Difference between revisions of "AI War 2: Early Access Starts!"

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More content will be added during Early Access, but in the earliest weeks we're going to be balancing that against polishing what is there first.  There's already quite a lot!
 
More content will be added during Early Access, but in the earliest weeks we're going to be balancing that against polishing what is there first.  There's already quite a lot!
  
== Version 0.810 ==
+
== Version 0.813 ==
 
(Not yet released -- we're still working on it!)
 
(Not yet released -- we're still working on it!)
 +
 +
* Dark Spire VGs now start out much less efficient at converting Energy into Ships at lower intensities
 +
 +
* Improve the tracing in ReevaluateUnitOrders
 +
 +
* Make the Base Oriented warden fleet the default
 +
 +
=== Bug Fixes ===
 +
 +
* Hopefully resolve a null reference exception in the Notification code that sometimes happens on game load
 +
** Thanks to Ovalcircle for the bug report
 +
 +
* Fix a bug where the AI's "bum rush command station" code wasn't working right for planets with shields around the command station
 +
* Fix a bug where threat on planet X waiting to attack planet Y wouldn't defend planet X from attack. This was making many battles easier than they should have been.
 +
** Thanks to Puffin for the save games to help reproduce these problems
 +
 +
== Version 0.812 Hunting Ninjas and Desyncs ==
 +
(Released February 7th, 2019)
 +
 +
*  Prevent arks from being transported
 +
** Thanks to Zeusalmighty for pointing this out
 +
 +
* Parasite Fleetships can be transported.
 +
** Thanks to zeusalmighty for bringing it up.
 +
 +
=== Bug Fixes ===
 +
 +
* Fix a null reference exception when the AI was going to try to sneak forces past your defenses
 +
** Thanks to Quicunque and AnnoyingOrange for reporting, with extra thanks to Quicunque for giving me a save to reproduce the problem
 +
 +
* Fix a bug where Threat ships on planet X waiting to attack planet Y would fight to the death if the player attacked X, instead of retreating appropriately to fight another day. I suspect this will be a surprisingly significant buff to the AI; it will also make the Hunter Fleet more powerful as a side effect, since it makes it easier for Threat to survive long enough to join the Hunter Fleet.
 +
** Thanks to Puffin for the bug report and save game.
 +
 +
* Significant rework to the way Nanocaust fleets are dispatched. This should prevent the nanocaust from having lots of units just sitting around, and prevent stale fleet notifications.
 +
* Also add some useful debugging information in tooltips that's only visible with Nanocaust tracing on.
 +
** Thanks to ulu for the bug report and Puffin for the save game that helped me reproduce the problem.
 +
 +
* Allow the Nanocaust to just destroy Warp Gates/Controllers. It was often unable to destroy tesla turrets, which confused the "is the nanocaust allowed to build a Nanobot Center" logic.
 +
** Thanks to Ovalcircle for the bug report
 +
 +
* Fix a bug where ships were only checking their first weapons system to see if the unit was a mobile combatant or not
 +
** Thanks to wm46 for the bug report and Puffin a key observation
 +
 +
=== Balance Tweaks ===
 +
 +
* Cursed Golem main weapon reload time 1s > 2s.
 +
** Was a mistake to be 1s.
 +
 +
* Fusion Bomber damage 170 > 120, gains a 50% damage boost on anything with more than 50% personal shields remaining.
 +
** Fixes a mistake; makes them prioritise units with sufficient shields left to be worth bypassing automatically instead of requiring micromanagement. Units with no shields are ignored in favour of those that do, if available.
 +
 +
=== So Long, Fixed-Int Math! ===
 +
 +
* The use of fixed-int math instead of floating point math in calculations involving angles, distances, sin/cos/atan2, and square roots have all been discontinued.
 +
** This greatly improves the precision/accuracy, and in several cases also lets us use SIMD for actually better performance, too.  Plus this also runs on your hardware as a native FPU-style operation rather than having to do things like sqrt calculations in an iterative or table-based fashion on the CPU itself.
 +
** All of that leads to faster performance on those activities, and also cuts down something like 2-4 seconds of initial application load time depending on how many cores you have.
 +
** What is the DOWNSIDE?  Well... the results of these operations can no longer be assumed to be deterministic.  They will probably be close enough most of the time, but there are small floating point errors that are different depending on your exact processor model and brand.  The results are usually so insignificant that you never notice them, but what does happen is that over the course of millions of operations that have an iterative effect and all need to be consistent between machines in multiplayer... you eventually wind up with desyncs.  With 3-4 players, you can expect a desync from this within 10 minutes to an hour, most likely.  So this was always a dealbreaker for us, going back to 2009 with the first game.  Hence using fixed-int math as a poorer-but-absolutely-consistent-between-machines substitute.
 +
 +
* So why are we okay using this in this game, now, when multiplayer desyncs are going to be happening because of this?  Well... that goes to our intended approach for multiplayer when we come up on that in the next few months.
 +
** Essentially, the base approach for AI War, AI War 2, and Tidalis at a network layer has been this: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131503/1500_archers_on_a_288_network_.php
 +
** Or something inspired by that, anyway. That approach is inherently limited by desyncs happening if certain code practices are not met, however, as players of AI War 1 are well aware.  The only thing we could do in that game was to detect the desync and then stop play so that you could reload and we could spend hours or days hunting for the bug.
 +
** The problem is that that sort of desync-hunting is extremely labor-intensive, and can cause extraordinarily frustrating bugs until we manage to put in a fix.  And it can be almost impossible for us to replicate.
 +
** Further causing problems in AI War 2 are the fact that now we support mods, and not every modder is going to have the perfect discipline needed in order to maintain sync.  One wrong call to the wrong (equivalent of) rand(), or the use of a float instead of an FInt in the wrong spot, and we'd have a desync to hunt down that is not actually in the core game.  Our prediction was that this was going to be just months and months of productivity lost for us.
 +
** Oh, and also there seems to be some sort of threading ghost in the machine in the implementation of Mono that Unity 3D uses.  It's rare, but we occasionally hit some bugs that _shouldn't_ be technically possible to hit at all based on the rules of how multithreading works.  This either means that there's a bug in Mono's threading, which is bad since we can't fix that, or there's a problem in how the C# code of ours is being translated into mono bytecode, which is also bad because we can't write a new compiler for this.
 +
*** In single player versions of the game, we have worked around this already.  However, given that the appearance of this sort of bug was going to likely be inconsistent and rare across different players in multiplayer, these would essentially be unavoidable desyncs that we could chase for days or weeks but never find because they weren't actually even in our code.  You guys were going to be maaaaaad, and we were going to be absolutely unable to do anything about it despite wasting a ton of time trying to track it down.  So obviously this wasn't going to be a suitable state of affairs.
 +
 +
* For networking, therefore, we have to assume that desyncs are going to happen.  We can't control the environment well enough to ensure that they won't.  It would be nice to minimize their frequency, but basically we need to build in automatic desync-repairing that doesn't block your play and which you probably wouldn't even notice happening.
 +
** This will take a bit of time to implement, but is a far smaller task than the actual hunting of desyncs manually.  And it actually will lead to acceptable results, rather than something that is an ultimately unsolvable problem.
 +
** There are a whole class of games that basically revolve around being in a state of constant-desync, incidentally: action games.  Shooters, some MMOs, anything of that sort.  If lag is bad with those, you see a lot more glitchiness (bullets "going around corners", players getting frozen and then "teleporting," etc) than you will encounter in AI War 2.
 +
** We've had experience coding that sort of multiplayer before, as well, as the A Valley Without Wind games run on that sort of system.  The AI War 2 code won't be moving to that, but it will be taking the ideas of sync repair and applying those lessons here in a way that hasn't been done in other "lockstep" networked games to our knowledge.
 +
** With this sort of system, you might see a ship slightly out of place that then gets shifted back into place if you're the client in multiplayer.  That wouldn't be affected by lag, unlike in a shooter game, but rather based on floating point inaccuracies, code mistakes in our code or mods, the "ghost" multithreading bugs, etc.
 +
** Thanks to the fact that our multiplayer will be relatively clean and consistent since it is still using the lockstep code at core, we can afford to just slowly cycle through all of the game data and compare checksums, then do any corrections as needed to make the clients synchronous with the host.  So long as they correct themselves within a second or two, it's no big deal, and honestly you may never even see this happening in a way that is visible to you even if we take 10 seconds to fix these sorts of small errors.  The reason is that because of the lockstep nature of this, most of the errors are likely to be _extremely_ small, as in being out of place by a pixel or two and getting shifted back.
 +
** Normally in action-game-style multiplayer you need extensive prediction and smoothing processes to make things look appropriate as the syncs are fixed up.  We don't need prediction in this game thanks to the fact that the underlying multiplayer is still lockstep-style, and we already have smoothing in place because we're running the simulation at a locked 10 fps in its own abstract coordinate system while the actual visuals of the game display to you at a much higher fps to appear smooth and fluid.  So the smoothing bit is already done, inherently, and we'll just need the checksumming and data correction algorithms in place.
 +
 +
* For single player, none of that applies of makes any difference at all.  Except that the new approach is faster and better, and fixes some bugs.  More on that in a second.  But for multiplayer, this vastly simplifies our problem space and is likely to save us months of work to getting multiplayer in a truly playable state.  More time can be spent on more valuable tasks, thankfully, and modders don't have to be held to top-of-the-industry standards in terms of coding safety for multiplayer purposes.  Also kinda important.
 +
 +
* One bug that these changes immediately fix is that ships no longer get "stuck" on forcefields anymore where they can't move off of them at all.  They may not slide all the way around them properly -- if you have an example of that, please feel free to upload a savegame where we can replicate it in the new version -- but they won't get absolutely stuck in place.  This was another one of those precision problems, and an intractable one prior to now.
 +
 +
* Another bug that these changes immediately fix is that strange thing where kiting ships would circle around their targets until they got directly to the right of the target, and then they would stack up there.  The expected -- and now current -- behavior is that kiting ships would move into range and then stop, and that if they needed to back up they would do so.  The clockwise circling of targets was due to some sort of precision issue in our table-based square root calculations.
 +
** That said, the circling was kinda neat, so maybe we'll add that back in some other fashion at some point.  But then again, despite it looking cool it was kind of annoying to have your ships circle a target and fly right into range of OTHER enemies while ostensibly kiting their main targets.  Now the whole kiting stuff works like it did in the first AI War.
 +
 +
* And there may be some other bugs relating to angles or distances that are now fixed.  If you see anything that seems fixed that might be in that category and that is presently open on mantis, please feel free to update the ticket letting us know that's resolved.
 +
 +
== Version 0.811 Transport Ships ==
 +
(Released January 31st, 2019)
 +
 +
* Add elements of how the AI chooses which planet to target with a wave to the BudgetSpending tracing.
 +
 +
* Allow Risk Analyzers to charge Exos at different rates depending on the faction intensity.
 +
** Risk Analyzers at intensity 10 were causing exos every 30 minutes which seemed excessive. Thanks to Zeusalmighty for the bug report.
 +
 +
=== Transport Ships Added! ===
 +
 +
* Transports, a key feature from the original AI War and a long-requested feature in this sequel, have now been added to the game!
 +
** Unlike the first game, since there is a concept of mass of ships here, the carrying capacity of transports is mass-based.  You have plenty of room in them for a ton of small ships, but starships will add up more quickly.  We can tweak the actual values as needed in the future.  You can get more carrying capacity per transport by upgrading them via science tech, if you so desire.
 +
** The controls for transports are pretty straightforward: right-click a transport while other ships are selected, and they go inside the transport if they will fit and otherwise aren't blocked.  Hit the U key to immediately unload a transport.
 +
** Transports are currently wicked fast in terms of movement, and they also load and unload instantly.  This may need to change in the future, but for now it's a good starting point.
 +
** When hovering over a transport, you can see its contents, and remaining capacity, and other details.  Holding Shift also tells you the controls on how to use them, as is common with esoteric ship types.
 +
** These are available to build immediately in any game from the Infrastructure tab.
 +
** Various conditions will prevents ships from being able to instantly get into a transport, such as being tractored or stunned.  The tooltips tell you about that on those ships if that's the case.  Still other ships can't be transported at all, if they are per-planet ship cap ships, or they have certain other characteristics.  These ships note that they can't go in transports.
 +
*** To block a ship from being transportable, is_blocked_from_being_transported="true" is all you need to set in the xml for your ship.
 +
** Right now, the visuals and icons for transports are temporary, but work well enough to get the idea across.  Functionally these should be fully ready to go, although there's always more testing and refinement that may be needed of course.
 +
** This really should be a major game-changing feature for people, and was the number one requested feature from players of the first game, since it now makes it far easier for you to skip hostile planets and in general do the "planet hopping" strategies" that are so important.
 +
** Thanks to MichaelFrazzy for sparking the idea for this to be the first new feature that Chris added in after being back at work fully, and to many many players for suggesting this over time.
 +
 +
=== Bug Fixes ===
 +
 +
* Fix a bug where a player having Command Station remains on an AI owned planet was making the game think the planet was neutral. This was causing the AI to launch reconquest waves at that planet.
 +
** Thanks to Ovalcircle for the bug report
 +
 +
=== Balance Tweaks ===
 +
 +
* Concussion Corvette and MLRS Corvette energy use reduced from 500 to 400, to be vulnerable to the Eyebot Fleetship.
 +
 +
* Dire Grenade Launcher Guardian effect radius increased from 600 to 900, only hits 40 targets instead of 50, and fires every 3 seconds instead of 4.
 +
** Wasn't able to hit as many targets as it could most of the time.
 +
 +
* Autocannon Minipod damage reduced from 100 to 60.
 +
** Incredibly high cap-DPS.
 +
 +
* Dire Tethuida and Shredder units can now have more drones stored at once, or out in the battlefield - Guard Posts more so.
 +
** Tethuidas had a much lower limit than Shredders - it now has the same.
 +
 +
== Version 0.810 Brace for Cross Planet Attack ==
 +
(Released January 25th, 2019)
  
 
* If a ship that had taken Death Effect damage (nanocaustation, zombification, etc...) is both out of combat and repaired to full health, remove the death effect damage
 
* If a ship that had taken Death Effect damage (nanocaustation, zombification, etc...) is both out of combat and repaired to full health, remove the death effect damage
Line 55: Line 180:
 
** Thanks to zeusalmighty for noticing.
 
** Thanks to zeusalmighty for noticing.
  
* Fix several bugs with calculating wave timings, where as AIP changed waves would start showing up at unexpected intervals
+
* Fix several bugs with calculating wave timings, where as AIP changed waves would start showing up at unexpected intervals.
 
** Hearthunter has observed this in the past, but I hadn't gotten around to it before. Also thanks to Puffin for reminding me about this.
 
** Hearthunter has observed this in the past, but I hadn't gotten around to it before. Also thanks to Puffin for reminding me about this.
 +
** Resolving these issues also resolved a problem where Reprisal waves were too strong, as reported by Kesseleth among others.
  
 
* Fix the bug where ships going through a wormhole can sometimes jump to other locations on the map due to a race between decollision and wormhole traversal code.
 
* Fix the bug where ships going through a wormhole can sometimes jump to other locations on the map due to a race between decollision and wormhole traversal code.
Line 63: Line 189:
 
* Distractor Mercenary Flagship no longer pretends he's a non-combatant...while launching fusion bombs everywhere. So he'll actually do his main job now. Hopefully.
 
* Distractor Mercenary Flagship no longer pretends he's a non-combatant...while launching fusion bombs everywhere. So he'll actually do his main job now. Hopefully.
 
** Thanks to zeusalmighty for reporting.
 
** Thanks to zeusalmighty for reporting.
 +
 +
* Scrubbed Abomination bought from the Zenith Trader no longer pretends it's a non-combatant, while spreading the infection!
 +
** Thanks to wm46 for reporting.
 +
 +
* Marauders on higher intensities will no longer attack planets at random constantly, with no  hope of winning.
 +
** Thanks to Ovalcircle for reporting.
 +
 +
* Cross Planet Attacks (CPA) will now actually launch properly, instead of deploying only a single unit per guard post in the galaxy.
 +
** This would result in CPA budgets getting larger and larger over time (since we were spending very little of the budget each time). To prevent the next CPA from being instant death on existing games, games loaded from .809 and older builds will have their CPA budgets artificially lowered at load time.
  
 
=== Control Group Selection Changes ===
 
=== Control Group Selection Changes ===
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* Black Widow Golem, Hive Golem, and the Yellow Jackets for the Hive Golem are now usable again.
 
* Black Widow Golem, Hive Golem, and the Yellow Jackets for the Hive Golem are now usable again.
** The Hive is a bit awkward and works just like normal drone spawners currently.  
+
** The Hive is a bit awkward and works just like normal drone spawners currently.
 +
 
 +
=== New Dire Guardians ===
 +
 
 +
* Adds the Pike, Nucleophilic and Grenade Launcher Guardians as Dire versions.
 +
 
 +
=== AI Type Changes ===
 +
 
 +
* The Vicious Raider now has upgraded Vampire Claws and Metabolizing Gangsaws in addition to the Raid Starships it already had.
 +
** This may have upgraded Raiders in future, once a good way of implementing that is thought of.
 +
 
 +
* Ensnarer now has upgraded Etherjets.
 +
** They need another unit I think to be more interesting, but right now unsure what.
  
 
=== Balance Tweaks ===
 
=== Balance Tweaks ===
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* Eyebots now gain their damage bonus against targets with less than 400 energy, instead of 600.
 
* Eyebots now gain their damage bonus against targets with less than 400 energy, instead of 600.
 
** A few fleetships and faction units have their energy reduced to match, so these have more specific targets instead of "everything that isn't a low cap".
 
** A few fleetships and faction units have their energy reduced to match, so these have more specific targets instead of "everything that isn't a low cap".
 +
 +
* Etherjets have a slightly shorter weapon range, and their tractor beam range is higher to match.
 +
** So they'll always grab something when going to attack it when in the hands of factions and the AI.
  
 
* Ambush Turrets now have a weak cloaking system.
 
* Ambush Turrets now have a weak cloaking system.
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* Dire Gravity Guard Post only affects engine gx below 18, instead of below 22.
 
* Dire Gravity Guard Post only affects engine gx below 18, instead of below 22.
 +
 +
* Pike Guardian armour reduced to 50mm from 90.
  
 
* Assault Starship armour bonus only increases by 0.5x per mark instead of 1x, damage reduced from 3,600 to 3,000. Point Defence damage reduced from 800 to 700.
 
* Assault Starship armour bonus only increases by 0.5x per mark instead of 1x, damage reduced from 3,600 to 3,000. Point Defence damage reduced from 800 to 700.
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** Too little for something that doesn't suffer attrition like fleetships do.
 
** Too little for something that doesn't suffer attrition like fleetships do.
  
* All three minefields can now upgrade to Mark 3, use a per planet cap instead of in galaxy, and you only start with 30 per planet.
+
* Warbird Starships now have the target evaluator "ParalyzerAsPrimary" - so will try to spread it out while in groups.
** Thanks to zeusalmighty for this suggestion. See how it goes.
+
** Thanks to Weapon Master for mentioning this.
 
 
* Widow Minefields now have a 2 second paralysis to start, and gain 2 seconds per Mark.
 
** Thanks to zeusalmighty for this suggestion.
 
  
 
* Engineer cap increased from 20 to 38, their assist construction speed was halved, their repair speeds reduced by 33%, and are cheaper to upgrade.
 
* Engineer cap increased from 20 to 38, their assist construction speed was halved, their repair speeds reduced by 33%, and are cheaper to upgrade.
Line 258: Line 407:
 
* Ark One loses the Stinger Bolts effect, and instead has a multi-shot Spider Cannon.
 
* Ark One loses the Stinger Bolts effect, and instead has a multi-shot Spider Cannon.
 
** It's going to get Translocation in the future, so just like the Military Command Station, it has this for now. See how it goes in player hands.
 
** It's going to get Translocation in the future, so just like the Military Command Station, it has this for now. See how it goes in player hands.
 +
 +
* All Dyson combat units now have an albedo of 0.8.
 +
 +
* Dyson Bulwark and Bastion EngineGX increased to 18.
 +
 +
* Marauders now have a second type of Raider Starship to spawn - Raider Drone Starships, that are weaker in general but spawn V-Wings and Fusion Bombers.
 +
** Thanks to Mac for the suggestion of Raiders attacking with some fleetships as well.
  
 
== Version 0.809 Divide By Human==
 
== Version 0.809 Divide By Human==

Latest revision as of 17:34, 13 February 2019

Known Issues

  • The lobby interface is currently temporary, and undergoing a complete overhaul.
    • It's suggested that you use the quick start option instead.
  • Multiplayer is temporarily disabled while we focus on tightening up the single-player loop.
  • There are a variety of ships/units that don't have final graphics at the moment, though they all have their icons.

What's this phase all about?

After 2+ years of development, we've finally reached the point where we're ready for Early Access! There's still more polish and bugfixing that we want to get done in these early weeks of EA, and the lobby redo is desperately needed (but quick starts are an awesome alternative), but we're feeling good about the game. We do need to also finish some graphics for the existing ships, but they all have their icons.

More content will be added during Early Access, but in the earliest weeks we're going to be balancing that against polishing what is there first. There's already quite a lot!

Version 0.813

(Not yet released -- we're still working on it!)

  • Dark Spire VGs now start out much less efficient at converting Energy into Ships at lower intensities
  • Improve the tracing in ReevaluateUnitOrders
  • Make the Base Oriented warden fleet the default

Bug Fixes

  • Hopefully resolve a null reference exception in the Notification code that sometimes happens on game load
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle for the bug report
  • Fix a bug where the AI's "bum rush command station" code wasn't working right for planets with shields around the command station
  • Fix a bug where threat on planet X waiting to attack planet Y wouldn't defend planet X from attack. This was making many battles easier than they should have been.
    • Thanks to Puffin for the save games to help reproduce these problems

Version 0.812 Hunting Ninjas and Desyncs

(Released February 7th, 2019)

  • Prevent arks from being transported
    • Thanks to Zeusalmighty for pointing this out
  • Parasite Fleetships can be transported.
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for bringing it up.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix a null reference exception when the AI was going to try to sneak forces past your defenses
    • Thanks to Quicunque and AnnoyingOrange for reporting, with extra thanks to Quicunque for giving me a save to reproduce the problem
  • Fix a bug where Threat ships on planet X waiting to attack planet Y would fight to the death if the player attacked X, instead of retreating appropriately to fight another day. I suspect this will be a surprisingly significant buff to the AI; it will also make the Hunter Fleet more powerful as a side effect, since it makes it easier for Threat to survive long enough to join the Hunter Fleet.
    • Thanks to Puffin for the bug report and save game.
  • Significant rework to the way Nanocaust fleets are dispatched. This should prevent the nanocaust from having lots of units just sitting around, and prevent stale fleet notifications.
  • Also add some useful debugging information in tooltips that's only visible with Nanocaust tracing on.
    • Thanks to ulu for the bug report and Puffin for the save game that helped me reproduce the problem.
  • Allow the Nanocaust to just destroy Warp Gates/Controllers. It was often unable to destroy tesla turrets, which confused the "is the nanocaust allowed to build a Nanobot Center" logic.
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle for the bug report
  • Fix a bug where ships were only checking their first weapons system to see if the unit was a mobile combatant or not
    • Thanks to wm46 for the bug report and Puffin a key observation

Balance Tweaks

  • Cursed Golem main weapon reload time 1s > 2s.
    • Was a mistake to be 1s.
  • Fusion Bomber damage 170 > 120, gains a 50% damage boost on anything with more than 50% personal shields remaining.
    • Fixes a mistake; makes them prioritise units with sufficient shields left to be worth bypassing automatically instead of requiring micromanagement. Units with no shields are ignored in favour of those that do, if available.

So Long, Fixed-Int Math!

  • The use of fixed-int math instead of floating point math in calculations involving angles, distances, sin/cos/atan2, and square roots have all been discontinued.
    • This greatly improves the precision/accuracy, and in several cases also lets us use SIMD for actually better performance, too. Plus this also runs on your hardware as a native FPU-style operation rather than having to do things like sqrt calculations in an iterative or table-based fashion on the CPU itself.
    • All of that leads to faster performance on those activities, and also cuts down something like 2-4 seconds of initial application load time depending on how many cores you have.
    • What is the DOWNSIDE? Well... the results of these operations can no longer be assumed to be deterministic. They will probably be close enough most of the time, but there are small floating point errors that are different depending on your exact processor model and brand. The results are usually so insignificant that you never notice them, but what does happen is that over the course of millions of operations that have an iterative effect and all need to be consistent between machines in multiplayer... you eventually wind up with desyncs. With 3-4 players, you can expect a desync from this within 10 minutes to an hour, most likely. So this was always a dealbreaker for us, going back to 2009 with the first game. Hence using fixed-int math as a poorer-but-absolutely-consistent-between-machines substitute.
  • So why are we okay using this in this game, now, when multiplayer desyncs are going to be happening because of this? Well... that goes to our intended approach for multiplayer when we come up on that in the next few months.
    • Essentially, the base approach for AI War, AI War 2, and Tidalis at a network layer has been this: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/131503/1500_archers_on_a_288_network_.php
    • Or something inspired by that, anyway. That approach is inherently limited by desyncs happening if certain code practices are not met, however, as players of AI War 1 are well aware. The only thing we could do in that game was to detect the desync and then stop play so that you could reload and we could spend hours or days hunting for the bug.
    • The problem is that that sort of desync-hunting is extremely labor-intensive, and can cause extraordinarily frustrating bugs until we manage to put in a fix. And it can be almost impossible for us to replicate.
    • Further causing problems in AI War 2 are the fact that now we support mods, and not every modder is going to have the perfect discipline needed in order to maintain sync. One wrong call to the wrong (equivalent of) rand(), or the use of a float instead of an FInt in the wrong spot, and we'd have a desync to hunt down that is not actually in the core game. Our prediction was that this was going to be just months and months of productivity lost for us.
    • Oh, and also there seems to be some sort of threading ghost in the machine in the implementation of Mono that Unity 3D uses. It's rare, but we occasionally hit some bugs that _shouldn't_ be technically possible to hit at all based on the rules of how multithreading works. This either means that there's a bug in Mono's threading, which is bad since we can't fix that, or there's a problem in how the C# code of ours is being translated into mono bytecode, which is also bad because we can't write a new compiler for this.
      • In single player versions of the game, we have worked around this already. However, given that the appearance of this sort of bug was going to likely be inconsistent and rare across different players in multiplayer, these would essentially be unavoidable desyncs that we could chase for days or weeks but never find because they weren't actually even in our code. You guys were going to be maaaaaad, and we were going to be absolutely unable to do anything about it despite wasting a ton of time trying to track it down. So obviously this wasn't going to be a suitable state of affairs.
  • For networking, therefore, we have to assume that desyncs are going to happen. We can't control the environment well enough to ensure that they won't. It would be nice to minimize their frequency, but basically we need to build in automatic desync-repairing that doesn't block your play and which you probably wouldn't even notice happening.
    • This will take a bit of time to implement, but is a far smaller task than the actual hunting of desyncs manually. And it actually will lead to acceptable results, rather than something that is an ultimately unsolvable problem.
    • There are a whole class of games that basically revolve around being in a state of constant-desync, incidentally: action games. Shooters, some MMOs, anything of that sort. If lag is bad with those, you see a lot more glitchiness (bullets "going around corners", players getting frozen and then "teleporting," etc) than you will encounter in AI War 2.
    • We've had experience coding that sort of multiplayer before, as well, as the A Valley Without Wind games run on that sort of system. The AI War 2 code won't be moving to that, but it will be taking the ideas of sync repair and applying those lessons here in a way that hasn't been done in other "lockstep" networked games to our knowledge.
    • With this sort of system, you might see a ship slightly out of place that then gets shifted back into place if you're the client in multiplayer. That wouldn't be affected by lag, unlike in a shooter game, but rather based on floating point inaccuracies, code mistakes in our code or mods, the "ghost" multithreading bugs, etc.
    • Thanks to the fact that our multiplayer will be relatively clean and consistent since it is still using the lockstep code at core, we can afford to just slowly cycle through all of the game data and compare checksums, then do any corrections as needed to make the clients synchronous with the host. So long as they correct themselves within a second or two, it's no big deal, and honestly you may never even see this happening in a way that is visible to you even if we take 10 seconds to fix these sorts of small errors. The reason is that because of the lockstep nature of this, most of the errors are likely to be _extremely_ small, as in being out of place by a pixel or two and getting shifted back.
    • Normally in action-game-style multiplayer you need extensive prediction and smoothing processes to make things look appropriate as the syncs are fixed up. We don't need prediction in this game thanks to the fact that the underlying multiplayer is still lockstep-style, and we already have smoothing in place because we're running the simulation at a locked 10 fps in its own abstract coordinate system while the actual visuals of the game display to you at a much higher fps to appear smooth and fluid. So the smoothing bit is already done, inherently, and we'll just need the checksumming and data correction algorithms in place.
  • For single player, none of that applies of makes any difference at all. Except that the new approach is faster and better, and fixes some bugs. More on that in a second. But for multiplayer, this vastly simplifies our problem space and is likely to save us months of work to getting multiplayer in a truly playable state. More time can be spent on more valuable tasks, thankfully, and modders don't have to be held to top-of-the-industry standards in terms of coding safety for multiplayer purposes. Also kinda important.
  • One bug that these changes immediately fix is that ships no longer get "stuck" on forcefields anymore where they can't move off of them at all. They may not slide all the way around them properly -- if you have an example of that, please feel free to upload a savegame where we can replicate it in the new version -- but they won't get absolutely stuck in place. This was another one of those precision problems, and an intractable one prior to now.
  • Another bug that these changes immediately fix is that strange thing where kiting ships would circle around their targets until they got directly to the right of the target, and then they would stack up there. The expected -- and now current -- behavior is that kiting ships would move into range and then stop, and that if they needed to back up they would do so. The clockwise circling of targets was due to some sort of precision issue in our table-based square root calculations.
    • That said, the circling was kinda neat, so maybe we'll add that back in some other fashion at some point. But then again, despite it looking cool it was kind of annoying to have your ships circle a target and fly right into range of OTHER enemies while ostensibly kiting their main targets. Now the whole kiting stuff works like it did in the first AI War.
  • And there may be some other bugs relating to angles or distances that are now fixed. If you see anything that seems fixed that might be in that category and that is presently open on mantis, please feel free to update the ticket letting us know that's resolved.

Version 0.811 Transport Ships

(Released January 31st, 2019)

  • Add elements of how the AI chooses which planet to target with a wave to the BudgetSpending tracing.
  • Allow Risk Analyzers to charge Exos at different rates depending on the faction intensity.
    • Risk Analyzers at intensity 10 were causing exos every 30 minutes which seemed excessive. Thanks to Zeusalmighty for the bug report.

Transport Ships Added!

  • Transports, a key feature from the original AI War and a long-requested feature in this sequel, have now been added to the game!
    • Unlike the first game, since there is a concept of mass of ships here, the carrying capacity of transports is mass-based. You have plenty of room in them for a ton of small ships, but starships will add up more quickly. We can tweak the actual values as needed in the future. You can get more carrying capacity per transport by upgrading them via science tech, if you so desire.
    • The controls for transports are pretty straightforward: right-click a transport while other ships are selected, and they go inside the transport if they will fit and otherwise aren't blocked. Hit the U key to immediately unload a transport.
    • Transports are currently wicked fast in terms of movement, and they also load and unload instantly. This may need to change in the future, but for now it's a good starting point.
    • When hovering over a transport, you can see its contents, and remaining capacity, and other details. Holding Shift also tells you the controls on how to use them, as is common with esoteric ship types.
    • These are available to build immediately in any game from the Infrastructure tab.
    • Various conditions will prevents ships from being able to instantly get into a transport, such as being tractored or stunned. The tooltips tell you about that on those ships if that's the case. Still other ships can't be transported at all, if they are per-planet ship cap ships, or they have certain other characteristics. These ships note that they can't go in transports.
      • To block a ship from being transportable, is_blocked_from_being_transported="true" is all you need to set in the xml for your ship.
    • Right now, the visuals and icons for transports are temporary, but work well enough to get the idea across. Functionally these should be fully ready to go, although there's always more testing and refinement that may be needed of course.
    • This really should be a major game-changing feature for people, and was the number one requested feature from players of the first game, since it now makes it far easier for you to skip hostile planets and in general do the "planet hopping" strategies" that are so important.
    • Thanks to MichaelFrazzy for sparking the idea for this to be the first new feature that Chris added in after being back at work fully, and to many many players for suggesting this over time.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix a bug where a player having Command Station remains on an AI owned planet was making the game think the planet was neutral. This was causing the AI to launch reconquest waves at that planet.
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle for the bug report

Balance Tweaks

  • Concussion Corvette and MLRS Corvette energy use reduced from 500 to 400, to be vulnerable to the Eyebot Fleetship.
  • Dire Grenade Launcher Guardian effect radius increased from 600 to 900, only hits 40 targets instead of 50, and fires every 3 seconds instead of 4.
    • Wasn't able to hit as many targets as it could most of the time.
  • Autocannon Minipod damage reduced from 100 to 60.
    • Incredibly high cap-DPS.
  • Dire Tethuida and Shredder units can now have more drones stored at once, or out in the battlefield - Guard Posts more so.
    • Tethuidas had a much lower limit than Shredders - it now has the same.

Version 0.810 Brace for Cross Planet Attack

(Released January 25th, 2019)

  • If a ship that had taken Death Effect damage (nanocaustation, zombification, etc...) is both out of combat and repaired to full health, remove the death effect damage
    • Thanks to wm46 and zeusalmighty for suggesting
  • Make Wormhole Invasions a bit less frequent (but stronger when they arrive)
    • Thanks to Pat on the forums for suggesting
  • Add Settings to disable shot and explosion visuals. Using these will may improve game performance in large battles, and will also make the game much less busy visually
    • Requested by Kenira, Apthorpe, UFO and Exlium
  • Added an explanation for how Risk Analyzers generate Exowaves to the actual description in custom games
    • Thanks Jonesmz!
  • Change to the wave cancelling mechanic. When you kill a warp gate with an announced wave inbound (ie you have a warning for it), the AI now gets bonuses to the next normally scheduled wave and wormhole invasion. In addition, the cancelled wave now gets rescheduled to a new warp gate in half the normal time.
    • So if you normally get waves every 10 minutes and you cancel a wave, the cancelled wave will now show up 5 minutes from when you cancelled it, and in addition the AI will be continuing its normal wave launching schedule (so you can wind up with multiple waves coming in simultaneously).
    • This should make wave cancellation still situationally useful but not as easily cheesable as it was in the past.
  • Put a brief explanation of the wave cancellation mechanic in the Warp Gate description

Bug Fixes

  • Spider Turrets will now properly spread their effect around, instead of focusing it all on one target.
    • They were checking themselves to see if they could stun something, and since you can't stun a turret, they defaulted to damage dealing all the time.
    • This might fix some other cases, such as Spider Guardians, who could not stun themselves and thus would exhibit the same behaviour, but probably hid it pretty well.
  • Lost Spire Frigate should no longer duplicate like Golems used to via becoming a Zombie or Nanocaust unit.
    • Thanks to applejuck for reporting.
  • Actually differentiate Low, Medium and High Golem difficulties, and update the description appropriately. These difficulties match what's in AIWC; easy golems have no bonus for the AI. Medium golems cost AIP. Hard golems cause exogalactic strikeforces.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the reminder
  • Fix a significant number of typos and other errors in various tooltips and descriptions
    • Thanks to nomad_delta for the bug reports
  • Metal Harvesters no longer talk about cap, when they're in fact limited by the number of deposits on each planet.
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for noticing.
  • Fix several bugs with calculating wave timings, where as AIP changed waves would start showing up at unexpected intervals.
    • Hearthunter has observed this in the past, but I hadn't gotten around to it before. Also thanks to Puffin for reminding me about this.
    • Resolving these issues also resolved a problem where Reprisal waves were too strong, as reported by Kesseleth among others.
  • Fix the bug where ships going through a wormhole can sometimes jump to other locations on the map due to a race between decollision and wormhole traversal code.
    • Thanks to Kahuna, yacobeezus, HeartHunter7, stitch123, Ovalcircle, AnnoyingOrange, and probably others for reporting!
  • Distractor Mercenary Flagship no longer pretends he's a non-combatant...while launching fusion bombs everywhere. So he'll actually do his main job now. Hopefully.
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for reporting.
  • Scrubbed Abomination bought from the Zenith Trader no longer pretends it's a non-combatant, while spreading the infection!
    • Thanks to wm46 for reporting.
  • Marauders on higher intensities will no longer attack planets at random constantly, with no hope of winning.
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle for reporting.
  • Cross Planet Attacks (CPA) will now actually launch properly, instead of deploying only a single unit per guard post in the galaxy.
    • This would result in CPA budgets getting larger and larger over time (since we were spending very little of the budget each time). To prevent the next CPA from being instant death on existing games, games loaded from .809 and older builds will have their CPA budgets artificially lowered at load time.

Control Group Selection Changes

  • When you select a control group via a hotkey, it now selects every member of that control group instead of only the units on a single planet. This was causing headaches if a control group was on multiple planets, as would happen if you were rallying new units to a control group.
  • If you previously had every member of the control group selected and you press the "select control group via hotkey" button then it will center your view on the control group. If you are on the galaxy map it will select that planet, if you are currently viewing a planet then it jumps you to the planet view of the planet with the control group.
  • The new behaviour is trying to feel like Starcraft or other RTSs. Hit the button once to select the control group. Subsequent presses will center you on that control group.
    • These were requested by folks on Steam, including Baleur, Not my FCC, Weapon Master, ZeroTheHero

Exogalactice Strikeforce enhancements

  • Exogalactic Strikeforces now all travel at the same speed, so they won't arrive piecemeal
  • The AI now tracks which units are in an Exo and will avoid giving them conflicting instructions, so an Exo will always press home the attack
  • Risk Analyzer Exos will now be led by Usurpers. The Risk Analyzer Exo will either have multiple battle groups heading to multiple player-owned risk analyzers or will devote all its forces to a single randomly chosen player Risk Analyzer.
    • Draco suggested at least some of this.

Returning Units

  • Black Widow Golem, Hive Golem, and the Yellow Jackets for the Hive Golem are now usable again.
    • The Hive is a bit awkward and works just like normal drone spawners currently.

New Dire Guardians

  • Adds the Pike, Nucleophilic and Grenade Launcher Guardians as Dire versions.

AI Type Changes

  • The Vicious Raider now has upgraded Vampire Claws and Metabolizing Gangsaws in addition to the Raid Starships it already had.
    • This may have upgraded Raiders in future, once a good way of implementing that is thought of.
  • Ensnarer now has upgraded Etherjets.
    • They need another unit I think to be more interesting, but right now unsure what.

Balance Tweaks

To people who check this, things have moved around! Tried to clean up this mess, so things relating to Fleetships are now all together, Starships together, etc, instead of two changes to the same unit being at opposite ends!

  • Armored Golem weapon damage reduced from 10,000 to 6,000, shots per salvo increased from 8 to 20, range increased from 6500 to 8000.
  • Armored Golem now has a Zenith Sabot Cannon, dealing 8,000 damage every 2s, but with a 5x multiplier vs anything mass 5 and above.
  • Artillery Golem reload time decreased from 17s to 9s, damage reduced from 500,000 to 350,000 and has a 1.2x multiplier vs anything mass 5 and above.
  • Regenerator Golem reload time decreased from 4s to 2s.
  • Cursed Golems no longer self damage.
  • Cursed Golem weapon increased to 20 shots per salvo, range increased from 15,000 to 18,000.
  • Cursed Golem now has a Zenith Paralyzing Sabot Cannon, dealing 5,000 damage every 2s, with a 5x multiplier vs mass 5 and above, and paralyses anything below mass 6.
  • AI Overlord Phase 2 mass increased from 5 to 6, to make it immune to the above change.
  • Botnet Golem shots per salvo increased from 50 to 80, range increased from 6,500 to 8,000.
  • All Golems take twice as much metal to claim.
  • Devourer Golem now fires 30 shots instead of 16, fires everything simultaneously, and has a small AOE on each shot as well.
    • It was going to have a bonus against things like Starships, but for some strange reason that made it unable to fire.
  • Raptor speed reduced from 3100 to 2200.
    • Still one of the fastest ships, but not ludicrously so (though it was very amusing).
  • Sniper fleetships damage doubled from 40 to 80, damage bonus halved from 10x to 5x. Veteran Sniper damage doubled from 80 to 160.
    • Same performance with their bonus, but better otherwise (they really were terrible and specific).
  • Pulsar Tank shot damage increased from 340 to 400, Augmented shot reduced from 1200 to 1000, range reduced from 10,100 to 8000.
    • Damage output is the same overall, just shifted to make them not overlap with Bombards in future. Augmented range is for the same reasoning.
  • Pulsar Tanks lose 3,000 hull, gain 3,000 shields. Also cost 200 more energy.
    • Makes Fusion Bombers a bit useful against them.
  • Fusion Bomber albedo increased from 0.3 to 0.7.
    • Give players a non-starship answer to things like Tractor Guardians, or Dire Paralysis Guardians.
  • Fusion Bombers no longer have their damage bonus, but instead bypass ALL shields instead of only a part. Damage also increased from 125 to 170, shields increased by 400.
    • The bonus caused weird things with higher Mark ships suddenly becoming applicable, and meant they weren't that useful without it.
    • They're also better at fighting things like MLRS Corvettes, which are mostly shields - this was the intention, but turns out it never went...as intended.
    • This is honestly pretty experimental, but it sure seemed to go better.
  • Sentinel Frigate armour decreased from 60mm to 50mm.
    • A unit that can be incredibly frustrating in the hands of the AI, so it now has a guaranteed counter of sorts.
    • Thanks to Draco18s for using this as an example in a forum post.
  • Vanguard health reduced from 10,200 to 9,000.
    • Allows Assault Starships to still one shot them with their change, and makes them less obnoxious en masse.
  • Half of the Raider units shield amount has been moved to the hull.
  • Vampire Claw only gains 1.5 health for every 1 damage done, instead of 3.
  • Grenade Launcher Fleetship, Guardian, and Turret damage bonus increased from 2x to 3x.
  • Eyebots now gain their damage bonus against targets with less than 400 energy, instead of 600.
    • A few fleetships and faction units have their energy reduced to match, so these have more specific targets instead of "everything that isn't a low cap".
  • Etherjets have a slightly shorter weapon range, and their tractor beam range is higher to match.
    • So they'll always grab something when going to attack it when in the hands of factions and the AI.
  • Ambush Turrets now have a weak cloaking system.
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for the interesting and fitting suggestion!
  • Pike Turret health reduced from 7500 to 6000.
    • Brings it in line with the other "frontliner" turrets.
  • Tritium and Spider Turrets use up 1200 energy instead of 1500.
    • Too expensive, not that enticing.
  • Dark Spire Eidolon and Dyson Bastion are now weaker to Nucleophilic units.
  • Command Stations and the Fortress cost less science to upgrade.
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for reinforcing what I felt about Stations. Fortress seemed a bit pricey as well to upgrade.
  • Military Command Station reload time decreased from 9s to 6s, damage increased from 800 to 1300, fires everything at once and causes some engine stun.
    • So it has a noticeable presence in a fight.
  • Economic Command Station energy production doubled from 5,000 to 10,000. Amount gained per mark follows as well.
    • To make it a bit more enticing to upgrade, as well as being cheaper.
  • Logistical Command Station energy production increased from 20,000 to 25,000. Amount gained per mark follows as well.
    • Same as above.
  • All 3 Command Stations metal cost increased from 4,500 to 45,000, and self build much faster to compensate.
    • So they aren't built as quickly by Engineers.
  • In new games, AI Tachyon Arrays will no longer be cloaked (so your own cloaked units won't seemingly randomly be revealed). Old games still have the cloaked ones, however.
  • Orbital Mass Driver damage reduced from 6,000 to 3,000, fires every 9s instead of 17.
    • So it isn't as easily tricked into wasting shots, or have as much overkill.
  • Distractor Mercenary Flagship weapon has a shorter range to make him less likely to ruin his cloak when he arrives.
    • He still has it so he's considered a combatant, and thus factions (and AI) will actually react to him.
  • Paralysis Guardian range reduced from 15,000 to 8,000.
    • A group could paralyse entire groups of turrets yet be out of range.
  • Dire Paralysis Guardian weapon and tractor range reduced from 15,000 to 8,000.
    • I am so sorry for the pain and suffering this thing has probably caused.
  • Fortified Tesla Guardian shields reduced from 20,000 to 10,000.
    • Bit of a tone down, if small.
  • Fortified Tesla Guardian reload time increased from 4s to 9s. Also costs a bit more for the AI to purchase.
    • Tones down the sheer output it had, and also makes it less blinding.
  • Dire Tesla Guardian health reduced from 1 million to 420k, now has 110k shields as well.
    • Since it has the range and reload time penalties, it should probably be a bit weaker otherwise, else it's just absurdly annoying to kill.
    • Also finally some variance in the Dires.
  • Dire Plasma Guardian now has the "Overdrive" effect - completely removes shields on targets hit, but can't damage hull at all.
    • It also now hits 10 targets in a small area, and is immune to being captured via things like the Nanocaust.
  • Temperamental and Fragmenting Guardians now cost 40% more for the AI to purchase.
  • Tantruming Guardian range reduced from 18,000 to 12,000.
    • So if one somehow ends up on the offense, it's not acting as a super sniper.
  • Fragmenting Guardian armour decreased from 80mm to 50mm.
    • Matches the Temperamental, and means the player has an actual answer guaranteed to somewhat snipe these (fragile, but higher marks could get...difficult).
    • Thanks to Draco18s again for using this as an example in a forum post.
  • Gravity Guardian base slow effect reduced from 0.6x to 0.8x.
  • Dire Gravity Guard Post only affects engine gx below 18, instead of below 22.
  • Pike Guardian armour reduced to 50mm from 90.
  • Assault Starship armour bonus only increases by 0.5x per mark instead of 1x, damage reduced from 3,600 to 3,000. Point Defence damage reduced from 800 to 700.
    • Still a bit too good at trivialising things like Dire Guardians.
  • Starships have higher metal costs (at least 33% - some were already cheaper and so have higher increases).
    • Too little for something that doesn't suffer attrition like fleetships do.
  • Warbird Starships now have the target evaluator "ParalyzerAsPrimary" - so will try to spread it out while in groups.
    • Thanks to Weapon Master for mentioning this.
  • Engineer cap increased from 20 to 38, their assist construction speed was halved, their repair speeds reduced by 33%, and are cheaper to upgrade.
  • Rebuilders cap reduced from 40 to 38 to match, and also cheaper to upgrade.
  • Mobile Builder health drastically reduced.
  • Space Dock metal cost reduced a bit.
  • Shredder and Tethuida drones now have the Melee target evaluator, so they should be better about not chasing things they can't actually catch.
  • Tethuida Drones now have a small area of effect, and they divide their damage evenly to everything hit.
  • Science Extraction hack now costs 0.15 hacking points per second instead of 0.1, and you can now resume an interrupted one, even if you have less than 20 hacking points left.
    • Thanks to JoyfulRogue for reporting the resume annoyance.
    • You can also start a Super Terminal hack at less than 20 hacking points, if...for some reason you really want to. More to match the Science Extraction than anything.
  • Corrupt Fleetship Design hack now costs 30 hacking points instead of 20.
  • "Overreactive" AI type salvage has been toned down to a more reasonable level.
  • The amount that a damage bonus increases per Mark is changed for...almost everything?
    • There were a few units that had crazy exponential scaling with upgrades, resulting in them becoming combat monsters very quickly.
    • In general, the bonus increases by 16% of the original value per Mark now. Some units, like Concussion types, have the same scaling. Others, like Pikes, scale a bit less. Oddities like Raptors and Ambush Turrets scale a bit more than this rule, but are still less than what they used to be.
    • Some things scaled a bit too much - gaining 50% of the original value per Mark! This caused them to get a bit out of hand in player...hands.
    • Not a balance change, but things that could never increase in Mark (i.e Dire Guardians) no longer have lines saying they gain bonuses per Mark - neatness!
  • A few units cost a bit more for factions to purchase, mainly ones with bonuses (as those aren't considered in the automatic strength calculation).
  • Rorqual Hegira Ark has 25% less shields.
  • Ark One loses the Stinger Bolts effect, and instead has a multi-shot Spider Cannon.
    • It's going to get Translocation in the future, so just like the Military Command Station, it has this for now. See how it goes in player hands.
  • All Dyson combat units now have an albedo of 0.8.
  • Dyson Bulwark and Bastion EngineGX increased to 18.
  • Marauders now have a second type of Raider Starship to spawn - Raider Drone Starships, that are weaker in general but spawn V-Wings and Fusion Bombers.
    • Thanks to Mac for the suggestion of Raiders attacking with some fleetships as well.

Version 0.809 Divide By Human

(Released December 19th, 2018)

  • Add two new behaviours for the AI when attacking a planet owned by the player. The likelihood of the AI doing either of these is defined as a percentage in the AI Difficulty XML. If neither of these trigger, the AI will fight as before. The new behaviours are
    • Charge the player command station with all its units
    • If outnumbered, the AI will see if there are any adjacent, player owned planets that are weaker than this planet, and if so they will send all their ships there.
  • Added a bit of randomness to reinforcing AI planets. Now it prefers Fleetships (2/5 chance) and turrets (2/5 chance), then Guardians (1/5 chance). In testing, it seems to go Fleetships > Turrets > Guardians.
    • Thanks Dominus, for saving Puffin from his confusing torment.
  • Added a line in the AIP tooltip that shows your AIP Floor. Hopefully that will limit confusion about the floor.
  • Added some missing code for Astro Trains that may have been causing wormhole invasions to not work as intended.
  • Reconquest Waves should now spawn as intended.
    • Another big thanks to Dominus and Badger for this.
  • AI Hunter Fleet should no longer get stuck all the time due to a crippling fear of travelling anywhere. Hopefully.
    • Oh, and if it does attack, it doesn't retreat as easily - now matches the normal AI forces.
  • Threat will now wait 15 minutes before joining the Hunter Fleet, on all difficulties.
    • Should hopefully prove to be more interesting and help with the AI aggression issues.
  • Fix a bug where Dark Spire units weren't dying properly to a Ward
    • Stacked units weren't all dying to Despawn() calls; Despawn isn't used for combat death, but for 'gameplay required' deaths like HRF warping out, dark spire wards, etc...
    • This also fixes a potential multiplayer desync in Dark Spire code.
    • Thanks to HeartHunter for the bug report
  • Stacked units now will split themselves if there are > 5 units in the stack and the unit has a Bad Status Effect (paralysis, engine stun, tractor beam and suchlike)
    • This should prevent status effect weapons from being such effective counters to stacked units. Having the units split no lower than 5 under those circumstances should make it not too much of a performance degradation (I hope).
  • Units can no longer join a stack if they are in the middle of a battle
  • Add some debugging code for a null reference in PlaySFX_ShotHitting
    • Thanks to Draco for the bug report
  • Starships and Guardians now have a higher collision priority. Shielded versions have higher priority than the rest.
    • Order wise it goes: Dire Guardian/Usurper > Starships > Guardians > Fleetships.

Risk Analyzer Tweaks

  • Risk Analyzers will now generate Exogalactic Strikeforces against you. As long as you don't take Risk Analyzers away from the AI then the Exos will come very slowly
  • Analyzers on neutral planets will make the Exos come a bit faster, and if you control any then they will come much faster.
  • Analyzers now reduce AIP by 2 per hour instead of 3
  • Destroying an Analyzer now costs 10 AIP instead of 5

Wormhole Invasion Tweaks

  • Wormhole invasions are no longer allowed to spawn on player homeworlds.
  • On difficulty < 9, wormhole invasions are not allowed to spawn on planets adjacent to a player homeworld.
  • Wormhole invasions are only unlocked for difficulty >= 7,
  • AIP requirements for wormhole invasions are now higher

Balance Tweaks

  • Human Resistance Fighters have their budget income increased 50%, and have the maximum budget limit increased by 25%.
    • They now build faster and can send more to a fight. See how this is for now. Think they broke when automatic strength calculation upped their unit prices.
  • V-Wings no longer upgrade their weapon at Mark 4, but instead simply start with it at Mark 1. Damage also increased 33%.
    • With the new AI logic of them rushing the Stations, these might finally get use! That, and the whole Mark 4 upgraded weapon thing was bugging me.
  • Ambush Turrets also no longer upgrade at Mark 4, and just get the longer duration at all Marks.
  • Usurpers now have a range of 9,000 on every weapon, instead of being split and really low in general, and also a noticeable health increase.
    • Testing showed them to be very suicidal, and would always be the first thing to die horribly.
  • Mass Drivers and Sabots are now set up to get a bonus against higher mass, instead of a penalty to lower.
    • Not really a balance change, just in case anyone is confused why it's suddenly different. It might've been strange to read before, being the only penalty in the game. Otherwise identical.
  • Player Salvage income went up about 60%.
  • Logistics Stations no longer turn salvage into metal at twice the rate of other Stations.
    • Same overall amount in the end - just a bit confusing.
  • Dyson Spheres will now spawn the Sentinel unit again.
  • Reconquest waves are now on by default, and can be disabled in the game lobby.

Version 0.808 Custom Stacks

(Released December 10th, 2018)

  • Tachyon stuff no longer drains cloaking while paused
    • Thanks Kesseleth and Kahuna for reporting.
  • Instigators now actually attack things again! I promise!
    • Thanks to Avenger1649 for reporting the problem with my previous fix
  • Macrophages no longer spawn at the beginning of the game, but wait for a while into the game
  • Macrophages now have Mark Levels and will scale in strength with AIP. This makes it so they will not be super terrifying early and very weak late.
  • Macrophages will now always travel to a randomly chosen Metal Generator when entering a planet, and only then will proceed to the next wormhole. This will make their movements much less predictable on a given planet.
    • I think Avenger1649 suggested this
  • The Nanocaust is not allowed to frenzy at the player home world for the first hour of the game
  • Units that die to remains (like Golems) can't be healed by the Regenerator Golem or trigger on-death effects like zombification
  • Fix null reference exception in shot hitting code.
    • Thanks to AnnoyingOrange for the bug report
  • Expose some Stacking related settings. The player can now choose how many AI units are allowed before the game starts to try stacking them. Making this number too high can result in performance issues, but 50 units (the previous default) felt much too low, and this lets a player with a stronger machine not worry about things as much.
    • Note we will need to revisit this for multiplayer since this will cause desync's
    • Thanks to Puffin, zeusalmighty and others for the discussion
  • Fix a bug where Marauder Raiders weren't correctly calculating their strength when choosing to attack due to Stacking
    • Thanks to Avenger1649 for the bug report
  • Fix a bug where drone producers weren't counting stacked drone units when figuring out their currently used strength cap. This could lead to huge numbers of drones being created.
    • Thanks to RocketAssistedPuffin for the bug report
  • Fix a bug where drone producers would sometimes stop building drones entirely
    • Thanks to Kesseleth, Avenger1649, Super Corgi, StarKeep and probably others for reporting
  • Instigator Bases and Astro Train Depots now have additional effect scaling based on the hardest Difficulty of any AI faction in the game. The effect scaling is "Low, Medium, High", and is tunable in the XML.
    • Requested by RocketAssistedPuffin
  • Add an Instigator Base to boost the Wormhole Invasion budget
  • You can now select any difficulty, though the lobby is still heavily under construction.
  • AIP Floor now properly functions. No more cheesing it by destroying datacenters while at the floor and still benefiting.
  • AIP Floor now goes up by 0.2 * Total AIP Gained. The 0.2 is moddable via ExternalConstants XML (balance_aip_floor_modifier).
  • Fix a bug where the Nanocaust wasn't correctly calculating the strength for a given Nanobot Center. This was causing nanobot centers to display 0 strength in the tooltip
    • Puffing reported

Balance Tweaks

  • Macrophage Harvesters now have albedo 0.4, up from 0.2
    • To make them not die immediately to Ion Cannons, now that they have Mark levels (Ions don't work on Markless). Enraged ones were already safe.
  • Macrophage Harvester damage and health reduced by 25%. Enraged has the same change.
    • To tone down Mark 1 slightly.
  • Thanatos only needs to be Mark 2 to use the zombifying missile weapon, instead of Mark 4.
    • Thanks to Mac for suggesting in Discord.
  • MLRS Corvette damage reduced from 40 to 30.
    • Sneakily high DPS.
  • MLRS Corvettes, Turrets and Guard Posts only get their "straggler" damage bonus at 20% remaining target health, down from 30%. Also only increases by 0.3x per Mark down from 2.
  • Economic Command Stations increase their metal income by 400 per Mark upgrade, up from 250.
    • Never worth upgrading compared to Harvesters. See how this goes.
  • Gravity Guardian damage increased from 150 to 1000.
    • Sort of useless...didn't contribute to a fight all that well.
  • Carrier Guardian damage increased from 250 to 1000.
    • So the Guardian itself actually does something!
  • Paralysis Guardian damage increased from 40 to 200.
    • So it does something beyond having an awkward staring match with you.
  • Spider Guardian damage increased from 120 to 250.
    • Same as above.
  • Nucleophilic Guardian damage increased from 305 to 1200, fires only one shot instead of four, and starts with a 4x damage bonus instead of 6x.
    • Being multishot meant it wasn't too good at attacking Starships. Damage boost in addition to make it less specialised, with compensating bonus nerf.
  • Pike Guardian damage increased to 600 from 150, only fires 5 shots instead of 10.
    • Better damage focus with an increase in output.
  • Nucleophilic Guard Post damage increased from 400 to 1600, one shot instead of three, 4x damage bonus instead of 3x.
    • Basically the same as the Guardian.
  • Pike Guard Post damage increased from 800 to 1200, only fires 5 shots instead of 10.
    • Actually a nerf overall, but it seemed to be strangely high in the first place. Bit better at focusing targets.
  • All non-Dire Guard Posts health increased 25%.
  • Assault Starship damage on the Fusion weapon reduced from 4000 to 3600, damage bonus now 3x instead of 4x.
    • This thing was annihilating so many targets.
  • Nearly every Fleetship has a cost reduction - mostly small, about 10%, but some are larger, generally swarmer types.
    • Caps of Fleetships were costing more than Starships, but were having to be replaced due to attrition, so actually cost far more in practice.
  • Sentinel Frigate damage reduced from 300 to 270.
    • Long range universal damage is pretty good it turns out!
  • Design Download hacks cost 40 Hacking Points to complete instead of 20.
    • So you can't quite as cheaply download everything the AI unlocks.

Version 0.807 Cyber Command

(Released November 27th, 2018)

  • Tachyon Arrays no longer imply they should cloak at Mark 1, by talking about having 200 cloaking points when looking at upgrading them.
    • Thanks to Kaleopan for reporting.
  • Quick start saves are now under the campaign the player specifies, rather than the Quick Start campaign they came from.
    • Thanks Puffin and others for pointing it out in Discord.
  • Prevents ships from moving or executing any orders after death
    • Thanks to Kaleopan, HeartHunter7, and Berkobob for reporting
  • Ships are now deselected on death, which should prevent ships getting stuck as selected with no way to unstick them besides reloading.
    • Thanks Puffin.
  • Remains are now properly selectable and scrappable.
    • Thanks to everyone who reported this (There were a lot of people who mentioned it).
  • Metal harvesters are no longer scrappable by the player.
    • Thanks RayMagini for reporting!
  • Golems no longer duplicate on death.
    • Thanks Kasslerkryssi, HeartHunter7, and Kaleopan for reporting!
  • The text for claiming neutral units now specifies you have to control the planet to do so - was causing confusion on how you claimed things.
    • Apologies, but I have no idea who brought this up - regardless, thank you all!
  • Schematic Servers no longer collect science and self destruct on capture.
    • No point in collecting science if it blows up the moment you capture it (technically the moment you are granted the tech from it)
  • Golems can no longer be captured or turned into a zombie.
    • Thanks Ignacious for reporting.
  • Astro Train effects that require multiple trains to arrive will no longer trigger immediately upon the Depot spawning.
    • Very strange!
  • Adds two new Astro Train effects - Spawn Dire Guardian and Boost Wormhole Invasion budget, and finally gets the Spawn Fortress one in use.
  • Tractors no longer affect ships under a bubble shield
    • Thanks wm46 for suggesting
  • Buildings now start at 1 hull point and 0 shields, rather than full health. They are fully operational once construction is done, but the bigger ones may not be at full health.
    • Thanks to Puffin for suggesting
  • Added hotkey (Comma (,) by default) for selecting all units marked as scouts in the XML (is_scout="true") and is not a King unit, like your home command station.
    • Thanks Viss Valdyr for suggesting.
  • Command stations now have 1 HP after they transform, and have a delay of 5 seconds before they can be repaired.
    • The delay is moddable in XML
  • Added a popup for when you try to change command stations, since it can be pretty devastating for that to happen while under attack now.
  • Fix a bug where Allied Marauders would be able to place unlimited outposts
    • Thanks to a number of people for reporting, especially Avenger1649

Hacking Tweaks

  • Super Terminal hack now stops when you hit zero hacking.
    • Thanks to Danathan for reporting.
  • Hacking now properly uses hack_duration in the XML.
    • Thanks to Krysmphoenix for indirectly finding this issue, and Puffin for helping with it
  • Vengeance Strike Hacks no longer unleash ships during the hack, only afterwards to match up with the tooltip, and make the hack a little more sane.
    • Thanks to Krysmphoenix for reporting
  • Vengeance Strike Hacks no longer drain hacking points like crazy, instead only using the amount it says they use
    • Thanks Krysmphoenix for reporting
  • Hackers who are hacking can't go through wormholes anymore
    • Thanks Ovalcircle for reporting!

Visual Tweaks

  • Eyebots now turn properly - were locked to rotation 0,0,0.
  • Metabolizing Gangsaws are no longer enormous.
  • Fair few fleetship model collisions have been fixed, and squads without y offsets now have some, for a bit more 3D effect.
  • Golems are 20% larger, and the Armored has its hitbox size fixed.
  • Dyson Bulwarks and Bastions are a bit larger.
  • Starships now actually match Guardians in size, instead of being tiny in comparison. Some more minor hitbox fixes.
  • Large ship size scaling per mark is reduced slightly at higher marks, so ships aren't becoming as large as Dires anymore.
  • Tractor Guardian size reduced slightly - noticeably larger compared to its brethren.

Balance Tweaks

  • Concussion Corvette base damage mulitplier decreased from 8x to 6x.
  • Pike Corvette damage decreased from 40 to 20.
    • Ludicrous damage output, even without the bonus.
  • Raptor cost increased from 1800 to 3000.
    • Oddity.
  • Space Plane cap increased from 60 to 120.
    • Missed these - seem to work well now.
  • Metabolizing Gangsaw damage increased from 150 to 400, reload time increased from 1s to 3s.
    • Meant to have been a bit snappier before, but...instead caused weirdness. So back they go. They also have, as noted above, a smaller physical size.
  • AI Overlord, both phases, now have a large Tachyon system to counter cloaking cheese.
    • Cheese being slowly killing it with Raid Starships bit by bit.
  • AI Overlord phase 2 now has stronger weapons, and the range is the same on all of them, so it shouldn't sit back and plink away with only the plasma cannon.
  • AI Overlord phase 1 can only be damaged when all Guard Posts on its planet are destroyed.
    • Identical to the current Eye mechanic, but with no alert.
  • Dire Guard Posts now increase AIP by 10 upon death.
  • Dire Guard Posts have fairly noticable damage bumps.
  • AI Command Stations now give only 15AIP, instead of 25.
    • Feel this was the wrong way to go for higher difficulties. The changes to Concussion/Pike Corvettes, as well as Destruction points hopefully make up for this - they seemed to be the main culprit.
  • Ion Cannons now fire every 1 second, instead of 2.
  • Devourer Golem damage increased from 16000 to 30000 per shot.
    • Om Nom Nom Nom.
  • Destruction Point requirements have gone up drastically.
    • These were meant to be a barrier preventing late tech units from appearing until...well, really late into a long game.
  • Ark Point requirements have also gone up drastically, but the science cost has went down as well.
    • Bit more experience based.
  • All Arks move 50% faster, have much lower health, but now have the same target priority as Starships.
    • No more face tanking Mass Drivers for a really long time.
  • Normal and Area Minefields damage increased from 2500 to 5000, self damage adjusted to compensate.
    • Still self destruct in 5 hits.
  • Widow Minefields now paralyze for 3s instead of 2.
  • Instigator Bases that spawn Guardians to attack you now include Fortified Tesla and Plasma Guardians.
    • Thanks to Avenger1649 and Mac for suggesting greater variety.
  • Heavy Beam Guardians no longer self damage, damage reduced to compensate.
    • Were hilariously one shotting themselves, kind of making them not at all scary.
  • Automated Construction Swarm units now move at speed 1000 instead of 600.
    • Short range, so bad speed was hurting them.
  • Ion Eyes now fire 4 shots at a time instead of 1.
    • To make it an actual thing to be concerned with, instead of being ignored.
  • War Harvester/Sieger mercenaries use 2000 energy each, instead of 7000.
    • Could put you in an energy crisis upon being hired. Less impact now.
  • Remains Rebuilders now have a reasonable health value, instead of being so tanky they could scout half the galaxy for you.
  • Mobile Space Dock health reduced by a fair chunk.
    • Strangely tanky things.
  • Science Labs now move as fast as Hackers.
    • Found these to be annoyingly slow. Just a quality of life thing.
  • Mercenary Flagships now have a mass of 4, so Sabots/Mass Drivers will no longer obliterate them. Range is also increased so they stay a bit out of the way more.
    • For the case of the group going and attacking a planet by themselves, and the lead ship being destroyed nigh instantly, thus preventing you from rehiring it. Shouldn't have to protect them like eggs.
  • Raider Guardians have a similar weapon to the Fusion Bomber now.
    • Not sure what else they can get, but it's something more interesting.
  • Golems and the Lost Spire Frigate now move 50% faster (200 to 300).
    • Slowpokes! Should hopefully make them a bit nicer to use.
  • Armored, Regenerator and Botnet Golems have a bit longer range (5000 to 6500), so they don't have to essentially ram their targets.
  • Zenith Trader speed increased (150 to 250).
    • So he gets around the galaxy a bit better.
  • Dire Shredder/Tethuida Guardian/Guard Posts now spawn 15 drones of the relevant type upon death. These drones also only degrade by 20% every second, instead of 35% like other drones.
  • Dire Shredder Guard Posts now spawn the correct amount of drones - it was only building a third of the count it should have.
  • Player salvage increased 20%, AI salvage doubled.
    • AI may be very low still - finding it rare to ever get a reprisal, but more data required.
  • Metal Harvesters cost 2,000 metal to claim instead of 10,000.
    • Quality of life thing, speeds up very early game and not much else.
  • Arks have half the reload time (excluding the Thanatos zombifying missiles).
  • Orchid Vampirism reduced from 5 health per 1 damage to 1 health per 1 damage.
    • DPS is doubled from the above change, so it's not as bad as it seems.
  • Dire Tesla Guardians now have the same immunity to damage from beyond 2800 range as the normal version.
  • Dire Tesla Guardian damage increased from 1700 to 2500.
  • Tritium Sniper Guardian damage increased 120 > 180, reload time halved from 4s to 2s.
  • Dire Paralysis Guardian damage tripled from 400 to 1200, also fires every shot at once.
    • Sort of pathetic?
  • Grenade Launcher turret range increased from 5000 to 6500, shields increased from 11250 to 15000.
    • Thanks Kesseleth!
  • Concussion Turret total health reduced from 20250 to 12500.
    • Long range turret, not quite planet range as Snipers and Spiders but fairly long, so feel like they should be something that needs protection?
  • MLRS Turret total health reduced to 12500, same reasoning as above.
  • Fragmenting Guardian Shard damage doubled from 400 to 800.
    • Be scary already!
  • Science Labs gather at twice the rate.
  • Heavy Beam Cannon turret strength value increased 33% - more expensive for the AI now.

Version 0.806 Sabre Company

(November 9th, 2018)

  • Fix a bug where we were allowing the AI to over-diversify its waves. Waves are now capped at 8 different unit types
    • Thanks to Puffin for reporting
  • Tutorial now teaches how to set ships in Pursuit Mode using the hotkey for it.
    • Thanks to DiamondDuty for the inspiration!
  • Devourer Golem will now push Forcefields out of the way.
    • Thanks to HeartHunter7 for...uh, trying this.
  • Fix a bug where some minor factions could generate unhelpful error messages after you lost a game
    • Thanks to HeartHunter for reporting
  • Put a cap on the number of Marauder outposts that can spawn on allied planets
    • Thanks to Avenger1649 for suggesting
  • Start work on Notifications for Instigator Bases. Probably still needs work, but arcenui keeps breaking for me so I can't really test it
    • Thanks to wm46 for the suggestion
  • Instigators will consider a planet 'defeated' when they outnumber the defenses 10 to 1, and then move to the next planet on the way to the player King
    • Thanks to HeartHunter for observing a case where instigators got stuck
  • Correct the description of the Superterminal to no longer request the player to capture the planet.
  • Allows enter/return to confirm Yes/No popups, and close Okay popups
    • Thanks Kaleopan for reporting!

Balance Tweaks

  • Tractor Arrays and Focused Gravity Generators now have cheaper tech costs.
    • Way too expensive!
  • Tachyon Arrays now get cloaking at Mark 2 instead of Mark 4.
    • Not sure why you'd ever upgrade these that much.
  • Pulsar Tanks, Tantruming Guardian, Dyson Bastion, Vanguard albedo increased to 0.7.
    • Make Ablative Gatlings less useless!
  • Ambush Turrets now have their effect last 15s instead of 9, at Mark 4 and above.
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty for suggesting this...too long ago. Bah.
  • Tethuida Guardians, Parasites, Astro Trains and the whole Nanocaust can no longer be captured by another faction.
    • While it was very amusing to have the AI steal Nanocaust ships, the Nanocaust steal it back, I steal those, etc, it has to go. Also stops the case of "to me, to you" back and forth of capturing the same unit over and over.

New Mercenary Groups

  • Adds "Sabre Company" - uses Pulsar Tanks as its only unit, is hireable anywhere and can be done twice.

Version 0.805 Mercs, Hacks, and, Drones, Oh My

(Released October 30th, 2018)

  • Fixed typo on performance tooltip.
    • Thanks sOvr9000 for reporting!
  • Fixed Turret Schematic Servers mentioning Starships in their description.
    • Thanks to donblas for reporting!
  • Allow Beam Cannons, Tractor Arrays, Gravity Turrets, and Tachyon Arrays to be built on hostile planets.
    • Thanks to AtomTheBomb for reporting!
  • Sidebar now collapses when you click on a tab that is already opened.
    • Thanks darkarchon for reporting in Discord!
  • Added objective for when you are below 40k energy
  • Improve the tooltip for Marauder Outposts
  • Science Labs, Hackers, and Space Docks no longer upgrade to Mark 2 - existing ones will degrade, unfortunately.
    • Lots of confusion - Labs and Hackers have no upgrade purpose, and Docks weren't upgraded at all. Thanks to Feudal Wulf and FFace for talking about this.
  • Science Labs can no longer be built on enemy planets.
    • Lots of people thinking this meant you could get science from them - then being confused as to when it didn't work.
  • Added prompt for unlocking or upgrading ships.
    • Thanks PACKRATXXXNASTY for the suggestion on Steam.
  • Fixed the Quick Start Category buttons so they don't go off the screen.

Bug Fixes

  • Drones should no longer idle, and will charge into glorious combat! At least, testing so far has them doing so every time, when before they just fell asleep.
    • Thanks to HeartHunter7 for reporting, and Aero182 for reporting, and guessing what the solution was, and finally Kasslerkryssi for inspiring me, with a report about Marauders, to go look at their entries, and finding the line that possibly fixed this at last.
  • Drones are no longer eligible to be repaired
    • I've seen a few complaints about this but I don't remember names.
  • Fix a bug where hacking Schematic Servers would not do anything
    • Reported by a lot of people
  • Fix a null reference exception in Reprisal Wave code. This had a lot of nasty side effects, including making the game appear to freeze
    • Explicitly reported by T-Pond and Kaleopan, but I suspect many other people saw it, and this is potentially behind other issues people saw.
  • Fix a typo on reprisal wave tooltips
    • Thanks to AtomTheBomb for reporting
  • Fixes the Instigator base that spawns units never appearing - duplicate ID. You may notice some bases that said "Boost AIP" now say they'll spawn units - they will eventually, have to finish their current timer, then it'll swap to normal. Boost AIP bases can still spawn, though, and work as they should.
    • Thanks to HeartHunter7 for reporting this.

Hacking Changes

Major thanks to Badger for the heavy lifting on this!

  • Hacking response is now based only on how many hacking points you've used against a given faction, not AIP.
  • Each AI difficulty level has a different base response strength - higher the difficulty, the more the AI will send against you during hacks.
  • Every hack, other than Science Extraction and the Super Terminal take more time to do, with the Decode Nanobots taking a full 10 minutes.
  • All hacks now send a more or less constant stream of small responses at you, with the occasional larger response, very similar to what was used previously.
  • The Super Terminal now increases its response over time, so you can't hold it forever.
  • Design Backup hacks now have proper responses as well.

Balance Tweaks

  • Vampire Guardian health leech halved.
  • Assault Starship now has a secondary weapon, "Point Defense", which is a 3s reload, 8 shots per salvo weapon, dealing 800 damage per shot.
  • Warbird Starship damage doubled from 200 to 400 per shot.
  • Tritium Sniper Starship railgun damage increased from 330 to 495, reload time reduced from 4s to 2s.
  • Siege Starship now damages up to 10 targets per shot instead of 5, and explosion size increased from 500 to 600.
    • Thanks to APhoenixSoaring for asking the question "What's the point of Starships?", zeusalmighty and Kesseleth for feedback on Discord on changes related to every Starship mention here.
  • Human and AI Raid Starships shield points reduced from 40k to 30k.
  • AI units should now give half the energy they used to when being killed by the Dark Spire.
  • Metabolizing Gangsaw speed increased from 1200 to 1600, damage reduced from 350 to 150, reload time decreased from 3s to 1s, cap increased from 60 to 120, energy cost down from 500 to 350, self damage amount halved.
  • Metabolization death effect now gives 20% of the targets cost, up to a maximum of 5,000 metal, up from 10%.
  • V-Wing range increased from 3800 to 4200.
  • All AI related hacks now send less frequent responses, generally about half, to a third as many.
    • Possibly overkill, but given the horror stories...
  • Adds a short range Tachyon system to Marauder Raiders - currently they have no means of detecting AI cloaked ships hiding on a planet, and thus wouldn't actually capture it. Hopefully this means as they attack, they'll happen to snag any.
    • Thanks to Kasslerkryssi for reporting the baffled Marauders.
  • Spire Lost Frigate hull increased from 150k to 500k, shields from 450k to 750k, Beam Damage increased from 3000 to 5000.
    • Thanks to mrmud for suggesting this thing get a boost.
  • All time based mercenaries last 20 minutes instead of 10, with the below exception.
  • Xenophon no longer has the behaviour of warping out after a battle, and instead simply brings a much larger group, that leaves after 10 minutes.
  • All mercenary groups have different starting strengths and scaling with AIP. The character themed ones in particular are much stronger initially, often doubling or more.
  • All "Automated" groups, both "War" groups, and Anvil Securities cost 5 hacking points to hire.
  • War Siegers and War Harvesters have had major weapon upgrades.
  • Anvil Securities can no longer be hired on AI held planets.
    • Thanks to Lord of Nothing for noticing this.
  • Nucleophilic Turrets fire 1 shot instead of 3, but damage per shot tripled. Base damage multiplier increased from 3x to 4x.
  • Dark Spire units have their strength values at least doubled - one tripled, one quadripled - so less should spawn.
    • An unfortunate consequence of the pre-Early Access automatic strength calculation - made the Dark Spire have really cheap as chips ships.
  • V-Wing damage increased by 50%.
    • To be an actual fighter, instead of an ankle biter.
  • Ablative Gatling damage doubled, but base multiplier halved to 5x, and only gains 1x per mark.
    • To make them still nasty vs their preferred targets, but not quite as useless otherwise.
  • Dire Paralysis Guardian now only tractors things with albedo less than 0.4, instead of 0.5.
    • Thing seemed to prioritise Starships, making it incredibly frustrating to ever fight. Now it can't tractor them.
  • Tethuida and Shredder drones speed increased from 1200 to 1600, damage doubled on both.
    • Sorta wimpy, hardly did anything.
  • Carrier Guardians starting build rate reduced from 2500 to 1500.
    • Meaning they rebuild their drones slower - a group of these was a bit...absurd?
  • Space Tank is now called the Pulsar Tank, is now cap 30, stats adjusted accordingly (twice as much health, damage, etc), Augmented weapon has a dramatic damage increase.
  • Armor Ship is now called the Vanguard, and has the same treatment as above in being cap 30, twice the health, damage, etc.
  • Etherjet loses cloaking entirely (for now), damage increased from 12 to 30, weapon range is drastically increased.
    • These are meant to tractor while cloaked, but until that functionality can be put in, they'll be like this for now.
  • Normal Minefields are available for free at game start, instead of being unlocked.
  • Normal Minefields lost their damage multiplier, health decreased to 2500, self damage multiplier is now -0.2.
    • So they'll self destruct in 5 hits still, but won't be as...tanky, when detected. The AI was getting stuck. Multiplier was also causing weird things with their self destruction.
  • Area Minefields lost their multiplier as well, damage up to 2500 per hit, now spreads damage evenly among all targets in range, health decreased to 2500, self damage multiplier also -0.2.
    • Similar to the normal - except these were killing themselves near instantly, due to some hidden change in self damage with multi-shot salvos, I think. Same thing with the self destruction.
  • Widow Minefields health increased to 2500 to match the others, now spreads damage evenly among all targets in range, self damage multiplier is now -5.
  • All Minefields cost 1000 metal, down from 3000.
    • Metal Status: Depleted.
  • A bunch of AI non-combat structures, like Wormhole Sentinels, now have insignificant strength values, while Ion Cannons are drastically reduced.
    • Meant to help factions decide to attack, instead of being partially scared off from things that can't fight back, as well as players not overestimate how strong a planet is.
  • Economic and Military Command Stations have increased salvage percentage, going up to 5% per Mark for Economic, and 4% for Military.
    • They are now like their Classic incarnations.
  • Player salvage income is increased...to 1000% of current. Because really, destroying thousands of ships and you only get 31 metal per second? On the Homeworld?!
    • This might not even be enough.
  • The amount of strength the Nanocaust can add to a Frenzy, that is given by holding planets, is increased to 400%.
    • So essentially, it would have about 1 strength it could send in a frenzy, for every planet it held. This...meant after the initial attack, it would fizzle out as it could never actually take over anything if the planets were higher Marks. Now, it has 4 strength for each planet it holds that it can decide to send.
  • Instigator bases have had their scaling with AIP generally doubled, with one being tripled. The base that gives AIP now gives 1, but every 450s instead.
    • These were being ignored. Conservative for now...
  • Astro Trains have had their scaling with AIP also generally doubled, with some having their flat, non scaling effect amount bumped up a fair bit.
    • Rare to have one actually complete its effect - should be more...well, noticeable.
  • Macrophage Harvesters now move at speed 200 instead of 150, and will go to feed their telium the metal they have collected, at 7500 instead of 10000.
    • Just to help them actually harvest - they always seemed to die long before returning once. Enraged Harvesters are still speed 150 though.
  • All Drones now self attrition without their parent being on the same planet, at a rate of 35% per second, instead of 1%.
    • So now when you move Carriers from planet to planet, the drones'll actually die so the Carrier can build them on the next planet. Also, sniping Carrier Guardians is an actual thing, as their drones'll die very quickly.
  • Rorqual Hegira, Shield Generators and Shield Starships have their shield size increased from 1.3 to 2.
    • Not able to protect much. Also means you can now cover the Command Station AND the Energy Collector reasonably!

Version 0.804 Hack Me Quickly

(Released October 17th, 2018)

  • Fixed a bug caused by typo in the prior version that led to the brand new attack-move interface button actually turning on and off pursuit mode instead of attack-move. Blah! The hotkey for it works fine, and the highlighting for the buttons is also correct (showing which mode is active). The button simply activates the wrong ability, though.
    • Thanks to Viss Valdyr, VentoreX, and Segolia for reporting.
  • The various bugs with tooltips getting stuck to the mouse cursor should be well and truly gone now.
    • These were a regression based on some code we introduced to try to stop a flicker that tooltips had pre-EA, but then we found the true cause of the flicker and it was something else. Now we've taken the code back out that didn't help the flicker, but did cause the tooltip-sticking, and so all should be well now.
    • Thanks to Phantazmagor, rkfg, and others for reporting.

Game Speed Options

  • The default simulation speed controls are now able to make the simulation speed go into slow motion (below 1), unlike before. It can go down to half speed, now.
    • Thanks to Bou for inspiring this change.
  • Instead of having the second, confusing speed setting that made the game run slower if you used it, we've now introduced new "Game Speed Styles," which is kind of like something we had in the first AI War.
    • The controls for setting these are the same as it was to set the old confusing speed setting (hold ctrl and click the arrows by the clock, or use ctrl and plus or minus).
    • The settings are defined in xml here, so you can define your own custom ones if you want. The default ones are:
      • Epic (0.6x attack power, 0.6x ship move speed)
      • Stately Ships (1x attack power, 0.6x ship move speed)
      • Slower Battles (0.6x attack power, 1x ship move speed)
      • Default (normal stats)
      • Faster Ships (1x attack power, 2x ship move speed)
      • Faster Battles (2x attack power, 1.3x ship move speed)
      • Cheetah (2x attack power, 3x ship move speed)
      • Insane (3x attack power, 5x ship move speed)
      • Plaid (4x attack power, 8x ship move speed)
    • Thanks to Bou for inspiring this change.
  • In the tooltip for the clock in the bottom left, it now explains what the red number means when there is too much load. It also now shows what the Game Speed Style is, and if there is fast-forwarding or slow-motion going on.
    • Thanks to Bobtree for suggesting.

Balance Tweaks

  • Sabot and Dire Sabot Guard Posts range reduced from 18,000 to 10,100.
    • Overlapping with Mass Drivers.
  • Both Human and AI Fortresses have 150k Hull health at Mark 1, and minor damage increase of 20%.
  • All AI responding hacks have a 5th of the response, both on interval and in completion.
    • Thanks to Deo and AtomTheBomb for reporting, and likely others.
  • Tractor and Gravity Guardians now have Tachyon Emitters whose range matches that of their other effects, but is otherwise the same as the Sentinels found at Wormholes. Range of the Tractor Guardians...er, Tractor, increased to match its gun so it actually grabs stuff without having to hug it, but only grabs 60 ships, down from 90.

Version 0.803 The New Attack-Move

(Released October 16th, 2018)

Clarity

  • Added a note to the tutorial that explains to use the galaxy map to send movement orders to planets that are not next door.
    • Thanks to Yindiram the FaerieDragon for inspiring this change.
  • When you build a command station on a planet, it now takes you out of the build command station mode, and won't let you enter back into it.
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle for reporting the confusion this could cause.

Control/Interface Additions

  • The text and icons on the galaxy map intentionally hide themselves after a certain amount of zooming-out. Previously, it felt like they were disappearing a little bit too soon; so now it allows them to keep showing for 1.5x as far out in zoom.
    • That said, you can also now configure that to make them disappear even faster, or last even longer, or go back to how they were last release, using two new options at the top of the Galaxy Camera section of the settings menu.
    • Thanks to Tzarro for suggesting.
  • Previously, the planet tooltips in the galaxy map were only showing the amount of metal and energy you were producing at them, and only showing that if you held ctrl to see the full text for that planet.
    • NOW it shows the total amount of metal or energy generation happening on the planet, regardless of whether or not you own them. This shows you capture opportunities, aka which planets have more metal to capture or where there is a giant energy source to capture, etc.
    • On your own planets it continues to hide those by default unless you press ctrl, but on planets you don't own it will show them so long as their values aren't zero.
    • Thanks to Viss Valdyr for suggesting.
  • Holding the ctrl key while clicking to build units such as turrets now works like it did in the first game, and builds 5 at a time.
    • Thanks to Wegadin and Dbrn for suggesting.
  • In the tooltips over player ships, you can now see if they are in group-move, stop-to-shoot, or pursuit modes.
  • All ships can now be in any combination of group-move, stop-to-shoot, and pursuit mode.
    • This is more like the first game, and has a variety of useful purposes.
    • Thanks to Terrarius for suggesting.
  • Added a new "Attack-Move" mode:
    • While in attack-move mode, military ships will make their own choices about who to go attack that they see in range of themselves, and then will kite them and potentially chase them. Unlike in pursuit mode, they will not start chasing something that is out of their range, however.
    • There is a new button for this in the interface, or you can press the X key. The older "stop-and-shoot" mode is still useful, but has been moved to the C key.
    • This is actually a pleasingly sophisticated hybrid new mode that hasn't previously existed in this game or the original game.
    • Thanks to Terrarius for inspiring this addition!

Bugfixes

  • Fix a bug where the hacking sidebar would show you the available hacks on planets you hadn't yet explored (so you could tell if, say, there was a Schematic Server there)
    • Thanks to Regdren for reporting
  • Fixed a surprising bug with the "start with units queued" option in the lobby that was making it impossible to ever de-queue those units!
    • Thanks to Epic The Incandescent for reporting.
  • Put in a further fix to prevent tooltips from ever getting stuck to your mouse cursor.
    • Thanks to rkfg and Phantazmagor for reporting the issue.
  • Fixed a bug where it was not possible to save your game during the tutorial! It did not have a campaign name. Now it saves under the campaign name "Tutorial."
    • Thanks to nnothead31 and UFO for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where hold fire mode made ships unable to re-cloak!
    • Thanks to Crisp for reporting.

Balance Tweaks

  • Hacking Points gained per planet now 30, down from 40.
  • AIP gained per destroyed Command Station now 25, up from 15.
  • Ambush Turrets cap increased from 10 to 30, cost and health reduced accordingly. Base damage reduced to be more in line with some other turrets, making them worse generalists, but the bonus is increased to keep them similar. Range also reduced to 5600.

Version 0.802 Hold Your Fire!

(Released October 15th, 2018)

  • Allow multiple space docks to be handled by the tutorial.
  • Add a 'build energy collector' requirement to the Tutorial, and mention that you can use Settings -> Automation for it.
  • Increase both AI and player Salvage income.
  • Fixed an issue introduced in todays earlier hotfix that caused unit placement to be annoyingly slow (you could only click 3x per second at most).
    • Thanks to Mckloshiv, RocketAssistedPuffin, ZEBEAST OF SLAVIC TERRITORIES, and la_nague for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing the keybindings to not be properly saved/applied when you changed them through the game.
    • Thanks to Mitvailer and la_nague for reporting.
  • Added the "hold fire" mode that folks have definitely been missing! Aka, "Toggle Ship Systems Enabled"
    • Press the N key to enable it, by default.
    • Switch the selected ships into or out of functioning. While disabled, military ships will not attack anything they see. This is very useful for ships that are cloaked that you want to keep stealthy. When disabled, engineers will not spend metal doing work, and space docks will not run, etc.
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle, zeusalmighty, HeartHunter7, RocketAssistedPuffin, and la_nague for reminding us about this.

Version 0.801 Hotfix

(Released October 15th, 2018)

  • Fixed all our menus with lists of items being broken by a last-minute change prior to 0.800. Very sorry about that! It was most noticeable on the Objectives screen.
    • Thanks to pango and la_nague for reporting.
  • Fixed the longstanding issue with double-clicking units not working properly unless shift was held. This was a casualty of our switching input systems back in July.
    • Thanks to Kahuna, BadgerBadger, RocketAssistedPuffin, vinco, and la_nague for reporting.

Version 0.800 Early Access Launch

(Released October 15th, 2018)

  • Settings and controls categories no longer run off screen

Tutorial Tweaks

  • Added a note to the tutorial that each dock can rally separately.
    • Thanks to th_Pion for reporting, and Sizzle for transcribing.
  • If your assault starship dies during your attack on the third planet in the tutorial, it should no longer take you back to the prompt that asks you to build one.
    • Thanks to RocketAssistedPuffin for reporting.
  • Added in the usual starting 2 human home settlements, and 10 human cryo pods, for an extra 560 metal per second and 50k energy during the tutorial.
    • Thanks to RocketAssistedPuffin for suggesting.
  • Added in the standard two engineers right from the start of the tutorial, so that building the first engineers isn't extra slow.
  • The tutorial now has a nicely colored header, which also says what step you are on out of the total number of steps.
    • This is useful for making it clear that you're in the tutorial, and how far in you are.
  • Additionally, when you complete the tutorial it now has a nice message telling you so, and advice on what to do next (start a Quick Start game, don't stress, etc).
    • Thanks to RocketAssistedPuffin, th_Pion, Sizzle, and Josh Bycer for suggesting.
  • In the window that shows the tutorial information, there is now an "Other Notes" section down at the bottom that shows any other notes that are popping up into that usual window.
    • Thanks to Bobtree and Badger for pointing out how confusing this was.
  • If the game is paused, colored text saying so now shows up in the tutorial.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug where Astro Train Stations would spawn without limit.
  • Fixed a bug that we introduced in the last build that would occasionally lead to a tooltip getting stuck to your cursor.
    • Thanks to vinco for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue introduced in the prior build where it was now basically impossible to tell the difference between dock items in your queue and not in your queue.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.

Prior Release Notes

AI War 2: Pre-Early Access Polish