of 5000), to make them a more straightforward "I want this" for the player, since they already have to balance the benefits against the costs of actually taking the planet.
  • A pair of guardians is now seeded at each command station and guard post belonging to the AI, except for special forces guard posts. These ships are mobile and powerful, and present a more serious counterattack threat than the recently-added new guard posts, which are stationary. In other words, if you launch an attack and botch it, then you it's possible you might have a bunch of guardians turning offensive and coming after you.
  • During each reinforcement of a planet, the AI is now allowed to add a single guardian to either the command station or one of the guard posts. It is only allowed to add a single guardian per reinforcement, and the command station or guard post in question can't already have two guardians at it. If the AI is unable to add a guardian, it does not get any recompense.
  • The behavior of certain "planetary roamer" AI ships, mainly starships but also melee ships and a few others, has been overhauled. The planetary roamer status is now not a permanent condition, and means that the AI can use the starships in a more intelligent offensive-oriented fashion.
  • The ship caps of most turrets have been increased 3x to 5x. It was simply too small before. Note that, as players are the only ones who can use turrets, they are the only ones who get a benefit from this one.
    • Thanks to Fleet for suggesting.
  • MRS units were still referring to space tugs, even though space tugs were removed. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Toll for the report.
  • AI waves now always include at least one starship.
  • The number of ships that are seeded into planets on new games now scales down with the overall ship cap scale that was chosen. The lack of this was often causing large groups of AI ships to bumrush players on any unit scales other than high.
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox and Ixiohm for reporting.
  • Now if there is any threat within the first 60 seconds of a new game, those threatening ships are instead added to special forces. This catches any overflow from the start of a game, just in case.

(Released October 15th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.714

  • Fixed a possibly-asset-loading-related crash on OSX in the last version.
    • Thanks to vonkolberg for reporting.
  • The Ammo type has been added back to the attack line display; that information is in fact needed, and we shouldn't have removed it.
    • Thanks to Fleet for catching this.
  • Cutlasses were missing an armor piercing ability in the last version. Now they have one again.
  • There were still a number of references to "Shields" in the last version that have now been changed to Armor.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter, Moonshine Fox, and RCIX for reporting.
  • The hull type bonuses are now alphabetically sorted.
    • Thanks to jordot42 for suggesting.
  • Melee ships were unable to attack in the prior version. Fixed.
    • Thanks to vonkolberg for reporting.
  • Starships all now have 10x more health.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting the imbalance with the fleet starships in particular.

(Released October 15th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.713

  • Added Messages tab to Stats window, displays all messages (chat log, AI Progress alerts, etc) received during the session. Those messages do not persist into a savegame, so when you load a game this log will be blank.
  • Removed the message-log buttons from the rest of the GUI.
  • Fixed a bug where having the bottom-left-button-window, the ship-mouseover-info-window (which draws over the button window), and a simple-tooltip showing all at once would lead to the first two flickering back and forth.
    • Thanks to Toll for the report.
  • Fixed bugs where messages (like tutorial messages) from one game would show even after quitting and starting a new game.
    • Thanks to Vaos for the report.
  • Fixed a bug preventing the low-power, pause/start-production, and loop-queue buttons from changing their texture correctly when toggled.
    • Thanks to Winter Born for the report.
  • The old "Shields" mechanic (not to be confused with force fields) has been removed.
    • Previously, this caused ships to have a reduced chance of hitting targets depending on their range. Now shots always have a 100% chance of hitting if the ship is in range (which simplifies the use of range circles greatly, and also reduces the need for ships to close range).
    • This also removes the random element from attacks, which is a positive thing for a strategy game of this style.
  • A new Armor Rating reduces the power of all shots by its value, but not below 5% of the incoming shot.
  • A new Armor Piercing ability reduces the effectiveness of the target Armor Rating, but not below 0.
  • Shield Boosters have become Armor Boosters, and can increase the Armor Rating of a ship up to 200%. A ship can only have it's armor boosted by one ship at a time.
  • Shield Inhibitors are now Armor Inhibitors, and remove all the Armor Rating from all enemy ships at the planet.
  • Zenith Polarizers now get a bonus based on enemy Armor Rating, since Shields are gone.
  • Radar Jammers now halve the effective range of all ships on their planet.
  • Fixed a bug preventing the use of any of the buy buttons on the Zenith Trader's build menu.
  • Introduced basic does-the-application-have-focus checking that seems to prevent the crashes some people were getting with unknown-window-id and also some of the control-oddness right after the app regains focus. Note that this does not prevent the "Failed to get cursor position" crash that you can get by going to the ctrl+alt+del OS menu (windows) and back to the app. We're still working on a fix for that that doesn't totally break the game in other ways.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the graphics to be slightly (but annoyingly) blurry on OSX.
    • Thanks to vonkolberg.
  • Some of the graphics were missing from the 3.712 OSX installer, and 3.711 windows installer. Those missing files are now included in the 3.713 patch.
    • Thanks to vonkolberg and Nightchill for reporting.
  • The Strong/Weak data export now functions again, although it is not currently able to run multiple processes headlessly.
  • The ships included in the Strong/Weak data export now exclude starships, turrets, command stations, guard posts, golems, heavy defenses, astro trains, and anything that is not classified as "extended mobile military."
    • This is because, for balance purposes, these various ships can't be quantified in a useful way by this export. So it saves signficant time creating the export to ignore them. In this specific release, for example, it cuts the number of pairings of ships down from 11,902 down to 4,877. Additionally, it's saving some of the slowest pairings, which is even better.
  • The old "Attack Min Range" that was preventing snipers from firing if a target was too close (and causing them to back up if they could) has been removed.
  • A new "Retreat Range" has been added for mobile snipers (in other words, not sniper turrets) as well as Raptors, sentinel frigates, and zenith bombards. This causes those ships to try to keep a certain distance between themselves and the enemy they are firing at, thus preserving themselves.
  • The "excel xml" files that were previously being exported often had problems being read in many programs, including Excel 2007. They were using an older Excel 2003 format that was not widely supported, and that was not even working for the Arcen staff any longer. The game has now been updated to export true .xls files in the BIFF8 format, which is supported by pretty much every spreadsheet program since Excel 97.
    • Special thanks to the awesome open source excellibrary component for this, which we're using a stripped-down version of for this.
  • Fixed bug that was improperly computing "does this line intersect with this circle" when determining the targets hit by a beam weapon (HBCs, etc). Basically it made the HBC miss a _lot_. Ship insurance rates have skyrocketed since the bug was fixed.
    • Thanks to Winter Born for reporting and providing a save.
  • "Immunity To Beam Weapons" is now separate from "Immunity To AOE".
    • The following AOE-immune units are no longer immune to beam weapons:
      • Missile Frigates
      • Transports
      • Raid Starships
      • Riot Starships
    • The following AOE-immune units are also immune to beam weapons:
      • Scouts
      • Scout Starships
      • Cleanup Drones
      • Non-forcefield-generating modules
  • The mouseover tooltip on the "Planets" section of the resource-display now displays the name, orbital-command-station-type, and number-of-attacking-ships for each planet under attack.
    • Thanks to Shardz for pointing out the need for an easier way to get that data.
  • The Ammo line has been removed from the ship tooltips, because it was really just flavor text that affects nothing, and thus should be removed so as to not distract from actually-relevant info.
  • A new "Hull" field is now shown by the Armor field. The Hull and Armor fields don't have any impact on one another.
    • The Hull type is one of the following: Scout, Light, Medium, Heavy, Artillery, Neutron, Swarmer, Ulra-Light, Close-Combat, Command-Grade, Refractive, Composite, Turret, Ultra-Heavy, Structural, or Polycrystal.
  • The Ship Cap info has been moved to the costs line.
  • The old system of ship type bonuses has been removed, replaced by simpler (and fewer) bonuses against hull types, instead. This is a lot easier to keep track of for everything, and while it does represent a simplification that we'd been reluctant to make in the past, the other recent added complexities make this a welcome change.
    • As a side effect of this, the balance of ALL ships has been altered quite heavily. With all the other recent changes, that was inevitable anyway, so we thought it was a good time to also slip this in, while we were rebalancing anyway.
  • The various turret lines are now far more specialized in what sort of ships they best counter, which makes the use of them a lot more interesting. This is also something players have been asking for for a while.
  • The Neinzul Youngling Weasel no longer dies with a single hit, per popular request.
  • The Acid Sprayer no longer particularly targets Zenith stuff. Now it attacks "unusual hull compounds" in particular, which makes it a much more general-case useful ship, rather than just when opposing a lot of Zenith ships.
  • A memory/CPU performance improvement has been added relating to when gamecommands are compressed or not. Actually, this is a slight savings on network bandwidth, too.
  • A number of other memory allocation improvements have been made, which push the average garbage collections out from 19 sconds to 26 seconds in our test cases.
  • Cluster bonuses and penalties to attacks have been removed. This affects autocannon minipods, fortresses, zenith electric bombers, sentinel frigates, and microparasites. These ships have all be rebalanced significantly to account for the removal of these abilities.
    • These abilities were ones that were just not all that fun, and were a bit fiddly, and which didn't add anything much to strategy. Hence their being pruned.
  • Previously, ships that could not be repaired were not showing this on the interface. Now it shows "Repair" as an immunity for ships that are immune to repair.
  • All of the Neinzul Youngling ships now have either 10x or 100x more health than before, but still the short lifespan where their health drains away in 1-4 minutes. This makes them significantly more formidable during that time period, though. They may need to be balanced down a bit now, mainly in terms of cost, but they're supposed to be short-lived-but-fearsome, and they now are.
    • This constitutes the next stab at balancing the Younglings. We'd been thinking of doing something more dramatic, but decided against it; there are better ways those particular hours can be spent, and with some tweaking these existing Youngling designs can be pretty awesome. Anyway: feedback from playtesting very welcome.
  • Previously, Mark V ships were sometimes called Core ships, and sometimes called Mark V ships. Some of the ships even had different names at the core level: Core Predator, Core Leech, etc. All of these have now been made consistent, using the Mark V nomenclature. There are still some references to "Core" in the game, but that's meant as "on or adjacent to the AI home planet," rather than "Mark V." That distinction was always there, but muddied by the fact that mark V ships were also more generally called "Core." This should hopefully avoid some confusion in the future.
  • The Strong/Weak data is no longer shown in the tooltips for ships. It is still possible to generate this data (we use it for internal ship balancing purposes), but it's no longer exposed through the UI. There were several problems with it in this past: 1) it was difficult to understand; 2) it was overwhelming to new players; 3) it was often misleading even to advanced players; 4) for anyone playing the betas, it was pretty much perpetually out of date, as it takes us 40 minutes to generat the strong/weak data and we don't do that too often.
  • In place of the removed Strong/Weak lines in the tooltips, there is now an "Attack Multipliers" line. This shows the multipliers that ships have against other hull types. Many players have wanted to have this for a long time, but in the past it was always too much data (and too complex) to show effectively in-game. Now that it's been simplified down to vs-hull-type rather than vs-ship-type, it's a lot less data and a lot easier to quickly parse and understand. The hope is that it will also be less overwhelming to new players, and promote more strategic fleet building in general, as the older strong/weak approach was just too nebulous for anything except immediate decision making ("what do I have that's good against X," etc).

(Released October 14th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.712

  • Context menu options are now more consistent with two rules:
    • When a button is clicked, make a sound.
    • What a button is clicked that actually issues an order, the context menu will close unless the auto-close-suppression key is being held (that's LeftShift, by default). Note that the special-unload-menu buttons don't cause auto-closing, yet.
  • Fixed a bug in the prior version that would cause the game to crash when starting a new game on high unit scale.
    • Thanks to SNAFU for reporting.
  • Previously the CenterOnSelection keybind didn't have any default binding; fixed to be KeyCode.Space like before.
  • Some older versions defined the selection-filtering keybinds but did not define any default binding, fixed to push the default bindings out in the next update.
  • Added AnswerConfirmPopupAffirmative and AnswerConfirmPopupNegative (context: AnyTime; defaults to Y and N, respectively). These allow confirming or canceling at the prompt when scrapping ships, etc.
    • Thanks to Kalzarius for pointing out the lack.
  • Re-implemented the cost-line drawing on the mouseover-ship-window, mouseover-tech-button-window, and mouseover-planetary-summary-item-window.
  • Fixed a bug in the prior Unity versions that was preventing client players in the lobby from seeing themselves and from having a "ready" checkbox.
  • Fixed a bug in the prior Unity versions that was preventing host players in the lobby from having a "ready" checkbox.
  • Fixed a bug in the prior Unity versions that was preventing client players from seeing the selected game options that the host had set up, although the game options were being synced and applied properly.
  • In prior Unity Versions, the kick player option in the lobby wasn't properly clearing things on the host. Fixed.
  • In prior Unity Versions, the visuals of the lobby slots were showing up as closed when they were really open. Fixed.
  • In prior Unity Versions, the client player was able to click Start Game. Fixed.
  • Added the rest of the resource-display mouseover-tooltips.
  • The "Random" options are now highlighted in light red in the lobby AI type dropdowns. This makes it significantly easier to see them, and to tell the groups of AI types apart from one another (the randoms divide them up into sections). The Technologist AI Types, meanwhile, are shown in full red as a warning.
  • Warnings have now been put in place that the basic tutorial 3 and intermediate tutorials have not yet been updated for 4.0

(Released October 13th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.711

  • Fixed a bug with the updater when there were multiple updates available at the same time.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter, Ancestral, and Moonshine Fox for reporting.
  • Fixed a crash bug related to the new force field graphics in the prior version.
    • Thanks to RCIX for reporting.
  • In the last couple of versions, ships that were under construction were incredibly fragile and generally died within one shot. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Toll and Moonshine Fox for reporting.
  • In the last few versions, the repair rate for ships was running approximately 20x too fast (but with the correct cost-per-second). Fixed.
    • Thansk to Moonshine Fox for reporting.

(Released October 13th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.710

  • Brought hybrid-hive, hybrid-drone, roaming-enclave-squadron, and preservation-warden-squadron spawn times back to where they were before the Unity port (really, I think it's fixed now!).
  • Player Home Command Stations are now considered mark V.
  • The various abstracted-factories that produce scaled units (Neinzul Clusters, Hybrid Drone Spawners, etc) now have their production-related fields scaled (but not their core stats like health and attack power, etc).
  • Hybrid entourage sizes now scale.
  • Space tugs have been removed from the game, as they have always been fiddly and problematic, as well as a moderate micromanagement need.
    • The Mobile Repair Stations now have 5x more health, 2X the repair boost rate, and 2X the move speed. They are definitely now the pinnacle of battlefield repair support, but without the fiddly-ness.
  • A huge amount of extra performance (in certain cases) has been gained by setting a maximum time-per-sim-frame that causes fewer sim frames per draw frame to be rendered when there is severe lag. This makes it so that in situations of extreme lag, the game will remain responsive (though running slower), while in situations of mild to moderate lag, the game will remain at full speed (though drawing fewer frames). Note to other Unity developers: Time.maximumDeltaTime is awesome.
  • The FPS line from the F3 Debug menu now includes a "Game vs Realtime Speed" that shows the correlation between the system clock and the game clock. 100% would be a perfect correlation, and in general the game hovers close to that. However, when the game is running faster than realtime, it will go above 100%, and when it's running slower than realtime it will be below 100%.
  • A new Game Speed label has been added to the Players tab of the Stats window (where you can adjust your performance profile). This label shows how well the game is running at the moment, as well as giving advice on if you need to use a lower performance profile or not.
  • Advanced Research Stations are now considered Mark V ships.
  • Anti-Starship arachnids now fire twice as fast and have twice as high of shields. They also now have half as much a bonus against starships, but twice as much attack power in general.
  • All of the various remaining ships that needed them now have now have niche images.
  • Warheads are now actually marks I-III rather than all being mark V.
  • Ion cannons are no longer able to shoot at warheads in general (before it was just their high mark level that was preventing it).
  • Force fields have been updated with a new visual look that is very transparent except at the edges, which solves the issue of them stacking and looking opaque, as well as just plain looking better.
    • A huge thanks to I-KP for providing the base image that was used for this.
  • The AI force fields versus the human force fields are no longer colored differently. The reason for that has long since passed, and consistency is now more important.
  • The visual look for non-attack ranges such as counter-shooting radii, etc, has been updated to look better.
  • Re-implemented Special Move context menu (accessed from the Unit Commands context menu); added a "Catch Right Clicks" option that allows for much easier use.
  • Added "Remember Modes" item to the special-move context menu, which prevents it from re-initializing the group-mode, formation-mode, and stance toggles from the currently selected ships when re-opening the menu.
  • The effect that goes around individual ships under a force field now matches that of the force field itself, which looks incredibly better and also is tons more clear. No more mysterious green circles to denote this!
    • A huge thanks to I-KP for providing the base image that was used for this.
  • Added ShowContextualHelpTooltip KeyBind (AnyTime, defaults to KeyCode.Slash; which is generally on the same key as the question mark on an US keyboard). When this is enabled, and your mouse cursor is over a context menu item, most of them will display a tooltip describing the menu item.
  • The issue with astro trains (and ion cannons, actually) being mis-rotated in far zoom is finally fixed.
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox for reporting.

(Released October 12th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.709

  • The hybrid hives, neinzul enclaves, etc, have had their build rates from the prior version quartered.
  • Re-implemented skeleton of the old x+right-click context menu. Currently only the Unit Commands context menu is implemented so unless you have units selected it won't open.
    • Can be opened by right-clicking while holding LeftAlt (the default for OpenDefaultContextMenuWhenHeldWithRightClick).
    • Can also be opened by pressing the OpenDefaultContextMenu KeyBind (no default binding). To be clear, by binding a key to this you can press that key to open the context menu without using the mouse.
    • Since the other sub-menus that used to be under this menu aren't implemented yet, the only commands available only the Unit Commands menu are:
      • Stop (which already has a key).
      • Set Auto Explore (only shows for scouts).
      • Set Auto Gather Knowledge (only shows for science labs).
    • As mentioned below, there are also KeyBinds for "simulating" clicks on each of the buttons in the menu, allowing you to use the context menu entirely with the keyboard if desired.
  • Added SuppressContextMenuAutoClose KeyBind (defaults to LeftShift) that prevents the usual auto-closing behavior when clicking outside an open context menu or using it to issue an order.
  • Added SetAutoExplore KeyBind (no default) that orders selected scouts to auto-explore.
  • Added SelectionContextMenuTop_SetAutoExplore that does the same but only works when the Unit Commands context menu is open (it will also try to auto-close that menu).
  • Added SetAutoGatherKnowledge KeyBind (no default) that orders selected science labs to auto-gather-knowledge.
  • Added SelectionContextMenuTop_SetAutoGatherKnowledge that does the same but only works when the Unit Commands context menu is open (it will also try to auto-close that menu).
  • Added SelectionContextMenuTop_Stop that does the same as Stop but only works when the Unit Commands context menu is open (it will also try to auto-close that menu).
  • Fixed bug where some modifier keys (LeftShift, etc) were listed twice in the key-mapping dropdown.
  • Fixed bugs with several dropdowns not showing tooltips (lobby performance profile, unit cap scale, view-controls context-menu).
  • The ship cap of the cloaker starships (all marks) has been increased from 1 each to 2 each.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for suggesting.
  • Mercenary ships previously were completely uncapped, but this led to some particualrly undesirable situations. Now they have a cap that is 3x larger than the base cap of their ship cap (but, now that these are mark IV ships, they are a fundamentally different sort of unit, anyway).
  • In the last version, explosions that were onscreen during pause mode were looping endlessly. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Toll for reporting.
  • In the last version, lightning attacks were never disappearing. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Vaos for reporting.

(Released October 12th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.708

  • AI Waves are now no longer allowed to be smaller than their ship caps for the respective ships. This prevents the ultra-small waves that could occasionally happen.
  • The Ship cap scales now affect the size of the maximum allowed wave size per-wave for the AI. Before it was always 2000, but now that gets affected by each ship cap scale as you'd expect.
  • There is now a separate ship cap for starships in a wave compared to fleet ships, to ensure that starships don't get excluded if there are a ton of ships in the wave (while at the same time ensuring that they don't get absolutely gigantic because of the golems or similar).
  • The resource cap for players has been increased from 600,000 to 999,999 in light of some of the recent economic and gameplay changes.
  • The barracks creation logic now scales with the Unit Cap Scales.
  • The amount of resources gathered by mark I, II, III harvesters is now 20, 28, and 36 instead of 12, 12, and 16. The research costs of mark II, III harvesters has gone up to 3000, 4000 from 2000, 2500.
    • The overall intent of this change is to make the capture of resource-rich planets even more worthwhile. Also, to make there less of an imperative to HAVE to get the economic upgrades in multiplayer in particular. Let's keep things moving, not so much waiting around!
  • The AI ship caps are now actually affected by the Unit Cap Scales (in 3.707, they weren't).
  • Added RegenPerSecond to the stats that are scaled with unit caps.
  • Added ClusterAttackBonus and ClusterAttackPenalty to the stats scaled with unit caps.
  • Orbital command stations are no longer free in metal and crystal to build. This makes sense, and solves the issue of not being able to build new command stations.
  • Some fair performance improvements have been made to large battles on AI planets with a lot of low-power ships.
  • Players are now limited to a single mark I, II, and III cloaker starship. However, the unlock costs for the mark II and III cloaker starships have been dropped from 3000 and 5000, respectively, to 1000 each.
  • Ships are now all constructed twice as fast for players, in all combat styles, game speeds, etc. Now docks actually have some utility without engineers, and it takes fewer engineers to make them really do what one would want in terms of time-to-build.
  • Home Command Stations now generate 200/s metal and crystal rather than 80/s. The home cores now generate 220, 240, and 260, rather than 100, 120, and 140.
  • Economic/military/logistical I, II, III command stations now generate 32/16/24, 80/32/48, 160/64/96 rather than 16/4/4, 40/10/10, 64/20/10. This is a significant boost to both the military and logistical command stations, and an overall boost to the player economy. These boosts are intended to keep the game moving, and players able to replenish their stores of ships that they lose in battle with the more-heavily-armed AI opposition.
  • Fixed a bug with ship health bars not showing their proper values in the last release.
    • Thanks to Toll for reporting.
  • Fixed another bug with ship health bars not showing in close zooms in the last release.
  • The base attack power of all ships has been increased by 50%, to counterbalance some of the recent slow-downs in firing rates. The last release it was suddenly feeling like molasses to play, but now this is resolved.
  • All of the various flashing images, the circle rotations, and the starfield animations, are now framerate-independent (both sim and regular).
  • Ships no longer blink in far zoom when they are shot. The health bars are so efficient to draw now (and are now on by default) that this was no longer needed. And the blinking seems not to have been working for a while, anyway.
  • The animations for explosions, shield hits, planet rotation, ship animations, and other non-sim-related secondary effects are all now framerate-indpendent (both sim and regular). This is not only a visual improvement for non-high/average performance profiles, but it is also an important performance boost for the lower performance profiles in particular -- before, explosions and similar effects were hanging around vastly longer than they should have been, which puts extra load on the cpu and gpu.
  • Fixed some bugs in the last couple versions where hybrid spawners and other quasi-factories were accumulating build points _way_ too fast.
  • Fixed some bugs with the retreat/pathing logic of roaming neinzul enclaves.
  • Fixed a bug where using a ship cap scale other than the default would result in ships starting with less (or more!) than max health.
  • Unit type fields used in the Munitions Boost and Shield Boost how-many-ships-can-be-boosted are now scaled with unit caps to maintain roughly the same utility.
  • Ship damaged smoke and embers have been removed.
  • The game speed increases are no longer able to increase the speed so much that the game locks up. Instead, these are now scaled per performance profile so that they go in even increments down to a target fixed frame cycle time of 2ms (which is incredibly small -- the insane performanc mode is 17ms).
    • Thanks to Toll for reporting that it was locking up at +10 before.
  • All of the move speeds in the game have been increased by a linear 10. The main effect of this is to make the slowest ships not seems SO slow, but in general it still increases the speed of everything by a slight bit so that it's not too sluggish.
    • This does affect Epic/4X, Normal, and Blitz combat styles. For normal this is actually an increase of 20, and for Blitz it's an increase of 40.
  • The movement speed of ships is now properly scaled with each performance mode so that they move the equivalent distances per game second. Before, insane would let ships move very fast and extremely low would make ships move at a crawl, but that was always a temporary effect.
  • Previously, the game timer was not visually counting up in the galaxy map. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Dazio for reporting.
  • "Niche icons" are now in place for cleanup drones, remains rebuilders, mercenary space docks, metal manufactories, and crystal manufactories. However, these do not yet show up in all contexts. So far, just the planetary summary and the actual play field.

(Released October 11th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.707

  • Fixed a crash bug when opening the objectives window.
  • Fixed typo in the "Auto Build MkIII Engineers" control label.
    • Thanks to Winter Born for reporting.
  • Fixed bug in the new controls window that was allowing the construction of Engineer MkII and MkIII units without having researched it.
    • Thanks to Winter Born for reporting.
  • The per-planet controls for auto-building units now allow values from 0 to the ship cap for that unit type, rather than just 0-9.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting.
  • The change from the mission summary to the objectives screen made the coprocessor description incorrect, fixed.
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox for reporting.
  • The auto-build sliders on the controls window now display your number of existing ships of that type on each planet (that has at least 1) in the tooltip.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for reporting the lack compared to the control node implementation.
  • All mercenary ships (except the Mercenary Enclave Starship) are now equivalent to MkIV ships (instead of MkII). They cost 10x the metal and crystal of their normal MkIV counterparts.
  • EMP Mines now paralyze their targets for 10 seconds instead of 3.
  • Riot control tazers now paralyze their targets for a full second instead of half a second.
  • The zenith paralyzers i, ii, iii, iv, v now paralyze their targets for 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 seconds at a time, rather than the older 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, 1.8, 3.2 that they previously did.
  • The recharge rate of ships is no longer affected by fast & dangerous or blitz combat styles.
  • The way that ships that have a failed shot that disappears (because of a dead target/overkill) get a "freebie" has been updated so that they always do, rather than only if their shot was fired in the last second.
  • The recharge rate of snipers and sniper turrets has been decreased from 60 seconds to 30 seconds.
  • The recharge rate of spider turrets has been increased from 7.5 seconds to 15 seconds, but their attack power and engine damage have both been doubled.
  • The recharge times of the flak turrets and heavy beam cannons have been nerfed a bit for the lower levels, and are a tad better for the higher levels now.
  • The recharge time for some of the melee ships is now worse, as there is no smaller than a 1 second delay between attacks now.
  • Various ships that had partial-second recharge times (3.5 seconds, 9.8 seconds, etc) now have been rounded to either one second or the other (not always to the nearest second -- some subtle balance tweaks here).
  • Recharge bars no longer show for ships that have fewer than 2 seconds total recharge, even if the recharge bars are turned on.
  • The paralysis penalty for after teleporting ships move is now a bit more severe, but is capped at 5 seconds. People had complained a bit about the balance with them, and this was something I'd been meaning to do for a while.
  • The internal mechanics of cloaking, recharge, tachyon, emps, and paralysis have all been altered significantly in a way that is now performance-profile-indepdendent, as well as requiring less processing overhead in general.
  • Shots that are currently sitting around because of an emission delay (as with the machine gun on the riot) are no longer drawn until they actually start moving. This looks better and helps performance in those cases.
  • Previously it was possible for the AI to get an inordinate number of MRS's on a single planet; it is now generally limited to 2 per planet.
  • Performance Profile can now be changed from the Scores tab of the Stats screen.
  • Added Performance Profile dropdown to Game Options tab of Lobby.
  • Added "FPS" and "Viewing" columns to the Scores tab of the Stats window; FPS so you can see what kind of performance other players are getting locally, and Viewing so you can tell what they are looking at (and switch to that view yourself by clicking the button).
  • AI planets with most units in cold storage and no human presence generally only process every other sim cycle (but double the movement, etc); this looks odd when viewing such a planet via complete-visibility, and now that the game actually syncs some of the local-interface data for each human player across the network, we have changed this so that an AI planet currently being viewed by a human player will never use the every-other-cycle model.
  • An entirely new method of doing ship repairs is now in place. The old method was uneven, and would often result in too-high costs for some ships and too-low costs for others. Now the cost of repairing ships is simply 1/4th the metal and crystal it costs to build them, over a span of a half as long as it took to build them in the first place.
    • Note that this is prorated by how much the ship is actually damaged. Assuming that a ship was damaged down to basically zero hitpoints (not possible without it exploding), the above costs would be true. Assuming that a ship is less than fully damaged, it will cost only the percent time/damage to repair equivalent to that. So, a ship that is half-dead would take only 1/8th the metal and crystal that it would have taken to build it, and one quarter the time it would have taken to build it.
  • An entirely new method of doing ship construction costs is now in place behind the scenes. The actual effect on gameplay is hopefully going to be minimal (unless we introduced bugs with it), but it's a lot more efficient and is performance-profile agnostic, and fixes a number of prior bugs.
  • Units under construction that are shot now actually lose build progress in addition to health, like in many other RTS games.
  • The way that mining golems work has been revamped fairly substantially. Rather than coming in from way out in deep space (where it is difficult for players to even get to), and then exploding when they reach the planet center, they now just appear somewhere in the planetary gravity well and explode after 90 minutes of existence.
  • Regeneration, attrition, and self-attrition are now dealt out in per-second bursts, rather than as a continual stream.
  • Fixed a bug from 3.704 with having AI plots actually function with the AI.
  • The planet-mouseover tooltip in the galaxy view will now anchor to a corner away from your cursor.
  • The ship-mouseover tooltip in the planet view will now anchor to the very bottom-left, rather than to the top of the button window.
  • The effect on overall ship caps from having more players is now more severe; this keeps the performance more in line even in larger multiplayer games.
  • There is now a Unit Cap Scale lobby option that allows players to choose between the following options (Normal is now the default, and is applied to all existing saveganes; players may recognize that High was the previous default):
    • Most large-cap ships have half the standard cap (Fighter MkI = 50), and are roughly twice as expensive, twice as strong, etc.
      • This puts the lowest possible load on the your CPU when you have the biggest-possible battles.
    • Normal caps (Fighter MkI = 99), costs, and strengths.
      • This puts a moderate load on your CPU when you have really large-scale battles.
    • Most large-cap ships have double the standard cap (Fighter MkI = 198) and are roughly half as expensive, half as strong, etc.
      • This puts a lot more load on the your CPU when you have the biggest-possible battles.
  • Though the overall ship caps have been reduced by about half in the normal cases, the ability for players to get lots of higher-level ships has never been better (and the challenge posed by higher-level AI waves has also never been higher):
    • The ship caps on mark III ships (for humans only) are now about 114% of their prior values.
    • The ship caps on mark IV ships (for humans only) are now about 280% of their prior values.
    • The ship caps on mark V ships (for humans only) are now about 330% of their prior values.
    • The size of mark II waves of ships (for AIs only) are now about 112% of their prior values.
    • The size of mark III waves of ships (for AIs only) are now about 133% of their prior values.
    • The size of mark IV waves of ships (for AIs only) are now about 175% of their prior values.
    • The size of mark V waves of ships (for AIs only) are now about 171% of their prior values.
  • AI's no longer use any form of turrets, and any turrets that the AIs did have are now removed from old savegames (including turret remains). This includes sniper turrets, spider turrets, tractor beams, the works.
    • Larger-form AI-only replacements for some of the more notably types of turrets will see a resurgence, but they will be easier to see (and thus to strategize against). This will also have a positive performance impact, with fewer AI units doing the job of a larger number of older turrets.
    • The emphasis is instead on letting the AIs make use of their ship caps with mobile ships that actually pose a natural form of counterattack risk to players (and which are more interesting, anyway, in the hands of the AI).
  • Turrets have all had their ship caps slashed to 1/5 their former values relative to other ships, but their costs, health, and attack powers have all been increased 5x.
    • MLRS turrets have also had their number of shots increased 5x.
    • Missile turrets have also had their range increased 5x (although that range no longer goes up with higher marks of them).
    • Tractor beam turrets are each now able to tractor 5x as many ships as before.
    • The attack range of laser turrets has also been cut in half.
    • The attack power of spider and sniper turrets has only been doubled, but their firing rate has increased 5x.
    • These changes exclude heavy beam cannons, counter-anything turrets, gravitational turrets, and lightning turrets.
    • It has been observed that players almost always tend to build turrets only in multiples of 5, if not more. This means that, if that's the lowest granularity of management really needed, that turrets are requiring more than 5x to 25x the cpu processing power during large battles compared to what they could be using. Plus it's harder to keep track of 25 things compared to 5 things, and in cases where it doesn't make a strategic difference that's undesirable. Hence this change.
  • The attack bonuses of the various types of turrets (except flak turrets) have been doubled, making them a bit more specialized and also definitely more powerful against their bonus types.
    • Missile turrets have also been weakened against those kinds of ships they are particularly poor against (fighters, raiders, that sort of thing).
    • Laser turrets have basically had all their bonuses completely redone, too.
    • These changes exclude heavy beam cannons, counter-anything turrets, gravitational turrets, tractor beams, and lightning turrets.
  • The AI is no longer allowed to use space tugs, and their space tugs are removed from older savegames.
  • Decoy drones are now capped at 4 per planet for the AI, and speed boosters are now capped at 10 per planet for the AI. Decloakers and tachyon drones are now capped at 4 and 2 per planet for the A (and the ship caps for the human players have also been reduced to those levels from 10 and 10).
  • Snipers mark I-IV now all have 1/5th the ship cap they used to relative to other ships, and cost 5x as much, but now also do 5x as much damage and have 5x as much health. Even better, they also fire 5x faster than before, which makes them considerably more dangerous.
  • Zenith Paralyzers now fire way less frequently, but paralyze their targets for far longer.
  • The AIs now have a per-planet ship cap of 6 engineers of each mark level.
  • In recent prereleases, none of the ship type attack bonuses were taking effect.
    • Thanks to Dazio for reporting.
  • The ability to export the excel secondaries (Ctrl+Shift+F8 when in the F3 debug screen) has been ported over.
  • The base move speed of teleporting ships is no longer 1, but instead is 10. Thus they aren't quite so painful to use in situations where their teleporting ability gets stripped away (such as with gravity drills).
  • The AI now keeps its guarding ships (except for the really ultra-long-range-ones) in low-power mode until there is actually a need to use them, and then it brings them out of low power mode and often puts them into free mode. This makes those ships more of a counterattack risk, as well as in general keeping the CPU usage of huge battles on AI planets to a minimum when a bunch of the ships wouldn't be involved in the battle, anyway.
  • Electric shuttles are now a lot more effective about not getting right on top of their targets.
  • Low-power ships now show up as grayed out even in far zoom, which is quite helpful.

(Released October 10th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.706

  • Fixed a regression in 3.704 and up that could cause some savegames to fail to load.

(October 8th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.705

  • Fixed some problems with the horizontal centering of text on the planetary summary buttons and bottom-left menu buttons.
  • Further attempts to fix the lobby not populating the underlying options data correctly.

(Released October 8th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.704

  • The main score now shown in the scores panel of the stats window is the adjusted score (which is what is mainly used on scoreboards). The raw score is now also still shown -- this was the old score that is shown in-game -- but it is given a lower priority.
  • The score benefit from using mercenary ships has now been slashed 10x.
    • Thanks to Vinraith for suggesting.
  • In the last couple of versions, the game speed was running a bit over-fast due to some partially-implemented timing changes. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Fleet for reporting.
  • AI Home Command Station icons and actual graphics were previously of an invalid size that was causing them to not show in unity (and cause a lot of lag with the reports of them not working). Fixed. They also now have a border on their icons, like other ships.
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox for reporting.
  • Starship Constructors now have their own icon in far zoom, which a lot of people have been asking for for a while.
  • Music playback has now been integrated into the game.
  • The new, remastered AI War and TZR tracks have been added to the full installer, and the new CoN tracks are also now available. This is earlier than we normally would release these tracks, but we felt upon reflection that it was important to make sure that the beta testing included proper testing of the music functionality, too.
  • When there are multiple available title music tracks, as is the case when players have an expansion installed, the game will now pick randomly between those songs and play them at the title menu and lobby. That way it's not always the same track just looping instantly, and all the title music tracks can still be enjoyed when you've got the expansions.
  • There is now a Master Sound Volume slider on the audio tab of the settings screen. This allows for the relative volumes of all the various sound effects to be left alone, while the overall volume of all sounds are adjusted. This affects everything except the volume of music.
  • The rate of the game speed increases has been slowed a tad, so that game speed 10 doesn't practically kill the game.
  • In the last version, if you were playing a tutorial and then went to another game, it would keep the tutorial text showing. Fixed.
    • Thanks to freeman08 for reporting.
  • Objectives tab of Stats screen now handles all the stuff the old mission display did (and a bit more), and also provides mouseover-tooltip and click-to-view-object (where applicable) support.
  • Removed Pause-All-Constructors and Lone/Group-toggle button from the bottom global button row, replaced with:
    • Map button, toggles between galaxy and planet view (will also be used for showing the minimap, when that is implemented).
    • Controls button, opens a new window for changing a variety of galaxy-wide and planet-specific settings.
  • All Control Nodes have been removed and replaced with the Controls window. Grief and career counseling is available to those engineer drones suffering existential angst as a result.
  • Fixed shot-rotation bug from recent versions.
  • Implemented a replacement for the minimap. It is not part of the normal GUI but rather an overlay that you can trigger by holding either the Middle Mouse Button + the MakeMiddleMouseScrollingUseMiniMapScale key (context: PlanetView, defaults to LeftShift), or the ShowMinimap key (context: InGame, defaults to T).
    • The ShowMinimap keybind (not the middle-mouse-scrolling one) can also be used to "peek" at a planet by holding it and either mousing over a planet in the Galaxy View (it will display the minimap for that planet) or a wormhole in the Planet View (it will display the minimap for the planet on the other end of the wormhole). The peek displays obey the usual rules for visible intel, etc.
  • The planetary summary now combines various icon layers into intermittent textures, which makes it use on average 5x fewer draw calls to the GPU, and lower transient per-frame memory as well.
  • The planetary summary now once again renders a yellow border around its icons when ships corresponding to that icon are selected.
  • Removed the Galaxy Display for starship constructors, since they are already counted in the All Constructors display.
  • The mark numbers on planets on the galaxy view no longer alternate between colors, because that was causing an inordinate amount of visual distraction.
  • The buttons along the bottom of the screen (and buy buttons, etc) have been massively upgraded to be far more efficient, visually pleasing again, and with their text in mostly the right place. There are still a few issues with the text not centering correctly horizontally, but that's still on our list.
  • The count of enemies at the current planet is now shown as an alert in the upper left, rather than as a hard-to-see flashing number on top of the command stations quick button.
  • The current wave multiplier and reinforcement multiplier, if any, are also now shown at the upper left as an alert. That way players aren't surprised by massive waves if they have a golem at a planet, etc.
    • Thanks to Sizzle for suggesting.
  • A new style of mouse scrollwheel handling has been put in place, which should hopefully resolve the troubles with some players being unable to use certain input devices.
    • Thanks to Itchykobu for alerting us to the issue.
  • Mouse zooming would previously not always be the same when zooming out and zooming in. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Morslok for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions that was causing some of the lobby options to have their GUI controls properly initialized without actually initializing the underlying data used by the map generator, leading to general unexpected mayhem. Apparently this is not what the players meant when asking for more randomization tools.
    • Thanks to orzelek for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug that could potentially have caused display issues with certain images not rendering on larger resolutions in the lobby and main menu.
  • Thanks to Shardz and orzelek for reporting this issue.
  • It is now possible to see the screen/viewport sizes in the F3 debug menu.
  • The pause function is now mapped to both the pause key and the p key.
  • A number of the other AI Core Guard Posts had incorrectly-sized galaxy view icons that could not be displayed. Fixed.

(Released October 8th, 2010)

Prerelease 3.703

  • Added a new context menu (it was a working example for the new context menu system, etc) : Special Unload.
    • Two ways to open: right-click the Unload button (left-click still does the usual basic unload), or use the new OpenSpecialUnload keybind (context: with-selection, defaults to LeftCtrl+U); if your selection does not contain any transports with ships in them, the special unload menu won't display.
    • Displays 1 button with the total number of ships loaded into transports in your selection.
    • Displays 1 button for each distinct ship type (so fighter I, fighter II, bomber I, etc), with the number of that type.
    • If you left click one of the buttons, it will give the order to unload 1 ship of that category.
      • If the SpecialUnload_MakeUnload_10 keybind (defaults to LeftShift) is active, it does 10 ships instead.
      • If the SpecialUnload_MakeUnload_50 keybind (defaults to LeftCtrl) is active, 50.
      • If the SpecialUnload_MakeUnload_All keybind (defaults to LeftAlt) is active, all of that category (so Alt-clicking Fighter I will unload all fighter Is held by all the transports in your selection, and Alt-clicking the top catch-all button will act very much like the basic unload operation).
    • While the window is open, the SpecialUnload_CancelUnload keybind (no default binding) is also available; it will cancel any unloading of the ships in your selection, without cancelling any other orders.
    • Note that this works with fortresses, etc, not just "Transports" proper.
  • Added UnloadAll keybind (context: with-selection, no default binding) that is just an alias for the basic Unload button.
  • Added CloseContextMenu keybind (context: in-game, defaults to LeftCtrl+Space) that closes any open context menu (note that currently the only context menus are the Special Unload menu and the popup menus from the global-ship-category buttons on the bottom of the screen).
  • The InputBindingsMenu now has a tab for "Context Menus"; rather than have 1 tab per context menu it has a dropdown for picking the specific menu you want to see/edit the bindings for. There's currently only the Special Unload menu.
  • The mark I and II engineer energy costs have been reduced from 1000, 500 to 250, 200. This makes it far easier to keep a large standing fleet of them on various planets now that they aren't teleporting.
  • The mark III and Experimental engineers are now once again teleporting, for players who really love that feature. The metal/crystal costs of the mark III engineers have been increased somewhat to compensate, however (about a 50% increase).
    • Thanks to Winter Born for suggesting (and many others for contributing).
  • The tutorials and manual window is now in place.
    • The visuals have obviously been changed a fair bit, but so has the content. The link to the videos page, and the link to the community wiki, have both been removed. A direct link to the "Fast Facts: A Crash Course On AI War" has been added.
  • Further improvements to line drawing accuracy.
  • The in-game tutorials actually work now, and a number of refinements have been made to the tutorial playback engine (scrolling messages, clickable messages, etc).
  • Basic tutorials 1 and 2 have been revised a bit to be a little bit more up to date with recent changes to the game, and a bit more informative in general.
  • In the past few prereleases, the build 5 ships and build 10 ships functions were swapped as to which hotkey they were. Fixed.
  • It is now possible to hide the tutorial instructional messages by holding down the Alt key.
  • Since there is a bug in Unity where keys can get into a held-down state permanently (until that key is again pressed and released) after an alt-tab or similar window switching, we've now put in a safety feature: whenever keys are held down for more than four seconds, the name of the key being held down is shown.
    • During normal play, except in a few cases such as holding down to see some sort of overlay (ship lines, attack ranges, etc), this would never even come into practice. But when someone can't understand why no ships are clickable, etc, and it's because the alt key is behind-the-scenes being held down, now there's an easy visual cue that should get most people to automatically tap the key in question, which solves the problem. Should save a lot of frustration for folks down the line.
  • Ported the Galaxy View's left sidebar of small buttons.
  • The Pause key is now actually used for pausing the game, instead of P (that didn't work in the older versions of AI War, but now can in Unity).
  • The Select Starship Constructor key (T) has been removed. The Select Space Dock key (D) now also selects Starship Constructors, fabricators, missile silos, and mercenary space docks in addition to the prior function of selecting space docks and advanced factories.
  • Most of the keybinding descriptions have been filled in, but there are still some more to go. Those that remain have been marked with a ~*~.
  • The DebugMustAuthCyclesIncrement (F4) and DebugAuthCycles (F5) key bindings have been removed, as the ability to make the game simulation run slower (and the addition of the debug log) make this pretty unneccessary now.
  • The debug-related keybindings for F6, F9, and F10 have all been removed.
  • The attack-move function has been moved to X, and the "open move menu" function has been moved to left alt.
  • The toggle score display (F2) option has been removed, as the score is no longer shown directly on the screen at all times.
  • A completely new way of drawing the savegames on the save and load pages is now in place. This new method is a lot easier to read, and is by-column instead of by-row. It also manages to show the last-modified date of each file in a very compact and attractive format, and allows quickly sorting by date with the press of a single button. The save and load have never looked so good.
  • Deleting savegames is now once again functional (just hadn't been ported before).
  • The sound playback should now have a much lower chance of over-saturating when a lot of sound effects are playing during a huge battle.
  • The in-game graphics now look noticeably cleaner and crisper thanks to a fixed bug with the orthographic camera.
  • Players are now able to connect to lobbies hosted by other players, although the lobbies are not yet fully properly synced (and thus aren't quite functional yet in multiplayer).
  • A regression that was causing clients to sometimes be unable to connect to existing multiplayer savegames is now fixed.
  • Fixed several bugs with tooltips.

(Released October 6, 2010)

Prerelease 3.702

  • Implemented mouseover tooltips for the remaining GameButtons (like the categories that previously had tooltips that were getting chopped off, etc).
  • Changed the black lines on the Tech button mouseover to a shade of blue to be more readable. A more thorough re-coloring of stuff (in the wake of the switch away from bordered text) is coming later.
    • Thanks to Ancestral for the report.
  • Fixed bug where the top row of a 5-row build menu was still being cut off in 3.701.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the report.
  • Fixed bug where the expansion toggles in the license keys window were always being prepopulated as off, rather than checking whether the expansion was enabled.
    • Thanks to leb0fh for the report.
  • Fixed bug where tech mouseover would incorrectly report available techs as already unlocked.
  • The buy/tech menus will now dynamically size vertically as well as horizontally.
  • Re-implemented the display of the normal low-power-mode-toggle, give button, and unload-transport button.
  • Fixed bug where higher-row buttons on buy/tech menus were in the wrong column.
    • Thanks to freeman08 for the report.
  • Fixed bug where GameButtons were acting as if they were clicked if the click point was near where they would be at the original (generally 1280x768) resolution. Also fixed the bug where context menus triggered from those buttons were showing up near the original resolution points instead of snapped to the global game button window.
    • Thanks to Burnstreet for the report.
  • Fixed bugs in single-click selection behavior, specifically it is now again possible to shift-left-click to add a single ship to the selection (as opposed to having to shift-left-click-and-drag). Alt-left-click to remove a single ship now works as well.
    • Thanks to unclean for the report.
  • The method for denoting enabled/disabled items in toggled lists has been changed to be the same as that which is used for drawing enabled/disalbed tabs.
    • Thanks to Winter Born for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug from the unity port where GUI dropdowns were drawn well below their parent control.
  • The number of cycles per game turn has been decreased from 4 to 3, which puts a slight bit more load on the network (180ms turn times instead of 240ms), but makes the command lag lower even than in SlimDX. And if anyone has trouble with the network load, they can still use the network skip function to improve that.
  • The "Loading Items From Disk" method at the start of the game now actually counts down how many items it has left to load -- it was a mistake that it was not previously doing so.
  • Textboxes in the HUD have been darkened.
  • The visuals for denoting dropdowns (versus buttons) have been substantially improved.
  • The "military ships immune to reclamation get a damage multiplier of 0.2 against me" rule was being applied to Parasites and Raid Starships; has now been corrected to apply to Parasites and Leech Starships. This means that Raid Starships will now be subject to tons of damage multipliers they were not subject to previously. To prevent the same problem with Leech Starships, that particular multiplier rule will now multiply any other defined damage multiplier against the ship type, rather than overwrite it.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the report.
  • Siege starships can now hit one type of fleet ship: the Force-Field Bearer. Hard.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the report.
  • The various minor faction Neinzul ships are now all immune to reclamation.
    • Thanks to Draco18s for the report.
  • Improvements to angled line drawing accuracy.
  • The galaxy map is now protected from having multiple instantiations of the same galaxy map in a row.
  • In general, the lobby is now vastly faster and more responsive, whereas before it was rather laggy because it had some logic being run many times more than it needed to be.
  • It is now possible to see the AI Plots in the Galaxy Stats window (before it wasn't possible to see what AI Plots were enabled in-game, which was a problem of sorts).
  • The Debug window (hit F3 to see) has been reworkd a bit to be more compact and yet more helpful.
    • It includes one new line of particular interest, under the GAME SPEED header, that is FPS / Draw Calls. The FPS number gives a pretty good indicator of the frames per second (averaged from the last 3 seconds), and the Draw Calls tells how many sprites were actually drawn to the graphics card for the non-GUI parts of the game (So all the ships, backgrounds, explosions, all that).
      • Both of these help to give a more empirical look at both graphics card performance and graphics card load.\ for when players report that something seems laggy.
  • A number of internal performance tweaks were made, especially to the sound subsystem.

(Released October 4, 2010)

Prerelease 3.701

  • Re-implemented drawing of cost lines for Buy-Button and Tech-Button mouseovers.
    • Thanks to Fleet for the bug report.
  • In previous version any buy menu with 4 rows was having the top row chopped off, fixed.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the bug report.
  • Internal note: removed last two references to Input.mousePosition (they were in DrawGUI, from ported Tidalis code), in favor of Event.current.mousePosition.
  • Fixed a couple bugs preventing the Debug and TakeScreenshot KeyBinds from properly working when a game is not actually running.
  • Fixed a crash when using the new Blitz combat style.
    • Thanks to Dazio for the bug report.
  • Fixed the "Unknown Client Message 116|1" bug.
  • Fixed a bug where left-mouse-button-down was clearing the existing selection, breaking all kinds of normally expected behavior.
    • Thanks to freeman08 for the bug report.
  • Fixed bug where lobby was not properly initializing host player color from the current profile.
    • Thanks to freeman08 for the bug report.
  • Fixed bug where color selection in lobby was not working properly.
    • Thanks to freeman08 for the bug report.
  • Fixed bug where it wasn't possible to properly disable an expansion from the License/Expansions window.
    • Thanks to Zenchess for the bug report.
  • In the previous version we had made more of the lobby options regenerate the map for various reasons, but this has been found to cause very annoying lag and has been reverted.
    • Thanks to RCIX for the report.
  • The SimSpeedPlus and SimSpeedMinus keybinds now have aliases that respond to KeypadPlus and KeypadMinus; the pre-existing ones only responded to the alpha-side +/-.
    • Thanks to RCIX for the report.
  • Internal Note: SimSpeedPlus and SimSpeedMinus previously did not send network messages, but did the change directly on the local machine, now they use the network.
  • OpenChatPopup keybind is now an InGame bind instead of AnyTime; in Tidalis you could be connected on the main menu and could chat, but not in AI War.
    • Thanks to RCIX for the report.
  • In the previous version the default key for the AssignToControlGroup keybind was incorrectly KeyCode.Slash (for internal development purposes, we can't use Ctrl+1, but players can). Changed back to KeyCode.LeftControl (and added an alias that maps to RightControl). If you've already played 3.700 this won't change your binding from Slash to LeftControl, but you can do so manually or simply close the program, delete inputbindings.dat, and restart to get the new defaults.
    • Thanks to RCIX for the report.
  • All AnyTime binds will now fire... well, any time. Except when the loading screen is visible, just to be contrary.
  • Fixed some missing loca problems with the chat popup.
    • Thanks to RCIX for the report.
  • Fixed some missing loca problems on the keybindings screen.
    • Thanks to Kalzarius for the report.
  • The LobbyOptions window will no longer revert to previously saved-to-disk settings whenever opening (unless an expansion has been enabled or disabled since the last time it was opened). The LobbyPlayer window will still do this, at least for now.
    • Thanks to MoonshineFox for the report.
  • Remains can no longer be gifted.
    • Thanks to LanceFighter for reporting an exploit related to this.
  • Fortresses now have infinite engine health, as they are unable to have their engines repaired.
    • Thanks to CogDissident for reporting.
  • Fortresses now only take 2 hours to fully repair themselves from nearly-dead, rather than 3. SuperFortresses now take 3 hours to repair themselves from nearly-dead instead of 5.
    • Thanks to CogDissident for suggesting.
  • The + key now increases the game in increments that are 2x faster.
  • Some internal timing changes have been made to the game, leading to a bit lower simulation load on the processor, a bit lower network load, a bit slower animations, a bit faster movement and build times, and similar. Mostly these changes are pretty subtle,
  • The current combat style is now shown on the galaxy stats screen, since that's now the only way to see that data while in the game itself.
  • The build modifier for placing 50 ships has been removed, and the build modifiers for placing 10 and 5 ships have been switched to thos that were for building 50 and 10 in the last release. This fixes the conflict with holding shift to place ships in a series.
    • Thanks to Kalzarius for reporting.
  • The zooming and panning was previously often laggy at the start, simply because of how that was being calculated (it was simply one of those porting things).
    • This also means that there won't be any extra lag introduced into scrolling or zooming based on slowing down the simulation speed with the minus key.
    • Thanks to vonduus for reporting.
  • There is now less apparent lag when first loading a game (even compared to the SlimDX version), as the AI thread is started right at the tail end of the load process rather than during the first frames of the game.
  • Some tweaks have been made to the sound playback engine to make it get less overwhelming (and thus distorted) during massive battles.
    • Thanks to Moonshine Fox for reporting.
  • The stars, nebulae, and planet graphics are loaded right on the game start now. This makes the game start up slightly slower (still much faster than the SlimDX version), but prevents lag and some visual artifacts later.
  • The in-game processing is no longer nearly so interrupted by images streaming in belatedly. This causes more pop-in the first time that a new ship or graphic is seen, but makes the experience significantly smoother than ever before (especially compared to the SlimDX side). This is particularly notable for multiplayer, when one player has a significantly slower hard drive than the others.
  • The "Hide Ship Recharge Bars" settings option has become a "Show Ship Recharge Bars" option, because these bars really don't need to be shown for most people and they cause significant visual clutter and extra graphical load.
  • The "Show Ship Bars In Far Zoom" settings option has become a "Hide Ship Bars In Far Zoom" option, because these bars are really important to being able to see the battlefield at a glance from far zoom, and need to be on unless people specifically want to disable them for performance reasons (which isn't likely to be needed, these days, anyway).
  • The buttons and panels in the HUD have been darkened a bit, to make it more pleasant for players who are sensitive to even slight contrast in black shades.
  • The "disabled option" visuals in the HUD have been improved substantially so that they are much more readable.
    • Thanks to Kalzarius for reporting the trouble with visibility in the load game menu.
  • Dropdowns now use a bluish background that makes them much easier to tell apart from the panels they are hovering over top of.
  • The update checker now uses the main Arcen site, rather than Amazon S3, as we have the bandwidth to spare for that sort of simple thing and it will no longer cost us anything.
  • The update checker also now is substantially more flexible in terms of being able to download update files from any other server (as specified in the update file), rather than only from a server compiled into the game itself. This uses a tad more bandwidth for update checks, but the added flexibility is well worth it.
  • The old version of the "AI War Pre-4.0 Settings Importer" did not work because it was in a folder with a file called AIWar.exe in it. Based on how .NET looks for file assemblies, that was causing it to look at the wrong file for trying to bind. Now the importer has been updated to run instead from inside the RuntimeData folder of the game install folder, which bypasses this issue.
  • The .pdb file is now included in the installer; it was an oversight that it did not previously do so. This lets us actually get line numbers with our bug reports, which means we can actually fix the bugs without intense pain.
  • The installer no longer installs a desktop shortcut (it's not really needed with this demographic, and tends to clutter up that space).
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for suggesting.
  • In 3.700, there was previously a colon in the shortcut name for the AI War start menu link, which was causing it to be treated as an invalid object rather than a shortcut. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Burnstreet for originally reporting this, and others for confirming it.

(Released October 3, 2010)

Prerelease 3.700

  • AI War version 3.189 converted to the Unity 3D engine. Only new features since 3.189 are mentioned here.

Performance Improvements

  • There are no longer any prerequisites for running the game.
  • The game no longer uses GDI+, so it is no longer at all dependent on system fonts, and programs like FRAPS are able to record the menus as well as the actual gameplay.
  • Thanks largely to the removal of the GDI+ components, the game application itself opens markedly faster now.
  • The draw-framerate is now independent from the simulation-framerate.
    • This is a huge benefit, because now the draw framerate automatically drops under serious load (like a big battle), which lets the actual simulation speed stay at 100% during play in many cases.
      • Thus the game doesn't slow down to a crawl during big battles (it just gets briefly choppy, if that), which passes much more quickly and is markedly less frustrating.
      • Also, if one player has a slightly underpowered machine during a network game, it is less likely to slow down the simulation for the other players, which is also excellent.
  • In-game textures are now streamed into the game in a queue, rather than loaded-all-at-once when first encountered. This avoids choppiness and momentary lag when loading savegames and similar. This does cause images to be invisible and then pop-in during that same time, but that's much preferable in the main.
  • The methods for rendering general in-game shots is now 1/5th as GPU-intensive as before. The method for rendering missile shots is now 1/9th as GPU-intensive as before. The method for rendering explosions are now about 1/2 to 1/4 as GPU-intensive as before. The method for rendering the new uv-animated line effects is about 1/5 as GPU-intensive as the old "fuzzy line" effects. Paired with new graphics, they also look better, which gives a double bonus to this shift.

Visual Improvements

  • A new and better-looking game HUD visual style is now in place. This new visual style is also intended to improve readability while also increasing performance.
    • The GUI for the game no longer uses bordered text -- this both aids in readability for some players, as well as improving performance, and with the higher-contrast window backgrounds this is more readable than ever.
    • All of the in-game fonts have been replaced and improved with prettier, sharper, more-legible fonts that also contribute better to the sci-fi theme and feel less spreadsheet-like.
  • The status text over most of the in-game ships (poor efficiency, exhausted, knowledge income, etc) now appear with a nice little bounding box that makes them look better and also easier to read. These boxes now conveniently disappear when moused-over, so that they are never in the way of what the player is trying to click on. When the Alt key is held, all of these also now disappear, which makes it even more convenient.
  • The galaxy map has seen a number of improvements.
    • The planet graphics in the galaxy map are now much-improved, and make use of shaders and rotation to make themselves look much more realistic.
    • The lines between the planets on the galaxy map also now use shaders and have a much more modern, realistic look to themselves.
    • The little row of ship icons below each planet has been removed from the galaxy map, as that was useless clutter that made the galaxy map harder to read and which most people didn't notice anyway.
  • Flares are now shown on top of player ships, rather than under them. This is a longstanding request from players who found them too hard to see when under ships. Holding the alt key now hides the flares, so you get the best of both worlds.
  • A completely new starfield generation algorithm is now used -- it looks a lot better, is incredibly more varied (not every planet has the same kind of starfield background), and has nice parallax depth to itself. It is way faster to draw than the old SlimDX style of starfields, which is another excellent bonus.
  • A completely new nebula generation algorithm is now used -- it also looks a lot better, and is way way faster to draw than the old SlimDX style of nebulae. The nebulae no longer have parallax scrolling, but the starfields themselves do a plenty fine job enough of that, and this overall effect looks better.
  • The way that the galaxy map in the lobby is drawn has been completely reworked to look better.
    • The "obstacles" (black holes, asteroid belts) are no longer shown at all, as they were distracting and just getting in the way of the relevant visuals, anyway -- they are still shown in-game, though, of course.
    • The scale and quality of the lines and graphics shown in the galaxy are now far superior to what they previously were, making them easier to read.
    • The galaxy map in the lobby now scales on both the X and Y axes individually, again to allow for the maximum visibility on varying scree resolutions.
  • Every last shot/weapon visual effect in the game has been completely redone in a much higher-res, fancier fashion.
  • The explosion visuals have been completely replaced and upgraded.
  • In recent releases, damage smoke had been unintentionally disabled. It has now been re-enabled, and has been notably upgraded to look a lot more realistic at the same time.
  • The shot hit effects have been revamped so that it is much easier to tell when a shot has hit (and it just looks cooler, too).
  • Shield blocks now have a much more distinctive visual look, so that it will hopefully be more obvious to players that something is actually happening out of the ordinary there.
  • All of the old "fuzzy line" effects have been replaced with much fancier and better-looking uv-animated special effects.
  • Beam weapon effects are now animated, and have a different color and animation per mark level (from 0 to V).

Keyboard Control Changes

  • A number of keyboard control changes have been made. If you don't like them, the beauty is that you can now remap them as you wish, but we wanted to take this opportunity to clean up the keycodes to make them as sensible as possible -- they grew up a bit unevenly as the game has developed, and there were a few things that have been bugging us for a while.
    • Ship contruction keycodes have been made consistent:
      • It is now possible to build queue-constructed ships in groups of 10 by holding alt.
      • It is now possible to build directly-placed ships in groups of 50 by holding ctrl.
    • Ship selection modifier keycodes (when using hotkeys such as S to select science labs, or when clicking items on the planetary summary) have been made more consistent with the general selection modifiers (when just dragging selection boxes):
      • When holding Shift, it now adds the new ship to the selection rather than centering on it.
      • When holding Space, it now centers on the ship.
    • The button for showing control group assignments, and for showing ship movement/attack lines, and for toggling on all the attack power modifier overlays, has been changed from Ctrl to Alt.
      • This keeps the lines, etc, from getting in the way when players are just using the Ctrl key normally, which is a lot -- and still makes it readily accessible to see these lines and control groups at an easy click of the button, though.
    • The keyboard shortcuts for "frame skip" have been removed, as that feature no longer exists (it's no longer needed).
    • The keyboard shortcuts for "game speed" can now go between -10 and 10, rather than 0 and 10. This allows players to slow down time as well as speed it up.

Galaxy Map Functional Changes

  • The glow around planets that are alerted to the human presence is now red instead of yellow, as with the new blending, etc, the yellow was extremely hard to see.

New Features

  • Added "Blitz" combat style which is like Fast and Dangerous but the ship speed is doubled again. Also, "Normal" has been renamed to Epic/4X-like and "Fast and Dangerous" has been renamed to "Normal".
  • The keyboard bindings are now able to be edited. The editing interface is on the settings menu, and the bindings themselves are stored in inputbindings.dat, separate from all other settings for ease of sharing, etc.
  • The way that the "Game Speed" options (+/-) on the keyboard work is now completely different.
    • Previously, the options went from 0 to 10. Now, they go from -10 to 10... meaning that time can be slowed down as well as sped up.
    • Additionally, in the past when the speed was increased from 0 to 1 it more than doubled the speed of the simulation, whereas increasing it all the way to 10 had very little change compared to the initial shift with 1. Now the speed scaling is a lot more linear, which is quite helpful.
  • There is a new "AI War Pre-4.0 Settings Importer" application that allows players to import pre-4.0 settings files into the new 4.0 version. Unfortunately, the new versions of AI War can't directly read the legacy settings files because of a bug in the Mono framework (regarding deserializing generic collections, if you're curious).
    • Our settings importer tool also moves across savegame files as a convenience, although there is no compatibility issue with them.

Interface Improvements

  • The resource bar has seen some rework, making it a bit more concise and relying on icons and tooltips instead of spelling out things like "knowledge" in it. On the flip side, a few things that were previously unlabeled (like the number of planets under attack at the moment) now have a label.
    • Warnings about energy levels are now shown directly in the resource bar, and more concisely, with a tooltip over them to explain further.
    • The game speed modifier is now shown right next to the game clock in the upper left, and the game clock flashes red and white when slowed down, and green and white when sped up.
  • A new ship selection scrollable window now shows up whenever ships are selected, making for a significant update to the old selected ships button and dropdown.
  • The Planetary Summary window on the right-hand side of the screen has seen significant visual improvements that make it easier to quickly read, especially during battles or multiplayer games.
  • The position and styling of both chat messages and alert messages have been changed a bit, emphasizing readability and keeping the screen as clear as possible for actually showing gameplay.
  • The main menu is now nigh unrecognizable, it's seen so much rework.
  • Our license key screen is now miles better, as well. It lets you enter all of your license keys on one screen, rather than having a separate screen for each (with the expansions buried in an expansions tab of the settings window). Now it's all on one place, accessible directly from the main menu, and should cut down on confusion as to which license key the application is asking for at any given time (a fair number of people tried to enter their expansion keys as a main key, for example, if they bought the game and expansions at the same time).

Gameplay Balance Changes

  • Metal and Crystal Harvesters no longer require energy to operate -- they produce enough energy for themselves directly.
  • When AI ships in old savegames are converted to a new type (such as all the guard posts), those now start out at full health rather than whatever their health was previously.
  • The engineering range on mobile repair stations has been increased from 15,000 to 20,000.
  • Engineers (including mine layers and cleanup drones) no longer have teleportation. However, they do all now move at speed 100 and they have vastly larger enginering ranges. They also no longer automatically move toward targets to heal (they just heal what's in their considerable range). All in all, this makes engineers vastly easier to control; something that was a learning issue for new players in the past, and an annoyance for experienced players.

Settings Changes

  • The settings screen will never prompt players to restart the game now (previously it did on resolution changes and on expansions being enabled/disabled). Yay!
  • It is no longer possible to manually select a starfield type in the game settings -- a completely new starfield generation algorithm is now used.
  • Same as with the starfields, it is no longer possible to select styles of nebulae, as they are now handled differently and better. Also, nebulae detail levels can no longer be set in the game settings, but nebula can now be turned off via a toggle if desired.
  • The option "Scale Game On Large Monitors (Keeps game objects the same relative size on larger and smaller monitors, but may cause lowered overall quality)" has been removed, as it no longer applies on the new platform (it looked awful on the old platform, anyway).
  • The "Disable Very Far Zoom" option has been removed from settings. It's long-since been clear that nobody in their right mind would want to do that.
  • The "Disable Cleartype" option has been removed from settings because it also has no meaning on the Unity platform (text comes from prerendered textures, never from the OS, now).
  • The "Default Frame Skip" option has been removed (as has the "frame skip" feature in general), because Unity 3D manages the render-vs-sim framerate automatically (and does a much better job of it, we might add).
  • The "Extra Tooltip Font Size" option has been removed, as fonts can't be dynamically resized in the same way on Unity 3D the way we're using the fonts. BUT, because the game now supports true fullscreen, that shouldn't ever be a need any more, anyway -- this feature was added for a few players so that they could compensate for the text looking too small when viewed at their overlarge desktop resolution.
  • The settings option "Use Simple Render For Far Zoom Icons (Slower, But Prevents Invisible Icons On Some Graphics Card Drivers)" has been removed, as with the new Unity 3D system there is no risk of the invisible icons -- again, yay. Now it's definitely always nice and fast for everyone, and there's one fewer confusing settings options.
  • The "Always Show Selected Units Hover Text" settings option has been removed, as the new Selected Ships window has replaced the entire older way of handling selected ships (and this new way is much better).
  • The "Combine Planetary Summary Icon Colors" and "Hide Planetary Summary Icon Counts" settings options have been removed, as the planetary summary has been revised substantially enough that these sorts of options really don't have any solid purpose any longer (and we're really making an effort to weed out settings options of that sort, so that the useful ones are easier for players to look at and find).
  • The settings options "Disable Blending of Shot/Explosion Effects" and "Use Simple Shot Effects" have been removed from the settings screen, as these were performance-boosting settings that no longer are needed with the new special effects rendering methods now employed by the game.
  • The "Disable Explosion Debris/Embers" option has been removed, as the debris/ember emission has been taken out of the engine in favor of more complex base explosion effects (the end result looks better and runs more efficiently).
  • The "Show Window Toolbar" settings option has been removed, as unfortunately that's not something we can control in Unity.
  • New settings options have been added that make it possible to set the windowed resolution to anything, or to set the fullscreen resolution to a list of general resolutions, and to toggle which one is presently active. Basically, the identical setup to Tidalis.

Misc Changes

  • The Unit Relative strengths is no longer compiled into the game itself, but is now in a UnitRelative.dat file that is in the RuntimeData folder. This lets players update the relativestrengths file if they are so inclined (sometimes it takes us a while to do it).
  • Previously, the game only ran in a "faux fullscreen" mode that was the size of the player's desktop resolution. For many that worked very well, but for some that made the fonts unusably small. Now, thanks to Unity 3D, the game supports both true fullscreen as well as windowed mode.
    • Unfortunately this means the loss of the "faux fullscreen" mode, which we're sorry to see go, but that is not yet something Unity 3D supports.
    • The game also now supports resizing (and changing between fullscreen and windowed modes) in realtime. Previously, the game had to be restarted whenever sizing changes were made.
  • A brand new Tidalis-style in-game updater is now included. This beats the pants off any updaters we used in the past in terms of speed, efficiency, and overall flow.
  • The screenshots function (F12) was previously unable to function on some computers. It should now work for everyone.
  • The screenshot function, plus any external video recording software (FRAPS, XFire, etc) previously would not pick up the menus in the game because of their GDI+ nature. Now this works with all of them.
    • Also previously, externally-inserted overlays like the Steam interface and XFire had to have special support (as in the case of Steam) to avoid conflicts between the overlay and our GDI+ menus. Now that is no longer a consideration either, it all works as you'd expect.
  • Our installer is now much better. The old versions used MSI packages, which are clunky and extraordinarily slow. It helps that we now have no prerequisites for the game, but the installer is miles better even discounting that.

(Released October 2, 2010)

Known Issues

Updated as of 3.908

  • The following items have not yet been implemented (if a feature isn't on this list but seems to be missing, feel free to check with us, but it's probably an oversight in terms of the list rather than what we're planning):
    • In-game graphs.
    • All of the advanced functions off the in-game context menu (was X+right-click, now is alt+right-click).