AI War 2: Pre-Early Access Polish

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AI War 2: Early Access Starts!

What was this phase all about?

We were nearing the point where we were ready for Early Access, and so we started focusing on polish and bugfixing. Also improving a lot of the interfaces, and adding a few new ones! More content will be added during Early Access, but this phase was all about polishing what was there.

This also marked the start of the press preview period, so hopefully those folks bore with us on the rough edges they got caught on in this pre-Early-Access state.

Version 0.785 Controls Viewing And Editing

(Released October 14th, 2018)

  • More tutorial typo fixes and text clarifications from Pepisolo.
  • Updated the apology message in custom start to reflect the fact that we're not going to be able to get the lobby done prior to the start of EA, unlike what we previously thought.

Control Bindings Window

  • The settings and exit game buttons on the main menu have been made smaller, and a new controls button has been added at that same size. Now there's a way to actually see and click into the control bindings window from the main menu, and not just in-game.
    • Of course, prior to now there WAS no control bindings window, just a coming soon note, so it didn't matter until now.
  • All of the keybindings now have proper names, descriptions, and useful categories, and show up in the control bindings window with what their key combo is to activate them.
  • There is a "reset defaults" button in the controls window that lets you reset the defaults. As with the settings menu, you have to actually hit save before any changes take effect, however. So you can cancel out after looking at the defaults, if you wish.
  • In the key bindings window, you can now left-click a key or modifier to enter a mode where you can set it. You can right-click a key or modifier button to clear it, instead.
    • Aka: full keybinding input screen, now!

Interface Beautification

  • A more unified header has been added to the dock categories in the docks tab.
    • A similar one, that is a bit less fancy, has been added to the ships and direct build tabs as well.
    • On the tech unlocks tab, the headers are even brighter and the text of each category now has a blue gradient on it. This makes it way more obvious when you're on the tech tab, which is pretty important because you don't want to accidentally spend science!
  • The ship icons in the sidebar tabs all now have backgrounds that are a bit more attractive and colored.
  • The icons in the docks and direct build and tech tabs all now are all not overlapping their numbers on top of themselves anymore. This makes them a bit taller, matching the ships tab.
    • This also makes it so that they can't have their numbers run off the bottom of the viewing area.
    • Thanks to Bobtree and HeartHunter7 for reporting elements related to this.
  • Renamed Critical Destructibles to Critical Targets, and modified the description to say "... destroy or hack ..."
    • Thanks Bobtree for suggesting

Bug Fixes

  • Enemy ship icons now collapse when told to.
    • Thanks Bobtree and Ovalcircle for reporting.
  • Mercenary, Hacking, and Objectives buttons in the sidebar no longer run off the left edge
  • Fixed a couple of bugs with buggy objectives tab display because of various pooled data not being cleared properly.
    • Thanks to Bobtree for reporting and Dominus Arbitrationis for the repro save.
  • Mercenary header now displays the correct number when collapsed rather than "No mercenaries available"
    • Thanks Bobtree for reporting
  • In the ui code, we can now tell if our controls are clicked by what button, double clicked, etc.
  • The 'placement failing' messages are no longer the big scary black boxes, but instead are the smaller messages on the side of the screen.
    • Additionally, if they're failing because all potential builders are disabled for some reason, it says what the disabled reason is rather than saying they can't be found.
    • Thanks to HeartHunter7 for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen on various threads because of ships checking for overkill status in a rapidly-changing environment. This was new as of last release.
    • Thanks to HeartHunter7 and Mckloshiv for reporting.
  • Fixed an unexpected bug that could pop up in the processing of ships during death in a game with the Dark Spire on.
    • Thanks to RabidSanity for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue with the category buttons on the settings menu where their clickable/hoverable areas were not very sane because we had an errant content-fitter in there fighting with our manual placement code.
    • Thanks to Bobtree for reporting.

Balance Tweaks

  • Engineers have had their repair and healing rates tripled, from 500 to 1500, and gain an extra 500 per Mark, up from 100.
  • Orchid Ark now gains 4000 healing rate per Mark, up from 3000.
  • Fortresses have had their missiles reduced to 1000 damage from 1600, but now fire 30 shots up from 16 and every 4 seconds instead of 6, and have a 2x multiplier identical to Concussion units, increasing by 0.5x per Mark. Their plasma cannon has been thrown in the bin, and it bought a new shiny Fortress Energy Wave, dealing 2500 damage, firing 4 shots every 6 seconds, with a 6x damage multiplier against units with mass of at least 5.
    • Mouthful.

Version 0.784 Dash And Destruct

(Released October 13th, 2018)

Selected Ships Window

  • There is a new window that shows what ships you have selected in a scrolling listbox that gets bigger as needed.
    • It shows the names of the ships written out, and then shows their counts and their combined health percentage (colorized by health range) next to it.
    • Hovering over a line item shows the usual ship info on the left of the screen, but with a new line near the top that shows the selected count, combined health, and total strength rating of that type of selected ship.
    • This window also has buttons for toggling attack-move, group move, and pursuit mode (FRD), and for scrapping units.
      • This is the first time in a long while that these controls have had a visible presence on the interface, so it makes them vastly more likely to be used by new players in particular.
  • The selected ships window now shows the three mode buttons as colorized whenever there is 1+ ships in the selection that are in that mode. All three could be colorized at once if you had given mode settings to individual ships prior to freshly selecting them all.
    • Thanks to Badger for suggesting.

Controls

  • Edge scrolling speed when using the mouse is now 1.5x faster, and WASD scrolling is now 5x faster.
    • Note that it was very slow before because it was assuming that you'd hold shift to go fast when you wanted, and otherwise would be looking at details. In retrospect it was way too sluggish-feeling on the default.
    • Thanks to Kahuna, th_Pion, and Sizzle for reporting.
  • The zoom speed on the planet view is now 3x what it used to be, and on the galaxy map is now 1.5x what it used to be.
    • If this is too sensitive for your mouse, you can still adjust this plenty fine in the game settings screen. However, it's amazing how sluggish this was on most machines, and we just got used to it over time and so didn't really notice.
  • Attack-Move mode is now known as "Stop-To-Shoot" mode, since that's what it is.
    • In other games, attack-move mode means attack things as you go. Our ships always do that. The distinction is whether or not they will stop to shoot those things they meet along the way or not.
  • "Group Move" mode is now not just something that sets a casual "speed limit" on all ships during a given movement order.
    • Now it can be toggled on at any time, like Pursuit mode (formerly FRD) already was able to have done, and the ships that are within the group at that time will keep track of their membership and who is slowest. If the slowest ships in the group die, then the rest will speed up! That's a new piece of functionality for them.
    • The fact that this can be toggled and left on permanently, versus something that you have to do AS you give a move or attack order, is also a big usability win.
  • Stop-To-Shoot mode can also now be toggled on and off like Pursuit and Group Move modes.
    • This not only makes the keboard shortcuts consistent in their function and easier to use, but also makes the on-screen buttons possible.
  • To keep things simple, player ships can now only be in Group Move, Pursuit, OR Stop-To-Shoot modes. Previously they could be in some monstrous mix of any 2 or 3 of those, and that was not just confusing, it was also invisible on the UI, and they don't combine in a sensible way anyhow.

Tutorial Work

  • Fixed a bunch of tutorial typos.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.
  • The tutorial now tells you how to use the default frame size speed increase/decrease, instead of frame frequency. This is the one that increases speed more and which doesn't hog more CPU.
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for reporting.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed an issue where the same resolution option was shown multiple times in the settings menu display section. It was showing different copies for each refresh rate, but the refresh rates were not actually used from here so it was doubly pointless.
    • Thanks to Bobtree for reporting.
  • Fix a bug where cancelling waves could result in the next wave being 2 waves
    • Thanks to HeartHunter, Puffin and others for reporting and finding a reproduction scenario
  • Fixed a bug that was causing remaining coprocessor count to always say 1, rather than the actual number left.
    • Thanks to Bobtree, Mac, and others for reporting
  • Fixed the header of the load game menu so that it's no longer missing.
  • Fixed the bug where the save, load, and quick start windows had flickery line items in them and would have issues with tooltips over them not being reliable either.
  • MAJOR overhaul of how a lot of the hovering timing and other ui timing stuff was working.
    • Firstly, there was a 300ms delay that was previously being run on the gui that we forgot about. This was leading to all sorts of timing errors, which led to us adding buffer timings, which led to things feeling sluggish even though your framerate was fine. This is a pitfall of really large codebases developed over 2+ years, blah.
    • But at this point, all of that is fixed up and the timing works properly now. This means that, among other things:
      • The lag before something new shows up as a tooltip, or before a tooltip goes away, is gone.
      • The lag in very recent versions between when you were mousing over something that blocks the scrollwheel from working on the main view, and when you again are able to use the scrollwheel in the main view, is now gone (it was like a half second delay or worse, depending on the exact timing of when you moved your mouse cursor relative to the timing of the update cycles).
      • The flickering that was often happening relating to things that you hovered over are all now sorted out.
    • Thanks to HeartHunter7 and Dominus Arbitrationis for reports that helped lead us to find this fix.
  • Fixed a bug that was... probably new in the last day or two?... where at resolutions wider than 1400px or so, there was an ugly overlap of the ship and planet tooltips onto the sidebar.
    • Thanks to Dominus Arbitrationis for reporting.
  • A new way for us to more explicitly slow down the rate of text updating, from within the open-source part of the code and more obviously-placed, is now in. This lets us keep certain things from updating super duper fast in the new unclamped ui update cycle loop.
  • The horrendous delay that was present when you switched into the objectives tab is now gone. It normally only updates once per second, which is great because objectives don't change all that much and would be wasteful to calculate more rapidly. But it was updating on a fixed 1s cycle, and the new logic says "if I'm just starting to show the objectives, then calculate them right away," which is a big help.

UI Prettifying

  • The scrollbars on the add/edit profile screen are now colored properly and have their proper tick marks on them indicating that they can be grabbed.
    • Thanks to Bobtree for reporting.
  • The text about the chief adviser on the profile screen is now in a much smaller font, hopefully making it more clear that that is background info instead of the most key thing on the screen.
  • The scrollbars on the load game, load quick start, save game, and color picker windows have also all now had their color corrected and the little tick marks added to them. Now you can properly see those!
  • Improved the visual formatting of the modal popup yes/no and ok windows to match the rest of the gui.
  • Fixed a couple of stray pixels at the bottom of the sidebar inner background's border.
  • Added dividers to the main game header.
    • Thanks Puffin for reporting!

Balance Tweaks

  • Mercenary Beacon hack interval up from 10s to 15s, response strength per interval down from 0.3 to 0.2 strength, response strength on completion down from 1.5 to 0.4
    • Too much for something of limited usages. Needs more testing/feedback.
  • Metal Harvesters income down from 100 to 80 per Mark, Home Command Station up from 800 to 900 to keep income the same at game start.
    • Everyone is still filthy rich!
  • Economic Command Station metal income down from 350 to 250 per Mark.
    • Everyone is still filthy rich!
  • Tachyon Sentinel mass up to 4, from 0.3.
    • Turns out Warbirds could paralyse these, disabling the decloaking function entirely.
  • Turret health reduced by 25% or more overall, excluding the Heavy Beam Cannon and things like Tractors and Gravity.
    • Too tanky in general.
  • Turret Costs increased by around 25%-33% overall, and their self building speed reduced by 33%.
    • Should make them a bit more costly to turret creep everywhere with, as well as slower.
  • Tractor, Gravity and Tachyon defense structures have had major cost increases and much lower self building speed.
    • Oddities that have went unnoticed for a long time.
  • All Minefields have had their cap doubled from 120 to 240.
    • Nobody seemed to use these, and can't blame them what with normal turrets being as they were.
  • Fleetship Cost Changes: Sentinel Frigate (3900 > 5000), Sniper (3500 > 3000), Spider (2200 > 3000), Pike Corvette (2000 > 3000), Eyebot (1500 > 2000), Ablative Gatling (2500 > 1200).
  • Fortress Missile damage increased from 1000 to 1600.
    • A few MLRS turrets could actually out do this thing fairly easily. Hopefully it's a bit more worth it - needs more testing.
  • Forcefields are now specified to be either AI or Human types. Humans now have 500k shield points, down from 1000k, and AI now has 250k, down from 750k. Shield Guard Posts are now 80k.
    • As noted below, the AI no longer buys static shields in any way. This tweak will affect those still remaining, however.
  • All internal AI budget for shield construction has been removed. This won't affect things like mobile waves, but will affect them not building shields for static reinforcements.
    • Shields were just too annoying to deal with in that sort of fixed-position fashion, being too slow and irritating to bring down.
  • Plasma Guardians now only have a 5x multiplier to bubble forcefields, increasing by 1 every Mark instead.
    • To tone them down with the above forcefield changes, and make them fit better with their Dire Big Brothers.
  • Strength income multiplier for difficulty 8 increased from 3 to 3.5, Difficulty 9 increased from 4 to 5, and Difficulty 10 increased from 5 to 7.
    • Game is a bit of a punching bag to some people. Going slow here.
  • Ion Cannon mass increased to 5, so they can't be paralysed anymore.
  • Sniper Fleetships have had their health increased from 400 hull/200 shields to 600 hull/300 shields, and their bonus against fast moving targets now affects things moving at least 1200 speed, down from 1350.

New Quickstarts

  • Adds a new Basic, using the Tsunami type, Realistic galaxy with 60 planets, cyclone linking, Thanatos and Resistance Fighters.
  • Adds a new Fun with Factions, using the Turtle type, Grid galaxy with 80 planets, friendly Macrophage, AI Marauders and Orchid.
  • Adds a new Moderate, "Subverted" - Vanilla AI, Octopus galaxy with 80 planets, four arms. AI friendly Nanocaust, player friendly Marauders, and the Orchid.
  • Adds a new Harder, "One Against All" - Vanilla AI, Concentric galaxy with 80 planets. AI Friendly Devourer, Marauders, Macrophage and Nanocaust, and the Thanatos.
  • Adds a new Harder, "Big Targets, Big Pain" - Starfleet AI, Honeycomb galaxy with 80 planets. Broken Golems with Botnet, Dyson Sphere.

New AI Types

  • Despiser of Forcefields
    • This has been in the game for a while, but hidden. Can now come out and work properly, as no AI can build static forcefields now.
  • Everything
    • Gets every single possible Fleetship type that the AI can use, for free! Yes, you can download hack all of them.
  • Swarmer
    • Gets every current Swarmer type fleetship for free.
  • Starfleet Commander
    • Reintroduced and working properly. Will happily put Assault, Siege, Tritium, Carrier and Warbird Starships in every place Fleetships would be normally. Sentry, Shield and Raid are disallowed.

Version 0.783 Go Ahead And Shoot Me, Eyebot!

(Released October 12th, 2018)

  • Some additional tweaks to the tutorial, including explaining what Strength is and tweaking the discussion about wormholes
    • thanks to rkfg for some critique
  • Risk Analyzers now show on the galaxy map.

More Text/Tooltip Improvements

  • Various pieces of the tooltips have now gotten abbreviated versions since that was a hit:
    • AOE damage, beam weapons, multi shot and multi beam, engine slowing and engine stun, paralyzers, shield overdriving, ion damage, the various death effects, melee weapons, weapon jammers, and fusion reactions.
    • It's amazing how much more legible this is for when you already know the rules of the mechanics and just want to see what this particular ship does. As with before, holding Ctrl gives you the un-abbreviated full descriptions.
    • Thanks to TheVampire100 for suggesting.
  • Fixed a missing space after current cloaking points.
  • Fixed the Edit Profile screen so that it has an explanatory message of just what the heck that screen even IS!
    • Thanks to Dominus Arbitrationis for fixing this, and Bobtree for reporting.
    • Related new tutorial on modding the GUI relative sizes: https://youtu.be/8-X9JFlhwTs
  • Added tooltips explaining what the voice sample buttons do
    • Thanks Bobtree for reporting

Bugfixes/Technical Bits

  • The nature of how visual elements (shots, ships, etc) choose where to render themselves is completely revamped. Rather than it being a push mechanism where the sim can tell them late where they are supposed to be, they now use a pull mechanic that should always instantly have them at the correct place. Fingers crossed.
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle, RocketAssistedPuffin, Bobtree, and others for reporting.
  • Fixed the issue with really slow ships not ever rotating to face their direction, as well as the paired issue where they were jittering to their target location rather than actually moving gracefully to their location.
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle and RocketAssistedPuffin for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue where ships with zero shields were showing NaN% in the prior version.
  • Fixed a bug where ships would sometimes decide they were not allowed to kill an enemy ship, largely because they thought there were shots incoming against that enemy that were not really there.
    • This bad data may have come from shots that hit forcefields instead of the ship, or who knows exactly. Nonetheless, we now have a ShotWrapper class and are tracking the shots directly instead of just tracking the damage amounts, so ships will happily shoot things properly now.
    • Thanks to HeartHunter7 and others for reporting, and HeartHunter7 for the excellent reproduction save with 200 ships sitting around one almost-dead guardian they were convinced was going to keel over at any second.
  • Fixed an issue where ships would greatly overkill their targets.
    • Thanks to RocketAssistedPuffin, HeartHunter7, and Kesseleth for reporting.
  • All of the code for how ships actually fire their shots has been moved into the open-source part of the codebase.
  • All of the logic for wormhole traversal has also been moved into open-source code.
  • When ships go through wormholes, they are now forcibly unselected. This MAY fix the whole "giving unexpected orders to ships" issue that could still happen on occasion.
    • Thanks to RocketAssistedPuffin and HeartHunter7 for reporting.
  • When ships go through wormholes, they now set their new location prior to setting their new planet. This should have been so rapid as to not possibly have messed up already, but given it was on occasion having trouble, maybe this will finish it off.
    • Thanks to RocketAssistedPuffin for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue where the sidebar was drawing too tall on various larger screen resolutions because it was not properly scaling its desired offset.
    • Thanks to Dominus Arbitrationis for reporting.
  • Fixed a pretty obnoxious bug where the death state of ships was not being properly kept, and so ships could wind up firing at the space where a ship used to be for quite a long time. In fact they would be sure that the ship was not only still alive, but that it was at full health and thus must be killed at all costs.
    • Thanks to HeartHunter7, RocketAssistedPuffin, Kesseleth, and BadgerBadger for reporting.

Version 0.782 Viewport Visibility

(Released October 11th, 2018)

  • Auto-kiting now defaults to on. Note that this won't update existing settings you have, though.
    • Thanks to Bobtree for suggesting.
  • Added descriptions for the home settlements and cryo pods.
  • Fix a number of typos in the Tutorial
    • Thanks to Pepisolo for the bug report
  • The tutorial now prompts you to build engineers at the beginning, and handles the case where the user is out of energy more gracefully
    • Thanks to Josh Bycer for the bug report

New/Improved/Fixed Settings Options

  • Fixed an issue in the entity hover text where it would show the strength as the underlying number and not the ui-formatted number if you had "Show Entity Strength when hovering" enabled in the settings menu.
  • Added options for 144, 100, and 75 target fps in the framerate option.
    • Also updated the description for that dropdown:
      • Please note that this is NOT the same as setting a refresh rate on your monitor. Mostly.
      • If you set VSync or Half-VSync, then indeed it will limit to those and you will likely see terrible performance. Using vsync is a really bad idea, in that it really causes issues with variable-length frames, and will make your game choppier.
      • Assuming that you are using any other options in this list, it is telling the game to 'try to run at about that framerate.' That won't actually mean the game runs at that framerate, but it will mean that the game tries to not run on average MORE than that framerate. For one example, you don't need the game running at 300fps for no reason and having your GPU fan going nuts. On the other hand, if the game gets choppy when above 60fps for you on an older machine, you might want to cap it at 60fps. If you wish to set this to match your monitor refresh rate, that is fine, but please bear in mind that the non-vsync versions of this are very very much 'weak suggestions for maximum framerate,' and not any sort of hard limiter.
      • Looking for excellent technology to eliminate screen tearing without eliminating game perforamnce? The things to look into are GSync and FreeSync.
    • Thanks to Vellsi for reporting.
  • Added a new Tooltips section to the settings menu, and a new "Automation" section as well.
  • All of the settings window options now have full descriptions and fully legible names.
  • The "Keyboard Move Speed" game setting now actually works in the new cameras! When we coded in the new cameras we forgot to hook that up.
    • Same for "Mouse Edge Move Speed," "Mouse Grab Drag Speed," "Keyboard Zoom Speed," and "Mouse Zoom Speed."
    • Thanks to Kahuna for reporting.
  • There is a new Tooltips-section setting in the settings menu that allows you to adjust the size of "general tooltips," aka not the ones that are for planets or units.
    • This was surprisingly challenging to implement well, but we got it done! Basically this not only makes it smaller, but also lets the word-wrapping work well on the shorter space while still using the same horizontal space. This actually makes the tooltips even more space-efficient, because with more space before they have to wrap, they take up even less vertical room.
    • The default size of these tooltips has also now been updated to be 0.8 instead of 1.0, since they were oversized for pretty much everyone.
    • There is also now a "Ship/Squad Tooltip Scale" option in the same category that is for the ships/squads/ship-types.
    • And another one called "Planet Tooltip Scale" that is for the planet tooltips on the galaxy map.
    • Thanks to ZED for reminding us about this.
  • Clarified in the tooltip that auto-kiting only works in pursuit/FRD mode.
    • Thanks to Bobtree for reporting.
  • A new settings option, "Show Ship And Planet Detail Mode By Default" has been added to the tooltips section.
    • Normally ships and planets show a smaller amount of information about themselves in their tooltips. However, you can hold a key (shown at the bottom of those tooltips) to make them show more info. If you prefer to see the full info by default, then you can enable this option.
  • The ship icon size can now be configured in the Display tab of settings, and the default size is now 1.5 instead of 2.5, making them a lot more reasonably-sized on most monitors. Some folks will still choose to size them up or down.
    • Thanks to a variety of users, including buzzard, for requesting options in this area.
  • Added a new "Skip Drawing Ship Models" option to the Performance tab of settings.
    • The game is completely playable in an icon-only format, if you wish to do so. For ultra low-specs machines, this is a way to take most of the load off the GPU.
    • Thanks to Badger for suggesting.
  • The names of planets over top of wormholes now draw as 1/2 of their former size by default.
  • New settings option in the Display category: "Wormhole Text Scale"
    • Lets you adjust the above from 1/10th of the new value up to 3x the size of the new value.
  • The order of a lot of the settings categories is now more sensible.
  • The Performance category of settings has been removed, with its items integrated into Display now.
  • A new HUD category now has a variety of things that used to be in Display but that are more screen-preference-oriented.
  • The left sidebar can now be scaled by using a new "Sidebar Scale" setting in the HUD settings menu.
    • The default scale for the sidebar is now 0.8 instead of 1.0, so it will look less oversized on most machines.
    • When the sidebar is scaled down, the tooltips that anchor to the right of it all slide over, as does the list of notifications up at the top.
    • In essence, this makes more room for everything else on the screen.
    • Please note that you can not scale the sidebar UP more than 1.0, because then things would not fit on the screen any longer. It was already made to take up as much room as posible, previously.
  • The "ongoing messages" window in the upper right now scales based on the size of the general tooltips scale.
  • There are now separate scales set up for the notifications bar and the resources bar, both in the new HUD section of the GUI.
    • These are now all the major elements of the HUD, able to be individually scaled and properly fitting themselves in relation to one another.

Abbreviated Tooltips

  • At the bottom of the tooltips for ships/squads and planets, it now says that you can hold shift to hide the tooltips, or ctrl to see more of the tooltip.
  • By default, planet tooltips are now abbreviated somewhat.
    • They no longer show the resource amounts on them except for hacking and science, and only show those if there is some left. This is just far less commonly needed data.
    • But holding ctrl, as noted above, makes them show everything just like before.
  • By default, ship/squad tooltips are now abbreviated substantially.
    • Now hidden by default: Decollision movements, movement orders, wormhole orders, autotarget lists, the fact that it dies to remains or a neutral state, drone attrition rate, if it is unable to go through wormholes, if you can build it on enemy planets, how long it has been since the last shot hit and what the last shot firing status was, reload speed if it's an actual unit.
    • Now abbreviated by default: explanation of cloaking and cloaking points, gravity fields, tractor beams, tachyon beams, shield generators, planetary attack and speed bonuses, salvage, global ship cap multipliers, remains status.
    • But holding ctrl, as noted above, makes them show everything just like before.
  • There is now a description_short that is optional and which gets shown during the abbreviated tooltip mode if it is there. Otherwise the fully description is shown.
    • Added versions of these for a variety of units with longer descriptions.
  • When hovering over a specific ship/squad, there is no longer a standalone row that shows what the health, shields, and cloaking status of the ship/squad is. Those are now integrated into the rest of the tooltip further down, thus saving quite a bit of vertical space.
  • The ship hull and shield health is now shown abbreviated in order to save space if it's larger than a million, or ten thousand, respectively.
  • A couple of other nods to brevity have been put into the tooltips.

Bugfixes and Technical Bits

  • Fixed a bug where your starting forcefield would brownout right at the start of the game. Oops!
    • Thanks to Puffin for reporting.
  • Hid a variety of unused camera options in the settings menu, since they were cluttering things up and not used by the new cameras at all (and not intended to be used by them).
  • Fixed a bug where "StringHidden" type settings were still showing up visibly on the settings interface.
  • Fix a few bugs related to Superterminal Hacking, thanks to Vellsi
    • The Superterminal now dies on AI command station death
    • Superterminal hacks no longer finish instantly
    • Superterminal hacks now decrease AIP instead of increasing it. Whoops.
  • There are new methods that make it more concise and easier to remember how to open settings by their string name. All of the existing code has been updated to use these.
  • The way that the tooltip positions are calculated is now more accurate in terms of them not going off the side of the screen but also them not getting strangely blocked by being NEAR the edge of the screen.
  • The way that the positions of the planet and entity tooltips are calculated is now a lot more accurate, so they no longer blip around.
    • Also fixed up the sizing of all tooltips so that they react with proper speed to text size changes inside them.
  • The "Save & Quit" button now actually saves and quits the game to the main menu
    • Thanks to Mac for reporting on Discord
  • Fixed a couple of pieces of wrong information that could be shown on the ship/squad tooltip when hovering over them on the sidebar when there are more than one unit or stack represented in the icon.
  • Fixed yet another issue with some rounding for resources like metal when they were in the millions.
    • Thanks to ZED for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue with mousing over units while Ctrl was being held.
  • A new "skip_drawing_ship_cap" xml option has been added for ships. This is automatically set to true for Arks and Golems. Thus far, it has been manually set for all the AI buildings.
    • When true, it won't show anything about a ship cap in the tooltip for the unit, since these units don't use regular ship caps.
    • Thanks to LFT | Lone_Ninja | EMDers for reporting the confusion about getting more Arks.
  • Added a new "extra_y_offset_to_all_icons" xml entry in the external visual constants file. This defaults to 0 right now.
    • This adds a certain amount of extra height to all of the ship icons in the planet view.
    • Thanks to RocketAssistedPuffin for suggesting.
  • The escape menu no longer writes the faction stats, because those could get so lengthy that they would degrade performance enormously for a lot of savegames (down to 30% from 100% in one example).
  • The top of the sidebar no longer has a small gap through which you can see the playfield. It was annoying.
  • The logic for AdjustHeightToScreenMax, which controls the dynamic height of the sidebar to match the screen height, has been rewritten mostly from scratch. It was extremely incorrect before, and is now a lot better with it being based on relative scales rather than trying to use the conversion matrix on the gui camera. For whatever reason that tended to be very inaccurate. We still have an issue with floating point precision and possibly some sort of delay in updates within the engine after sizing dirtying that cause a bit of a blip at first when they are sizing. But it's nothing too terrible.
  • Fixed that last glitchiness with the sidebar sizing. It was because some of the scaling of the sidebar wasn't happening before it was fully doing the height adjustments.

New Quickstarts

  • "Time is Running Out", using the Quadratic AI type, Risk Analyzers and Astro Trains - also includes Reconquest waves. Uses the "Rorqual Hegira" Ark.
  • "Security Alert", using the Special Forces Master AI type, with Base Orientated Warden, Kamikaze Hunter, Threat Waves, Dark Spire and Devourer Golem. Uses the "Gryn, the Voidhome" Ark.

Balance Tweaks

  • Spider Guardian damage reduced from 1200 to 100.
    • Missed when they went from single shot to multi shot.
  • All Starships except Sentry now have an albedo of 0.4, making them unable to be killed by Ion Cannons.
    • Thanks to Mac for noticing this depressing case.

Version 0.781 Destruction Diversity

(Released October 9th, 2018)

  • Some improvements to the tutorial. More needs to be done, but this is a start
    • Thanks to Sheepdog on youtube for the critique, and Eric for transcribing the comments.
  • Fixed an issue where, under certain circumstances, the tooltip for the sidebar would flicker like crazy.
    • Huge thanks to RabidSanity and Vellsi for finding a foolproof way for us to reproduce this so that we could fix it!

Rules Adjustments

  • Allow marauders to be more aggressive about joining in-progress battles.
    • Previously the marauders would just compare their strength with "All marauder-hostile units on the planet". Now they will also check for their strength against the planet owner and all units hostile to the planet owner separately.
    • Lets imagine a case where the Marauders have 4k Strength, and the planet in question has 3K human and 2K AI strength in combat. Previously Marauders would have checked "4K < 3K + 2K, so don't attack". Now they will check "4K > 3K" and "4K > 2K", so they will be allowed to attack. This is only available to Marauder factions with > 5 intensity.
  • Cross planet waves no longer tell you the warp gate they are spawning from or the planet they are attacking
  • Astro Train Depots now spawn hourly, and trains spawn every half hour (isntead of a 10 minute interval for both spawns). Also trains will not start spawning immediately after a depot spawn, but will instead wait a few minutes.
  • When ships/structures are destroyed to a neutral status (aka metal harvesters, Arks, etc), there is now a cooldown period before they can be reclaimed. This period is a minimum of 30 seconds, but if there are a ton of enemies on the planet it gets longer and longer until it is 70 seconds before claiming can be started. The top time is hit when enemy mobile military strength on the planet is at least 4.
    • In the tooltip for an entity that is claimable, it now shows how long the remaining time is that it is blocked from being claimed, if it is blocked.
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle for reporting how metal harvesters would just keep getting destroyed over and over again, pointlessly distracting the AI.
  • When brownouts happen, they now last for a minimum of 60 seconds. You can no longer just scrap a bunch of stuff to get the power back on to your bubble forcefields.
    • In the tooltips it now says how long you have left in the brownout before your forcefields are restored, to help you know not to engage in that pause-and-scrap behavior (and to anticipate when power will be back).
    • This was a good example of behavior that was "optimal, but cheesy" with pausing and scrapping, and which bypassed the point of brownouts in general. Now there's substantially more risk there, and the AI actually has a chance to exploit that weakness.
    • Additionally, since this is a 60 second timer AFTER you get your energy balance back positive, it's encouraging rapid-building of new generators (although... you may still wind up needing to pause and scrap, that won't negate the brownout and that's no longer so super-optimal).
    • Thanks to RocketAssistedPuffin and folks on Discord for suggesting.

UI Improvements

  • Added ability to delete saves from in game load and save menus
    • Thanks to Mac for reporting on Discord
  • Added ability to delete campaigns recursively (Deletes the campaign and all associated saves)
  • Made all buttons on Load Game screen the same size and properly aligned
    • Thanks Mac on Discord
  • Improve Instigator Base tooltips to fix a few problems. Add a new Instigator Base type that increases AIP
    • Thanks to JAlfredGoodwin and Vellsi for the bug reports
  • If a ship dies to remains, or dies to a neutral status instead of really dying, then the tooltips now say that.
    • Thanks to BadgerBadger for suggesting.

Balance Tweaks

There's a general focus on diversifying what gets a bonus against what. A look through and creating of lists concluded that this was sorely needed - Concussion and Pike Corvettes were indeed countering almost the entirety of the game. Hopefully this is a noticeable improvement.

  • Concussion units get their bonus against Armor of 50mm and less, down from 80.
  • Auto Bombs get their bonus against Armor of 40mm or less, down from 80.
  • Auto Bomb detonation radius increased from 500 to 600.
  • All Fleetships previously with 60mm Armor now have 50mm, excluding the Fusion Bomber (60), Metabolizing Gangsaw (60), Space Tank (120), Vampire Claw (40mm), Sentinel Frigate (60), Inhibiting Tesla Corvette (60), Etherjet (40).
  • Fusion Bombers now get a damage bonus of 2x against anything with 40,000 shields and above, against the hull only.
    • So the damage that bypasses the shield is boosted, but nothing else.
  • All Pike units now gain their bonus for high hull percentage only against the hull. Requirement is now above 75% remaining hull, instead of 80%.
    • This was causing them to get this bonus against units that are mostly shields, for essentially the entirety of their health.
  • MLRS Corvettes, Turrets and Guard Posts now get their bonus damage against units with 30% or less remaining hull health, up from 20%.
    • Fairly minor boost for how little it'd appear.
  • Sentinel Frigates now have albedo of 0.7, and engine gx of 14.
    • More suiting to what seems like a "vanguard military scout" themed unit, and gives them two new weaknesses.
  • Metabolizing Gangsaw hull health increased from 3500 to 4200.
  • Drone Armor Ship has 40mm Armor, up from 30.
  • All Starships have greatly increased health, and most have increased costs as well, excluding Raid Starships.
    • Includes some of the Mercenaries - War Harvesters and War Siegers.
  • Warbird Starship damage increased from 170 per missile to 200.
  • Assault Starship damage increased from 2720 to 4000, but the damage bonus increase per mark is lowered from +1.5x to +1x per mark.
  • Siege Starship no longer spreads damage out, and instead hits 5 targets for full damage. Damage reduced from 9000 to 3000, damage bonus against bubble forcefields increased from 10x to 20x to compensate.
    • Should temporarily solve that bug where they weren't getting the bonus at all. Should also be a bit more interesting instead of ridiculously specialised.
  • AI Forcefields only have their shield points reduced from 1,000,000 to 750,000.
    • Obnoxiously long to kill.
  • Spider Guardian now has multiple shots per salvo.
    • I mean really, a debuffer that only affects one fleetship at a time?
  • All existing Spider units now have a maximum engine stun of 17s, and level up such to reach it at Mark 7. Dires have the maximum stun possible. They also all affect engine gx of below 14.
  • Guardians have a vast array of changes - too many to list. Stats have been moved around, creating new weaknesses and removing old, Vampires gain more life, Heavy Beams self damage less, etc. Also includes health decreases to most.
  • Guard Posts are the same.
  • All turrets have had metal cost increases, some only about 20-33%, some fairly major (due to being strangely undercosted, far beyond normal).
  • Fleetships energy cost is generally increased and standardised - 175 for caps of 180, 500 for caps of 60, and 1000 for caps of 30.
    • Please note that this may cause a brownout upon save loading - though I doubt it...seems everyone had too much.
  • Dark Spire have had stat changes as well, plus some health and damage shuffling.
    • Why was a weak manifestation far more durable than the terrifying manifestation? What a strange race.
  • Nanocaust have also had stat changes. No health or damage though.
  • Fortresses now do 1000 damage per missile, and fire 16 per salvo instead of 10. Oh and you get 2 per mark instead of 1.
  • Mines and Area Mines have had their damage halved, but gain a 2x damage bonus against units with at least Mass of 5tx, and at most 50mm armor, respectively.
    • Meant to help differentiate them a bit.
  • Both Astrotrain Types have a health boost so they aren't as easy to kill when one accidentally bumbles through your forces, as well as Armor increased to 120mm.
  • Almost all turret armor values reduced to 50mm to follow the Concussion changes - Beam Cannons up to 120.
  • Auto Bomb damage up from 130 to 210.

Version 0.780 Just Some Cleanup

(Released October 5th, 2018)

  • Fixed an issue in the prior version of the game where at certain aspect ratios (16:9 included, unfortunately) the load game screen would show hanging off the side of the screen. Same with the quick start screen.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • The "color picker" tool now uses the newer, prettier style of interface.
  • The "character biographies and recent history" screen now uses the same UI as everything else rather than that horrible white one.
  • The load game interface now has a toggle button on it that lets you switch through sorting the savegames in a campaign by name (default), campaign time, or date modified.
    • Thanks to Badger for suggesting.
  • If you had more than 9 notifications showing at once, then in the prior version of the game the second row would overlap the first. Fixed!
    • Additionally, now it only wraps the notifications to a new line after it runs out of space. This was harder to implement than you might think, but it generally means that you can have 18-20 items on a single row depending on your screen aspect ratio.
    • The ongoing message display and debug message display both now bump downwards if need be to allow for this.
    • Thanks to HeartHunter7 for reporting.
  • Fixed a visual bug in the color picker where the selection box for the right-hand (trim) color was way too large, looking quite strange. Not sure how we missed this one for so long!
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • The density map type has been disabled for now, as it was no longer generating maps for some reason.
  • The savegame menu has now been updated to be a match to the recently-reworked load menu.
    • Clicking on savegame names in the list now properly populates the textbox at the bottom.
    • Trying to save over an existing savegame name now gives you a yes/no prompt letting you know that's what you're doing.
  • The settings menu has been updated to the new visual style, while having a minimum of rewrite to its general code.
    • We've added a new ability for us to have the "old style" control creation process happen inside a "new style" prefab window at a point of our choosing. We can only do this in one area per window, but it's quite useful for cases like this particular one.
  • The basic text font used on old-style pages is now updated. This includes the settings menu and lobby, mainly.
  • The graphics for sliders (used on the settings window) have been updated dramatically.
  • The borders for textboxes have been made more clear, which also helps set them apart from buttons better.
  • The visuals for dropdowns and the last of the buttons have been updated to the newer style. This again just affects the settings and lobby pages.
  • In general cleaned up some of the formatting on the settings screen so that it looks a lot nice.
  • Fixed an issue (with TextMeshPro) where dropdowns would show blank text if popped open inside a scrolling area.
  • Improved the descriptions of some of the game settings, and the displayed names for them and their categories. Still more to do, though, to make them truly clear across the board.
  • The settings menu now shows no more than four decimals behind the float sliders.
    • Thanks to dv for reporting.

Version 0.779 Quick Starts

(Released October 4th, 2018)

  • Completely redid the logos on the main menu. They are no longer 3D objects, but instead are world-space ui elements with PBR textures. They have materials set up for themselves, and new lights set just for them, and they no longer suffer from the strange clipping and aliasing issues that they previously had.
    • Thanks to Mckloshiv for reporting we still had an issue.
  • The visual styling for buttons is now completely different, and in keeping with the new visual theme that was added a while ago in the main HUD.
  • The add/edit profile screen no longer includes the ability to select a default Ark, since that was completely unused anyhow.
  • Ships/structures that have been destroyed and turned into remains no longer consume any energy.
    • Thanks to HeartHunter7 for suggesting.
  • The lobby screen now includes, literally, an apology notice. It's still under construction, but will be done prior to Early Access.
  • There is now a resume button in the escape menu.
    • Thanks to Dominus Arbitrationis for reporting.
  • The hacking line items are now substantially taller, allowing for more sane-looking spacing between each one. Mercenaries, too.
  • The sizing and spacing of items in the left sidebar for objectives is now far better. It takes up more room, but is now actually legible.
    • Additionally, categories that are empty no longer show up at all.
    • Also also, fixed the bug with collapsing categories not actually hiding the items inside them.
    • Also also also, there is now colorization on pretty much all of the category items to make them easier to visually parse.
  • The load savegame window has been completely redone in the new style of the ui.
    • It also now has two columns: one on the left, which has the campaigns, and one on the right, which has the savegames.
    • Savegames are now individual rows, showing the basic info on them in an easy to read format, and the extra data in a tooltip.
    • The sorting of savegames is also now simply alphabetical, so you can actually find what you're looking for!
  • The graphics for the textboxes and buttons have all been updated to match the newer GUI style.
    • A few out of date windows, like Save Game, Settings, and Custom Game still use old-style buttons, though.

"Quick Starts" Now Available!

  • The game now has an official Quick Start option. This works by loading existing savegames that are placed in the new GameData/QuickStarts folder (even categorized by subfolder so there can truly be a ton of these in there).
    • All of the parameters are fully baked in, including things like difficulty and the number of human players, so there is a limit to just how flexible a given savegame can be.
    • THAT said, the starting planet is randomized every time, as is the map seed; so the planet layouts, and all that other stuff with what is seeded on each planet, is different every time. It's basically like going in and hitting random seed and then generate on the galaxy map, and throwing a dart to see what your starting planet is.
    • Thanks to having the ability to categorize these into folders, this is probably flexible enough for our purposes of letting players get into the game quick and explore things. If they really want a lot more customization, the list kind of keeps expanding until you wind up recreating a scaled-down version of the lobby itself. So at that point, they should just graduate to the lobby from quick starts.
  • There are now 5 different quick start scenarios available, each with detailed descriptions on them if you mouseover them.
    • Two are very basic vanilla scenarios, while three of them are varied multi-faction situations.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed a bug where, since the automatic strength calculation work was put into place, parasitism, zombification, and metabolization were not working.
    • Thanks to zeusalmighty, HeartHunter7, and BadgerBadger for reporting.
  • Fixed ALL of the issues relating to the mouse being over some non-tooltip part of the GUI, and you using the mousewheel and it causing the planet view or galaxy map to zoom.
    • This also fixes the issue when you're mousing over a dropdown and trying to zoom with that.
    • This WAS working, a while back, at least in cases like the sidebar. But upgrades to the ui system and the underlying unity system broke it. The new fix should be future-proof, knock on wood, as it is no longer timing-sensitive.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue where modal popups were not visible when triggered from certain windows that were saying "suppress all other windows." Load screen, for instance. Now the modal popups push past even those kinds of screens.
  • The little notification indicators at the top of the screen FINALLY no longer have the overlap that makes them largely illegible.
    • Additionally, their background has been updated and they now are more legible thanks to not being on a partially transparent background.
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle and many others for reminding us about this one.
  • Fixed the color picker window examples all just being big boxes since the icon rework.
  • Fixed an issue that could lead to flickering in various tooltips.
    • Please let us know if you still see that in the sidebar, though.

Prior Release Notes

AI War 2: The Era of Discovery