Bionic Dues:Post Release Notes

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Beta 1.104

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

Official 1.103

(Released January 5, 2015)

  • Since 2010 when we switched to the Unity 3D engine, we've been using their WWW class to load images from the disk asynchronously. However, in more recent versions of unity it's been a case where for a small number of people, if they had multiple network adapters on their machine, then the WWW loads from their own disk would load incredibly slowly. We didn't know until now what exactly caused that.
    • We've now created a new internal ArcenAsyncFile class that is our own implementation of the asynchronous disk calls (and will later be extended for network calls as well). This has been tested on windows, osx, and ubuntu, and it not only works, but seems to load noticeably faster than before. This should also bypass the issue that the WWW class had with getting oddly slow (if it doesn't, then something _seriously_ strange is going on, as they have almost no code in common).
    • Thanks to Vanreis for the latest report, and figuring out that this was related to the number of network adapters.
  • The WWW class is no longer used for checking for game updates, but instead the new ArcenAsyncFile is now used.
    • This _should_ provide more fault tolerance when programs like AVAST want to kill the ability of the game to check for updates. Knock on wood!

Official 1.102 (Hotfix)

(Released December 18, 2014)

  • Fixed an issue with reading in configuration files for particle effects on systems with language settings that use the comma for decimal places rather than the period.
    • Thanks to Amateur and whoozle for reporting.

Official 1.101 PerformanceBot

(Released September 17, 2014)

  • Fixed a bug where the pistol could be fired twice in one turn if you clicked really fast.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for reporting.
  • DeathBot health from 800 => 500.
    • Thanks to nas1m for suggesting.
  • BombBot PITAR from 5 => 30 to make them not seed in such quantity (thus making them less of an advantage to the player).
    • Thanks to nas1m for suggesting.
  • Added a new conduct: Shorter Campaign.
    • If you enable this optional rule then each normal mission will take 2 days instead of 1 (the Robot Control Centers will still take 5), causing twice as much progression for everything (enemy stats, loot quality, etc). Since you'll have less time to get around the city it also gives wider vision (and deployment area) within the city.
    • Thanks to nas1m, Hearteater, and others for inspiring this change.
  • Added new conduct: Random Exos.
    • If you enable this optional rule then all your exos will be chosen randomly for you. Any exo slots you've specified as "None" will remain empty. Also, this option will avoid picking more than one exo of the same type for your team.
    • You can trust the Random Number Generator, right?
    • Doubles your score.
    • Thanks to nas1m and Misery for inspiring this change.
  • The game now supports 4096x4096 textures.
    • Thanks to ngajoe for inspiring this change.
  • The ironman automatically-save-after-turn logic now avoids saving more often than every 3 real seconds to avoid sharing violations (apparently sometimes the OS doesn't like it writing to the same file twice really quickly).
    • Also, if it gets a sharing violation anyway it will handle it more gracefully with an explanatory message rather than an unhandled error in the log.
    • Thanks to fseperent for inspiring this change.
  • A major new addition to the render pipeline has been created, and is now in use not only here but also in Spectral Empire and The Last Federation and AI War. This new system does highly-efficient sprite batching, which makes the framerates absolutely skyrocket when there is a lot of stuff on the screen at once (when you are zoomed way out in particular).
    • The amount of performance load this removes is really pretty amazing, but will mainly be noticeable for midrange and lower machines. On Chris's higher-ish-end machine, the following improvements were observed:
    • Original test of an highish-intensity screen:
      • 68fps
      • 1396 indirect draws, 50 direct draws, 26 direct swaps
    • Retest after the performance improvements:
      • 780fps
      • 100 indirect draws, 43 batched draws with 1296 in those batches, 50 direct draws, 26 swaps draws

Official 1.100

(Released August 26, 2014)

  • Added the real images for the new achievements.
    • Many thanks to nas1m for making these images for us.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where you couldn't fire a shotgun at a directly-diagonally-adjacent tile in some cases.
    • Thanks to tmm for reporting.

Official 1.017

(Released August 23, 2014)

  • The game now uses high-quality compression on a lot of its images in order to reduce RAM usage during play. With all the images in RAM at once (which doesn't typically happen), this shaves about 350MB of usage off a 1GB total. So overall about a 35% reduction in ram usage.
    • Thanks to slyscorpion for inspiring this change.

Beta 1.016 Next Official's Release Candidate 2

(Released August 19, 2014)

  • Fixed a bug where firing a shotgun would draw the "tile hit" particles on all tiles within range rather than just those actually taking damage.
    • Thanks to joe_momma and ScrObot for reporting.
  • Updated a few tooltips to reflect the Assault's having +60% to shield stats instead of +30%.
    • Thanks to Firestorm_01 for reporting.
  • The BlasterBot's gamma ray laser now takes 3 turns to warm up before it can fire (it still only has one shot). It can still fire its primary weapon at you during that time, but that's much shorter-ranged.

Beta 1.015

(Released August 12, 2014)

  • Fixed a bug where mouseovering a bot with an EMP'd pistol selected (like right after firing it) would cause a flood of messages in the chat log that you couldn't fire it.
    • Thanks to ScrObot for reporting.

Beta 1.014 Next Official's Release Candidate 1

(Released August 12, 2014)

  • Fixed a bug in the previous version where mousing over a valid target in range would not draw the targeting reticle (though it would draw the "valid but out of range" reticle over something too far away to shoot).
    • Thanks to joe_momma and nas1m for reporting.
  • Fixed some bugs (some from the last version, some longstanding) preventing the preview "this is what this bot's health will be if you fire that shot" healthbars from showing up in most cases.
    • Thanks to nas1m for reporting.
  • RaptorBot's shield-stealing modified such that (to quote the tooltip amendment) :
    • If you virus a RaptorBot to bring it to your side, its shield-stealing ability is actually improved to only do at most 10% of the friendly unit's max health in damage (so it probably won't kill you).
    • Thanks to nas1m for inspiring this change.
  • Salvage Missions (to quote the tooltip amendment) :
    • If our HQ is not damaged, then the equipment will be converted to perform a trojan attack on the enemy's manufacturing network (slowing the expansion of the bot army).
    • Thanks to nas1m, Teal_Blue, Aeson, and ScrObot for inspiring this change.
  • HideBot's reveal range from 5 => 6, so they generally can't fire immediately upon being revealed.
    • Thanks to nas1m for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where the endgame base-defense missions were constrained by the same "max bosses on the map" rule as assassination missions, perhaps leading to several extra missions at the end where you only faced a few bosses on a mostly empty map.
  • Added 70 new achievements involving the new conducts (including games won with only a single exo of a specific type, etc).
    • Note: for old saves, the achievements for starting with fewer than four exos (and just one of a specific exo type) will trigger if your _current_ lineup (as of the time the old save was saved) meets those conditions. New games distinguish between exos permanently lost due to Dead is Dead and exos you never had to begin with.
    • Also, for now the new achievements have generic achievement icons (copied from AI War, if you're curious); this may or may not change before the next official release since new-stuff-work for this game is a spare-time sort of thing.
    • Thanks to nas1m for suggesting these.
  • Each of the new conducts now doubles your score, and each "missing" exo (one you started the game without) doubles your score as well (so going with just one is an 8x multiplier).
    • These aren't quite balanced values, certainly, but further adjustment should wait until overall revisions can be made to the score system.
    • Thanks to nas1m for inspiring these changes.

Beta 1.013 Explosive Refinement

(Released August 7, 2014)

  • All the different modes of area-of-effect logic have been fundamentally reworked to be more sensible. The biggest part of this is having aoe blasts not go straight through solid walls. It's still possible to take "around the corner" shots with stuff like the Dissolver, Welding Laser, etc, and the bigger explosions will still "flood" around corners in a reasonable fashion, but the buggy-looking behavior of an explosion hitting both the near and far side of a wall as if it wasn't there is gone.
    • In general this is a bit of a nerf to the player, but mainly in the sense that it's not letting you do something that didn't make sense anyway, and hopefully this is largely counterbalanced by the enemy not getting buggily-high concentrations of DoomBots and whatnot as it did before this dev cycle.
    • That said, if more balance changes are needed please let us know.
    • Many players mentioned this, but it's been many months and I didn't record the names to give credit here; sorry about that.
  • Fixed several bugs in the shotgun's area-of-effect logic that were making it hit a broader area harder than was envisioned when its base attack power was buffed to 750 recently.
    • Increased the base splash area from 3 to 4 to make sure it can still cover a respectable area, just not all at near-full damage.
    • Thanks to Tscho for inspiring these changes.
  • Added a new keybind: See Enemy Detection Ranges
    • When you hold this down and hover over an enemy, you will see that enemy's detection range. Also works for allies, actually. Takes line-of-sight into account.
    • Is not bound by default, but you can set it up by going to "Settings" and then "View and Edit Controls"; it's currently at the bottom of the first (and only) page of controls on the Basic tab.
    • Thanks to nas1m for the suggestion.
  • Bumped the max length of a savegame name from 20 characters to 40.
    • Thanks to nas1m and others for suggesting. Goodness that limit was annoying for dev test-case purposes too.
  • Now on the start-game screen when you enable Ironman it displays a textbox that (to quote its tooltip):
    • Normally the game will name your ironman save "Ironman_1", "Ironman_2", etc, depending on how many ironman saves exist when you start an ironman game. If you'd like you can pick a different prefix. For instance if you enter "WhatCouldGoWrong" it will name your save "WhatCouldGoWrong_1" (unless that was already taken, in which case it would do "WhatCouldGoWrong_2".
    • Thansk to nas1m and others for suggesting.
  • Now when you try to step on a Mines tile that would hurt you (due to insufficient trap skill) it will prompt you to confirm much the same way as when you give a firing order that would catch your own exo in the blast.
    • Thanks to nas1m for suggesting.
  • Now when you destroy a fabricator in a factory mission, when the game is picking a bot line from the end-game-army to de-level it never chooses any of the ones tied for the lowest level unless they're all the same level. This way they won't just re-level the bot lines you knocked down (due to it now preferring to level the lowest ones).
    • Thanks to Chal for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug where the HideBot, StealthBot, and SilenceBot were not displayed via sensor image when in the fog of war.
    • Thanks to nas1m for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where switching to a different Texture Pack would cause all the text to disappear from the interface and stuff like that. It was trying to unload all textures so they'd check for the right texture pack when being loaded fresh. Now it simply prompts you to restart the program to finish applying the texture pack, rather than trying to unload all those textures in a way that doesn't trash the UI.
    • Thanks to nas1m for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where bosses were not being treated as bosses during most health computations, and were thus receiving both a multiplier they shouldn't have (about x3, on expert) and a higher health-scaling factor than they should have (which had nearly 2x impact on expert, at max level).
    • Thanks to nas1m for the report that led to this discovery.

Beta 1.012 Bots Under Assault

(Released August 2, 2014)

  • Fixed a bug where the expanded exo tooltips were listing trap skill instead of overload level.
    • Thanks to managerimankeli for reproting.
  • Fixed a bug where mousing over an archive part would not actually show its sell price.
    • Thanks to managerimankeli for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where the message log entry for systems-disabled (from an EMPBot) would not use an exo's given name.
    • Thanks to nas1m for reporting.
  • Due to widespread feedback that the game was way too easy except on the higher difficulties, and that this easiness largely trivialized many interesting mechanics:
    • Easy is now like how Hard was, somewhat nerfed.
    • Normal is now roughly 1/3rd of the way from the new Easy to Expert.
    • Hard is now roughly 2/3rds of the way from the new Easy to Expert.
    • Casual is unchanged, as it's ok to have a clearly-labeled "if you just want to smash everything without really trying" difficulty.
    • Expert and Misery are also unchanged, as it seems from feedback that they were accomplishing their goals.
    • Thanks to many of you for feedback on this over the months; apologies for not recording all your names at the time.

Mission Bot Population Revisions

  • Now when the game is populating a normal mission, for its 5 normal bot picks it will always pick 1 of the lowest-third of eligible bot types (sorted by PITAR, ascending), and 1 of the highest-third, and then the remaining three totally at random (so could be any of the ones not already chosen).
    • Thanks to Misery and others for inspiring this change.
  • The handcrafted bot-type mixes now only apply to at most the first 3 days (on Casual; 2 on Easy, 1 on Normal, 0 on higher) instead of as many as 10, since this was partly a compensation for and a masking of bugs/imbalances in the bot-population logic (some of which have been fixed, the rest of which need to be).
  • Assassination missions now always seed exactly 3/4/5/6/7/9 bosses on casual/easy/normal/hard/expert/misery (unless there aren't that many left), rather than potentially seeding anywhere from zero to solid bosses.
    • Thanks to nas1m for inspiring this change.
  • Added a new keybind: Debug: Export Current Mission Bot Distribution
    • Defaults to Shift+F7.
    • If used in a mission, this writes out data on the bot population of that mission to a file called CurrentMissionBotDistribution.txt in your Bionic install's RuntimeData subfolder. It's just a debug tool, really, but if you think the bot population logic is off this can be helpful information for the discussion.
    • Thanks to Misery for inspiring this addition.

Bot Level-Upgrade Revisions

  • Previously when the AI was picking bots to upgrade between missions, on Hard+ it could pick any bot and below that it could only pick bots whose level did not exceed the current average by 5.
    • Now, rather than capping at average+5 it caps at lowest+5.
    • On Hard it now caps at lowest+6, on Expert at lowest+7, and on Misery at lowest+8.
    • Thanks to Misery for inspiring this change.
  • Now rather than all eligible bots having an equal chance at being picked, those with lower levels have a higher chance of being picked.

More Bot Rebalancing

  • GalaxyBot, in order to make its special ability more likely to take effect rather than just killing an exo normally:
    • Base Attack Power from 120 => 30.
    • Base Attack Range from 2 => 3.
    • Base Ammo Capacity from 2 => 3.
    • Thanks to nas1m for inspiring this change.
  • HideBot:
    • PITAR from 5 => 6.
    • Base Max Health from 50 => 30.
    • Basically these are relatively dangerous for fodder, since you usually can't engage them at range.
    • Thanks to Misery and nas1m for inspiring this change.
  • BodyBot:
    • PITAR from 4 => 16 to make them less-incredibly-common in missions with other special-seeding bots.
    • Base Max Health from 6000 => 3000, which is still absurdly high and greatly motivates exploiting their weakness (or virusing them) but makes it less likely that you simply won't have enough ammo to kill one if there's no other way.
    • Thanks to Misery for inspiring this change.
  • EMPBot:
    • PITAR from 40 => 35.
    • Base Max Health from 150 => 100.
    • Thanks to Misery and nas1m for inspiring this change.
  • The LeaderBot, CommandBot, and MastermindBot now all have a Base Max Health of 50 (down from 100/125/150) since their abilities are so dangerous.
    • Thanks to Misery and nas1m for inspiring this change.

Assault Exo Buffs

  • Volatizer (weapon on epic Assault and epic Brawler) :
    • No longer uses the old ring-aoe pattern (which was pretty underwhelming for many, combined with the low damage), but instead uses a new aoe pattern somewhat similar to the new shotgun pattern:
      • Always starts from the firing exo, aiming at (but not emitting from) the target tile.
      • Hits all tiles along the line from the firing exo to the target tile at full strength. Note that angles other than straight up/down or left/right may seem odd due to the coarseness of the grid, but you can see before you shoot.
      • All tiles within the volatizer's splash radius of any tile on that line are hit for 50% strength.
    • Splash radius from 2 => 1.
    • Range from 5 => 7.
    • Base Attack Power from 300 => 600.
    • Base Ammo Capacity from 17 => 12.
  • Assault Exo:
    • Grenade Launcher Base Attack Power from 300 => 400.
    • Overall boost to shield stats from +30% => +60%.
    • Thanks to Misery, nas1m, and others for inspiring this change.

Graphical Revisions

  • Re-instated the texture pack dropdown on the settings menu.
    • Thanks to nas1m for suggesting.
  • Added support for custom floor and floor-edge (wall) graphics:
    • For floors, the game looks in the RuntimeData\Images\Floors\ folder, for files matching "Custom_*.png" (note the underscore, it is required).
      • It will read in at most 99 of these, but that should be plenty variety if someone ever manages it.
      • Make sure any pngs you put in here are of exactly the same canvas/texture size as the base-game ones (1024x1024)
    • For floor edges, the game looks in the RuntimeData\Images\Floors\Edges folder, for _folders_ matching "Custom_*" (again, underscore required).
      • It then expects to find (and will be quite unhappy if it does not find) the following four files in each of those custom folders:
        • HorizN.png
        • HorizS.png
        • VertE.png
        • VertW.png
      • It expects each of these to be 128x128, so make sure they are.
      • Again, it will read in at most 99 of these.
    • With all of this, if you change, add, or remove any of the Custom_ textures/folders you'll need to restart Bionic.exe for those changes to take effect.
    • Thanks to nas1m for inspiring this addition.
  • Now when the game is drawing a bot in sensor range (but not visual range) that is "deactivated" (not alerted, or out of ammo, etc), it will draw with a bit of a light-blue mixed in, giving a visual cue of being far more tranquil than the angry-orange/red-looking bots coming to get you.
    • Thanks to nas1m for inspiring this change.
  • The "Deactivated" versions of various bot graphics are now used again, for when a bot is out of ammo. Many bots don't have a deactivated version of their image, so it may be that we need to... well, re-deactivate the deactivated images ;) But we'll see. Worth a shot.
    • Thanks to nas1m for the suggestion.

Beta 1.011 Hoist By One's Own PITAR

(Released July 24, 2014)

  • Now when an inventory tooltip tells you that you can "shift+right-click to sell" the moused-over item, it also includes the price you will get for selling it.
    • Thanks to ScrObot for suggesting.
  • The power balance indicator on the customization screen, which previously was either white for >= 0 or red for < 0, is now a yellowish-orange if it's <= 20% of what you generate, to let you know you're getting low.
    • Thanks to ScrObot for suggesting.
  • Clicking ok in the final "you've won" popup now brings the game back to the main menu, since previously it just left you on the map screen with nothing to interact with, etc.
    • Thanks to ScrObot for suggesting.
  • Each exo is now given a unique name (their type name, plus #2, #3, or #4 if there's more than one of that type on the team) at the beginning of the game (or when loading an old save), and this name is shown in the left-sidebar tooltips for that exo and the damage log of who's doing what damage to who.
    • You can change this name on the customization screen by clicking on the name and entering a new one.
    • Thanks to Lokarin, ScrObot, and seiferkatt for the suggestion.
  • On the city map you can now right-click a not-yet-completed mission to "tag" it (shows a little blue-green circle around the mission icon) for your future reference. The tag persists across save/load, and until the mission is either completed, destroyed, or you un-tag it by right-clicking again.
    • Thanks to ScrObot for the suggestion.
  • Added another new optional "conduct" (optional rule picked at the start of the game) : Who Designed This Circuit?
    • If you enable this optional rule then all parts that require power will require three times as much of it.
  • The exo-buttons on the left-sidebar in a mission would draw lighter-blue background on the one corresponding to the exo actually on the field at the time, but it was overly subtle. Now it uses a yellowish background that's much less subtle.
    • Thanks to ScrObot and nas1m for inspiring this change.
  • Greatly expanded the mission left-sidebar tooltips for your exos so you can see each exo's stats at a glance.
    • In the past we've tried to keep those very small to avoid info saturation, but ultimately the game's model doesn't allow for an informative interface that doesn't have a lot of data.
    • Thanks to ScrObot and nas1m for inspiring this change.
  • Bots with the AIShouldOnlyTargetExos flag (like the HunterBot) now ignore that flag when they've been virus'd.
    • Thanks to nas1m for inspiring this change.
  • The jolt from Overload now removes the "movement disabled" debuff from any unit it damages.
    • Thanks to managerimankeli for reporting the OP Pistol/Overload combo prompting this change, and Chal for the suggested fix.

Bot Rebalancing

  • Thanks to Vacuity, _K_, nas1m, Misery, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Internally each enemy bot type was assigned a "RobotRole" which is basically a size class, or a classification of how rare one should be relative to the others, etc. All well and good in theory, but in practice several bot types were assigned surprisingly low-value (and thus high-frequency) roles. Also, the relationship between role and frequency was kind of indirect, as was the relationship between role and "how many of these can it build per day for the final battle army?". So now that's been replaced by each enemy bot type having a "Pain/Irritation/Traumatization Assessment Rating" (PITAR for short) which is simply a transparent integer that current ranges from 2 to 50 (higher is nastier). Each bot's value matches the effect of its old role, except for those changes noted below.
  • The end-game-bot-army picks previously picked 2 "smaller", 2 "middling", 1 "larger", and 2 "boss" bots. This is still largely the case but some additional regimentation has been added to avoid low or high outliers of total-army-health:
    • The first pick:
      • Always picks from the lower third of bots sorted by PITAR (ascending).
      • Within that, always considers only the low third of bots sorted by Base Max Health.
      • Has a 50% chance of considering the middle third of bots sorted by Base Max Health.
      • Has a 25% chance of considering the high third of bots sorted by Base Max Health.
    • The second pick is basically the same as the first, except that if the first pick picked in the high health-third, the second one cannot.
    • The third pick:
      • Always picks from the middle third of bots sorted by PITAR.
      • 50% chance of considering low health third.
      • Always considers mid health third.
      • 50% chance of considering high health third.
    • The fourth pick is basically the same as the first, except that if the third pick was low-health-third or high-health-third, this one cannot pick from the same third.
    • The fifth pick:
      • Always picks from the high PITAR third.
      • Since there's only one pick of this type, no filter based on health.
    • The sixth and seventh picks are still just random boss types, as before.
  • The base (before difficulty modifiers) initial count of a bot type in the end-game-army (so just after it's been picked before your first mission) is now 200/PITAR, rather than a value somewhat based on the old RobotRole.
    • Bosses still just get 2 for this value.
  • Now when the game is buying bots for the end-game-army each day (so not including the initial population), the cost equals the bot type's PITAR. This was close to the case previously but some bots paid significantly about double their RobotRole value and others about half, leading to some skewing of the total health of the end army.
  • TigerBot:
    • Base Max Health from 600 => 400.
    • PITAR from 4 => 28.
  • DoomBot:
    • Base Max Health from 800 => 500.
    • PITAR from 16 => 40.
  • ThiefBot:
    • Base Max Health from 40 => 50.
    • Base Attack Range from 3 => 4.
    • PITAR from 16 => 6.
  • AmmoBot:
    • Base Max Health from 60 => 100.
    • PITAR from 16 => 12.
    • Now when virused it will still resupply exo ammo, but only 1 unit per weapon each time. In addition, when resupplying an exo the AmmoBot takes 50% of its max health in damage. In other words, it can only give you 2 units of ammo per weapon before dying, in general.
    • Virus cost multiplier from 5 => 2.
  • WyvernBot:
    • Base Max Health from 800 => 500. (for reference, PITAR is 40)
  • LeaderBot:
    • Base Max Health from 200 => 100.
    • PITAR from 28 => 16.
  • CommandBot:
    • Base Max Health from 175 => 125.
    • PITAR from 28 => 20.
  • MastermindBot:
    • Base Max Health from 175 => 150.
    • PITAR from 40 => 30.
  • TreadBot:
    • Base Max Health from 200 => 150.
    • PITAR from 2 => 12.
  • BombBot:
    • Base Max Health from 150 => 75.
    • PITAR from 4 => 5.
  • BatBot:
    • Base Max Health from 150 => 75.
    • PITAR from 4 => 5.
  • EagleBot:
    • Base Max Health from 150 => 100.
    • PITAR from 2 => 8.
  • HideBot:
    • PITAR from 4 => 5. (for reference, base max health is 50)
  • StealthBot:
    • PITAR from 4 => 8. (for reference, base max health is 75)
  • Invigorated DumBot:
    • PITAR from 4 => 5. (for reference, base max health is 50)
  • BlasterBot:
    • PITAR from 16 => 8. (for reference, base max health is 50)
  • BlasterMaster:
    • PITAR from 28 => 12. (for reference, base max health is 50)

Beta 1.010 Shotgun Distribution

(Released July 18, 2014)

  • Changed the timing of ironman autosaves to avoid a bug where loading a save from right after one of your exos was killed would allow some/all of the enemy bots to move again (probably killing your next exo).
    • Basically now on ironman it autosaves after each full "turn" (after you've moved, and the enemies have moved, etc). In testing this didn't seem to impact performance at all even during rapid movement, but if it causes problems please let us know.
    • Thanks to managerimankeli for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where the initial profile-naming dialog box would act like you could cancel it. The cancel button didn't work, and now won't show in that case.
    • Thanks to comp9 for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where the bot population for missions that didn't pull from the end-of-game-bot-army were actually inverting the frequency of bots (so you could easily wind up with way more CommandBot's than DumBot's, etc).
    • Thanks to Vacuity for the report which brought this to our attention.
  • Fixed a bug where if your first exo had permanently died (in Dead Is Dead mode) the game would never draw the big "Customize" arrow on the map screen. Now it will draw it for the first living exo.
    • Thanks to nas1m for the report.
  • Now when you're holding control with an alternate-fire weapon (line-aoe, i.e. welding laser) the welding laser's "what squares would be hit with this" pattern takes priority over the "what squares this enemy could shoot at" overlay also triggered by control.
    • Thanks to ScrObot for inspiring this change.
  • Now when starting a new game you may select "(None)" for one or more (but not all four) of your exo slots.
    • This option simply omits one of the four exos you're normally given to fight off the Bot menace. There are three potential reasons you might do this:
      • You want to increase the challenge of the game.
      • You want fewer exos (and equipment slots) to manage.
      • You're insane.
  • The player Shotgun weapon has been reworked to always fire a cone starting at the player's position, but the breadth of the cone goes up (and the damage goes down) as you target tiles further away from you.
    • The damage of the shotgun has also been buffed from 250 => 750, since now getting near-full damage involves getting very close and/or firing a very narrow cone.
    • Thanks to many players who reported that the shotgun was underwhelming.

Beta 1.009 Be On Your Toes

(Released July 3, 2014)

  • Added a new optional "conduct" (optional rule picked at the start of the game to make life... interesting) : Dead Is Dead.
    • If you enable this optional rule then if an exo is destroyed during a mission, it is not replaced after the mission.
  • Added another new conduct: On Your Toes.
    • If you enable this optional rule then if you take more than 5 seconds to issue a command during a mission the game automatically issues the "wait" command for you.
      • Disconcerting, isn't it?

Official 1.008

(Released July 2, 2014)

  • Our revised version of steamworks integration (using Steamworks.NET) has now been integrated into the steam version of the game. Achievements integration had previously stopped working on linux at some point, but now they work again.

Official 1.007

(Released May 8, 2014)

  • This version makes all of the features from the prior beta version available in the official branch.
  • Added the new cross-OS "ArcenUpdater" for the game, letting us update the game (with your opt-in) from outside Steam if you wish.
  • Added a 64bit build for Linux.

Beta 1.006

(Released November 18, 2013)

  Steam will not automatically update you to this version unless you specifically add yourself to the beta branch for this game.  
  To do so, right-click the game in steam and choose properties.  Under the Betas tab, choose "beta" from the dropdown.  
  You may have to restart steam after that in order to get it to trigger the download of the 1.001 version.  
  Once this feature set is considered stable, it will be merged into the normal steam update path for everyone.

Further Exo Customization UI Polish

  • Since feedback on the new customization interface is universally that it's far superior to the old interface, resolutions smaller than 1280-wide or 768-high no longer use the old interface but now use a barebones version of thew new one.
    • All the functionality of the new interface is still present on those smaller resolutions, but:
      • The inventory display is 4x4 instead of 5x5
      • The exo's slots are arranged in a much more space-efficient way (and do not have the system background images drawn under them).
      • The exo's image itself is drawn at half scale, since there just wasn't room to draw it at full scale without overlapping some stat comparisons, etc.
    • The toggle for forcing the old interface has been removed, as that interface no longer exists (the old inventory and part-picker windows no longer exist at all, actually).
    • Thanks to all the players who've given us feedback on the new interface, and to Cyborg and others for letting us know they do actually use resolutions in this range.
  • The weapon systems on the exo customization screen no longer show their ammo current/max, as that is now always shown in the stats at the bottom of the screen, and not showing it both places eases vertical space requirements significantly.
  • The new customization interface is now used even for the in-mission view since it gives a superior way of seeing all your stats, etc.
    • Thanks to Admiral, ScrOBot, and others for inspiring this change.
  • Now the part hover tooltips do not display the flavor text descriptions by default since some of those are really large (a certain programmer, who is also writing this release note, has a dubiously voluminous sense of humor) and cover untoward quantities of screen area. Instead, they include a note that you can hold shift to see the flavor text.
    • Thanks to Shu-Woon, davidb11, DaetherX, Mnonkey, and others for inspiring this change.
  • The part hover tooltips for parts with system-specific effects (like the coolant tank, which has a different effect in each different category of system) will now gray-out the effects that would not apply in the context of the currently-hovered or currently-selected slot. If there is no such slot in context it doesn't gray out any of the lines.
  • Fixed a bug where shift-right-click did not actually work to sell an item from the archive on the new customization screen, despite the tooltip saying that it would.
    • Thanks to ScrOBot for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the inventory hover tooltips in the new customization screen could flicker madly in fullscreen mode on some machines. VSync could solve the problem, so it was probably a race condition related to framerate being very high.
    • Thanks to GEIDI4, ScrOBot, and blaa for reporting.

Official 1.005 Combined Customization

(Released October 28, 2013)

  • Previously there were four different ways a part could be assigned a particular effect (+Shields, +Stealth, etc): 1 effect from the base type ("Nano-Rifled Barrel", for example), 1 effect from the variant type (a particular image of the nano-rifled barrel where it's turned another direction, for example), 1 effect from the prefix, and 1 effect from the suffix. This gave a possible total of 4 effects (except for those parts that have different effects in different systems) and combined with the sheer number of slots you can have in this game compared to other games with procedural loot this seemed to be one bridge too far in terms of loot complexity and how much info the player needed to parse after each mission.
    • So now the variant part type does not grant an effect, bringing the total down to 3 and ensuring that all common (white-text) gear only has one effect.
    • To avoid advanced parts having too _few_ effects, anything blue and up is now guaranteed to have both a prefix and a suffix, and thus 3 effects. But Greens now only ever have one or the other, not both (previously they had a 10% chance of having both), and thus have 2 effects.
    • Note: this does not affect parts already generated in previous versions of the game.
    • Thanks to nas1m, BobTheJanitor, Admiral, and many others for inspiring this change.
  • The Pistol is now not quite so usefulness-challenged; as per the new description:
    • Short Story: free action, disables enemy movement, 3-turn cooldown.
    • Long Story:
      • The old MurTech MkVI "PebbleProjector" Pistol was the worst weapon in the galaxy. Customer feedback was torrential. Mainly from next-of-kin.
      • In fact, the MurTech Complaints Department received so many letters that a counter deep within the Inefficiency Engine overflowed into negative numbers. The explosion atomized many Complaints executives and led to a truly remarkable event: the first, and last, documented case of MurTech efficiency.
      • The resulting "KneeSeeker" model has the invaluable benefit of disabling the movement of any bot it hits. Further, firing the weapon is a "free action" because the other bots are too surprised to respond. The weapon itself is so astonished that it EMP's itself for 3 turns.
    • Thanks to Kruztee, ScrObot, doctorfrog, zharmad, muttala, nas1m, and jonasan for inspiring these changes.
  • HideBot range is now capped at 5, regardless of difficulty level (starts at 2 but on high difficulties it can get way higher later on), to avoid cases where they could fire on you while staying stealthed.
    • Thanks to [RR] Sleepy, [Pony] Wharrrrrrgarbl, Misery, and Frosty the Pyro for inspiring this change.
  • Tuck now has an additional sensor-related bonus: his sensors can scan through doors and barricades which normally block sensors.
    • Thanks to nas1m, DarkTroZo, Frosty the Pyro, [RR] Sleepy, Misery, Winge, jonasan, and zharmad for inspiring this change.

New Customization Screen Moves To Main Branch

  • Since feedback seems to indicate that the new customization layout is stable and an all-around improvement on the old layout it is now enabled by default. There's a toggle to force the old layout, and the old layout is still used by displays that aren't at least 1280-wide and at least 768-high. After a while of the new layout being in the hands of the non-beta-branch audience we'll probably try to rework the smaller display mode so that it incorporates the most important features of the new layout.
    • Thanks to... well, basically everyone complained about how customization used to be, at least in the UI, so thanks to all of you ;)
  • The "instruction text" shown on the new customization screen now draws as part of the mouseover tooltips, at the top, with color highlights on the inputs ("left click", etc) and the resulting actions ("install", "sell", etc).
  • Shift-right-clicking an unequipped (or archived) inventory item in the new customization screen now sells that item.
    • Thanks to ScrOBot for the suggestion.

Beta 1.004

(Released October 25, 2013)

  Steam will not automatically update you to this version unless you specifically add yourself to the beta branch for this game.  
  To do so, right-click the game in steam and choose properties.  Under the Betas tab, choose "beta" from the dropdown.  
  You may have to restart steam after that in order to get it to trigger the download of the 1.001 version.  
  Once this feature set is considered stable, it will be merged into the normal steam update path for everyone.
  • Fixed another array-out-of-bounds error that could happen on the customization screen in some cases.
    • Thanks to ScrObot for the report.

Beta 1.003

(Released October 23, 2013)

  Steam will not automatically update you to this version unless you specifically add yourself to the beta branch for this game.  
  To do so, right-click the game in steam and choose properties.  Under the Betas tab, choose "beta" from the dropdown.  
  You may have to restart steam after that in order to get it to trigger the download of the 1.001 version.  
  Once this feature set is considered stable, it will be merged into the normal steam update path for everyone.
  • Fixed an index-out-of-bounds error in the customization screen logic.
    • Thanks to Pepsisolo for the report.

Beta 1.002

(Released October 23, 2013)

  Steam will not automatically update you to this version unless you specifically add yourself to the beta branch for this game.  
  To do so, right-click the game in steam and choose properties.  Under the Betas tab, choose "beta" from the dropdown.  
  You may have to restart steam after that in order to get it to trigger the download of the 1.001 version.  
  Once this feature set is considered stable, it will be merged into the normal steam update path for everyone.
  • Fixed some bugs in the new merged customization/inventory layout where stat comparisons would cause line-wrapping (in a very unhelpful and indecipherable way).
    • Thanks to BobTheJanitor for the report.
  • Previously, a ClawBot could not heal itself. Now, a ClawBot is also prevented from healing other ClawBots.
    • Thanks to Sethra for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug where the "Order Playback Speed" setting was not persisted across sessions.
    • Thanks to ScrObot for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where loading a profile from a later version would cause a crash (null exception); it was correctly telling you that it couldn't actually load the profile, but the crash kind of put a damper on things anyway.
    • Thanks to Lokarin for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the auto-equip button's prioritization of your selected sort/filter stat would merrily stuff a (say) +500 shields part in a slot when you asked for more shields... totally ignoring the fact that said +500 shields effect does not apply when put in that slot because it's one of those weird parts whose effect depends on the system it's put in.
    • Thanks to Iyravega for the report.
  • The Recent Patch Notes now points to this page rather than to the alpha page.
    • Thanks to Jabor for reporting.

Further Iteration On New Customization Interface

  • Thanks to nas1m, Admiral, BobTheJanitor, ralphie, Pepsisolo, Taikei no Yuurei, Winge, ScrObot, Misery, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • The experiment with drag-n-drop actually seemed like a step back in usability, so now to select an inventory item for installation you just click it (and then click the slot you want it to go in).
  • One use case that honestly didn't occur to us last time, but basically everyone asked for: click on a slot, then click on an inventory item to install it in that slot.
    • Naturally this also displays a comparison when mousing over an inventory item, which it did not previously do.
  • Now the dimming out of slots (of ineligible ones, when an inventory item is selected, or of non-selected slots when a slot is selected) is much higher-contrast. Should help with readability, at least.
  • Now other inventory parts are dimmed when an inventory part is selected.
  • In the new screen mode the scroll wheel switches to the next/previous exo, since it's no longer needed for scrolling the stats list.

Beta 1.001

(Released October 14, 2013)

  Steam will not automatically update you to this version unless you specifically add yourself to the beta branch for this game.  
  To do so, right-click the game in steam and choose properties.  Under the Betas tab, choose "beta" from the dropdown.  
  You may have to restart steam after that in order to get it to trigger the download of the 1.001 version.  
  Once this feature set is considered stable, it will be merged into the normal steam update path for everyone.
  • Fixed bug where Rey could lose multiple exos in a single turn (overlapping AOE attacks, etc).
    • Thanks to Patashu for the report.
  • While we were at it, also made Rey's auto-revive ability restore hacking, mine, sentry, stealth, and virus points to the revived exo (previously it already restored health, ammo, and un-disabled weapons).
  • Fixed a bug where Sentries granted credits when destroyed. Which would be fine, except it motivates dumping out all your spare sentries just before the end of each mission for a fleecing. Cute, but wrong.
    • Thanks to SNAFU and others for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where Sentries and Mines could be deployed even when the exo had no more left (or had never had any!) through the hotkey or interface button.
    • Thanks to SNAFU, bladewarp, and others for reporting.
  • Ok, whew, Sentries were REALLY overpowered. Them being good is cool, but certain cheesemasters were trivializing high-difficulty endgames with 300+ trap skill, etc... wily players. Anyway:
    • Sentries no longer get an ammo boost from trap skill (unless they were already placed in an old save).
    • Sentry range boost from trap skill is capped at 5 (max total range of 11) (unless they were already placed in an old save).
    • The +TrapSkill effect now costs 4 item levels per point instead of 3 (from a player perspective this basically means trap skill values will be 33% lower on the items you find in the future, has no impact on items from old saves).
    • The +%Propulsion-related effect's range from 12%-to-60% => 9%-to-45%. (again, won't affect items from old saves).
    • The +SentryCount effect magnitude from 2+level => 1+(level/2) (same deal with old save items)
    • Overall, with the +attack and +shields boost from trap skill still intact (albeit with lower trap skill, and fewer sentries to work on), these are quite possibly still too strong. We have a sneaking suspicion that players will find out and let us know.
    • Thanks to Sooty, Misery, Frumple, Reasonance, Waladil, The_Ring-Bearer, Tridus, Mick, and others for inspiring these changes,
  • Fixed a bug where the post-misison ironman save happened after all mission-end-related stuff (mission-reward loot parts, etc) had been queued, but not generally after it had actually been processed.
    • Thanks to nas1m for the report.

Customization Quality-of-Life Improvements

  • Added new toggle to Extras tab of the Settings Window: "Enable Customization/Inventory Merge". This is an experimental feature (and the toggle defaults to off; you'll need to specifically turn it on if you want to use/test this), but one felt necessary in the wake of very widespread feedback that it's part of the game that actually gets in the way of the fun.
    • Description from the tooltip:
      • This feature is still in testing, use at your own risk. But it's generally less explosive than a plasma cannon.
      • If you are running the game at a resolution of at least 1280-wide and at least 768-high, this toggle will enable an alternate layout of the customization and inventory screens that are used between missions. Instead of clicking on a slot to bring up a separate window to pick a part for that slot (and having Inventory be a third window where you can just browse all your parts), you will see your inventory on the same screen as your exo's slots and be able to drag-and-drop parts from your inventory into the slots.
    • The game's minimum specs are 1024x720 so there will always need to be a display that works for that too, but the information available to us is that at most 5% (and probably way less) of the audience uses devices incapable of 1280-wide and/or 768-high, so it seemed appropriate to have an improved version of this one interface for the other 95%. If this experiment works out, the really key improvements can be integrated back into the smaller version.
    • For the curious, here's a screenshot of the overall layout: http://arcengames.com/dl/Bionic_RevisedCustomizationScreenFor1280x768.jpg
    • Thanks to ragosaurus, Arnos, Jin, Pakuska, Conir, Mick, navik659, BobTheJanitor, Knight of Virtue, Penumbra, Kevdogg155, Cool_Roxas, Hermundure, BriianC, Underwhelmed, Velorien, xDURALx, Haldurson, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Added an "Auto-Equip One Part" button to the Exo Customization screen. As its tooltip says:
    • Feeling indecisive? Just want _something_ put in those slots so you can get on with the robot-annihilation?
    • Just ring the bell and one of our maintenance crews will be right over to make a total hash of things. Er, that is, to take exquisite care in their meticulous selection of a well-suited part to install in your exo. Yea.
    • Notes:
      • This will never remove or replace a part that is already installed. To auto-equip the whole exo first use "Remove All Parts".
      • If your exo has a non-negative power-balance, this will never pick a part that makes it negative. If your exo has a negative power-balance, this will never pick a part that makes it worse.
      • This will only auto-equip a single part; to continue auto-equipping the exo just keep clicking the button. Simple, no?
    • Thanks to BobTheJanitor for the suggestion (others suggested something similar, but he was the one with the temerity to say "even the most rudimentary"; here you go!)

Previous Release Notes

Bionic Dues Alpha Release Notes