AI War 2: Pre-And-Post Launch Polish

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Revision as of 01:02, 18 October 2019 by BadgerBadger (talk | contribs) (Version 0.954)
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Known Issues

  • Multiplayer is disabled until post-1.0 while we focus on tightening up the single-player loop (more info here).

What's this phase all about?

The game is solid at this point and something we're really proud of and that players are having fun with. But inevitably, the more people we have playing it, the more things get brought to our attention to refine and make as smooth and fun as possible. This is basically a period we've set aside for doing that sort of thing, rather than focusing on any major new content drops or other major new features.

There may still be the odd major new thing, who knows -- sometimes the volunteers or modders wind up creating something and we're certainly not going to turn that down! But by the start of this phase the game was mature and really huge already, so focusing on polish seems like the way to best serve the largest group of people.

Version 0.954

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

  • When you click on the Hacking icon in the resource bar you get a history of all the hacking points you've spent.
    • Nota Bene: This will only apply to hacks you do once you install this patch, no pre-existing information
    • Still needs some fine tuning, but it's good enough for general testing
  • Tweak the helping hands tooltip to mention leaving the marauders their own planets
    • From a conversation with Genrazian
  • For the hover planet info, explicitly call out if taking the planet would cause AIP. Also more explicitly call out minor faction owners
    • From a conversation with Genrazian

Version 0.953 Hotfixes For Certain Linux + Hardware Combinations

(Released October 17th, 2019)

  • On Vulkan on Linux in certain circumstances, there was some form of shader error in the Amplify Bloom rendering. That issue should now be fixed.
    • Thanks to eldaking for reporting.
  • Just like windows has launch options allowing you to select between OpenGL and DirectX11, Linux now lets you choose between OpenGL - Preferred and Vulkan - Experimental, and macOS lets you choose between OpenGL - Preferred and Metal - Experimental.
    • This needs testing, and is a Steam client update only, not actually a change to the game.
  • Completely rebuilt the asset bundles and their projects to be based on Unity 2019.1.7, same as the main project has been for some time, and to make sure that they explicitly have Vulkan and Metal shader support built into themselves now that the game supports those new platforms.
    • This should hopefully solve the issues that we were still seeing with a few people using Vulkan on Linux, as well as potentially some "shader not compiled for this platform" issues with OpenGL on Linux for certain ships that were compiled against an older version of Unity.
    • This MAY also fix the Gyrn refractive glass not appearing in-game on any platform, although we haven't test this yet. It may be that we need to write our own shader for that, or update the one from Circonia Studios that we were using previously. Most likely it was an issue that was coming across because of different unity versions, though, we're not sure.
    • Thanks to eldaking and Badger for reporting.
  • Tutorial fix from Craig.
  • Enable strength icons with borders on the galaxy map. (I find it makes a big difference in readability when they overlap links of a similar color.)
    • Thanks to Asteroid for implementing!
  • Updated a whole bunch of our shaders that were not going to properly work with Metal or Vulkan simply because they were being compiled with exclusive platforms set to directx11 and opengl.
    • These should now work, and include things like the icons for ships, and many of the ships themselves. But it hasn't been tested yet. It certainly won't hurt anything, anyhow.
  • The Ciconia Studio glass shaders that we were using for the Gyrn bubble have been updated to their latest version, which should provide better compatibility and hopefully have those actually show up again in-game.
    • Why those were showing up in the prep projects but not the actual game is something of a mystery. If this doesn't work, we'll just have to create our own refractive shader with rim lighting, but we'd rather not waste the time if this simple update works. Please do let us know!
  • Fixed one backer name in the credits (Kevin A Munoz), which did not translate over well into pure basic-ascii characters when we ran it through a handy processor (https://pteo.paranoiaworks.mobi/diacriticsremover/) to get rid of unicode characters not supported by our fonts.
    • If other folks find that their name got a bit mangled, please do let us know! There were SO many people's names that it was impossible to go through them all manually.
  • Completely redid the shaders for the Gyrn glass bits so that it uses a refractive shader based on Amplify Shader Editor and thus should actually render in these newer unity builds.

Version 0.952 A Little Help From Scary Friends

(Released October 16th, 2019)

  • Create a tip that points to the instructions in the wiki for how to create your own planet name list. I figure people will want to do this at some point.
  • Spelling/grammar and clarification improvements to some tutorials.
    • Thanks to Craig and Badger for pointing things out.
  • We FINALLY have all of the kickstarter and backerkit backers thanked in the credits for the game. It's... um... a lot.
  • The credits screen has been split into three scrolling panels, rather than one giant one that scrolls everything. It's also now in two columns rather than three.
    • The left column is the same as it was before.
    • The center column now has just the top kickstarter backers, aka those at Mark III or higher levels of backing. That's the first 784 people, all backing at $44 or more.
    • The right column now has the Mark II and down backers, which is the remaining 2,264 people out of the 3,048 total backers.
    • These splits make it so that the scrollbars are actually sensitive enough that you can find what you're looking for. AND we alphabetized the backer names in each category, so that if you know your category you can find your name now.
    • Yeah this isn't really a top priority for the game in some ways, but it's a matter of showing respect for the people that made it possible in the first place. There are other kickstarter rewards for specific tiers, and some kickstarter stretch goals, that will happen post-1.0. But this is one of those basic "this needs to be in there for people on day 1 of launch" things.

New "Helping Hands" Quick Start

  • Added a new Quick Start to the Basics category, called Helping Hands. This really weighs the settings in the players favour, and is intended as an easy to win scenario that just lets you experience things with little stress.
    • Badger came up with this.

UI improvements

  • Some changes to the out-of-date planet info representation
    • Thanks Asteroid
  • Some changes were made to make sure a player knows which Flagship is hacking (and doesn't try to make that flagship leave the planet)
    • Put in a line between the Hacker and the Target to really remind the player visually that the hacker is bound to the target (a great suggestion from Asteroid)
    • Add some text to the Hacking Notification reminding the player that the hacking flagship can't leave the system.
      • Thanks to a bug report from kmunoz
  • Improve the hacking resource bar tooltip to show the number of hacking points spent per AI faction and the number of hacking points that will increase the hacking response level
    • This is something people have wanted for a while
  • Rather than confusingly opening a multiplayer submenu with little "coming soon" tooltips, the multiplayer button on the main menu now pops up a lengthy text note directly from Chris which explains the backstory and what is coming and a bit about the development process that led us here.
    • Big thanks to Craig for suggesting this.

Debugging improvements

  • Add a debug setting for showing an entity's world location.
  • Add a debug command to give all your fleets 1K Exp. Good for impatient people.

Bugfixes

  • Tweak the "level up" message for Planetary Fleets
    • Suggested by ArquebusX
  • Fix a nasty bug where the AI killing stacks could cause counterattack strength to increase enormously
    • Thanks to RockyBst for the bug report
  • Fix an off by one error when showing the "What Level a Fleet will level up to next" message in the Fleet tab
  • Extra defensive entities seeded for the AI (like Golems for the Golemite) now patrol their planets in an imposing fashion, instead of just sitting in one spot.
    • Only affects new games
  • Fix a null reference exception when scrapping a command station
    • Thanks to Asteroid for reporting
  • Put in some extra debug handling in HandleLODsAndShipPartAnimations for a crash that could apparently happen during one of the tutorials for some people, and also put in extra debugging logic so that if it does happen again we'll know more precisely what the problem is. It should also no longer halt gameplay in general if such an error does happen.
    • Thanks to Craig for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug that could happen in Network.OnClient_SendClientBatchToServer, related to GameCommands being null.
    • This is probably a problem with how GameCommands are being used somewhere, and might rear its head in the form of some desyncs in multiplayer when we get back to reimplementing that. Just one more reason why the desync auto-repair work we have planned is going to be so essential. It's hard to know if a bug like this comes from something a modder was doing, or a mistake on our own part, or what; but either way, the game needs to be resilient to that in both single player and multi player, and that's a good example of why our upcoming hybridized approach to lock-step versus sync-correcting the game (RTS versus action game styles, blended) is going to be well worth the wait.
    • Thanks to Craig for reporting.
  • The game will prioritize Combat Fleets over Support Fleets when choosing the hacker. It will only use support fleets when there are no combat fleets on a planet
    • Thanks to Craig for reporting.

Tutorial tweaks

  • Tutorials no longer display 'homeworld under attack' notifications, which aren't pertinent to any existing tutorials.
    • Thanks to Asteroid for suggesting
  • Autobuild settings no longer apply to tutorials; this is mostly so developers can test tutorials the way a new player would see them

Minor Faction Threat Interactions

  • Some minor factions generate Threat that winds up just annoying players, in particular Anti-AI zombies.
    • Add an XML field that can be applied to any Faction that says 'any threat provoked by this faction will just go back to sleep once the enemies are gone'
    • Current factions with that field:
      • Zombies
      • Devourer
      • Dyson Sphere
      • Macrophage
  • Note that putting this field on the Human faction would make for an entertainingly confused AI, like fighting Guy Pearce from Memento.

Balance Tweaks

  • The AI's planetary reinforcement cap can now increase as AIP increased (otherwise planets never really got stronger than they are at the beginning of the game except if Threat or subfleets wander through).
    • At difficulties <= 5, no change. At 6, the AI gets a 10% power increase per 100 AIP. At 7, 20%, difficulty 8-10 a 30% increase.
  • Cost of hacking Global Command Augmenter if you haven't paid the AIP for the planet reduced from 120 to 60.
  • Cost of Reroll ARS reduced from 80 to 20.
  • Add a setting to control AIP generation from allied factions
    • When you have allied factions like the Marauders or Nanocaust, when they kill command stations and so on it generates AIP. This is a balancing mechanism to keep these games from being too easy.
    • This can now be disabled mid-game. Disabling this makes the game much much easier, but should help in making some beginner-level quickstarts

Version 0.951 Hotfixes

(Released October 15th, 2019)

  • Fix typo in metal popup window
  • Don't let structures generate energy while you are still building them
  • Fix galaxy map possible/incoming wave animation being displayed for links between the AI and another faction than the player, even for unknown worlds and during map generation.
    • Fix from Asteroid
  • Fix null Reference when holding R on the C-view of a fleet you haven't captured yet. As a side-effect, the units highlighted in the R-view are now the ones on the currently selected planet, not necessarily the one the unit being viewed is on.
    • Fix from Asteroid
  • When attacking an AI homeworld, killing all the guard posts is enough to cancel the counterattack, you don't also have to kill the AI King
    • Reported by zeusalmight and Nuc_Temeron on Steam
  • Further differentiate the lower AI difficulties by increasing their overconfidence ratio a good amount
    • This should make them much more willing to attack and fail.
  • Internally improved some of the documentation on why the sound effects play quite like they do when there's a voice effect and a sound effect playing at near the same time. This should solve some confusion that devs and modders could have.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.

OS Compatibility

  • We've disabled "graphics jobs" in unity, as that may have been causing some problems on a very few machines (certain older intel cards, mainly not windows boxes).
  • We've updated linux to now default to using Vulkan rather than OpenGLCore.
    • Vulkan is only able to be triggered by directly having it be the default, and not by the command line, so this is how we had to do it.
    • On linux, you can use the command line -force-glcore to make it use OpenGL again if Vulkan is giving you trouble. But now you have a choice about it.
  • On OSX, we now support Metal, although it still uses OpenGLCore by default (and actually in this case we can't give any definite assurances that Metal will work completely correctly).
    • But if you want to give it a shot for whatever reason, you can enable that with force-gfx-metal in the command line to make it use metal instead of the default OpenGLCore. Previously that command line prompt would fail.

Audio tweaks

  • Fix a bug where the 'ai wave arrives' taunt wasn't being played for some code paths
  • warden and hunter only taunt when they think they will win.
  • Correctly play the AI killed your command station taunt (the game will 80% of the time choose a taunt and 20% will choose the old 'planet lost' audio).
  • Don't spam the game with 'player command station under attack' notifications
  • Don't play more than one 'player ship constructor killed' message per planet per attack. This taunt currently only triggers on the death of a Factory. Previously you could get 3 taunts from the 3 factories on a military command station planet, which seemed a bit excessive especially since you also usually get the taunt for the command station too.
    • Possibly these messages should be changed to be for the crippling of a combat factory instead of killing a factory.
  • Adjusted the AI taunts so that a specific taunt group can't play more frequently than every 30 seconds, as opposed to every 4.

Version 0.950 First Press Build

(Released October 14th, 2019)

  • More work on adding support for numStacksKilled when handling death effects. Should get most everything now
    • Including Dark Spire, Metabolization, Zombification, etc...
  • Slightly tweak the Dyson Antagonizer warp in time
  • The Dyson Antagonizer now prefers to spawn on lower mark planets until the AIP is reasonably high
    • This behaviour now matches Instigator Bases
  • If you have a fleet in Load Mode but some elements of that fleet are on remote planets, those elements will try to find the Flagship and load themselves, instead of just sitting there
    • Badgers are very lazy creatures and don't want to click more than necessary
  • Non-Combatants like Engineers and Transports no longer cause Guard Posts to release their ships
    • So if you have a fleet in Transport mode with all ships transported, flying through AI planets should no longer cause the AI to generate Threat. I believe this was really confusing players, since the game encourages Deep Striking, but Deep Striking was releasing tons of Threat from planets you never attacked
  • Add a quickstart from community member Nuc_Temeron.
    • His description:
      • In this scenario there are two level 7 AIs (Thief and Ensnarer) with Shark B enabled, which gives the Hunter fleets a quick surge of strength whenever you lose a base. Defend your territory well! You will have to depend on your allies, the Human Resistance Fighters (Intensity 8), to overcome these greedy swarms! The AIs are also supported by shipments from Astro Trains at Intensity 8 so you can't stay on defense for long.
      • The Macrophage has also infested this zone at Intensity 6 and is hostile to all.
      • The player starts with the Doorkicker Fleet, the Minelayer Battlestation and the Overloader Combat Factory in an 80-star Octopus zone.
  • Some Tutorial tweaks from Puffin
  • Add a new Watch planet hack; this works only with local hackers and on planets without enemies. It's much cheaper, but the vision only lasts until the AI recaptures the planet

Newly integrated AI taunts

  • 16 for AI Destroys player Command Station.
  • 13 for AI Destroys Player Golem.
  • 5 for AI Recaptures Planet.
  • 9 for AI Sends Wave.
  • 2 for Player Frees Dyson Sphere.
  • 10 for Hunter Fleet Arrives.
  • 8 for Overlord Transforms.
  • 12 for Player Claims Flagship.
  • 10 for Player Claims Golem.
  • 14 for Player Destroys AI Command Station (High Mark Planet).
  • 16 for Player Destroys AI Command Station (Low Mark Planet).
  • 5 for Player Destroys Warden Fleet Base.
  • 4 for Player Finds AI Overlord.
  • 5 for Player Fortress Destroyed.
  • 12 for Player Home Command Station Under Attack.
  • 7 for Player Stationary Constructor Destroyed.
  • 19 for AI Launches Counterattack.
  • 14 for Warden Fleet Arrives.
  • 1 for Warden Fleet Retreats (unused for now).
    • This is a total of 174 voice lines in 18 categories!
    • Thanks to Nathan Frisson for his awesome job voicing the AI in these clips; to a variety of players and staff for contributing fun lines for him to say; to Pablo Vega for processing this out so that he sounds wonderfully menacing, as well as splitting the files, removing mouth sounds and breaths and so on that would make it not sound like an AI; to Badger and Puffin for selecting the best takes and organizing them properly so that we could get them into our sound pipeline; and to Badger for actually wiring up the parts of the code that trigger these.
  • This obviously needs additional testing; if you think a line should be playing and it's not then a mantis report + save game would be appreciated!
  • There is now a dedicated audio bus to the AI taunting you, and it has its own gain settings and so on that are a bit louder than the "routine voices" that you hear elsewhere.
    • This also now will let us mix the AI voice in however we choose to do so.
    • We have a separate voice mixer for the AI voice lines now, and since those are much more complicated in terms of effects we have those coming in as a barely-compressed PCM stereo track. Downsampling, adaptive sampling, and/or mono makes it muddy fast.

Bugfixes

  • When unloading ships from a Transport, they inherit "time spent on planet" from the Transport so you can't cheese First Few Seconds On Planet bonus effects
    • Thanks to Smaug on Steam for reporting and Puffin for testing the fix
  • Remove some outdated text in the Scouting objective tooltip
    • Thanks to Telkir for reporting
  • Prevent Astro Train objectives from leaking the location of trains you shouldn't be able to see
  • Fix a bug where for non-AI homeworld planets, the AI was spawning extra Guard Posts instead of Dire Guardians
    • This should make things much more interesting. Note that dires are still limited to high mark planets
  • Fix an Off by One Error when the game was telling you what level a fleet was
    • Reported by Ozone
  • Fix a potential null reference when ships would try to join the Praetorian Guard (ie the AI overlord is being attacked)
    • Reported by Ozone
  • Fix a bug where the "metal income per planet" display was showing inaccurate information
  • Fix a problem where it was much harder than necessary to maneouver flagships in tight spaces. If you wound up clicking on an allied unit the flagship's rebuild metal flow would make it try to assist, which is ... unhelpful.
    • Thanks to Asteroid for the bug report
  • Fleets in Load Mode no longer deploy drones. This enables you to sneak combat factories past high-mark planets without the drones triggering lots of threat
    • Requested by overzot on steam
  • Fixed a bug where the visual line for ships claiming other ships was not displaying. Turns out an image that was once white that we were using as part of its material got changed to black at some point, thus making it effectively invisible because of the math of how the shader was run.
    • We took this change to go ahead and make the claim lines more attractive in general, and they now have a cyan-greenish look to them, but double-beamed, so that they look kinda like the repair lines but still distinct.
    • Thanks to WeaponMaster and BadgerBadger for finding this.
  • Added in an OnLoad from savegame fix that should prevent stationary ships from being twitchy and thinking they should pursue you. This bit is untested.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • The game no longer gives a harmless "Could not do Shutdown for network, the engine network interface was null" message if the game is shutting down prematurely for whatever reason.
    • Thanks to eldaking for reporting.
  • Fixed a minor issue where the game was reporting that your target framerate and vysnc count were being set right before they were, rather than right after. If it was failing, you'd have had no idea.
  • The game now logs the system info about itself far earlier in the load process, to help with cases where potentially we're unable to load things for some reason; we'll still get the system info in the debug files from now on.
    • Thanks to eldaking for inspiring this change.
  • The game's bootup log now is all-inclusive about all the steps that it takes, inside ArcenDebugLog.txt, so that in the event of a problem we now find out when that happens.
    • This makes for a much longer log every time you start up the game, but it's not something that is visible to players unless they go into their debug logs for whatever. And the information from it is definitely useful.
  • The game now logs what version it is on as soon as it can, but NOT before it can (heh), which it was temporarily doing on an internal build when we started logging system data really super early.
  • Added a new DoNotShowAndAlsoDoNotSendToUnityLog verbosity level that lets us skip showing certain things in the unity log but still send it to the ArcenDebugLog.txt file. This is a big deal for us in terms of not having our unity editor logs flooded with stuff that we'd want to collect in a bug report but don't need to see every last time.
  • Fixed a variety of selection issues on the galaxy map with fleets not always deselecting properly and instead sometimes being additive, etc.
    • It's actually a number of bugs all in one, because basically there was some older per-planet logic that was still being used here (and on planets) from back when cross-planet selection was only kinda-sorta a thing. Now it all works consistently galaxy-wide, or at least should. But if you see any remaining (or new) bugs, please let us know.
    • Thanks to OzoneGrif and Asteroid for reporting.
  • Previously, hitting the escape key would just clear your selection on the current planet. Now it clears the selection on all the planets, as it should.
    • We didn't see the "when a fleet traverse a wormhole, it's selection is lost. This issue only occurs if the selection was made in the planet view. If you select the fleet on the galaxy map, it works correctly." issue, but probably what it really was was the above one. Or something fixed in the batch right before that. If it's still something anyone else sees, please let us know.
    • Thanks to OzoneGrif for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue with the planet links where their collision capsules were intersecting with the collision boxes of planets and ship icons on the galaxy map.
    • This was having the effect of making it so that quite often you couldn't select specific ships except at certain zoom levels, or couldn't click planets or ships reliably in general (zoom level and scale of icons did play a role here also).
    • Basically, the solution was to make it so that we first raycast to find ONLY the planets and ships/fleets, if there are any under the mouse cursor. These use one set of physx layers.
    • Only if we don't find anything with that first raycast do we then do a second raycast against the new physx layer that the links now use. Now it doesn't matter if the capsules for the links overlap with planets or ship icons (no way to stop that, really), because it will ALWAYS give preference to the other icons first, and only go for the links between planets if the icons fail.
    • Thanks to Smaug, I-KP, and Pat for reporting.

UI improvements

  • Clicking on the Energy Usage bar now gives detailed feedback for what is consuming your energy (broken down by fleet) and what planets are generating the most energy
    • Requested by darkarchon
  • The Tooltip for Tech Vault objectives now list which ship lines will benefit from hacking the tech vault
    • Badgers are very lazy creatures
  • For the Flagship/GCA objectives, show the count of ship lines before listing the ship lines so I don't have to count them
    • Badgers are very lazy creatures
  • Improvements to the R-Click "Strong Against" view:
    • Fixed damage bonuses listed in this view not always matching the mirror "weak against" view.
    • Show only units you discovered on the map, leading to a lot less clutter early-game.
    • Sort units that are in the same system as the friendly unit you're examining at the beginning of the list, and bold them.
    • Thanks to Asteroid for the code and kmunoz for the bug report
  • CPAs always now give 10 minutes warning; given how impactful they are, a long warning period is justified. Previously they were getting less warning time than a regular Wave by default
  • When a Fleet levels up, only say "Some ship types may level up with the fleet" if the fleet actually contains ship lines that will level up
    • This was annoying Badger, since most ship lines don't level up anymore but the game made you think they did.
  • New icons for the Tech Menu!
    • Thanks Asteroid!
  • Better alignment for hotkey indicators on standing order buttons and for the icons in the build sidebar
    • Thanks Asteroid!

Changes for lower AI difficulties (<= 5)

  • There were some complaints that there wasn't enough differentiation between high and low mark AIs, so we're making some changes to make lower mark games have an easier feel in a number of ways
  • Seed extra ARSs and Tech Vaults in the galaxy
  • Seed more low-mark planets near the player
  • Nerf AI income
  • Nerf AI defenses
  • Make the Hunter and Warden fleets dumber by allowing them to trickle into a battle piecemeal instead of waiting for reinforcements
    • Prompted by a discussion with hazxan on Steam

Version 0.900 Custom Fleets With Empty Slots

(Released October 11th, 2019)

Balance Improvements

  • Instead of spawning instantly, a Dyson Antagonizer now warps in over time, giving the player a chance to destroy it before the Sphere gets Antagonized.
    • Requested by zeus almighty. You'd think he could have just struck it with a lightning bolt or seduced it in the form of a goose...

Tutorial and Tips Work

  • Added a new "Tutorial 99", which is even in its description just a note to be sure and check out the "How to Play" section of the game and other resources.
    • Since various people seem to miss those other resources but easily see the tutorials list, having this always be the last tutorial in the list no matter how many other tutorials we add seemed like a good idea.
  • Also got rid of the "Example Tutorial" that was junking up the tutorials screen, since now there are plenty of much more involved examples that are also actually fully-functional tutorials.
  • Add a Tip under the Modding section to explain how to make your own Quick Starts

Bugfixes

  • Fix a bug where units sometimes were waiting out of range instead of closing to firing distance
    • Reported by kmunoz and Telcontar on Steam
  • Fix a bug where flagships could just wander away from where you told them to go
    • Reported by kmunoz.
  • Fixed a rare nullref exception that could happen in the wave notifications.
  • Fixed a really rare nullref that could happen in Network.OnClient_SendClientBatchToServer.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • Put in some extra debugging to fix ships not rendering right in some rare circumstances and thus causing a cascade of all things not rendering. Now it should fail gracefully if it fails at all, and give us more information on where it failed, then let you keep playing without making everything disappear.
    • Thanks to OzoneGrif for reporting.

"Custom Fleets", Aka The Remedy For Control Groups

  • Fixed things up so that fleet flagships can be constructed from the build sidebar, or other self-constructing means. This was never possible before in the engine, turns out.
  • There are 9 possible fleets that you can create at any of your command stations, now. Each one has 7 empty ship lines in it, and they are 3x cloaked, 3x velocity (fast flagship), and 3x workhorse (normal flagship).
    • These can be constructed at any point and you can start putting some of your specialized ships into them via ship swapping. The interface makes this clear and suggests it, as well. Basically for people who wanted to pull aside just their melee ships or cloaked raiders or whatever, now you can do that; this lets you control "sub fleets" in effect, by splitting your existing ship lines among more fleets, exchanging empty slots for ship lines you find elsewhere.
    • This was something that Chris went back and forth on a lot of times in terms of how to handle control groups that were more specific than 1+ fleets at a time. Ultimately the display and automation benefits of having control groups always stay linked to just 1+ fleets outweighed the benefits of changing that; but in order to allow for players to have smaller custom fleets as they may desire, activated by control group as they may desire, here's this new feature.
    • This is, of course, in addition to the hotkeys for quickly selecting units of specific criteria a while ago (cloaked units, melee units, whatever). This is for when you want to make a permanent or semi-permanent sub-grouping of ships for whatever reason (of which there are many valid ones to have).
    • Thanks to a lot of people, including Nameless Terror, ulu, Asteroid, and others for inspiring this change.

UI Improvements

  • Standing order buttons now display their key shortcut on the button itself, provided it can be expressed in a single letter (so X and V are displayed, Delete isn't).
    • Implemented by Asteroid
  • Science bar now has icons for the various techs.
    • Implemented by Asteroid
  • Wave progress indicator on galaxy map links now animates smoothly instead of once every second. (No associated visual at the moment, Chris didn't find the proposed particle effect good enough.)
    • Implemented by Asteroid
  • For all mobile flagships and citadels (not lone flagships, though), there is a new "Flagship Movement Mode" in their fleet status window.
    • Your flagships are usually precious enough that you don't want them to roam around in pursuit mode or attack-move mode. HOWEVER, you will often want to set them into those modes in order to make any ships they construct pop out in those modes.
    • When this is set to"Stay Put Unless Direct Order", it acts as you might expect and causes the flagship to ignore things like Pursuit mode, but for ships it creates to be put in that mode (and obey it).
    • When this is set to "Roam If Instructed" mode, the flagship will pursue when in pursuit mode, attack when in attack-move mode, and so on. This can be useful for Arks and Golems in some cases, or even for things like Combat Factories (on peaceful worlds).

Prior Release Notes

AI War 2: The Refinement of Fleets