AI War 2:Zenith Onslaught Patch Notes

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This is for alpha testing for the Zenith Onslaught. I'm using this to keep patch notes.

Nota Bene

Please don't discuss anything you learn from this page with others unless Badger or Chris has publicly talked about those features already.


Feature List/Flavour

Chris, this section is intended as fodder for you for marketing and other writeups. Feel free to change anything to your taste. Also check out the section at the bottom of this wiki page for some ideas and mechanics you might find useful

It was thought that the Zenith were long-dead. But they are far from gone; they have come back with a vengeance. A dreadful Zenith Onslaught. It started one day when a strange Zenith probe turned up on your sensors. After checking out a particularly mineral-rich planet, the probe was followed by a giant Zenith Miner who proceeded to devour the planet. And now it seems like everywhere you look there are new Zenith menaces come to make your life harder...

The Zenith Onslaught is the second expansion for AI War 2. It's an expansion focused on making the galaxy feel rich and complex and changeable in new ways. It primarily provides Zenith-based factions that have their own agendas independent of humanity, unlike The Spire Rises, where all the factions cared about the player.

There are also a focus on pushing the Roguelike elements of the game. You can now start a game not knowing what factions are in the galaxy, or even what most of the map looks like. The game becomes much more about Exploring the Unknown and surviving its terrors. And if you use Ironman mode, it only takes one mistake to end your campaign permanently.

New Factions

AI War 2: Dark Zenith

AI War 2: Zenith Architrave

AI War 2: Zenith Miners

AI War 2: Nomad Planets

New AI Features

AI Types

  • Geneticist AI Type: The AI gets Scourge units in addition to its own unit types (Brutal)
  • Spire Hammer AI Type: The AI gets Spire units in addition to its own unit types (Hard)
  • Ragnarok AI Type: The AI gets Dark Alliance units in addition to its own unit types. Unbalanced until Chris does unit design, but functional.
  • Gladiator AI Type: The AI gets Zenith Architrave units in addition to its own unit types. Unbalanced until Chris does unit design, but functional.
    • NOTE FOR CHRIS: I'd love if this was a Moderate so we have more variety
  • Vengeful AI Type: Killing this AI's structures will provoke small exogalactic strikeforces against you (Brutal)
  • Aedile AI Type: This AI has a somewhat stronger praetorian guard which is allowed to roam a bit further from its Homeworld. (Hard)
  • Praetor AI Type: This AI has an extra-strong praetorian guard which is allowed to roam much further from its Homeworld. (Brutal)
  • Reservist AI Type: This is a defensively focused AI. They some extra reinforcements and they can detect your deepstrikes better, so they will send out their reserves one hop earlier than other AIs. They also turn their defense into offense with very large CPAs. (Moderate)


  • Wormhole Borers : The AI now has the ability to create wormholes to allow its ships to bypass your defenses. They will spawn "Wormhole Borers", which will create a new wormhole. These are powerful structures, but you can destroy them to prevent the new wormhole from being created. Borers are gated behind an AIP threshold, and can be disabled in the game lobby as well.
  • AI Layouts: In the Game Lobby, you can now influence how the initial AI owners of each planet are selected
    • Small Clusters: The previous (and still default) setting, aka "Allocate a small region of planets for each AI around its homeworld, then do the rest randomly".
    • Large Clusters: The AI to allocates very large regions around their homeworlds, then the rest randomly
    • Random Clusters: The AI uses a randomly chosen region size (between Small and Large), then the rest randomly
    • Random: all planets are assigned randomly. I believe this was the default in AIWC?
    • First AI Is Largest: The first AI gets most of the planets; other AIs get a small set of planets around their homeworld.

Galaxy Features

  • Nomad Galaxy: All planets in the galaxy will move as if they are nomad planets. Leads to extremely chaotic and unique play. Funny story: I accidentally made all the planets move by mistake, but people thought it was cool so it was made a feature.
  • Cubular Map Type: This map type is like Snake, but can be multiple planets thick. Spiral Snake's real problem is that there's no way to bypass very strong enemy planets, so this will be easier and more varied. It also has a cube-based appearance.
    • With all the tunables on all the map types, there are > 100 unique combinations
  • Compass Map Type: Compass starts with a Cluster at the center of the galaxy, then a series of planets in rings around the central cluster that can only be accessed via that central cluster. Has a number of tunables.

Some unique interactions with previous factions

  • Dyson Spheres can be set to spawn on a Nomad Planet if you have Nomad Planets enabled
  • Dyson Spheres can be killed by Zenith Miners
  • The Scourge can build Zenith-inspired ships (requires both DLC1 and 2)
  • The Dark Zenith and Zenith Architrave can get Spire Debris to give them new ships (requires both DLC1 and 2)

Backported Features

  • The AI can send Exogalactic War Units against minor factions that get too powerful
  • Upgrade Fireteams to allow a faction to request some fireteams play defense more effectively
  • We had time to do voice lines for DLC2 and in the process we also recorded voice lines for DLC1 since there wasn't time in that release.
  • The AI Reserves rework draws significantly on tech developed for DLC2
  • Allow the Nanocaust to do a 'delayed invasion' at a random time, using some techniques from DLC2
  • Add support for minor factions to have structures which can be hacked like an ARS, granting a player new ship lines.
    • This can be added by modders to their own factions with only XML; no C# required!
    • Base game factions using this: Dyson Sphere, Dark Spire, Human Resistance Fighters
    • DLC2 factions using this: Zenith Architrave, Dark Zenith

New Cheat

  • Putting here so it doesn't get lost
    • zmhere: Spawn a zenith miner probe on the planet you are looking at

Bug Reports

  • Several bugs/oddities (reported by Zeus): 2) Miners destroyed some of ZA territory; ZA chose a non-contiguous planet to compensate.

Badger TODOs

  • Give the player better feedback that the ZA is at war

Chris TODOs

From Puffin, for the DZ planets:

<spacebox name="Puffin_SmokeSpiral" weight="50000" visuals="assets/spacebg/materials/forusing/puffin_smokespiral.mat" />

 <spacebox name="Puffin_GreenTrapped" weight="50000" visuals="assets/spacebg/materials/forusing/puffin_greentrapped.mat"  />
 <spacebox name="Puffin_RedTrapped" weight="50000" visuals="assets/spacebg/materials/forusing/puffin_redtrapped.mat"  />
 <spacebox name="Puffin_BlueTrapped" weight="50000" visuals="assets/spacebg/materials/forusing/puffin_bluetrapped.mat"  />
  • Allow Special Faction xml options for lobby choices to be overridden; the scourge dropdown for "What Armory to take first" needs to be overridden for DLC2 to allow for Zenith scourge, but what happens is that there are two copies for that dropdown window
  • XML for player settings in DLCs isn't recognized in game
  • Allow flagships (including spire flagships) to perma-die if they are on a planet that's destroyed. I'm not sure how to handle the Spire flagships thing
  • The Spire Hammer and Geneticist AI Types rely on DLC1 xml; what happens if a player has only dlc2?
  • I'd love a slightly modified Planet visual appearance at the galaxy map for Dark Zenith planets and for Zenith Architrave Territory (as opposed to the planets they expand into); Knowing which planets are ZA Territory is really important.

Patch Notes


  • Rejigger the way Nomad Planets crash. The game now holds the Nomad to its initial crash time estimate.
    • There's now a unique Notification for Nomads when crashing
    • Thanks to Astillious for the report
  • The DZ planets now appear before they are linked to the rest of the galaxy. The player is given a countdown to when the DZ planets actually link to the galaxy.
    • This lets the player see what is coming (which feels good, since it gives you a while to prepare or be afraid), and it also let the DZ start to get their economy going before they start fighting.
  • The DZ now have a failsafe for strength spawning; if they seem 'too weak' then they will get a bunch of extra ships too
    • DZ changes prompted by a save by ArnaudB


  • Nerfs to crashing Nomad Planet response
    • Thanks to Astillious for the report
  • The game tries not to let two wormhole borers be active at once.
  • The ZA now indicates that they are in War Footing in their tooltips
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for the feedback
  • Some minor tweaks to the Spire Hammer balance. Give the AI Spire Dreadnaughts as Exo Leaders
    • Thanks to Astillious for the report


  • Major ZA rebalance; its better ships were much too cheap
    • Thanks to Arnaud for feedback


  • Add Reservist AI Type
  • The Ragnarok and Gladiator AI types are now functional. They aren't balanced at all, but they are functional.


  • Add Ironman mode
  • Add Hidden Galaxy mode
    • Thanks to Puffin for reminding me that I liked this idea
  • Fix a bug where the ZA wasn't defending its territory properly, leading it to just build up giant forces sitting around
  • ZAs now spawn fewer Pioneers
    • Thanks to Arnaud for reporting
  • Geneticist scourge armories are now one mark level lower than the planet, and can't spawn on mark 2 planets anymore
  • Add quickstarts for both Ironman and Hidden Galaxy


  • Make it harder for random factions to be intensity 0
    • Thanks to Arnaud for reporting
  • Add a new setting for the Bonus Random Factions to allow for a player to influence their allegiances. Improve the faction tooltip for Random Factions to mention the Bonus Random Factions option
    • From a discussion with Mac


  • Add Faction Additional Randomness galaxy option
    • Roguelike mode!


  • The ZA now properly updates its overall power level. Pioneers spawn much less frequently
    • from a discussion with Oval, Arnaud and Zeus


  • Buff the shields on some spire hammer units
    • prompted by ArnaudB
  • The Nanocaust now has an "Invasion Time" option that's going to replace all the previous time-related settings.
    • Needs testing. I'll backport this to the base game once DLC2 is out.


  • Fix a bug with cubular map generation
    • Thanks to zeus for reporting
  • Fix a bug where the ZA wasn't defending their planets
    • Thanks to ovalcircle for reporting
  • Adjust the game-lobby description of the Praetor AI types to match actual difficulty
  • Rename the weaker Praetor to Aedile
    • Thanks to Arnaud for the feedback
  • Zenith Miners no longer count as threat. Remove some leftover text in a ZM hack
    • Thanks to Puffin Emeritus for reporting


  • Make the ZA better at detecting war.
  • The DZ overall power level is now 0 when the DZ is dead
    • Thanks to zeus for reporting
  • The Nomad Planet Notification can now use a different icon when a nomad planet is crashing (once chris does the new icons)
  • The Nomad Planet Notification hovertext now gives you an approximate "time till we crash"
    • Suggested by zeusalmighty
  • Improve the ability of the ZA to respond to pioneer spawn time interruptions by decreasing the spawn timers when the interruption stops.
    • Reported by ovalcircle


  • The Nanocaust can no longer get ZA ships
    • Suggested by Ovalcircle and seconded by zeus


  • The Nomad Planet to move soon Notification now also colour-code the planet name by owner
    • Suggested by Mac


  • In a nomad galaxy, a planets first move is now 5-15 minutes later, to prevent low-mark planets from running away from the player before they can capture the resources
    • Thanks to zeus for suggesting
  • Nomad planets now say 'Will move in Xmin Ysec' in the planet hovertext instead of just the number of seconds
  • The countdown timer till a nomad moved (in both the Notification and the planet hover text) now uses different colours when the Nomad is close to moving
  • Rename Fat Snake to "Cubular".
    • Cubular must be at least two planets wide
  • Resolve some problems with the ZA having too many friends
    • Thanks to ovalcircle for reporting


  • Buff Spire Guard Posts (unique for Spire Hammer AI Type)
    • Thanks to NRSirLimbo for suggesting
  • Fix a bug where during their initial expansion, the DZ would decide to go target ZA planets across the galaxy.


  • Fix a bug that was causing games saved while the ZA was trying to expand to have a hiccup in their strength buildup
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle for reporting
  • Fat Snake changes
    • The snake can now go clockwise or counterclockwise
    • Add a "Varied" number of planets per chunk
  • Make sure the Fallen Spire regenerates a new Relic if the Miners ate a planet with an undiscovered Relic
    • Thanks to zeus pointing this out
  • Improve the ZA journals and tooltips to clarify some mechanics
    • Thanks to a conversation with zeus


  • Add a new variant of the Squares map type, where all the little clusters are also laid out in squares
    • This also includes some minor improvements to the LinkPlanetLists code, to try to make more interesting linkages
  • Add a new Fat Snake map type
  • Improve post-civil war ZA behaviour
    • The ZA has more time to retreat before being hostile to the AI, and is better at not triggering threat against the player in the process.
    • The ZAs who were at war will keep shooting at eachother as they retreat (so if you had 3 ZAs ganging up on one, as soon as the 1 is weak enough there will be a bloodbath)
      • Thanks to a bug report from Ovalcircle


Zenith Architrave Updates

  • ZA should regrow territory eaten by Miners
    • Pointed out to me by zeus
  • Quiet some leftover ZA debug logging
    • Thanks to Oval for reporting
  • ZA bonus civil war attacks (mini wormhole invasions by the ZA to make sure a civil war ends eventually) now only kick in after 15 minutes
    • Thanks to oval for pointing out that this previous code didn't actually wait the requested time, and zeus for suggesting increasing the time to 15 minutes
  • Weaken the ZA hacking response.
    • Thanks to zeus for suggesting
  • Tweak the ZA notitifaction a bit
    • Thanks to Puffin for suggesting

Nomad Planet Updates

  • The AI's response to a nomad planet hack now also allows it to send ships after miscellaneous player targets (generally things like GCAs and economic command stations) to distract the player
  • The Nomad Planet crash response now scales based on the overall power level of the player(s) and their allies
  • You can now say whether you want the nomads to move Fast, Medium or Slow (this controls how often they move)
  • Nomads now must move a bit further


  • Continued improvements to how the DZ manage their ships in the early game
  • When killed, a Zenith Miner will leave behind wreckage, in the form of a slightly-better-than-usual metal generator.
    • This is intended to be a cool little tidbit but not to impact balance
      • Thanks to a discussion with starkelp for this feature


  • Continued improvements to DZ planet linking to make them even better at not going near player or ai homeworlds


  • Fix the performance degradation whenever nomad planets were used. We were reconnecting planets that were already connected whenever we regenerated the galaxy map after a planet moved. So we'd wind up with enormous numbers of galaxy links. Whoops.
    • Thanks to everyone who ever tried Nomads for reporting
  • The game now tries much harder to make sure that nomad planet wormholes aren't placed on top of other wormholes (This change is also reflected on the main page)
    • Thanks to Mac for reminding me about this
  • Fix a typo in one of the nomad planet hacks
    • Thanks to Mac for the bug report
  • If a ZA civil war has been going on for > 10 minutes, the smaller ZAs will start to unleash bonus attacks directly on the large ZA's planets. This will eventually end any civil war
    • This code has been in for sometime but it was broken. Thanks to a save from Oval for letting me debug it
  • Fix a typo in the ai layout description
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle and probably others for reporting

DZ Changes

DZ Save Compatibility Broken

  • Improve DZ economic intelligence in a fashion that won't work on current DZ save games.
    • This is a good excuse to remove the guns on the Library but replace them with a real hacking response, since removing the guns will also break save compatibility.
  • Increase DZ income early game.
  • DZ overall power level can now go much higher
  • AI gets bonus hunter fleet ships against DZ.
  • The DZ is better about trying to spawn far from player or AI homeworlds


  • Add some comments to the DZ. The DZ can now have its income balanced differently for Player allied and Dark Alliance allied DZ.


ZM Changes

  • Enhance the Zenith Miner notification to cycle you between multiple simultaneous probes/miners
    • Suggested by zeus
  • The galaxy now reconnects properly after a miner noms a planet
    • Thanks to zeus for the bug report
  • The ZM now spawns more miners at high intensities; up to 5 (if you are very unlucky) at a time.
    • The first time probes spawn, there will be a max of two. This is to not overwhelm a player early.
    • Thanks to zeus for the suggestion
  • Miners can eat Nomads later in the game (they must have eaten at least 4 planets first)
  • Add journal text to explain that Flagships can be eaten by Miners

DZ Changes

  • The DZ will pack a larger punch when they arrive later in the game
  • The DZ can now build utility structures like tractors and gravity generators.
  • The DZ will now slowly capture and defend a perimiter instead of expanding very quickly. Once they have their perimeter then the full out attack starts.
  • The DZ will now build more defensive fireteams
    • Thanks to feedback from Democracy


  • A randomly chosen ZA won't show the Territory until you've seen it
    • Thanks to zeus for reporting


  • The DZ can definitely build static defenses now
  • DZ won't try to include Dysons in their territorial sphere
  • The Dark Zenith now will keep units to play defense. Mechanism extends to other factions.
  • Some tidying, colour and icon changes for the Dark Zenith to make it easier for me to see what's going on.
  • DZ constructors now move more slowly, and their buildings warp in a bit more slowly, giving more options for sniping them
  • DZ Harvesters are now less tanky and more costly to build
    • The intent is to make "Kill a bunch of harvesters in a raid" a useful way of hurting them
  • ZA will expand a bit quicker


  • FS debris no longer reveals random factions (that haven't been scouted yet) by telling players in tooltip what the minor factions are.
    • Thanks to Zeus for the bug report
  • Don't let the ZA take a Dyson planet as its Territory
  • ZA Civil Wars are now rebalanced to be much less OP
    • Thanks to some feedback from ArnaudB

Dark Zenith Changes

  • The DZ now will conquer a Territorial Sphere around their planets before expanding further, and get bonus income while doing so. This is intended to make sure they establish a real foothold in the galaxy.
    • Territorial Spheres won't include player planets, ZA planets or planets close to AI homeworlds, to prevent the mechanism from being an annoyance
    • Once the DZ has conquered its Sphere for the first time, the Sphere behaviour is permanently disabled
  • Economic Intelligence improvements:
    • Transports now give more resources than necessary to build something to facilitate the next build; this is a big net efficiency increase.
    • The DZ is less likely to put a lot of resources into upgrades early, allowing them to focus on their invasion. This lets them pack a bigger punch when they first arrive, since that could feel lackluster
    • Improve the decision making available to Infrastructure Epistyles
  • Change the Transport icon/image to something more evocative


  • The DZ will now emphatically try to hold a few extra planets around its territory
  • The ZA will now spawn its units a bit further from their construction centers; the visuals look better this way


  • ZA now indicates both Intensity and Territory in the esc menu
  • Random factions can now be Dark Alliance
  • ZA defenses now warp in at the right level
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle for reporting
  • Improve the tooltip for ZA expansion for player-allied ZAs
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle for reporting
  • ZA planet hovertext now updates the colour if the player changes the ZA's colour
  • Hopefully fix a bug with ZA income
    • Thanks to Starkelp for reporting
  • The ZA wants to expand a bit faster. Give the ZA a bit more income
  • Rework what happens if a ZA is intending to launch pioneers but is attacked or enters the civil war (ie something that would block pioneers).
    • We track the number of times the ZA was interrupted as it was preparing to send Pioneers, and use that number to see how much to reduce the pioneer spawn time. The old 'Pioneers will spawn as soon as the ZA has retaken all its planets' behaviour is no longer used.
    • Prompted by a bug report by Ovalcircle
  • Make Pioneer spawning time scale based on intensity (this means pioneers will spawn more often)
    • The hopeful result of a number of these changes is to allow the ZA to expand more, and then hopefully to have more civil wars


  • Scourge can build Zenith inspired units. Currently these are just copies of Burlust Warriors.
  • The Zenith Architrave can be quiesced by hacking the Portal.
  • The player can now request a player allied Zenith Architrave
    • A Player Allied ZA will not generate AIP when taking its Territory. It will increase AIP when it captures subsequent planets
    • The game can now also roll a Friendly Zenith Architrave when asking for friendly factions
  • Hovering a planet in the Galaxy Map now tells you whether its in a ZA's Territory
  • Change the way some factions can be selected as Randoms
    • Dark Spire: Hard => Brutal
    • Scourge: Brutal => Hard
    • Dyson: Easier => Moderate
  • ZA: Tweak the Pioneer rules for Civil Wars.
    • If I am the only ZA big enough to trigger a Civil War, I'm allowed to build Pioneers and keep expanding.
    • If any other ZA is large enough to trigger a Civil War, I can't built Pioneers until I've crushed that other ZA
  • Fix an exception with the DZ if you killed all the Metal Terminii on a planet
  • Improve the hovertext for ZA civil war notifications
  • Fix a bug where ZAs in civil war could sometimes go attack random unrelated factions
  • Significant nerfs to the ZA's power during the civil war on lower difficulties.

Beta 2.124

  • Add a new Galaxy Setting for "AI Layout", that allows the player to control how an AI's planets are laid out. Options are Random/Small/Large clusters, and Random.
  • Add a new 'Galaxy Design' section of the Galaxy Settings. Used for AI Layout and Nomadic Galaxy
  • Minor buffs to Praetor AI Type


  • The Geneticist's Subjugator has had its damage nerfed but health increased
  • A Zenith Architrave Portal can now be hacked for a Truce or for a unit line. You can only choose one of these hacks, so be careful!
  • Give the Geneticist and Spire Hammer some extra guard posts.
    • Balance feedback is appreciated
  • Set up the Ragnarok and Gladiator AI Types to use the same mechanism for adding new Guard Posts to be added later
  • The Dark Zenith now come with 2 Dark Zenith Libraries, powerful structures that can be hacked for new ship types.
  • The Compass map type now must have at least 2 rings. 1 ring just looks like a poorly done Encapsulated map.
  • ZA Golems are allowed to spawn during a Civil War, or when the Overall Power Level of hostile factions is >= 4. They're intended to be very powerful "Ultimate Weapon" sorta things.


  • The ZA and DZ now have some bonus scaling for the fallen spire (or in general, high Power Level games)
  • The ZA now build fewer golems


  • Fix a bug with Random Factions that was causing some exceptions
    • Thanks for Arnaud for the report


  • The ZA will now spawn Golems
  • The ZA is better at retreating its forces after a civil war and doing less damage


  • Fix a problem with ZA pioneers
    • Thanks to oval for reporting
  • Chris fixed a problem where the DZ planets weren't spawning correctly
    • Thanks Chris! Reported by Oval


  • Both Praetor AI types have a 50% chance of generating a second dragon
  • The Praetor AI types now invest even more resources in their Praetorian Guards
    • Thanks to Vinco for the feedback
  • Spire Hammer Units have been made much tankier
    • Thanks to Arnaud for the report
  • Some improvements to Random Factions; fix a bug where they could keep Allegiances between encounters. Improve the picking of minor faction teams
  • Add a message to the player when the ZA has resumed a truce with you. Untested
    • Prompted by a discussion with Vinco
  • Zenith Miners are now limited to one per galaxy
    • Mentioned by Starkelp
  • ZA has some minor buffs

Geneticist Nerfs

  • The AI now gets more 'regular AI units' and fewer scourge units. Make the scourge units more expensive and nerf their damage
  • Many of the racial warriors are now zombifiable
    • Thanks to Arnaud for the report, and further discussion with zeusalmighty


  • Fix some exceptions with the Zenith Miners
    • Thanks to zeus for reporting
  • Fix a bug where the Spire Hammer ai type was getting the wrong Spire Unit
    • Thanks to Arnaud for reporting? I think?
  • You can now have Random Factions


  • Nomad planets now move faster


  • The compass map type defaults to using two rings
    • Thanks to Puppet Master for reporting
  • The ZA now says how many planets it needs to trigger a civil war in the threat menu tooltip.
    • Pupper Master requested
  • Turning on nomads with debug mode and nomad galaxy now causes all the planets to move quickly, allowing the gameplay slowdowns to be triggered very quickly
  • Once in a civil war, the ZAs will send their Pioneers home and allow them to despawn
    • This prevents the ZA's from expanding during a civil war. This is untested.
    • Thanks to Puppet Master for reporting
      • The other choice is to allow ZAs to build only on neutral planets during a civil war? I'm open to this if people would prefer it.
  • Minor buffs to DZ invasion at higher difficulties


  • Add the Compass map type
    • Thanks to Democracy for suggesting
  • Spire hybrids are now less common for the geneticist. Some nerfs to the Spire Hybrid weapons for the geneticist, and general range nerfs for the geneticist
    • Thanks to Arnaud for reporting
  • Add some additional checks to try to prevent the nomad galaxy from splitting
    • Thanks to Puffin for reporting
  • Fix a bug where wormholes to destroyed planets would still exist after a Miner ate them
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for reporting
  • Some minor improvements to the ZM code and hovertext
  • Nomad planets can move a bit more quickly. Fewer nomads in a galaxy means they will move a bit faster (the logic here being "I'd like the Nomads to feel like they're doing something, and if you only have one nomad then it needs to move faster in the hopes it will be impactful)
    • Thanks to Puppet Master for a bug report

Zenith Architrave

  • Fix some bugs with the way ZA allegiances were working in the civil war.
  • Minor improvements to the Notification hovertext for civil war and pioneers/expansion
  • After a civil war:
    • the ZA's units will all attrition very quickly for a while
    • The ZA will also stay peaceful to the AI for a while while the units retreat
  • Thanks to Puppet Master for some saves that brought all of these problems to my attention

Dark Zenith

  • Dark Zenith now gets two wormholes into the galaxy instead of just one
  • The DZ is required to capture a few planets around their homeworlds before going on a domination spree. This will make it harder for counterattacks to reach their home planets and guarantee them at least some sort of defensive perimeter
  • DZ spawns some defensive structures when they warp in appear
  • The DZ now attack more quickly after spawning
  • Fix a bug where the DZ wouldn't get around to attacking for a few minutes after each time you loaded a save game
  • Add some variety to the DZ unit abilities and icons. These are still all slated to be replaced by Chris later, but I'd like testing to be a less frustrating experience
  • The DZ would sometimes leave units in 'non-attacker' mode and I don't know why, so the LRP thread will check for such units and make them attack.
  • Fix a bug where DZ fireteams would sometimes just sit there and never attack
  • The DZ now gets bonus strength for their initial invasion based on the AI difficulty. This should let the DZ adjust for very powerful AIs without being OP against lower difficulty AIs
    • Note: this is a major difficulty increase, since I'm not sure the DZ has been scary enough. If this is too much I now have more dials to tune the strength
  • Thanks to ArnaudB for some feedback that started me down this very helpful rabbit hole


Zenith Miner

  • Buff the Zenith Miner units; this is temporary since Chris will redo the units, but this should make them easier to test
  • Clarify that you can fight the Zenith Miners when they arrive in the Notification tooltip and the journal entry.
  • Make ZO specific hacks cheaper, by and large.
  • Killing a Zenith Miner now grants science and hacking points (seems only fitting given how big and powerful they are).
    • Plus since hacking the Probes will drain your resources, its only reasonable that the miners should refill your coffers
      • Thanks to Puppet Master for the feedback
  • Add some journal entries for the Zenith Miners when they are attacking a Dyson Sphere
  • Additional tooltip tweaks for specific minor faction interactions

Zenith Architrave

  • The AI is not allowed to reconquer planets from the ZA during the civil war
    • Thanks to Arnaud for reporting
  • Add text to the faction description for the ZA pointing out that it can make Data Centers or other critical targets harder to get to
    • Thanks to Arnaud for suggesting
  • The ZA now defaults to 4 planet Territories
    • Thanks to Puppet Master for suggesting
  • Add some journal entries for when the Zenith Architraves break the truce, and add some text to the Notifications saying 'The ZA is violating the truce'
    • Thanks for Arnaud for reminding me that this mechanic can be confusing
  • The ZA is no longer allowed to be friendly to the player or the AI; it messes with some other mechanics.
    • Note that you can have a truce with the ZA anyway, so removing the "friendly to players" option isn't a big deal

Nomad Planets

  • Incremental nerfs to the Nomad Planet hack; the Exostrikes are a bit smaller and a bit less frequent. How does it feel now?
    • Thanks to Arnaud for reporting
  • Clarify the "Crash Nomad Planet" hack description and text
    • Thanks to Arnaud for reporting

Dark Zenith

  • Fix a bug with DZ serialization. Note this probably breaks all saves with the DZ in it.


  • Allow for Spire/Geneticist ship types to show up as unique Exogalactic Strikeforce leaders
  • Rejigger Spire Hammer units to stay low health but be much cheaper for the AI to buy
    • Thanks to Arnaud for reporting
  • The Dyson Sphere now has a "seed me on a nomad if possible" setting
    • Thanks to a number of people for suggesting, most recently Puppet Master


  • When a Zenith Miner attacks a Dyson planet, instead of eating the planet it will kill the Dyson Sphere gate.
    • Zenith Miners really like eating dyson spheres; they have an increased chance for landing on dyson planets
    • Contains a Chris TODO for "Here's a spot in the Sim Stage3 code for when the dyson planet visuals should change"
    • Totally untested.
  • Slightly improve the hovertext for ZM notifications


  • The Dark Zenith now makes a good faith effort to spawn far from any ZA's territory
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for suggesting
  • Nerf the Geneticist's scourge subjugators; a bit less damage and tankiness, much less lifesteal
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for suggesting
  • Fix a bug when serializing dark zenith data
    • thanks to zeusalmighty for reporting
  • Dark Zenith ships should no longer be counted as Threat. This only applies to new games; existing games will still have high threat numbers.
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle for reporting


  • Change the way Nomad Planets spawn, to make sure they are more evenly distributed through the galaxy and move more cleanly. This in particular is an improvement for the Squares map type.
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for the bug report.
  • Fix a bug where we weren't updating some Pathing data on the Planet objects when the DZ planets spawn
    • Thanks to StarKelp for the bug report.
  • Improve the ZA civil war notifier for clarity in terms of what's going on.
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for suggesting.
  • Fix a bug where Zenith Miners were missing a tag
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for reporting


  • Add a Journal Entry for when the Dark Zenith spawn
  • Add two Journal Entries for the Zenith Miners
    • One for when the first Probe spawns, one for when the first Miner spawns.
  • Add Zenith Architrave journal entries
    • An entry for when we first find the ZA, explaining to be careful about attacking their territory
    • An entry for when we've explored all the ZA planets, explaining we might be able to make a truce with them by hacking their Portal.
    • An entry for when Pioneers spawn
    • An entry for the civil war
    • An entry for when a truce is declared (after hacking)
      • If people could make sure these are all being displayed, and give feedback on the text (with a specific focus on mechanics that should be explained), that would be great.

Dark Zenith Jormugandr

  • Add the DZ Jormugandr, to give them a cool new way of defending themselves against attack. The Jormugandr is the most powerful DZ unit, but it can only move fully into our galaxy when one of the initial DZ homeworlds (ie the new planets created when the DZ attack the galaxy) is attacked.
    • When there aren't any any attacks going on, the Jormugandr just wander around the homeworlds.
    • Once a homeworld is attacked, the Jormugandr are free to demolish any attackers and then start rampaging through the galaxy for a few minutes, then it must retreat to the DZ homeworlds again.
    • Each time the DZ homeworlds are attacked, the Jormugandr are unleashed for longer.
    • There is 1 Jormugandr spawned for difficulties 1-8, 2 on difficulty 9, 3 on difficulty 10.
      • From a discussion with StarKelp and zeusalmighty.


  • Add the Gladiator AI Type. This AI gets Zenith Architrave units along with their regular units.
    • Currently doesn't do anything; waiting for Chris' unit development
  • Add the Ragnarok AI Type. This AI gets Dark Alliance units along with their regular units.
    • Currently doesn't do anything; waiting for Chris' unit development

Nomad Planets

  • There are now 3 types of Nomad Nexus; the 'off' one, the 'can be crashed into ai homeworld' one, and the 'en route to ai homeworld one. The Off one is immune to damage. The 'Can be Crashed' on can be attacked by the player. The 'En Route' one can be attacked by anyone
    • This should allow players to safely hack the Disabled Nomad Nexus, but also allow minor factions to snipe a nomad nexus that's crashing.
  • Allow wormhole borers to bore from disabled nomads
    • Thanks to zeus for reminding me
  • Nomad planets now take between 5 and 13 minutes (give or take a bit) to crash into an AI homeworld, depending on the nomad's distance from the AI homeworld. When you hover over the Hack button, you will get a rough time estimate.
    • The first minute features weaker exos, so the player can use this hack to move an unwanted nomad out of the way and then disable it.
    • Thanks to zeus for suggesting

Dark Zenith (Nota Bene: This patch breaks all games with the DZ)

  • Fix a bug where the DZ wasn't correctly loading all its data. The new error checking will cause all previous DZ save games to break (technically, the DZ didn't really work at all after a reload anyway)
    • Noticed by zeusalmighty

Beta 2.093

  • Major nerfs to the Geneticist AI type; I've rebalanced all the scourge units that the AI owns

Beta 2.088

  • Wormhole Borers can't interact with Nomad Planets (no point; the wormholes would just disappear)
    • Practically this means the nomad galaxy won't feature Borers
    • Thanks to zeus for spotting this interaction

Beta 2.087

  • Make the ZA civil wars more endable by giving other ZA factions ways to send steadily increasing bonus strikes once the civil war goes on long enough
  • Geneticist Scourge generate Hostile To All zombies

Beta 2.085

  • Add the Praetor AI type, whose Praetorian Guard is extra strong and has extra range. Comes in "Medium" and "Strong" flavours
    • Thanks to ynof for the suggestion
  • Add a new Map Type for the ZO, "Squares"
    • It is like clusters, but all the clusters are aligned on a grid.
    • There are lots of settings so you can get some extremely varied galaxies
  • Some nerfs to the Spire Hammer AI Type
  • ZA strength drops off faster during civil war

Dark Zenith

  • Rework how the DZ chooses where to spawn planets, to make them less likely to spawn in weird places
  • Add some new unit types to the DZ
  • Give the DZ some additional strength at the beginning of the game

Beta 2.082

  • The ZA will never ally with the Dark Spire or Dark Zenith during a civil war
    • Thanks to Zeus for reporting
  • The ZA now has different income for its defensive structures, so it should be easier to whittle them down at all times
    • Thanks to Zeus for reporting
  • Fix the Spire Hammer AI Type's description

Beta 2.077

  • Add the Spire Hammer AI type. It's targeted at the "Hard" difficulty level. I messed with the unit balance for the AI copies of the units, so let me know about the balance.
  • Mapgen code now tries to seed multiple copies of the same faction very far apart, with a 'retry with less strict requirements if it fails' mechanism.
    • Thanks to Oval for reporting that my previous mechanism still wasn't good enough
  • More nerfs to geneticist. Make scourge units a bit rarer in general, in particular Evuck Warriors
    • Thanks to zeus, demo and oval

Beta 2.075

  • Nerfs to Geneticist
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for the feedback
  • DZ can now upgrade itself to be able to build Terminii or Epistyles
  • Nerfs to the DZ permanent bonus income
  • Give some DZ and ZA structures enemy-attrition
  • The 'Vengeful' AI type now actually works
    • Every time you or a player-allied faction kill an AI structure that is A. a guardpost, B. Changes AIP, C. is a NormalPlanetNastyPick, or D. is a command station (its own category, so reconquest command stations will trigger it too), you will generate an Exo that's 1/3 of a wave (minimum exo size: 0.8 strength).
    • A fancier mechanism was suggested, but honestly I think this is fine. And it takes hours less of time to implement and test.
  • Add Wormhole Borers to the game.
    • With Wormhole Borers, I'm declaring myself feature complete. Other changes will be done in response to feedback, but this is all the big stuff I wanted to have done.

Beta 2.074

  • Fix a bug where the DZ wouldn't spawn for a week.
  • Actually give the Dark Zenith a beacon
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for reminding me
  • Make the Geneticist AI much scarier. Please restart your games to get the new changes
  • Give the ZM some scarier Miners to spawn over time

Zenith Architrave

  • Completely rework the ZA income code to make them scale up more quickly during a war. This should let them expand more readily

Beta 2.065

  • Add a few Achievements

Zenith Architrave

  • The ZA will de-nomadify planets it captures if in the Nomad Galaxy
  • When seeding multiple ZAs, enforce some distance between each ZA faction; requested by a lot of people
  • The ZA can build tractors and gravity generators near wormholes to make attacking them harder.
  • Allow the player to hack the ZA home spawner for a truce.

Beta 2.064

Dark Zenith

  • Fix some DZ null references
  • Some decent improvements in DZ infrastructure logic.
    • They are now much more quick to expand to fill recently cleared enemy planets, which should give them a stronger economy
    • Improvements to "DZ bootstraps iteself" logic; the DZ will no longer try to build things it can't afford, and will be better at recovering if it takes a lot of damage. It should be able to recover as long as you leave it a single Metal Terminus. For eaxmple, it will no longer attempt to build anything it can't afford.
  • Allow Metal Harvesters to go to a different planet if all the metal terminii are killed

AI Types

  • Add the Geneticist AI Type, which has access to both Scourge units and regular AI units
    • Its intended to be in the Hard or Brutal categories, and feedback is requested to make sure it feels that way
  • Add the Vengeful AI type; note this doesn't do anything yet.

Beta 2.063

  • Fixed the bug that Ovalcircle was seeing with -1s being serialized in the Dark Zenith in a place they should not have been.
    • Also added some extra info for deserialization errors on Dark Zenith.
  • Fix a nomad planet bug
    • Thanks to zeus for reporting
  • Lower the DZ's overall power level to prevent the AI from sending extragalactic war ships immediately
    • Thanks to Oval's feedback
  • Make the DZ a bit stronger at higher difficulties. Make them more likely to expand into new territory

Beta 2.062

What I am looking for starting this release

  • The code is essentially feature complete for all the DLC2 factions. So I am now looking for more types of feedback; these are all things I'd love to hear how you feel about.
  • Notifications
    • Typos. Clarity; do you understand what's being conveyed? Is there more information you want/need?
  • Overall Gameplay bugs. This includes things that you think are probably features but feel uncertain about.
  • Balance! Overall here's about how I feel on the impact of all the Factions. Overall everything but the DZ should feel "texturing"; it should add new stuff to the game, feel interesting and unique, but unless you crank the difficulty really high they shouldn't dominate. It's about making the galaxy feel big and complex and alive.
    • Zenith Miners: You should be able to defeat a Miner with a reasonably late game fleet, but otherwise it should be a major challenge. This faction isn't intended to be super scary; it's intended to give you a new objective to think/plan about.
    • Nomad Planets: These should be relatively low impact (except the Nomad Crash event, which should be extremely hard, like the Imperial Spire final battle).
    • Zenith Architrave: These should be medium impact; they should take over and be able to hold their chunk of the galaxy; fighting them should be winnable but a lot of effort. The ZA civil war should be Scary.
    • Dark Zenith: These should be the scariest minor faction in the game. This is where the "Zenith Onslaught" name comes from, and they want to live up to it.
  • Any other feedback that seems apropos.


  • Fix some bugs with ships/pathfinding trying to interact with already dead planets (in particular, threat waiting against dead planets)
  • Add the Nomadic Galaxy to the game; this is a setting in the Game Lobby that will cause all planets to move around the map like Nomad Planets.
    • This was originally manifested as a bug when the ZMs nomadified planets, but Starkelp suggested making it an an actual feature.
  • Started adding support for Wormhole Borers

Zenith Architrave

  • Some buffs at the highest intensity levels
    • Thanks to Astillious for the report
  • Improve the notification for incoming Pioneers
    • Thanks to Astillious for the report

Dark Zenith

  • DZ has a balance mechanism for its invasion and a first pass at balance. The DZ are intended to have their initial invasion force scale based on the OverallPowerLevel of all factions in the galaxy.
    • Open Season!
  • DZ fireteams will start as Defensive for a brief time you a chance to respond to the invasion
  • DZ can in theory build defenses; I'd love some feedback as to whether this is happening.
  • The Dark Alliance code is functional. Enabling the Dark Zenith in "Dark Alliance" mode will make the Dark Spire join them in their invasion. Having the Dark Zenith and Dark Spire enabled at once should be SCARY

Zenith Miners

  • Zenith Miners have improved notification hovertext
  • Zenith Miners no longer vanish instantly
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for reporting
  • Fix a bug where Zenith Probes were never appearing
    • Thanks to Astillious for reporting
  • Allow Zenith Miners to 'Nomadify' a planet; the planet will then move around the map like a Nomad planet. However, the planet lacks a Nomad Nexus so you won't be able to stop the planet wandering, or to crash the planet
    • Thanks to StarKelp for the suggestion

Nomad Planets

  • Nomad planets can't be hacked to crash if an AI Overlord hasn't been found. If you've only found some of the Overlords it will use the closest visible Overlord
  • Nomad Planets don't have the crash hack available after being hacked
  • Nomad Planets always take about 6 minutes to crash into the AI homeworld, regardless of where in the galaxy you hack it. Also the AI now actually sends some responses to this.
    • All thanks to Strategic Sage for the bug reports
  • Some nomad planets move clockwise, others widdershins

Version 2.047

Dark Zenith

  • Give the DZ some units when they invade

Version 2.045

Dark Zenith

  • Add some unique units. Much more to be done, but it's a start

Version 2.045

Dark Zenith

  • Fix a bug where the DZ was friendly with the Hunter Fleet/Instigators/etc...
    • Thanks to Oval for reporting
  • The C# to support a DZ that is minor-faction allied is in. I don't intend for this to be available in the base game, but I intend for the modding support to be just a little bit of XML
  • Add DZ Pirates! Some Epistyles are Pirate Epistyles.
    • Pirate Epistyles are outcasts. Transports won't give them resources. So Pirate Epistyles build Privateers to go attack Transports and steal the resources.
    • Once a Privateer has stolen resources it will return back to the Pirate Epistyle.
    • Pirate Epistyles build unique combat ships as well
      • TODO: there should be some chance that an Epistyle "turns pirate", or that the DZ "attacks" a pirate epistyle and turns it back into a regular Epistyle

Beta 2.044

Zenith Architrave

  • The ZA actually has some unique ships and defensive structures now
    • They are themed based on roman gladiators
  • The ZA has a budget for building defenses over time, and it can replace killed defenses, instead of the old rather hacky approach

Zenith Miners

  • There are now more hacks for the Zenith Miner probe
    • You can move the probe to a random adjacent planet, so the miner will attack that planet instead
    • You can cause the Miner to modify the planet to permanently speedup or slowdown all ships on that planet. If this option is chosen then the miner will vanish after its time is up. The miner will still attack everything though.
      • Potential use case: the Probe is on a planet adjacent to a heavily defended AI planet that has an Ark you want. You can reprogram the Miner to speedup all units, then try to move the probe and hope it goes to the defended planet. Then the Miner will do your dirty work for you.

Beta 2.043

  • Dark Zenith
    • Can now actually invade the galaxy. "Open" for stability testing. No attempt at balance or unit creation has been made.
  • Zenith Miners
    • Now have notifications
  • Nomads and Zenith Miners
    • Planets should now be properly destroyed

Beta 2.042

  • Zenith Architrave
    • Give them a few new defensive structures
    • Remove some mentions of the militant dyson from notification tooltips. Thanks to Starkelp for reporting
    • Fix a bug where Golems weren't going to spawn
  • Dark Zenith
    • Dark Zenith now actually spawn new planets
    • First pass at DZ economy done. Can be turned on for testing, though they only do economic stuff right now

Version 2.031

  • Nomad Changes
    • Fix a null reference exception in the nomad planet notifier, and minor text tweaks there.
    • Don't let an AI homeworld be placed on a Nomad planet
    • Faction-specific stuff can't seed at game start time on a Nomad planet. This prevents the Dyson or ZA from being on a Nomad
    • Nomad Planets that are also player homeworlds can't be crashed into the AI
    • Nomad Planets now spawn exos in a reasonable fashion once the Nomad Planets are en route to crash. Balance levers in XML
  • Zenith Architrave
    • Give the ZA some actual units (stolen from the Dyson for now).
    • Give the ZA some golems that spawn only during the Civil War.
    • Some buffs to the ZA
  • Dark Zenith
    • New planets should now spawn when the Invasion Starts. Planet locations need work, and debugging code is still enabled for it
    • Planets can now have varying initial amounts of science. Used to make Dark Zenith planets worth extra science.
    • Start the XML for dark zenith economy.

Version 2.029

(Released April 21st, 2020) Factions open for testing: Zenith Architrave, Zenith Miners, Nomad Planets

  • Add a debug setting (in the game lobby) to make Nomad Planets move more often
  • Fix a null reference from clicking on the nomad planet notification
  • Don't let the AI homeworld be placed on a Nomad planet

Suggestions, ideas and mechanics for Chris

  • For balancing, I think making sure the Gladiator AI type is a "Moderate" difficulty is good; most of the other new AI types are Hard/Brutal, so having one that's easier sounds like a good idea. The easiest approach to this is probably to just nerf the AI copies of the ZA's units significantly

• An UI rework might be needed to deal with the various notifications. It becomes really hard to keep track of what's going on with the growing number of factions. Maybe split the notifications threatening the players and those "informing" the player of events? (suggested by Arnaud, echoed by Puppet Master)

    • Badger think something like this might be necessary, given the sheer number of possible Notifications. Players keep requesting new Notifications (since that's how people keep track of things) and that number is getting ever-larger. We discussed potentially having several rows of Notifications, or Notifications being different sizes to connote importance
  • Forcefield Variations (Starkelp)
      • For both the Architrave and players in the form of a rare GCA drop
      • Optionally as a potential Architrave hack?
        • Layered: Reduced damage the farther away a target is.
        • Hardened: Heavily reduced damage while above 50% Shield strength.
        • Impact: Radius (substantially) increases in Radius as it takes damage, starting small.
        • Fortified: Much higher shield value, but much lower shield Radius.
        • Glue: Also acts as a Tractor Array; does not decrease in size with damage.
        • Corrosive: Also comes with a built-in Aoe Acid effect.
  • Suggestion: Give the player a mechanism to spawn wormholes like the Wormhole Borer. Maybe "you have a start structure and an end structure that you can move (very slowly), and can activate them to make a wormhole between the planets"?
  • New Units
    • Frigate Class
      • Zenith Aggregator
        • Stores 50% of all damage taken as energy, and consumes this energy on death to deal damage in an area around itself.
      • Zenith Compressor
        • Long range, single target weapon that pulls enemies into itself, and high damage, short range, single target, Greater Metabolizing weapon.
      • Zenith Needle
        • Melee range, disables bubble shields on contact, converting them into personal shields.
    • Strikecraft Class
      • Zenith Bracketeer
        • All units that are on the same planet act as through they have shared Hull and Shield pools, which damage equally divided among them.
    • Mosquito (Exsanguinator)
      • Melee swarmer ship (for players/AI) that has "reverse" death grip-harmonic tractor beams. The idea is that it only can tractor super units but the super unit can move as normal, the mosquitoes are stuck to it. The mosquitos get the harmonic and death grip bonus so they do deal a lot more damage when they swarm the same unit.
    • Leach (Exsanguinator/Mosquito variant)
      • Melee swarmer that has attacher tractors "reverse tractor beams" and deals vampirism.
    • Shrike (V-wing variant)
      • Faster and hit harder than the base V-wing, but are less durable
    • Albatross (V-wing variant)
      • Higher hp and more damage, but doesn't engine stun and costs more. Slightly reduced cap as well.
    • Thumper (Vanguard variant)
      • Focuses all it's damage into a single high power shot instead of using a shotgun like weapon.
    • Resistor (Vanguard variant)
      • Is basically the same as the regular vanguard, but it's stats are modified so it doesn't have as many weaknesses (for example, armor changed to 85, albedo to .5, however it costs more.
    • Shank (Raider variant)
      • Trades it's speed for dealing bonus damage against stationary targets.
    • Ninja (Melee Frigate)
      • Cloaked frigate with NO base weapons. However, launches special torpedos -- "corrosive shurikens" that deal high base damage to a single target (preferably guardian+) and minor AOE acid damage to nearby units. Shurikens are IMMUNE to gravity effects and are high speed.
    • Plasma Frigate (Technologist -- basegame)
      • Technologist has only one frigate and that is DLC 1's Torpedo frigate. A "Plasma Frigate" works within the basegame framework. This frigate could be a variant of the siege frigate (base stats) but it has a x5 multiplier against ALL shields and a x2 multiplier against bubbleshields. This unit would devastate bubbleshields and is otherwise a solid generalist that specializes in draining the shields of your enemies. This makes it contrast nicely with fusion weapons
    • Volatile Tesla Frigate (Splash -- basegame)
      • As with the Plasma Frigate, this concept is to fill a void in the Splash tech by having a new basegame frigate that compensates for the splash tech's weakness against non-strikecraft. The Tesla Frigate could be a variant of the assault frigate (base stats) but it has the tesla weapon that targets up to 50 units with the eyebot bonus (multiplier to damage based on targets energy usage). Has a long weapon cooldown (15 seconds). Additionally, when this unit dies, it does AOE damage 3x its base damage. This unit would then be solid against super units given their high energy usage and makes this unit do solid damage even if it dies prematurely.
      • Volatile Shock Frigate (Splash)
        • Varient of the Volatile Tesla Frigate, it exchanges it's damage bonus against higher energy targets for a faster fire rate of 7 second reload.
    • Chain Lightning Frigate (splash)
      • Tesla Frigate without the volatile or energy multiplier. Default 15 second weapon fire reload but has the burstfire mechanic -- it can fire up to 3 times in quick succession before a long cooldown (30 seconds). Does bonus damage to stacks
    • Assassin (Ambush Frigate -- basegame)
      • Like the Plasma frigate and volatile tesla frigate, there is a lack of a base game Ambush Frigate, and ambush is generally among the weaker techs at the moment. The Assassin has the base stats of the Apparation (including cloaking and the defensive bonus) but revised weapons. It has the "burst fire" mechanic ( to allow it to unleash a fast salvo but otherwise has a long weapon cooldown. It does high single target base damage and has the eyebot damage bonus against units with high energy and/or bonus damage against high mass units (the concentration mechanic could also replace these multipliers).
    • Experimental 'Wing' Mechanic
      • Carrier Frigates that fire off sub units like a Tesla Torpedo, which decay over time, that come with their own sub units.
        • Zenith Forcefield Torpedo Frigate
          • Shoots off slow moving Torpedoes that deploy up to 3 Degenerating Forcefield Generators, which lose 2% shield per second.
        • Zenith Spiderweb Frigate
          • Shoots off Minelayer Drones which have a weak melee carving weapon, and deploy Paralyzing Mines while enroute.

New Golems

Democracy here, as Golems are the corpses of Zenith, I thought it'd be appropriate to add some new Golems to the game. I personally think Golems are more about raw stats, and Arks are all about gimicks, so these golems are more based around being (relatively) straightforward to use powerhouses. (Badger notes: I don't think golems are the corpses of zenith, are they? Regardless, that theming isn't appropriate for the ZA or DZ, since these are living Zenith societies.) (Demo): Afaik, golems are indeed dead zenith. Humans are simply installing the equivalent of control cybernetics to reanimate them. I suppose it wouldn't be fitting if they're "dead" but they're still zenith, so I kinda thought it'd be appropriate that some new golems were added to the DLC centered around the Zenith.

  • Striker Golem: A Stealth based golem. Despite being the size of a large starbase, it's still able to sneak by AI forces easily to assassinate high value targets. Has a VERY large pool of cloak points (I'd wager maybe 30k base, AI version has 10k), so it's hard to detect early on. It's weapon deals bonus damage to stationary targets and has fusion properties. Loses 25% cloak per shot instead of standard 100%.
  • Reaper Golem: A relatively quick golem (maybe 1,500 speed) that excels at ripping targets apart in close quarters. Basically think exogalactic phoenix if it had it's attack shorter and came with radar dampening/fortified property.
  • Mending Golem: A Golem that pulls double duty as anti stealth and self sustaining tank. Weapon is (relative to other golems) low in power but deals bonus damage to targets with albedo .7 and higher, and has a very high amount of vampirism.
  • Slicer Golem: An extremely powerful Golem equipped with devastating beam weaponry, with multiple beams for evaporating clusters smaller targets and a point beam for single targets. Lone wolf, so costs more AIP. (if this golem actually gets added in, can we have the beams be Zenith Heat Beams as a callback to classic?)
  • Bombardier Golem: A Golem that has a relatively long range that has a massive AOE weapon that can quickly kill turret groups or clusters of units. Unsure if it should have split aoe damage or static aoe damage.
  • Gravitational Golem: A golem that has a much stronger than average gravity generator onboard, able to slow down up to engine gx 17. It's weapon is also useful against anything with engine gx 7 or less.
  • Toxic Golem: A Golem that uses acid grenades to amplify damage of allies. The weapon itself is (again relative to other golems) is weaker, but it's damage amplification makes up for it.
  • Command Golem: A Golem that has no weapons... but it has a very strong Great Forcefield, and has a planetary speed boost and attack amplifier aura. I kinda want it to be a lone wolf so it's forced to synergize with other things, but it can be an officer.
  • Shockwave Golem: A Golem equiped with a tesla style weapon (aoe blast centered on ship) that takes a long time to reload (10 seconds maybe), but once charged it knocks anything below mass 6tx away from the Shockwave Golem. The shockwave itself deals high damage, and strikecraft that survive can be expected to be pushed all the way across the gravity well, while guardians and frigates will only be pushed a moderate distance away.
  • Bunker Buster Golem: A Golem that excels at tanking damage on entry, taking reduced damage from enemy units and dealing more damage to enemy units for the first 45 seconds of being on a new panet. If possible, have it start at 30% damage reduction and bonus, and as it marks up, an additional 5% is added per mark, so a mk1 Bunker Buster Golem will take 30% reduced damage and deal 30% more damage for 45 seconds, and a mk5 Bunker Buster Golem will take 50% reduced damage and deal 50% more damage for 45 seconds. Otherwise, just give it a base 50% damage reduction and bonus. Might need a beter name.
  • Hammer Golem: Has a single target rapid fire weapon. Said weapon deals high damage and has a small aoe. It also has a longer than average range.
  • Attritioner Golem:
    • Same as Classic's Spire Attritioner, but as a Golem. Does x amount of attrition damage to all enemy units on the planet per second. No guns (or very tiny guns just as a basic placeholder), and relatively fragile with low shielding.

  • We could probably put the Zenith Mirror ability back in; probly something like "when we call TakeDamage, spawn a new shot going back to the old shot's target, but cap the mirrored shot's damage"
  • As a mechanic "Significantly faster when on a planet owned by this faction (or a friendly faction), much slower off the planet". The intent is to have a ship that makes a good defender, but a poor attacker. Would be good for some Architrave ships (and I'd like it for the Jormugandr as well, since I'd like it if the Jormugandr leaving the DZ's territory would be a bit weaker).
  • New Mechanics
    • Reflector: reflects damage done to victim back at damage source (see Zenith Mirror suggestion above).
    • Siege Engine: This unit ignores radar dampening/fortified properties, allowing it to deal full damage to a target with radar dampening/fortified regardless of range.
    • Attaching Tractor: Instead of grabbing and holding enemy units in place, these units attach themselves to an enemy unit with their own tractor. Credit to zeusalmighty428 for the idea.
    • Cleanup Squad: Deals extra damage to drones and zombies.
    • Reinforced Armor: Reduces damage by a flat amount, but all attacks will deal at least 1 damage.
    • Regenerator: Unit regenerates a %/flat number of hull points per second out of combat.
    • Explosive Vengeance: Unit releases an AOE damage attack on death. Doesn't work if unit kills itself via self damage.
    • Scapegoat/Shield Bearer: Unit redirects damage from allies to itself. Can be a configurable % of damage
    • Shrouder: Provides cloaking for nearby units. This unit itself can never be cloaked. Inspired by what cloaked gps were supposed to be.
    • Bloodlust: Every time this unit kills something, it gains bonus damage up to a cap. Loses the bonus damage if it doesn't shoot for 2(or whatever) seconds after reloading.
    • Concentration: If the unit has not taken damage in the past 20 (or whatever) seconds, deals bonus damage.
    • Burstfire: 1st-time unit attacks, attack rate increased to the maximum rate for X attacks. 30-second cooldown before burst is ready again. Noted by Zeus
    • Garrison: This unit gains more shots as more units are loaded inside of it. Think AI war classic carriers or assault transport.
    • Heroic: This unit ignores any detrimental effects, such as weapon jam, gravity, tractors, etc.
  • Vengeful Messages
    • My name is {AIName/Type}. You killed my {EntityThatDied}. Prepare to die.
    • GuardpostName will have it's revenge from beyond the grave.
    • GuardpostName says "Have a nice day! :D"
    • I am GuardpostName, son of GuardpostName. You killed my father!
    • You have lost reputation with GuardpostName.
    • GuardpostName will remember that.
    • GuardpostName thinks you are a stinky poo.
    • From hell's heart, GuardpostName stabs at you.
    • The ghost of GuardpostName is haunting you.
    • EntityThatDied gives you the one finger salute.
    • EntityThatDied will now commence self destruct protocols.
  • Zenith Miners need some fun mechanics; possibly including damage reduction for long range enemies? Maybe some powerful translocation?
  • Zenith Reprocessors? (Strategic Sage) I know that salvage doesn't exist anymore but I'm thinking some version of the memorably evil feedback loop they could cause - Reprisal, Massive Reprocessor incoming, kill enough turrets/ships to make an even bigger Reprisal, soon human player loses - thing might be fun. Perhaps damage they cause could add to wave budget, building new NastyPicks budget, warden/hunter/CPA budget, whatever. Classic ones were cloaked and tanky, didn't do a huge amount of damage individually but enough of them around long enough and ... yeah. Ruined your day good.
    • I (Democracy) agree. Reprocessors were one of the more memorable units in classic for their ability to endlessly feed the AI.

For Consideration

  • Genecist AI has Dire Guard Posts replaced with Scourge Fortresses or Dire versions of the scourge guardposts (suggested by Zeus)
  • Spire Hammer AI has dire version of Spire guardpost (tries to seed at least one) (suggested by Zeus)
  • Ragnarok AI has a AI version Jormangadur in its praetorian fleet (suggested by Zeus)
  • Gladiator AI has upgraded Usurpers based on the Pioneers -- seems like this would be an interesting way to help this AI type standout. Like the idea of the new AIs incorporating not only the units but the personalities (suggested by Zeus)
  • Praetorian AI gets extra Borers or can use them more frequently -- the idea is that it likes to use Borers to shorten distance of its HW and yours so it can use its Praetorian fleet more aggressively. I saw this happen in a game and it was really cool to see it camping a world away from my HW (suggested by Zeus)
  • Option to allow human HW to spawn on nomad. Perhaps this will be unbalanced but it could be a fun feature and potentially lead to some interesting mods. (suggested by Zeus)


Introductory level

Zenith Doorways of Doom: Some new Zenith exogalactic invaders have arrived in our galaxy! However, it seems like they are not a unified force. While we have noticed them engaging both the AI and us, they seem to focus on destroying each other, especially when one appears to get stronger than the others. Perhaps we could use the chaos these to our advantage? Features: 100 planets simple, 5 intensity 5 ZA, AI difficulty 7.

DLC 3 Ideas

  • A faction featuring the "Predator" mechanic (noted by Zeus)
    • units with the predator mechanic track their kills (or other comparable benchmark, such as shots fired) after the units kills X units, it evolves. Evolved units are returned to full health and a multiplier to their raw stats, including health and damage. Units can evolve up multiple times (eg., juvenile, adolescent, mature ...)
  • Consider looking into environmental effects. Something like a nebula that reduce effective range of ships or some such. Mantis report here