AI War - Current Post-5.000 Beta

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Release 6.001

Release 6.000

(Released October 19th, 2012)

  • Updated the player-community credits to reflect contributions during the 5.0-to-6.0 run. Thanks everyone!

Prerelease 5.097 Release Candidate 2

(Released October 17th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the last version where the list of available modules wasn't showing on the ship design at all, if your monitor (not resolution) was above a certain size.
    • Thanks to Cinth and Toranth for the report.

Prerelease 5.096 Release Candidate 1

(Released October 17th, 2012)

  • Previously, when your ships exploded anywhere in the galaxy it played the same audio cue. Now if they are on a different planet from your view, it plays a much more muted, distant-sounding, quieter explosion sound effect. And there was much rejoicing.
  • Added 25 champion-related achievements.
  • Fixed a bug that was letting the buy menu (with MODS button and abilities) show when multiple champions (of the same hull) type were selected. In some ways this was convenient but it's just asking for bug-trouble because of differences in what unlocks each player might have.
    • This also prevents some genuinely bizarre behavior when the multi-player selection is opened for modification in the ship design window, since they can no longer be opened in that window now.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Each champion/normal+champion player now starts with 100 shadow capacitor charge so that the champion-only players can immediately spawn rather than waiting 20 seconds or so to build up the initial charge.
  • Ship Design Window: changed the positioning of the list of available modules for the selected slot so that it's always the same horizontal distance from the right edge of the window. Previously the "floating" behavior sometimes made sense but more recently it's just made it look buggy in some cases.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Fixed several errors and misleading bits in various unit descriptions.
    • Thanks to Bognor, RCIX, Draco18s, KingRaptor, and KDR_11k for the reports.
  • Reduced the quantity of nemesis champions the AI gets to defend itself against champion assassination, since it seemed like even dislodging a non-respawning population (after raising AIP a bit) would be inappropriately difficult.
  • Added the higher-mark-version images for most of the champion module lines.
    • Thanks to HitmanN for the art.

Prerelease 5.095 Apply Core Sanding Machine

(Released October 17th, 2012)

  • Fixed a longstanding bug where attack-move units with no other orders would auto-target stuff that should not be auto-targeted (wormhole guard posts, AIP-on-death structures, etc) if the unit in question shot them first.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report and save.
  • Fixed a typo in the kill-second-AI-homeworld objective text that made it nonsensical. It had said you had to destroy the CSG network Second instead of first... real cute; obviously the AI shouldn't have been assigned to proofread that part.
    • Thanks to Bognor for the report.
  • Now when a champion respawns, it automatically queues up the highest eligible mark of each module instead of just keeping exactly the modules that were on it before dying/warping.
    • Also, there is now a "Switch To Best Module Versions Available" button on the ship design interface (only shows when there's actually a module on the design that has an eligible higher-mark version available) which switches in the eligible higher-mark versions. It doesn't actually apply the changes (we can make it do that if preferred, but this seemed more flexible), but the apply-to-selection button is just above.
      • In theory it could just do this automatically, but that would cause apply-to-selection to make changes the player did not consciously make, in some cases, so this seemed safer.
    • Thanks to LordSloth, Eternaly_Lost and TechSY730 for inspiring this change.
  • To provide a counterbalance against the player's ability to build up a powerful champion (and nebula-ally fleet) without increasing AIP much (if at all, depending on map layout and tolerance for deepstrikes), each AI homeworld now gets "nemesis" champions in proportion to the number of human champions, the highest champion hull size unlocked for human players, and that AI's difficulty.
    • Critically, the "population cap" of these nemesis spawns actually goes _down_ as AIP increases (bottoming out at 150 AIP) to simulate the AI having less to invest into its nemesis spawns as AIP increases and waves, special forces, strategic reserve, and other responses are being given more and more resources. More importantly, this allows the nemesis spawns to counter an "early AIP" champion rush without making a more "normal AIP" approach massively harder to the point of stalemate.
    • Nemesis spawns are not immediately replaced up to the population cap (takes a little over 10 minutes to go from zero to the cap), and spawns remain even if the cap drops below the current population (but once you kill them off the extras don't come back).
    • Nemesis spawns never go through wormholes, so they won't ever leave the homeworld they're defending. This is good and bad for the player, but good all around for their intended purpose.
    • Thanks to Hearteater,chemical_art, Faulty Logic, TechSY730, Cinth, Wanderer, Dichotomy, LaughingThesaurus, Volatar, and Winge for inspiring this change.
  • Champion module unlock costs from 1/1/2/3/3 => 1/1/2/2/2, so upgrading a mkI module to mkV now costs 7 points instead of 9, allowing for a bit more flexibility with the two larger champion hull sizes.
    • Thanks to Cinth, Dichotomy, Eternaly_Lost, chemical_art, and orzelek for inspiring this change.
  • Previously if a player champion entered a nebula and no scenario was eligible to be seeded, it would duplicate a previous scenario since the beta was ongoing and more scenarios were being added. Since the 6.0 set of scenarios is complete, this duplication now no longer happens and such a nebula will simply stay empty.
    • The first time this "empty nebula" logic is encountered in a game, it will trigger a short journal entry explaining the situation, so that it doesn't look like a bug.
    • If later on a scenario is eligible to seed there and the player has a champion there (or brings one there), one of the now-eligible scenarios will spawn. The emptiness won't prevent that from happening.
    • If you really want more than 9 scenarios in a game, you may use the "cmd:allow duplicate nebula scenarios" command from the chatline to re-enable the old behavior.
      • Note: this is not a cheat! It does not require that cheats be enabled, and does not flag the game as having had cheats used. This is because the additional scenarios still use the proper balancing scaling based on your hull size, number of previous victories, etc. It's up to the player if they want to do more scenarios after 9, though hopefully we'll eventually have enough defined that even the largest galaxy (120 planets, 15 nebulae) won't run out and this command will become moot.
    • Thanks to Cinth for inspiring this change.
  • Added a note to the Dark Spire description indicating it's intentional chaoticity (by way of warning the player).
    • Thanks to Dichotomy for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug where strategic reserve ships could be freed as threat while attacking.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the report.
  • Dark Spire minor faction ships will no longer kill warp gates.
    • Note: the rationale with these is that they're supposed to have a chaotic and uncontrollable effect on the game if included and triggered. If you want minor factions that don't cause AIP or other badness, those factions already exist :) But the DS still won't kill command stations or warp gates because those: 1) Increase AIP substantially. AND 2) Are very common (i.e. on every planet). There's no strategy in avoiding DS spawns near those, because they're everywhere.
      • So something that is merely common, but does not increase AIP much (Special Forces Guard Post, +1 AIP) is fair game.
      • And something that substantially increases AIP, but is rare (Black Hole Generator) is fair game.
      • And something like a counter-attack-guard-post is also fair game. If you play with Dark Spire on you'll want to pay close attention to things like that which are in striking distance of a DS spawner.
  • Fixed a textual error in the captive human settlement description.
    • Thanks to Volatar and KingRaptor for the report.

Prerelease 5.094 Apply MkIV Sanding Machine

(Released October 16th, 2012)

  • Zenith Reprocessors are now immune to reclamation, because otherwise the player could have zombie reprocs giving them m+c which just seemed weird.
    • Thanks to rabican for the report.
  • Zenith Medic Frigates are now immune to reclamation, because zombies healing other zombies doesn't really work right (on many levels).
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the large starbases were repairing the champion about 100x faster than they should have been due to a testing flag being left on.
    • Note that the module construction part is unaffected.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the report.
  • Fixed several minor issues with the tutorials, in preparation for 6.0.
  • Added a welcome message (referencing the tutorial and the "Beginner Game" setup script) to the lobby for the first time it is opened under a given profile (this is suppressed if the game detects that the profile has already started playing a real game at least once).
  • Adjusted the energy-surplus-achievement trigger thresholds to better fit the current model's numbers (and not trigger any achievements immediately upon starting the game).
  • Fixed a bug where minifortresses had a ship-cap of zero in defender games.
    • Thanks to Gith for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the Spire Corvette was still available in some games with starships off.
    • Thanks to X14U2NVX for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where hacking an ARS, capturing the planet, saving, quitting, and reloading could cause another ARS to spawn somewhere in the galaxy.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where the fallen spire campaign could spawn two of the same shard-signal.
    • Thanks to contingencyplan for the report and save.
  • Nebulae are no longer considered by the "Knowledge Found" galaxy map display mode.
  • Fixed several bugs that could cause the new "large starbases can repair/assist champions" rule to not work sometimes.
    • Thanks to Underfot, Faulty Logic, Cinth, chemical_art for reporting, and to chemical_art again for the save that demonstrated yet another bug with this.
  • Fixed a fairly longstanding bug where disabling an expansion from within the lobby would not properly remove several expansion-specific options (map types, setup scripts, minor factions, etc), which could lead to very odd behavior.
    • Thanks to LordSloth for the report.
  • Fixed a couple longstanding bugs that would cause very old saves to not load properly.
  • The AI Core Grav Reactor Post now no longer receives protection from the Core Shield Generator network, to avoid generating maps (mainly snake ones) that were literally impossible due the homeworld having an invincible black-hole-generator-effect unit.
    • Thanks to vortexion for the report.
  • Champion respawn rebalance:
    • Now, if a "dead" champion's shadow capacitor charge is lower than 100, it does not respawn until the charge reaches 100.
    • Respawning now completely discharges the champion's shadow capacitor.
    • The confirm prompt for scrapping now displays alternate text if only champions are selected, since it's actually a "warp home" function rather than a "scrap" one. Follows exactly the same rules as normal respawning, either way.
    • Also amended the opening champion journal entry to note the respawn rules.
  • Added "Champions" galaxy map display mode so you can see where your champion(s) are from the galaxy map.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug where the resource bar metal/crystal/energy/knowledge mouseover tooltips would show lines for champion-only players.

Prerelease 5.093 Apply MkIII Sanding Machine

(Released October 13th, 2012)

  • The large allied starbases in nebula missions can now (slowly) repair your champion and assist it in constructing new modules, allowing you to switch loadouts mid-mission without keeping an engineer team on the other side of the wormhole.
    • To make this work, champions and all nebula units are now free to repair (minor faction bases having no m+c reserves of their own to draw upon), which now makes the player-buildable versions of the nebula faction ships a bit more attractive to use.
    • Thanks to Cinth, Marmel, and other players for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug where hybrids, exo ships, and the like could switch to threat-fleet behavior.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report.
  • Military Command Stations:
    • Fixed a bug where the mkII and mkIII versions no longer had a unit cap (leaving it that way was entertained, but ultimately would require more sweeping changes to command stations than is a good idea right now, if it would be a good idea at all).
    • Fixed a bug where the mkII and mkIII were still showing the mkI descriptive text, despite that now not being the same.
    • The knockback logic now launches stuff 2000 range units outside the station's effective range rather than 2000 range units inside, to help the autotargeting not get stuck on a few targets when its main use is best served by spreading shots out.
    • Thanks to Winge, TechSY730, rabican, and Kahuna for reports/suggestions on these.
  • AI Strategic Reserves:
    • Fixed a bug where the spawns were only considering the first player's available ship types (so if the second player's core planet was under attack, nothing would spawn).
    • Fixed a bug where non-homeworld spawns were not trying to leave the correct percent-of-max-reserve remaining.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report and save.
  • Significantly rebalanced how the ally and enemy large-starbase "how fast do these build units?" rates are computed in the nebula scenarios, notably:
    • Most of the modifiers are now applied additively, not multiplicatively, so that the numbers stay under control longer.
    • The base-vs-base scenarios are now more consistent in how losses of small starbases impact ally/enemy production concentration into the large bases.
    • Ally production now scales up with the factor based on number of champions, number of won scenarios, and biggest available champion hull. It doesn't scale up as much as the enemies do (as otherwise the overall challenge wouldn't really change, where it does need to get harder as the player progresses), but it should keep it from feeling quite so one-sided in highly scaled scenarios.
    • If you have advanced logging on, each multi-ship group spawn in an offroad scenario will log an entry to OffroadScenarioLog.txt giving info on what was spawned and how frequently spawns are happening at that point.
    • Thanks to Cinth, Winge, chemical_art, Histidine, Mermel, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • The earlier base-vs-base scenarios now use similar autotargeting-logic-modifications to what is used in some of the later scenarios, to keep the enemies and allies from getting near an objective and then haring off to the other corner of the map because they could get better damage against some target.
  • Fixed a bug where the Dark Spire minor faction could kill AI command stations indirectly through plasma-siege splash damage.
    • Thanks to Histidine for the report and save.
  • Fixed several display bugs with champion hulls on the ship design screen.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Nebula scenarios can now grant both a new hull-race and a new hull-size at once. Previously a new hull-size would override, which could lead to not having all races by the end.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.

Prerelease 5.092

(Released October 10th, 2012)

  • Nebula seeding:
    • Every map now always seeds at least 9 nebulae; though 80+ planet maps seed more (up to 15 on 120 planets, as before).
    • Nebulae try to seed 4 hops apart, falling back on seeding closer together if there winds up not being enough room later on in the seeding.
      • This helps with the fact that nebulae have to be seeded before homeworlds are chosen, by generally avoiding large concentrations of or gaps between nebulae.
  • Added "Nebula Wormholes" galaxy display mode that shows all planets with a wormhole that leads to a nebula.
    • The "Unexplored Wormholes" galaxy display mode no longer counts these wormholes, to avoid confusion.
    • This display mode doesn't work (and doesn't show up in the list on the galaxy map) if there are no champion or normal+champion players.
  • Fixed a bug where a cpa deploying could cause unhandled errors.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Fixed a bug in the previous version that was interfering with group moves through wormholes.
    • Thanks to Histidine for the report.
  • The Neinzul Mourner large starbase can now also spawn the player-gift facility after you win a scenario with the mourners in it, instead of just the small starbase (possibly the small starbase being able to do so will go away later, since it's the only faction that can happen with). In any event, it should still be true that at most one player-facility per splinter faction per nebula will spawn.
  • The IMT player-gift facility now responds to the D hotkey.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the reminder.

Prerelease 5.091 Apply MkII Sanding Machine

(Released October 9th, 2012)

  • Removed energy cost from Logistics and Military command stations, since the cost was pretty minor and the units certainly aren't in danger of overshadowing the econ station at this point, and the costs were interfering with the logic for rebuilding their remains in some cases.
    • Also removed it from warp-jammer stations, but since that wasn't so minor also increased that station's direct per-second m+c cost.
    • Thanks to Diazo for reporting that interference.
  • Military Command Stations:
    • Base Health from 500k/1.5M/3M => 1M/4M/9M. (puts it on the low end of a fleet ship or starship with a cap of 10, but with the mkII/mkIII versions much stronger to help justify knowledge cost)
    • Metal,Crystal production from 16,16/32,32/64,64 => 24,24/48,48/96,96 (the same as logistics stations).
    • Now do not suffer damage reduction when firing from under a normal human-tech forcefield.
      • Yes, it's now just an obvious move to put a shield on these; presumably that was already true if you cared about keeping the planet. And it still costs shield cap, so not 100% obvious.
    • Base Damage per shot from 3200*mk => 5k*mk. (puts it on par with a fleet ship or starship with a cap of 10, but since shots-per-salvo is also mark-based this makes mkII/mkIII versions much stronger to help justify knowledge cost)
    • Is now immune to radar dampening.
    • Shot type changed from translocating lightning to a new "knockback railgun" mechanic. So the shots are now insta-hit, and actually still do the translocation code path but instead of sending the target to a random angle and random distance from the planet center they send the target directly away from the military station out to a distance about 2000 units short of the station's maximum firing range (assuming it wasn't further out than that already).
    • MkII and MkIII versions now do 200 engine damage per shot.
    • MkIII versions now apply 5 seconds of paralysis per shot.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for inspiring these changes.
  • Miniforts:
    • Now immune to translocation
      • Thanks to Diazo for reporting what a clever AI shadow frigate did with that fact.
    • No longer provide counter-dark-matter coverage.
    • Can now receive up to a +100% munitions boost.
  • Fixed some bugs where special forces and strategic reserve spawns could result in an AI player controlling a type of ship only available to the other AI.
    • And a related bug where some of the special forces spawn logic could only access the special ship types of the first AI player.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report leading to these discoveries.
  • Overhauled how line-place determines space between points to be closer to how the game will actually accept or reject a given placement. Hopefully this will avoid "skipping every other one" bugs without adding excessive padding between points on a packed-line pattern.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for reporting that there were still issues here.
  • Fixed a bug where Youngling Fireflies were eligible to be picked as AI reinforcements. Maybe it was for entertaining bored guard ships.
    • Thanks to rabican for the report.
  • Fixed some remaining cases where giving a group-move order to an all-teleporter group would cause them to use normal engines instead of teleporting.
    • Thanks to Eternaly_Lost for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where changing per-planet settings on one planet, then opening the CTRLS window from another planet would do the confirm-discard-changes check, which led to various other tomfoolery.
    • Thanks to TechSY730, Toranth, Kahuna, and Cinth for reporting.
  • The nebula faction structures that produce ships for the player will now send their ships to a starship-constructor intragalactic warp gate, if you have one active.
    • This seemed a better way of handling the request for a warp gate for these than a whole new dedicated gate type, as that could be a bit tricky to know when to include in the buy menu.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 and many other players for inspiring this change.

Prerelease 5.090 Fish Or Cut Bait

(Released October 6th, 2012)

  • Now when you give a group-movement movement command to a group containing only teleporting units, it ignores the group-movement part so that the teleporters do not use their normal engines.
    • Thanks to contingencyplan and Valorian_Nova for pointing out the undesirable side effect of the change in the last version.
  • Made the Youngling Vulture's description more clear about how its damage is computed, and copied the details of that to the Doom Accelerator module rather than just referencing the vulture.
    • Thanks to idont for pointing out how unclear the descriptions were for this purpose.
  • Removed the initial prompt to import settings from 3.x, since that hasn't been current in over two years.
    • The importer is still available from the settings menu, if anyone for some reason actually needs it.
  • Since "make the threatballs fish or cut bait" was #1 on the second round of the 6.0 poll:
    • Threat ships behave as they used to for about 30 minutes after being freed, but after that they are switched to an alternate "Threat Fleet" behavior that is somewhat similar to the new Special Forces mechanic.
      • Note: this only happens on Difficulty 6+, as it's not the AI getting anything extra, it's just behaving more intelligently (in theory) with what it has.
    • If an AI homeworld or core world is under attack, the threat fleet will rally to defend it.
    • Otherwise, if it sees an accessible non-AI planet with a significant human presence that it thinks it can take out, it goes to attack that (it will still pool up at the entry wormhole in some cases, until enough of them are there to pass the threshold, so they don't march in to the grinder one-by-one).
    • Otherwise, it picks a planet in AI territory to hang out at until either of the two above conditions are met.
    • If a carrier is spontaneously formed from ships that have a significant threat-fleet population, the carrier (and anything it spawns) is also considered threat-fleet.
    • When a special forces alarm post is triggered it converts all special forces in the galaxy directly into threat-fleet, and then blows up the alarm post (not causing AIP, unless it was triggered because it was shot to death).
    • For the curious who have advanced logging on, the target-planet selection process is logged in the special forces log file.
    • Thanks to Wanderer, TechSY730, Faulty Logic, Hearteater, many other players over the months, and the 6.0 poll voters for inspiring this change.
  • CPAs are now partly "funded" from the AI's strategic reserve if the reserve is over 50% full. Also, if that plus cpa-freed ships does not fill out the proper number of ships the strategic reserve will contribute even beyond the 50% line to try to fill it up.
    • If you're curious about the math of how the strategic reserve contributes to CPAs, the actual sending of the CPA will add an entry to the special forces log (where the rest of the strategic reserve logging goes) detailing what it did. Assuming advanced logging is on, of course.
    • Thanks to Trandrin for reporting some circumstances where the barracks population was running out relatively soon in games.
  • The issue of multi-ingress being so much harder than single-ingress came in #2 on the second round of the 6.0 poll, so here's a start: The time-between-waves adjustment for the number of player-territory ingress points has been adjusted to narrow the random range somewhat and to be somewhat more forgiving on multiple-ingress-point cases.
    • Thanks to Diazo for the suggestion, and the poll voters for emphasizing how important this was to them.
  • Also for helping with the multi-ingress/satellite-worlds thing: added a new "Mini-Fortress" unit to the SUP tab of the command-station/mobile-builder buy menu (this is a base-game unit, not tied to an expansion).
    • These are basically a MkI fortress on a 1/10th scale (stat-wise), and you can only build 2 per planet (per player, also scales with multiple homeworlds), but there's no galaxy-wide cap so putting them on your satellite worlds does not take away any cap your main defenses could be using.
    • Unlocking these costs 1000 knowledge (for reference, MkI forts cost 3000 knowledge to unlock, and provide 25x as much firepower at cap for your main line but not the per-planet-cap flexibility of these).
    • These don't have the penalty vs polycrystal (or scout) hulls, making them actually able to deal with bombers.
    • Thanks to Wanderer and the other poll voters for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug where minor faction and zombie ships could be affected by the player auto-kite controls.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 and Faulty Logic for reporting this.
  • Fixed a bug where auto-knowledge-gather and auto-scout would sometimes still consider nebulae.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 and Vinco for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where line-place would try to pack things in too closely on certain angles, which would lead to every other spot being skipped.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the report.
  • Command station remains can now be rebuilt even when energy is negative, to avoid the "you need power to get power" catch-22.
    • Thanks to motai for the suggestion.
  • Fixed several bugs that were preventing champions (and their assisting engineers) from building modules while the controlling player's energy was negative.
    • Normally this would be fine, but since champions are supposed to function as independent players, no player's energy budget should impact them directly.
    • This also fixes some issues where 0-energy things could not be built during negative energy.
    • Thanks to motai for the reports.
  • Spire Tractor Platform:
    • MkI-Cap-Health from 10.5M => 8M.
    • Base move speed from 18 => 15.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for inspiring these changes, and other player for their feedback on what happens when the AI gets Dire Honeycombs.
  • Most champion modules (basically everything except paralyzer) and the champion main guns are now better at not spreading out their fire too much, and thus at staying focused on the preferred target designated by the player.
    • Thanks to orzelek for the report and save leading to this change.
  • Changed champion paralyzer module:
    • Shots per salvo from 11 => 1.
    • Seconds per salvo from 8 => 2.
    • Base MkI Attack Power from 6250 => 17k.
    • Paralyze-seconds from 6+(2*mk) => 18+(6*mk).
    • Mainly this is because the paralyze autotargeting logic doesn't work well with multi-shot salvos (they tend to all hit the same target). Now it's much more efficient at spreading out.
    • Thanks to many players for reporting the inefficiency, and orzelek for a save that helped demonstrate the problem.
  • Fixed a really longstanding bug where giving a ship an attack order against something already in range would cause it to move towards the target a little bit before stopping again. This was mildly annoying with most units but very troublesome with units like fortresses and zenith siege engines that have to recharge (either their ability or their weapon) after moving at all.
    • Thanks to... has anyone not reported this?

Prerelease 5.089 Apply Sanding Machine

(Released October 3rd, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug where viewing a Core Spire Corvette Fabricator could cause unhandled exceptions (and the queue buttons to not show).
    • Thanks to Niwantaw for the report and save.
  • In honor of basically winning the "what most needs attention for 6.0?" poll, the remains rebuilders have received a logic overhaul and now:
    • Try not to target the same thing as another remains rebuilder. If there are fewer rebuild targets than rebuilders on the planet they'll generally spread out pretty evenly across the targets.
    • If in FRD, they now are much less likely to "yoyo" back to the FRD-point between rebuilds until all the targets are rebuilt.
    • Recharge time from 10 seconds => 1 second. The recharge time wasn't particularly easy to notice before because rebuilders would all pile up on the same target and while the ones not actually doing the rebuild would not incur the 10 second recharge time they would have to wait about 1 second to retarget. With a pile of 20 rebuilders it was hard to notice the one that did the initial rebuild took 10 seconds before it could actually rebuild something.
      • This is actually a fairly significant buff to the unit, but it's probably not a big balance impact to start the rebuilding faster. Let us know if we're wrong about that.
    • Thanks to Wanderer and the other voters for inspiring these changes.
  • Another high-scorer from the 6.0 poll: Advanced Fabricators and Fabricators now use the same "don't put this near a wormhole" logic as human home command stations.
    • Thanks to Kahuna and the other voters for inspiring this change.
  • Also from the 6.0 poll: Fixed a bug where MkV Spider fabricators were still considered experimental fabricators instead of core fabricators, which incidentally handles an issue where there was a very high chance of there being 2 of these per map.
    • Thanks to Minotaar for reporting this.
  • Changed the seeding quantity calculations of fabricators a bit; should be a similar amount as before but now there are somewhat more core fabs and somewhat fewer experimental fabs (should be same number of experimental-starship fabs).
    • Mainly, this is because there's so many more types of core fabs that more variety can be had there.
  • Another popular one from the 6.0 poll (and mantis voting) : Human-player teleporting units now use normal engines when group-moving.
    • Along with this, increased the normal-engine speed of all teleporting units to the speed of a fighter, for those lower than that.
    • Thanks to FunnyMan for the suggestion and many players for supporting it on mantis and in the 6.0 poll.
  • Since it also did very well in the 6.0 poll: engineers have had a "what to assist" logic overhaul such that:
    • If is Prefer-Non-Military toggle is on, and one is military and the other is not, prefer the non-military one.
    • If one has more currently assisting engineers than the other, prefer the one with less.
    • If the repairer is not a teleporter and the difference in distance to each unit is larger than about 4000 range units, prefer the nearer.
      • Also, distance is now considered zero if the target is already within range, which helps a lot because previously it was masking other considerations.
    • If one object is a damaged irreplaceable unit and the other is not, prefer the damaged irreplaceable.
    • If one object is in stand-down and the other is not, prefer the one not in stand-down.
    • If one object's remaining-health-percent is less than half the other's, prefer the lower-health one.
      • This was being considered before (it always went for the lowest percent-health), but only by teleporting repairers.
    • If one object has taken more than 25% engine damage and the other has not, prefer the engine-damaged one.
    • If one object's metal+crystal cost is more than twice the other's, prefer the more expensive one.
    • Thanks to Wanderer and the other voters for inspiring these changes.

Prerelease 5.088 Strategic Reserve

(Released October 1st, 2012)

  • The AI now has a "strategic reserve" it can deploy to defend critical planets (the homeworld, the core worlds, and the superterminal world; though it still holds onto most of it when defending the latter two) and pulls back up (off the board) if the attack goes away.
    • Reserve ships are basically just normal mkV fleet ships, but they are not allowed to leave the planet so they can't be easily baited to their doom.
    • The reserve starts at zero and increases periodically, so it can be whittled away.
    • The max size of the reserve and its increase rate are proportional to the difficulty of the AI player in question (each AI has its own reserve) and AIP. On Diff 7 with non-insane AIP it's pretty tame. Higher up, it gets more intense.
    • If you're curious about the numbers, with advanced logging on they go into the special forces log (since the concept is somewhat similar, and didn't seem to need a separate log; might change that).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic and others who voted on this poll for inspiring this change (more coming eventually in response to that, for that matter).
  • A longtime favorite on the mantis voting: Added a mouseover tooltip to the game clock in the upper-left corner that displays:
    • "Game Time", the clock that's already there, which speeds up or slows down with the simulation and stops while the game is paused.
    • "Local Time", as in real-world, according to your computer.
    • "Real Time Spent In Game", which is the amount of real time you've spent playing that particular game (i.e. that particular savegame), and ignores simulation speed and pausing, etc.
    • Thanks to Prezombie and many others for the suggestion.
  • Added a "Control-Group-Specific" tab to the CTRLS window, similar to the "Planet-Specific" tab:
    • Instead of selecting a planet on this tab, you select one of your 10 control groups from a dropdown.
    • Currently the tab has:
      • Auto-FRD Military
        • When this is set to "On", all your military units in this control group will be set to Free-Roaming Defender. Note: certain ship types (like fortresses that multi-repair, and zenith siege engines) never auto-FRD.
        • When this is set to "Default", the global Auto-FRD toggle will govern.
        • When this is "Off", this behavior will not happen for ships in this control group even if the global Auto-FRD toggle is on.
        • If a ship is in multiple control groups with conflicting settings for this, the priority order is as follows: Off, On, Default.
      • Auto-FRD Engineers
        • When this is set to "On", all your engineer/rebuilder units in this control group will be set to Free-Roaming Defender.
        • When this is set to "Default", the global Auto-FRD toggle will govern.
        • When this is "Off", this behavior will not happen for ships in this control group even if the global Auto-FRD toggle is on.
        • If a ship is in multiple control groups with conflicting settings for this, the priority order is as follows: Off, On, Default.
      • Auto Kite
        • When this is set to "On", all your non-melee, non-sniper ships in this control group will automatically pull away from their target so that they are (effective range - 500) range units away. Note: certain ship types (like fortresses that multi-repair, and zenith siege engines) never kite, and certain other ship types (like raptors) always kite.
        • When this is set to "Default", the global Auto-Kite threshold will govern.
        • When this is "Off", this behavior will not happen for ships in this control group even if the global Auto-Kite threshold would apply to them.
        • If a ship is in multiple control groups with conflicting settings for this, the priority order is as follows: Off, On, Default.
    • Thanks to kezziny and many others for the high-on-the-mantis-votes suggestion that inspired this change.
  • The Galaxy-Wide, Per-Planet, and Per-Control-Group tabs of the CTRLS window now notify you if you're about to discard unsaved changes when you try to close the window, switch to another tab, or switch to a different target for the same tab (for the per-planet and per-control-group ones).
  • Answering another longstanding top-of-the-mantis-voting request: the shard seeding in Fallen Spire now only cares about how far from the human homeworlds a planet is, rather than the current border of AI territory. This can make it easier depending on how much territory you've taken (particularly on something like a snake map, but that's something of an edge case), but in light of various recent changes this may not be a bad thing, and the seeding being relative to what you'd conquered was pretty annoying and encouraged some strange playstyles.
    • The last shard is an exception: it still doesn't pay attention to what you've conquered, but it always tries to seed on an AI core planet (so bordering a homeworld, but never on a homeworld).
    • Thanks to Sunshine! TyberZann, Draco18s, and many others for inspiring this change.

Prerelease 5.087 Brawl Royale

(Released September 27th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the previous version where EER missions were rewarding with IMT facilities (and last time the problem was the other way around, ha; now they each give the right one).
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where player-built IMT ships were basing their caps on EER facilities.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Added the last "main" nebula scenario.
    • And the largest champion hull size.
  • Added better graphics for the champion (and corvette) plasma siege cannon.
    • Thanks to HitmanN for the art (for this and all the other champion module graphics, though most of them have not been individually announced).
  • Fixed a bug where the available-module-list button set on the ship design window wasn't fitting horizontally within the window.

Prerelease 5.086

(Released September 24th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the previous version that would grant a ton of stuff to champions as soon as you loaded the game (a bit of test code that had been disabled, but had a bug that applied to other cases, sigh...).
    • Thanks to Arkillion for the report.

Prerelease 5.085 Shady Carriers

(Released September 24th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the most recent scenario where the new splinter faction was giving an EER reward building instead of the right one.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Added two more nebula scenarios.
  • Made "what can I autotarget?" logic more consistent so that player-ally minor factions don't pop AI carriers.
    • Thanks to Trandrin for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause Dark Spire spawns on AI planets at the beginning of the game.
    • Thanks to Trandrin for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing champion ships to still be able to get into a transport.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the report.
  • The special-difficulty scaling (used for exos and other superweapon stuff, mainly, but some other stuff as well) is now higher on higher difficulties.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic and others for inspiring this change.
  • Combat Guardians rebalance:
    • This just focuses on the base-game guardians (the guardians added in LotS are more special-purpose) and doesn't touch the Tachyon guardian since it's not really focused on combat.
    • Basically balancing these to be fairly powerful offensively (roughly like a starship with a cap of 4), but defensively much lower health than that (roughly that of a fleet ship with a cap of 20).
      • If this proves too tame, can always ratchet it up later, but wanted to bring the threat levels from the different guardians closer together.
    • Laser Guardian shots-per-salvo from 15 => 8 (previously these things had really high dps for also having 5x bonuses vs light and polycrystal).
    • Sniper Guardian:
      • Base damage per shot from 12k*mk => 19k*mk (yielding a cap-dps a bit below where the laser guardian now is, with 4x bonuses).
      • Health from 1/3th normal guardian health to 1/2.
    • Spider Guardian:
      • Base damage per shot from 600*mk => 3k*mk (cap-dps is now 80% that of the sniper guardian).
      • Health from 1/3th normal guardian health to 1/2.
    • Tractor Guardian base damage per shot from 3600*mk => 35k*mk (bonus cap-dps now around that of the sniper guardian, but it only gets bonuses vs turrets)
    • Lightning Guardian:
      • Base damage per shot from 2400*mk => 6000*mk (base cap-dps when hitting at least 40 targets is a little lower than the bonus cap dps of the laser guardian)
      • All vs-hull-type bonuses removed.
    • Flak Guardian:
      • Shots-per-salvo from 31 => 5 (previously the dps on this thing was way up there, able to hit 155 targets per salvo).
      • Seconds-per-salvo from 8 => 10.
      • Multiplier vs CloseCombat from 8 => 5.
      • Multiplier vs Refractive from 8 => 5.
      • Multiplier vs Turret from 0.1 => 1.
      • Multiplier vs Composite from 3 => 5.
      • Multiplier vs Heavy from 0.3 => 1.
      • Multiplier vs UltraHeavy from 0.2 => 1.
      • Base damage per shot from 1500*mk => 5.5k*mk (base and bonus cap-dps now in range of laser guardian's new numbers).
    • Beam Guardian:
      • Beam can now hit a maximum of 9 targets instead of everything on the line (that is, it now uses the same rules as the zenith beam frigate).
      • Base damage per shot from 4500*mk => 33k*mk (base cap-dps when hitting 9 targets is a bit higher than the lightning guardian's ideal dps; neither has bonuses)
    • Artillery Guardian:
      • Multiplier vs UltraHeavy from 3 => 5.
      • Multiplier vs Heavy from 2 => 5.
      • Multiplier vs Turret from 2 => 5.
      • Fixed bug where it had a multiplier vs Artillery of 0.1, now that's a multiplier vs Scout.
      • Base damage per shot staying at 160k*mk (base and bonus cap-dps now in range of laser guardian's new numbers).
      • Health from 1/5th normal guardian health to 1/2.
    • Raider Guardian:
      • Multiplier vs CommandGrade from 3 => 5.
      • Multiplier vs Structural from 2 => 5.
      • Multiplier vs UltraHeavy from 2 => 5.
      • Multiplier vs Turret from 0.2 => 1.
      • Base damage per shot from 36k => 11k (base and bonus cap-dps now in range of laser guardian's new numbers).
      • Health from 1/8th normal guardian health to 1/2.
  • The logic for when a carrier is popped early now tries a lot harder to produce something similar to what's actually in the carrier, and tries to avoid exo-like spawning logic.
    • Regardless of what it winds up spawning, it no longer scales up with difficulty level (since the ship numbers that led to the generation of the carrier were already a result of difficulty level).
    • If its contents fit under a certain threshold (under 150 if there are < 2000 AI ships on the planet, under 50 if there are < 3000 AI ships on the planet, etc), it just spawns whatever is in the carrier.
    • Else, it promotes all triangle/bonus fleetships in the carrier to max mark (mark 5 for most types, mark 4 for some) and scales down the quantity accordingly (mkI to mkV divides quantity by 5, etc).
    • If that's still not enough to get the quantity under the threshold, it divides the quantities in the carrier by some number (determined by how badly over-count it still is) and uses that extra strength to add mkV guardians to the carrier instead. Since a single mkV guardian is worth about the same as ~2.2 full caps of mkI fighters, that's pretty good compression.
    • If that's somehow still not enough, it falls back on the exo-like population it's used in the past, but without the extra multiplier from difficulty.
    • For the curious, having advanced logging on when a carrier does early-pop logic like this will generate a log entry in the corresponding log file in your RuntimeData directory, explaining the computation.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic, Hearteater, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Fixed military tutorial to expect you to build half your mark I cap of the ARS-granted unit, instead of 20, since 20 could be higher than the cap.
    • Thanks to Honknatter, Arkillion, and ElOhTeeBee for the report.
  • Fixed a number of other issues with the military tutorial (the other tutorials will be getting a full go-over closer to the next official release).
  • Changed the rewards scaling for the IMT scenario to be based primarily on how well the allied bases survived (in count and health %), instead of primarily on the number of surviving enclaves.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the feedback inspiring this change.

Prerelease 5.084 Diplomatic Incident

(Released September 20th, 2012)

  • Added a new nebula scenario, with a somewhat different kind of gameplay than the previous ones, and includes a couple old friendly foes (hence the release title).
    • Includes the last splinter faction, incidentally it is a human one.
  • Nerfed the champion/corvette plasma siege cannons because they were really a bit much as it was.
  • Exos now get less bonus from the presence of human Champions in the game.
    • Thanks to Cinth, Faulty Logic, and others for the feedback inspiring this change.
  • Kills by the Devourer Golem or Enemy-to-all Roaming Enclaves (or their squadrons) no longer contribute to the Dark Spire counter when on the same planet as one of the vengeance generators.
    • Thanks to Sunshine and other players for reporting how badly that could go. Hilarious but... a bit much.
  • Champions can no longer be loaded into transports.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the feedback (read: record of a jumpship made out of limburger) inspiring this change, and Soyweiser for also pointing it out.
  • Champion main weapon ranges normalized so they don't exceed the range of their modules (and thus cause the auto-movement logic to not close to the proper range).
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for reporting that this was happening.
  • Dark Spire spawns no longer get stronger based on the number of previous dark-spire-spawns, because this was still causing things to get out of control even at a very low value (+1% per previous spawn, so additive and not exponential), and this is probably inevitable in some situations like FS shard-chase-exos.
    • Thanks to Arkillion for the feedback and save inspiring this change.
  • Dark Spire vengeance generators now only get 1/10th the normal charge from a ship dying if it belongs to an exo attack.
    • Thanks to Arkillion for inspiring this change.
  • Put in some save-game repair logic to deal with a case where the next-exo-size variable was being saved as a really large number in version 5.078 (and propagated for those particular savegames since then), which would effectively disable the affected exo source.
    • Thanks to orzelek for the report and save.
  • Zenith Reprocessor:
    • MkI-base-cap-dps from 30k => 45k (for reference, Acid Sprayers have 58.8k, and the same bonuses).
    • Now immune to tractors.
    • Now have cloaking (and thus will not be included in future games with cloaking turned off, but will still be present in games already created with cloaking turned off).
    • Thanks to LordSloth for the experiments and feedback that inspired these changes.

Prerelease 5.083 Core Values

(Released September 18th, 2012)

  • Added roughly (there's some randomization) one "brutal pick" to each AI homeworld on difficulties 7+.
  • Added new "brutal pick" Core Guard Post for Ancient Shadows: The Wrath Lance.
    • As long as it detects hostile military ships on the planet, fires several massive long-range continuous beam weapon cannons in different directions. Does not actually aim, but the beams move as the post rotates.
  • Added new "brutal pick" Core Guard Post for Ancient Shadows: The Teuthida.
    • An AI/Neinzul hybrid experiment gone wrong. When hostiles are present, this post continuously generates nanoswarm-like drones. Instead of merely doing reclamation damage, however, the organisms released by these drones instantly transform the targets into "zombie" vessels.
    • Ships immune to reclamation are spared this fate, but are not spared from the extremely powerful cluster of railcannons mounted on the post itself.
  • Added new "brutal pick" Core Guard Post for Ancient Shadows: The Grav Reactor.
    • An enormously powerful reactor based on some kind of gravitational energy manipulation. Generates a strong gravity well that prevents most enemy ships from leaving the system, and greatly slows enemy ships that stray too near the reactor itself. Also builds gravity drones that rush hostile ships to slow them down and damage them upon detonation.

Prerelease 5.082

(September 17th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug that could cause basically all buy menus to be empty. Whoops.
    • Thanks to ussdefiant for the report.

Prerelease 5.081

(Released September 17th, 2012)

  • Spire Corvette shield modules now cost 2000*mk each of metal, instead of 1m+1c to avoid the ship being effectively invincible due to immediately rebuilding its own shield. As it is a mkI shield can be "brought back online" in less than 20 seconds, but as normal engineers cannot assist if the ship has taken damage in the past few seconds.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for noting the effective-invincibility problem.
  • Fixed a bug in the previous version that could cause unhandled exceptions when opening the buy menu of a core fabricator.
    • Thanks to Battlecrydnx for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where some toggles on the CTRLS screen were taking up more horizontal space than necessary, causing it to not quite fit on a 1024-wide resolution.
    • Thanks to Cyborg for the report.
  • Human Cryo Pods and Home Settlements (the buildings that start next to a human home command station) are now immune to aoe (but not to beam weapons, i.e. not immune to linear-aoe), to avoid excessive-frustration issues with units like the firefly.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the feedback inspiring this change.
  • Youngling Firefly death-explosion base power cut to 25% of what it was; can still get multiplied by up to 20 (so 5x of what the base power used to be) by getting a lot of shots in before dying.
    • This may be too low, in which case we'll buff these again, but these were really brutal in the hands of the AI in the previous version with a couple dozen fireflies basically able to vaporize an early-game human fleet.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the feedback inspiring this change.
  • Corrected a balance-math problem where the game was counting the 14 "secondary hits" of siege plasma without considering the fact that they only hit for 1/16th of normal strength. This means that the zenith siege engine's mkI-cap-base-dps is 45k instead of 360k.
    • The actual attack power of the unit is unchanged, this is just fixing a bug in the internal balancing model.
    • But since it's now clear that the numbers are more reasonable than previously thought, the siege engine's multipliers have been increased from 5 back up to 10.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for the feedback inspiring these changes.
  • Fixed a bug where a bunch of science ships on auto-knowledge-gather but with no eligible targets could "clog" the auto-explore throttle such that auto-explore for scouts would stop working. Now auto-knowledge-gather has its own separate throttle.
    • Thanks to mithrandi for the report and save.
  • AI Type reinforcement/wave multipliers, since some of these are really old and the reinforcement ones in particular can have a disproportionately large impact on the feel of the game (to the extent that picking a particular AI type can make reinforcements look "broken", as in barely happening) :
    • Mad Bomber reinforcement multiplier from "you get one ship" on non-core-worlds (and 0.25 on core worlds) => 0.7, on all worlds.
    • Neinzul Youngster reinforcement multiplier from 0.25 => 0.8.
    • Vicious Raider, Extreme Raider, and Technologist Raider multiplier from 0.3 => 0.8.
    • Attritioner, Zenith Descendant, Spireling, Starfleet Commander, Experimentalist, and Grav Driller reinforcement multiplier from 0.4 => 0.9.
    • The Tank reinforcement multiplier from 0.3 => 0.9, and wave multiplier from 1.0 => 1.25 (same as the attritioner, zd, etc group above).
    • Feeding Parasite, Thief, Technologist Parasite, Bully, Assassin, and Speed Racer reinforcement multiplier from 1.0 => 0.9 (since they already had a 1.25 wave multiplier).
    • The Core reinforcement multiplier from 0.3 => 0.5 (same as its wave multiplier).
  • Removed the AI-Type-inherent effects where reinforcement and/or waves would act like AIP was a certain number of points higher than it actually was, since this tended to make the early game much harder for no obvious reason, but not have much impact on the balance later in the game.
  • Made the wave alert-text logic better handle mixed-tech waves: if it's 100 mkI fighters and 100 mkII fighters, it will now stay "Fighters" instead of just enemy ships as if it were truly a mixed wave.
    • Thanks to pheonix89 for reporting that it was frequently not giving a ship type for waves like that.
  • Removed the wave-calc rule that was preventing more than 1 of a specific starship type from being added; normally it wouldn't make much difference but it was impairing the Spire Hammer, Heroic, Starfleet Commander, and Extreme Raider AIs from scaling up their extra wave components.
  • Made the AI-Type-specific units added to waves (Spire Hammer, Heroic, and Extreme Raider AIs do this) scale up quantity-wise with AIP (based partly on AI Difficulty) as well as wave size, but also scale down with higher-tech-level variants.
    • Thanks to Cinth and Dazio for pointing out how these could be punishing in the early game but nearly irrelevant later on.
  • Fixed a bug in the previous verion's addition of automatic gradual engine self-repair where anything with less than about 250 max engine health was not being impacted at all.

Prerelease 5.080 Bonus Round

(Released September 15th, 2012)

  • Fixed several bugs where some ways of killing a ship were not even checking for "should this ship be reclaimed?".
  • Fixed a bug where the most common way of killing a ship was not checking for "should this ship be reprocessed?" (meaning that it took damage from a Zenith Reprocessor and should grant m+c to the player who did that damage).
    • Thanks to LordSloth, Nic, Lancefighter, KDR_11k, and others for reporting the... lack of effect.
  • Fixed a bug where reclamation damage and reprocessing damage were not persisting across save/load.
  • Added new Ancient Shadows bonus ship type: Youngling Firefly.
    • Small, shortlived ship that builds up a charge as it successfully attacks other units. When it dies it explodes violently to damage up to 20 nearby enemy units. The explosion damge done to each victim starts at about the same strength as the Firefly's normal shot, but increases with the charge the ship has accumulated, up to a maximum of 20 times that.
    • Thanks to soMe_RandoM for the suggestion that inspired this ship.
  • Added new Ancient Shadows bonus ship: Saboteur.
    • Fires hostile nanites at enemy ships. Unlike reclamation nanites, these focus on overloading the target's power systems with the goal of causing it to explode violently. This target does not go critical until its health is reduced to zero normally, but once that happens it will explode and damage up to 40 nearby friendly (to the exploding ship) units. The damage done to each victim of the explosion is based on how much damage the exploding ship took from overload-nanites, and generally cannot exceed one-tenth the maximum health of the exploding ship.
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for the suggestion that inspired this ship.
  • Added new Ancient Shadows bonus ship: Spire Corvette.
    • A starship-sized vessel developed by retrofitting the smallest Imperial Spire combat design with human technology. Has a moderately powerful photon lance, but can also mount a small number of modules.
    • Built from the SCRV tab of the Starship Constructor.
  • Corrected some omissions to the Hybrids drone-preference logic, to reduce the likelihood of their picking up a ton of Spire Tractor Platforms, Spire Stealth Battleships, and/or Spire Railclusters. The Super Hybrid actually prioritizes these and similarly devastating escorts, however.
  • Fixed a bug with the display of the champion decoy ability.
    • Thanks to Jeffersn for the report.
  • Ships with engine damage now automatically repair their own engines, such that it takes a bit over four minutes to go from 0% engine-health to 100% engine-health.
    • Basically, until now it's been too easy to long-term-disable AI ships via engine damage. Not many players abused this thoroughly, but some definitely did, to hilarious (and disappointing, from a challenge perspective) results.
    • But tactical usage should still be very viable for kiting around a planet, spreading out an incoming attack, etc.
    • Thanks to many players (who may wish to remain nameless) for feedback over the past several months pointing to this being necessary.
  • Corrected a balance-math error with Zenith Medic Frigate attack power, mkI-cap-dps from 446,250 => 100,000 (for reference, the spire stealth battleship has 90,000, with 1.4 multipliers; the medic frigate has no multipliers).
  • Zenith Siege Engine:
    • MkI-cap-health from 16.8M => 10M.
    • Corrected an... interesting balance-math error where it had 720k mkI-cap-dps AND 10x multipliers (against structural, heavy, ultraheavy, and turret):
      • Multipliers from 10x => 5x.
      • MkI-cap-dps from 720k => 360k (which is still really, really high for a base-dps even with no multipliers, but the must-reload-after-move mechanic is still really new, etc).
    • Reload time from 15 => 10.
      • Damage adjusted to maintain dps.
    • Now pay no attention to auto-FRD or auto-kite.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring these changes, as little consolation as that may be to the many ships (including spire capital ships)
  • All modular forts now pay no attention to auto-kite (previously some did, and some didn't).
  • Zenith Reprocessor:
    • MkI-cap-health from 8.4M => 15M (now in the neighborhood of fighters).
    • MkI-cap-dps from 17.2k => 30k (has 8x multipliers).
    • Thanks to LordSloth, Kahuna, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • The Shards in the Fallen Spire campaign now move 4x as fast (still immune to all forms of speed-boosting, combat style, etc) and the response "chase spawns" now happen about 4x as often.
    • Thanks to Eternaly_Lost and others for periodically raising laments at the length of time it can take to get one of those things back home.

Prerelease 5.079

(Released September 10th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the recent change to remains-rebuilder logic that could cause a null exception.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the report.
  • Fixed a savegame/gamestate corruption bug that could happen when the Dark Spire faction was enabled.
    • Very sorry about that, actual corruption bugs are quite rare. Apparently a zombie apocalypse wasn't the only thing the Dark Spire had planned!
    • This could also impact new games (probably just in multiplayer; the same code that does savegames is used to send gamestates over the network), cause nebulae to be empty, etc.
    • Thanks to Jeffersn, Toranth, Lilli, eduran1984, and Lancefighter for providing reports and saves leading to this being discovered.

Prerelease 5.078

(Released September 4th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the cap-overhaul where microparasites and translocators had a ship cap of 1.
    • Thanks to Nic for the report.
  • Fixed a bug in the previous version where the AI had stopped respecting unit-cap-scale when sending waves. Clever girl.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report and logs.

Prerelease 5.077 Cap Tectonics

(Released September 4th, 2012)

  • After thinking about it for about a month: removed the rule where fleet ships have lower caps at higher marks. So instead of 98 MkI fighters (on normal caps), 88 MkII fighters, etc, it's now just 98 for each mark of fighter.
    • Hopefully this will make the higher-mark unlocks, and fabricators, more attractive.
    • This does increase how much the AI gets too, though as it turns out the mark level of a ship was being factored into wave sizes _twice_ (so MkII waves were about 10% smaller than they should have been, etc), which wasn't really good anyway.
    • Thanks to many players for weighing in with votes and discussion on the poll, and Faulty Logic for starting said.
  • Previously on Diff 9+ if you were part of the way from one AI-tech-level to the next, each wave would have a proportionate percentage of its ships "promoted" to the next tech level to make the transition in difficulty feel smoother. Now this happens on difficulty 5+
    • Mathematically speaking this makes the game somewhat more difficult and that's why it was restricted to 9+. In practice it seems to make the game easier because you're testing your defenses against waves more like the ones you're going to get at the next tech level, rather than getting the jump all at once.
    • The main motivation for changing this now is that since the double-application of the mark-level downwards-multiplier on wave sizes has been changed to only applying it once (as mentioned above), the higher-mark waves will be larger and the feeling of a "challenge cliff" between AI tech levels greater. This really helps avoid those cliffs.
    • Still not applied on difficulties under 5 since the waves are so small there anyway.
  • Fixed a bug where the spire blade, tackle drone, and various other drones were valued far higher than intended for purposes of the amount of energy their death provides dark-spire generators.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report.
  • All fleet ship caps have been adjusted to be multiples of 8 (generally by rounding down, unless something was 1 away from the next higher multiple, in some cases), except for those fleet ships which don't change caps at different unit cap scales.
    • This involved about 5 metric tons of relatively minor changes to health, attack power, metal cost, crystal cost and energy cost. Mostly cap-health and cap-dps didn't change by more than 1% in either direction; cap-m,c,e costs vary a bit more but nothing earthshaking. The numbers are internally arranged in a much better fashion now which should help with other changes going forward.
    • The main immediate benefit of this is that the ultra-low-caps setting no longer impacts the balance of fleet ship types whose caps are not multiples of 8, because, well, they are now.
    • Turrets still need to be done, of course, but I've had enough swimming-in-numbers for one day.
    • Thanks to Hearteater and others for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug which could occasionally cause unhandled errors when trying to spawn a barracks/carrier.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Dark Spire minor faction toned down to avoid it causing a "zombie apocalypse" in the first hour:
    • Number of spawners from (FactionIntensity+1)*2 => FactionIntensity*2.
    • Spawners can no longer be placed on planets with an advanced factory, super terminal, or dyson sphere.
    • Base spawn intensity is now 1/4th of what it used to be.
    • Spawn intensity is now doubled on the planet actually triggering the spawn (so it's 1/2 of what it used to be, total).
    • The increase in spawn intensity from previous spawns from +10%-per-previous-spawn => +1%-per-previous-spawn.
    • Fixed a bug where the spawns were giving champion XP.
    • Thanks to Toranth for reporting the... apocalyptic nature of the first implementation.
  • Fixed a bug where clicking an "allied ship" group on the planetary summary (right sidebar of planet view) would only actually select those ships if the controlling player(s) were disabled (e.g. loading a multiplayer save and disabling the other players so you can play it in singleplayer). Now it will work whenever you are allowed team-control of those ships, for whatever reason.
  • Added new toggle to the Galaxy-Wide tab of the CTRLS window: Brave Cloaker Starships.
    • If this toggle is checked, your Cloaker Starships will suppress their normal self-preservation instincts to avoid being included in a selection with military ships.
    • Note: this applies to the cloaker starships of the player who's brave-cloaker-starships toggle is checked, regardless of who is trying to control them in a multiplayer game with Allow Team Control on. Allied Cloaker Starships will still be wimps unless their owners check this toggle too.
  • Fixed the health and damage of the neinzul viral swarmer (only used by one AI type) and the neinzul bomber (used by roaming enclaves and preservation wardens) to not be abysmally low.
  • Spirecraft Rams, Martyrs, Siege Towers, Ion Blaster, and Implosion Artillery can now be placed into stand-down mode to keep them from firing (or, in the case of a ram, blowing itself up; thankfully martyrs already didn't try to do that automatically).
  • Spirecraft Ram far-zoom icons now rotate according to their facing.
  • Fixed a bug where a remains rebuilder could target the remains of an energy-producer before the command station went down, be unable to actually rebuild the energy-producer due to the command station being down, and keep trying to perform the rebuild. Now when it notices that the command station is down while trying to rebuild, it will abort the rebuild and look for something else to do.
    • Thanks to Sigma7 and Lancefighter for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where it was possible to start placement of an item (like an engineer or turret) and switch to another planet via control-group-selection and still be in the middle of placing that item (and if you had supply, actually be able to place it).
    • Thanks to Drin for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the addition of Microcosm Clusters had caused Simple Clusters to be generated the same way as the new variant.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where hybrids were considering nebulae for the purposes of eligible planets to defend, attack, etc.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the report.
  • Fixed a really longstanding bug where shots on a planet were sometimes visible even through the fog of war.
    • Thanks to chrism, Nice Save, Tssbackus, zharmad, and others for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where Helper players could not switch to the Champion-only role (they could already switch to Normal and Normal+Champion).
    • Thanks to LordSloth for the report.

Prerelease 5.076 Clusters Of Pain

(Released September 1st, 2012)

  • Added new Ancient Shadows Map Style: Microcosm Clusters:
    • Similar to Clusters in overall structure, but each cluster picks from a set of different methods of placing and connecting the intra-cluster planets.
  • Added new Ancient Shadows Minor Faction (this is not related to nebulae or champions, just another "Minor Faction" that can be enabled from the lobby): Dark Spire
    • Several mysterious, ancient structures exist on AI planets throughout the galaxy. They cannot be harmed, and do not have any weapons, but they absorb energy when a ship dies on the same planet. What happens when they absorb too much?
    • The intensity of this faction can be set from 0 to 10; 0 is disabled, 1 is trivial-impact, 4 is normal, 10 is potentially-dominating.
    • The structures are marked as "DaS" on the immobile-minor-faction galaxy filter (similar to how it shows the dyson sphere, rocketry corps silos, etc), so you can see their known locations pretty quickly.
    • Balance is ongoing on these, if you think it's out of line please:
      • Turn on advanced logging.
      • Play for a bit until it does what you think is out of line.
      • Send us the DarkSpireMinorFactionLogicLog.txt from your RuntimeData directory, along with a description of what seems off to you. Thanks!
  • Fixed a bug where the application of the reinforcement-focus logic to the initial ship seeding was crashing the tutorial.
    • Thanks to DrGonzo for the report.

Prerelease 5.075

(Released August 30th, 2012)

  • The reinforcement-focus concept from the previous version is now also applied to the initial seeding of guard ships onto AI planets.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the suggestion.
  • Fixed an array-index-out-of-bounds error on the AI thread from the reinforcements-focus logic.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.

Prerelease 5.074 Focused Forces

(Released August 30th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug where the fifth direct-use champion ability was never being given as a scenario reward.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where one of the scenario-reward ship production facilities was not responding to the D hotkey.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.

Special Forces made more interesting

  • AI Special Forces:
    • Now get periodic extra spawns (in addition to the usual trickle from reinforcements) if under a "special forces population cap" determined by difficulty, AIP, etc.
      • The spawns are spread out among all special forces posts (and special forces guardians) in the galaxy, except those in non-AI territory. Each post in non-AI territory instead increases the special-forces-population-cap by about 5%. So there's a reason to kill them, in tension with the +1 AIP from killing them.
      • If you're curious about the math, etc, turn on Advanced Logging and check SpecialForcesLogicLog.txt in your RuntimeData directory after the game has run for a bit. There's some minor spoilers in there about what ships each AI has, but nothing you probably won't find out looking at a few AI planets anyway.
    • Will now rally to defend an AI planet that is under significant attack and at least mildly important (AI Homeworld, core world, or a planet with a CSG, ARS, Advanced Factory, Super Terminal, or Broken Golem on it, giving priority to HWs/core-worlds).
    • Now keep the special-forces flag even when they have encountered the enemy, so that rallying to a planet does not just dump all the special forces there as normal threat.
    • When not rallying to defend a planet, will select a staging planet about 3 hops deep into AI territory and rally there until an eligible AI planet is attacked.
    • To prevent a player's first attack from running into several hundred AI ships out for blood, as entertaining as it was during testing, special forces ships are no longer seeded during the initial map seeding.
    • Thanks to Hearteater, Faulty Logic, Martyn van Buren, Diazo, TechSY730, Lancefighter, Sunshine!, Bossman, Draco18s, Ozymandiaz, Wingflier, and chemical_art for feedback inspiring these changes.

Combat Starship rebalance

  • By "Combat Starship" we mean: Flagship, Zenith Starship, Spire Starship, Bomber Starship, Plasma Siege Starship, and Leech Starship. The Raid and Riot lines are not considered here since they have very different roles and/or stat baselines (the Raid is largely for independent raids, and the Riot does hardly any damage). The Cloaker, Enclave, and Scout lines are all not directly involved in combat. The Leech is borderline but fits well enough.
  • Not making any extreme changes here, just refinements based on feedback from the last several months' changes. Some of those changes have been pretty substantial, so some of these are too.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter, chemical_art, TechSY730, Diazo, Faulty Logic, Hearteater, Draco18s, sol_ilya, and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Plasma Siege Starship ship cap from 5 => 4. Most of the others here were at 4 already, and it's been pretty widely considered the best of the combat starships lately.
  • Leech Starship:
    • Ship cap from 3 => 4.
    • Seconds Per Salvo from 4 => 2.
    • Shots Per Salvo from 3= > 6.
    • Base Attack Power from 30k => 2k (24k base-cap-dps, parasite has 12.25k)
      • Previously Leech Starships had nearly _five times_ the base-cap-dps of the equivalent fleet ship type (the Parasite). That parasite has 4x multipliers where the leech has none, so they don't need to be all that close, but the leech having a higher base dps than the parasite's bonus dps... no.
        • This change was done rather than buffing the parasites because the parasites seem to be reclaiming at a good rate already; further feedback on this is quite welcome.
    • Base Armor Piercing from 0 => 750*mk (same as parasite).
  • Knowledge costs:
    • Flagship was 0/2000/5000.
    • Zenith Starship was 1000/2500/6000.
    • Starship Starship was 1000/2500/6000.
    • Bomber Starship was 0/5000/7000.
    • Plasma Siege Starship was 0/5000/7000.
    • Leech Starship was 0/5000/6000.
    • MkI costs (or lack thereof) unchanged.
    • MkII costs are now all 2500.
    • MkIII costs are now all 4000.
    • The idea being that you're paying for 1x/2x/3x the raw stats, with a 0/500/1000 "surcharge" for the fact that 2x health and 2x attack power is more than 2x as useful, etc.
  • Health:
    • "Normal" cap-hp for a fleet ship type is about 15M (ranging from 10M to 30M), Normal for a starship type is about 22.5M (but normal cap-dps is lower).
    • Flagship from 3.75M*mk => 5M*mk (20M cap-hp).
    • Zenith from 4.5M*mk => 6M*mk (24M cap-hp).
    • Spire from 3M*mk => 4M*mk (16M cap-hp).
    • Bomber from 4.7M*mk => 7M*mk (28M cap-hp)
    • Plasma Siege unchanged at 5M*mk.
    • Leech from 3.2M*mk => 4M*mk (16M cap-hp).
  • Metal+Crystal/Energy costs:
    • Cap-m+c for fleet ship types varies widely, from about 40k for fighters to about 160k for bombers even just within the triangle. Starships are supposed to be substantially more expensive than fleet ships in exchange for being easier to keep alive. Also, the econ part of the game has been a lot easier since changes to the energy system and harvesters. So targeting about 400k m+c for a mkI cap here.
    • Cap-e is more consistent for fleet ships, typically about 20k (halved for mkI types). So targeting about 40k for a mkI cap here.
    • The m+c costs listed are for mkI, mkII are 2x, mkIII are 4x. E costs do not change with mark.
    • Flagship from 40k+24k / 4k e => 60k+40k / 10k.
    • Zenith from 24k+40k / 4k e => 40k+60k / 10k.
    • Spire from 30k+34k / 4k e => 45k+55k / 10k.
    • Bomber from 80k+8k / 2k e => 85k+15k / 10k.
    • Plasma Siege from 8k+80k / 2k e => 15k+85k / 10k.
    • Leech from 60k+40k / 5k e => 60k+40k / 10k.
  • Spire Starship:
    • Hull type from Neutron => Medium.
    • Base Attack Power from 120k*mk => 600k*mk.
      • The previous number was the result of multiple math errors during the balancing process. Specifically: its dps was computed using a seconds-per-salvo of 8 when it's actually 10 due to the photon lance's firing time, and its base dps was balanced as if it had 4x bonuses despite not having any bonuses.
  • Bomber Starship renamed to Heavy Bomber Starship.
    • This is obviously the most important change of the batch.

Fighter/Bomber role adjustment

  • In general, nothing earthshaking, but hopefully making life a bit more dangerous for the bombers of the galaxy, and a bit more interesting for the fighters.
    • Thanks to Minotaar, Wingflier, Diazo, chemical_art, Martyn van Buren, RCIX, doctorfrog, Winge, Wanderer, zebramatt, Nodor, relmz32, Kahuna, rchaneberg, LaughingThesaurus, Drjones013, Eternaly_Lost, MaxAstro, and Irxallis for feedback inspiring these changes.
  • Fighter (including tachyon-micro and bulletproof variants):
    • Base Move Speed from 28 => 32.
    • Multiplier vs Polycrystal from 5 => 6.
    • Multiplier vs CloseCombat from 2.4 => 6.
    • Multiplier vs Medium from 2.4 => 6.
    • Base Attack Power from 1200 => 1000 (similar for the variants).
  • Bomber Base Move Speed from 28 => 26.
  • The following guardians now have the medium hull type:
    • EMP (was Neutron)
    • Heavy Beam (was Heavy)
    • Laser (was Swarmer)
    • Lightning (was Composite)
    • Special Forces Rally (was Heavy)
    • Spire Implosion (was Artillery)
    • Starship Disassembler (was UltraHeavy)
    • Tachyon (was Refractive)
    • Tractor (was Neutron)
    • Vampire (was Artillery)

AI Reinforcement Focus

  • AI planets now pick a primary, secondary, and tertiary type of ship to focus their reinforcements on.
    • It's not purely random, sometimes it picks ships that fit certain roles.
    • When picking a new reinforcement ship for the central pulse or a non-special-forces guard-post-pulse, it has a 10% chance to pick any available ship like usual, and a 90% chance to pick one of its focus types. When picking a focus type, it has 3 times as much chance to pick the primary as the secondary, and 3 times as much chance to pick the secondary as the tertiary. If that doesn't make sense, don't worry about it.
    • Whenever the AIs unlock new ship types due to AI progress, all AI planets "reroll" their focus types.
    • Thanks to... basically everyone in the list for the fighter/bomber changes :) The point that "everything, everywhere" is at least as practically-homogenous as "one thing, everywhere" came up during that discussion.

Prerelease 5.073

(Released August 28th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug where the modular zenith fortress was trying to load the wrong far-zoom icon.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for the report.

Prerelease 5.072 A Revised Experience

(Released August 28th, 2012)

  • Nebula minor faction ships are now a bit more focused on getting the job done:
    • All use focus-fire, thus indirectly more likely to shoot at the stuff that will take the most damage.
    • All the "bomber-role" ships will heavily prioritize enemy starbases, and thus are more likely to make progress towards scenario conclusion one way or another.
    • All no longer prefer mobile targets to immobile targets.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug in FRD target sorting that was sometimes being overly sensitive to differences in how far away two targets were.
  • Knowledge rewards from offroad scenarios have been substantially reduced.
    • Thanks to Cinth for reporting how... intense they could be.
  • Fixed omission in the new CPA-size logic that was making it not consider one of the later parts of the wave-size calculations (making it a bit too high on lower difficulties and not as high as intended on higher difficulties).
  • Reverted the change in the last version that applied the special difficulty modifier to forced carrier pops; it now applies only a difficulty-based modifier and doesn't factor in the number of homeworlds or champions.
    • Thanks to Eternaly_Lost for feedback about how brutal that change had made things.
  • Added a new scenario that can seed in a nebula.
    • Introduces the second Zenith splinter group, along with another old acquaintance.
    • Added 3 new module lines and 1 new ability the rewards you can get from some nebula scenarios.
    • Implemented the Modular Zenith Fortress and added it to the rewards you can get from some nebula scenarios.
  • Fixed a bug where abilities that had not been unlocked yet were showing on the champion ability menu.
  • Changed Engineer II and Engineer III caps from 0.75 and 0.5 of the Engineer I cap to 1.5 and 2.0 of the Engineer I cap, respectively.
    • Gives a bit more motivation to unlock the higher engineer marks, if you're having trouble getting enough assistance/repair out.
    • Thanks to LordSloth for inspiring this change.
  • Changed how champion hull unlocks are handled in nebula scenario rewards:
    • As before, you can't get destroyer hulls until the second scenario is over, and can't get cruiser hulls until the fifth scenario is over.
    • But now when you get a new size, you get the new size in all the races you've already got access to.
    • On scenarios where you are not given a new size, and you do not already have the race-tech-base-form corresponding to the faction you just helped, you get that form in all sizes you've already got access to (though it only announces the largest one).
      • If you've already got that racial-tech-base-form it just gives you an extra module line instead.
    • Since there really isn't a point in using the smaller forms after you've got a larger one, only the largest ones will be shown (in an old save if you have, say, human frigate, human destroyer, and zenith frigate, it will show the H-DD and the Z-FF).
    • Thanks to Shrugging Khan for inspiring this change.
  • Changed main way to gain XP as a champion:
    • Nebula ships now only grant 1/10th as much XP as they did.
      • Starbases and anything outside a nebula give the same as they used to.
    • Winning a scenario now rewards a substantial amount of XP that:
      • Scales up with the level of the highest level champion in the game, though significantly slower than the xp-required-to-level scales up.
      • Scales up the better you do:
        • On the Neinzul Mourner and Gray Spire scenarios, this isn't directly related to time as those scenarios are basically over one way or another after a certain period of time anyway.
        • On the other scenarios where it's possible to drag it out to "farm" kill-based XP, this is now tied to how quickly you finish the scenario. So you can still farm if that's what entertains you, but you won't really get an XP advantage.
    • Thanks to chemical_art, orzelek, and others for inspiring this change.

Prerelease 5.071

(Released August 27th, 2012)

  • Fixed some bugs with the Fortress King's modular fort command stations:
    • Previously they did not have the "+15 AIP on death" attribute. Heh. Fixed.
    • Previously they used the wrong "requires supply" flag. Fixed.
    • Previously they were auto-targeted by human ships. Fixed.
    • Previously they did not function as warp-gate-reinforce. Fixed.
    • Also made the homeworld versions get most of the home-command-specific attributes.
    • Made the Fortress King command forts no longer limit themselves to mark 2 modules (instead accepting that they then proceed to 3).
    • Fixed a bug where Fortress King command forts were using champion shield modules instead of fort shield modules.
    • Thanks to Toranth for reporting most of these.
  • Fixed a bug where a forcefield that just turned on would sometimes take a long time to actually apply protection to a unit inside it (generally more likely with minor-faction allies than player-controlled ships).
    • Thanks to Tssbackus for the report and save leading to this discovery.
  • Fixed a bug where Fallen Spire events would spawn the recoverable objects (and thus anything they go on to build) as belonging to the first player even when the first player was champion-only. Now it gives them to the first normal or normal+champion player.
    • Thanks to Battlecrydnx for the report.
  • CPA size calculations ares now structured more like the wave size calculations, in order to make sure they produce results bigger than wave size calculations, without being too crazy on Diff 7 and thereabouts.
  • Barracks are now seeded on some AI planets at the start of the game (and retroactively into old saves):
    • The higher the difficulty, the more planets get them.
    • The higher the difficulty, the more ships in them.
    • None are placed closer than 3 hops from a human homeworld, to not be too cruel.
    • These serve two purposes:
      • Making it far less likely that the AI will simply not have enough ships for a CPA, while still letting players whittle away at "the reserve" if they want to.
      • Making the AI's defensive response to the loss of a planet (with a barracks on it) something more of an event.
    • Thanks to many players for feedback about underwhelming (still) CPAs and underwhelming AI defensive behavior.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the AI would only produce carriers if the target planet already had 2 barracks, instead of 1.
    • Thanks to the players who reported this, regrettably mantis doesn't seem interested in telling us who right now.
  • Fixed a graphical bug with the border drawn around barracks icons in some contexts.
  • Popping a carrier such that it has to "combine" ships due to high AI population on the planet already will now produce somewhat more... enthusiastic results on higher difficulties.

Prerelease 5.070 The Once And Fortress King

(Released August 23rd, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where self-exploding units (autobombs, nanoswarms, etc) were not updating their destination to match the target's current location frequently enough.
  • New Ancient Shadows Bonus Ship Type: Zenith Siege Engine:
    • Moderately large vessel built around an outsized plasma siege cannon. The ship does not have enough power to both move and keep the weapon online, so it must remain immobile for a full reload cycle before it can fire. When it fires, however, the enemy will feel it.
    • Thanks to Sunshine! for the suggestion inspiring this unit.
  • New Ancient Shadows Bonus Ship Type: Zenith Reprocessor:
    • A larger, specialized version of the Acid Sprayer, this ship's shots actually "metabolize" the enemy target. When the target dies, a percentage of the target's metal+crystal construction cost will be granted to the player that did the most reprocessing damage to it. The more reprocessing damage the ship has taken, the larger the percentage of resources reprocessed.
    • Can damage ships immune to reclamation, but cannot reprocess them.
  • New Ancient Shadows Hard AI Type: Fortress King.
    • Generally solid AI that has Modular Fortresses in place of most command stations. Expect grievous pain.
  • Removed a "go for the command station over everything else when AI" behavior from a number of units, including:
    • Leech Starships.
    • Flagships.
    • Zenith Starships.
    • Spire Starships.
    • Riot Starships.
    • Thanks to Prezombie for the report of the CC-ramming leech starships.
  • Fixed a bug where Neinzul Rocketry Corps silos could be antagonized by stuff in an adjacent nebula.
    • Thanks to motai for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where shadow charge was not persisting across save/load.
  • Fixed a bug where shadow-charge-created projections were being affected by the champion's controlling player (a normal+champion player) having a negative energy balance (shields shutting off, etc). In theory that could work as a balancing mechanism but it wouldn't work because champion-only players have no energy balance.
    • Thanks to motai for the report.
  • The "Zenith Descendant" and "One Way Doormaster" AI Types have been promoted from the "easy" category to the "moderate" category, due to sustained player feedback that they are not, in fact, easy.
    • Thanks to the many players who died to bring us this information.
  • New Ancient Shadows Map Style: Clusters
    • Planets are organized into a small number of clusters, each of which has only a few wormholes that lead to other clusters. Planets within a cluster each have a moderate number of connections to other planets within that cluster.
    • Thanks to shugyosha for the suggestion.

Prerelease 5.069

(Released August 22nd, 2012)

  • Reworked the CPA formula to be more aggressive on higher difficulties, since it's been sadly anemic lately.
    • Also added cpa-size calculations to the wave logs, when advanced logging is enabled.
    • Thanks to many players for reporting the embarrassing CPA sizes they've been seeing.
  • Fixed a bug where only one type of nebula scenario was seeding.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where minor-faction ships with plasma-siege shots could hurt/kill AI command stations that happened to be under forcefields.
    • Thanks to Jeffersn for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where champion ships were not causing AI planets to go on alert.
    • Thanks to LordSloth for the report.
  • Champion module unlock costs from 1/2/3/4/5 => 1/1/2/3/3.
    • Note that there's only one module (missile) you can pay to unlock the mkI version of, and no currently available champion hull can use the mkV versions.
    • Note also that this is tentative and the balance may not stay here. It's probably too generous, but the previous setup appeared to be too stingy.
    • Thanks to Cinth, orzelek, Nodor, LaughingThesaurus, and others for feedback inspiring this change.

Prerelease 5.068 Old Enmity Reclaimed

(Released August 21st, 2012)

  • Added a new nebula scenario.
    • Introduces a second Spire splinter faction.
    • Reintroduces an old foe/friend in a new context.
    • Added 3 new possible reward champion hulls (different race, nothing bigger than what was previously available, yet).
    • Added 4 new possible reward module lines.
    • Added 2 new possible reward champion abilities.
  • Put in new graphics for the needler, laser, mlrs, and missile modules used by champions and modular forts.
    • Thanks to HitmanN for these (and many other) module graphics.
  • The champion hulls now have slightly different movement speeds, based on which racial tech-base they use.
  • Heroic AI type balance changes:
    • Is now considered a technologist type for the purposes of lobby logic and display (specifically, being displayed in RED), though it does not get higher tech levels than usual.
    • Its non-wave champion spawns now start at Frigate-level at tech-level 1, not Destroyer-level.
    • Thanks to Kahuna and Nodor for inspiring these changes.
  • Neinzul champion hulls are now immune to black hole machines.
    • Thanks to MaxAstro for inspiring this change.
  • Champion XP gain from being near enough to a dying AI command station or guard post doubled.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where buy menu buttons were showing up red outside supply even when the ship doing the building can build fine outside supply. These specific ships now have the flag that suppresses the redding out (let us know if we missed one) :
    • Champions.
    • Spire Capital Ships.
    • Riot Control Starships.
    • Neinzul Enclave Starships.
    • Spire Mining Ships.
    • Nebula faction structures the player gets after winning a scenario.
    • Thanks to Spikey00, ArcDM, Kemeno, and others for reporting this.
  • Added four new keybinds, each like: Use First Champion Ability
    • Shortcut to the first item on the selected Champion's Ability menu. Does not actually uses the ability, just puts your interface into "placement mode" so you can click the place to use the ability without moving your mouse cursor down to the Ability menu itself.
    • Only works if you have a single champion selected.
    • There's also a second-ability, third-ability, and fourth-ability version, though as of this version no champion has more than two abilities. The ability descriptions themselves tell you which keybind can be used to trigger them.
    • The default bindings for these are Ctrl+Q, Ctrl+W, Ctrl+E, Ctrl+R, and all will override other non-context-menu keybinds (if you have a single champion selected) if you rebind them to something that conflicts. For instance, if you change the first one to Q instead of Ctrl+Q, and leave Q's default keybind alone then if you have a single champion selected Q will trigger the first-ability keybind and if you do not have a single champion selected Q will do the normal "zoom in really close" function.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for inspiring this change.
  • Tackle Drone Launcher rebalance:
    • Tackle Drone speed halved, and is no longer affected by combat style (so its effective speed is now what it was in the previous version on Epic comat style).
    • Tackle Drones are now immune to speed boosting.
    • Tackle Drone Launchers time to produce a drone from 3 seconds => 6 seconds.
    • Thanks to Nodor, Coppermantis, and others for feedback on these.
  • Neinzul Scapegoat:
    • Ship cap halved.
    • Health doubled.
    • Attack doubled.
    • M+C cost doubled.
    • Energy cost doubled.
    • Ship cap now scales UP (instead of down) with ship cap, so that you can have 2x as many MkIIs as MkIs, 3x as many MkIIIs as MkIs, etc.
      • This corrects the main problem with the previous design: higher marks didn't get more of the unit's actually-important ability (one-shot regen) than mkIs, and in fact got less.
    • All other its stats that used to scale up with mark level no longer do.
    • Thanks to soMe_RandoM, Hearteater, Cinth, and others for feedback on these.

Prerelease 5.067

(Released August 20th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the last few versions where only the first 3-4 nebulae were generating scenarios.
    • Thanks to Irxallis, vadatajs, and RCIX for reporting.
  • Spire Blade and Tackle Drone speed halved, since their being changed to not need to accelerate (which helps them make consistent use of their time-to-live when time to get a target is variable) increased their effective distance travelled substantially.
    • Thanks to RCIX for inspiring this change.
  • Tackle drones now automatically self-destruct when at or beyond the outer grav-well ring.
    • Note: this applies to player and AI tackle drones, even though AI ships are not affected by the outside-grav-well speed debuff.
    • Thanks to Battlecrydnx, platinawolf, and RCIX for inspiring this change.
  • Offroad scenario enemy scaling:
    • Per scenario previously successfully completed, from +30% => +15%.
    • Per extra champion present, from +50% => 25%.
    • Thanks to Cinth, bonesbro, and orzelek for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a bug where nebulae were being considered by the rule that a spire city hub cannot be built on a planet with only one wormhole
    • It couldn't really be left as-is because a game started with Ancient Shadows enabled always generates the nebulae even if you can't see them, which would lead to inconsistent results from the player perspective.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report.

Prerelease 5.066

(Released August 18th, 2012)

  • Fixed inadvertent change to bomber drone speed, so that it's now the same as it was on normal-combat-style a few versions ago.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where using Ctrl+M or the Mods button to open a champion in Ship Design could sometimes result in a blank ship design window if the selected champion was controlled by a different player than the interface you were using at the time.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report and save.

Prerelease 5.065

(Released August 18th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the Ship Design tab where it wouldn't show any modules for a line where the highest unlock mark was not usable by the selected champion hull.
    • Thanks to Kemeno for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where Shadow Charge was not actually being prevented from accumulating past the maximum storage amount.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where opening the ship design tab to edit a champion, selecting a different hull type, switching to another tab, and switching back to the ship design tab would... do weird things.
    • Thanks to Kemeno for the report.
  • Bomber Drones:
    • Seconds-per-salvo back from 3 => 5.
    • Seconds it takes a bay module to produce one from 3 => 2.
    • Time to live from 20 => 21.
      • Just to make it less likely that they'll lose the last shot because of not instantly targeting.
    • In short, this should maintain the same total shots produced over a given minute, but with more drones in the air at any given time.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the feedback that the drones' numbers were more important than the total number of shots produced.

Prerelease 5.064 Abilities Unlocked

(Released August 18th, 2012)

  • A new Ancient Shadows bonus ship class has been added: Neinzul Scapegoat (Mark I-V).
    • Mature Neinzul organism without the short lifespan of a Youngling. Capable combatant in its own right, but also sacrifices itself to regenerate military fleet ships on the same planet when they take critical damage.
    • Thanks to soMe_RandoM for the idea that inspired this.
  • Another new Ancient Shadows bonus ship class has been added: Spire Railcluster (Mark I-V).
    • Large Spire fleet ship mounting multiple short-range railcannons. Highly effective against very small ships.
    • Thanks to superking for the idea that inspired this.
  • Fixed bug where Extreme Raider and Spire Hammer were not adding their AI-type specific extra ships to non-schizo waves.
  • Improved the extra-homeworld/champion scaling for Extreme Raider and Spire Hammer AI-type-specific wave-add-ons.
  • Added new Hard AI Type: Heroic.
    • Generally solid AI that can also add a powerful Champion ships to each wave (in addition to the normal starship). Also periodically spawns a Champion ship on one of its own planets that joins the general AI forces threatening you. At higher tech levels it uses bigger Champion ships.
    • Note: these AI-version Champions are not exactly like human-controlled ones: they cannot traverse blue wormholes, they do not gain experience, and they do not respawn when killed. They're just big nasty modular ships.
    • Added 3 achievements for beating a Heroic AI, beating one on 7+, and beating one on 9+, respectively.
  • Fixed a bug where remains currently in the process of rebuilding could get "stuck" at 1 hp despite being under very heavy fire until its actual stored resources were exhausted.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report and save.
  • The rule that "if a forcefield-projecting unit is fully cloaked, it turns off its forcefield" now no longer applies to player-controlled modules. It was messing with modular-fort shield modules pretty effectively.
    • Thanks to Cinth for inspiring this change.
  • Nebula scenario buildings that let you build units now respond to the D (default for selecting space docks and similar) keybind.
    • Thanks to Twinge for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed bug where core/starship/experimental fabricators were not being considered by the D keybind.
    • Thanks to Twinge for the report.
  • Fixed bug where Insanity-Inducer and Translocator champion modules were not scaling up at all at higher marks. They now gain an extra shot-per-salvo per mark above 1.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Champion Bomber Drones, to make them less likely to score kills outside the champion's XP-gaining envelope and otherwise extend its reach beyond the intended:
    • Speed no longer scales with combat style (it's now always like it was on normal combat style).
    • Is now immune to speed-boosting.
    • Time-to-live from 30 seconds => 20 seconds.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 5 => 3 (so it can still fire 6 times before dying, and is now more likely to get that last shot in).
    • Effective Range from 8000/8400/8800/9200/9600 => flat 8000.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report of the xp-gathering issue.
  • Fixed a bug where saving a design on the Ship Design tab of the CTRLS window would switch you to a different tab (the save would work, but it could be very annoying).
  • Fixed a bug where nanoswarms, autobombs, spire blades, and tackle drones could be slowed down artificially (to very low speeds) due to changing targets in midflight.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for the report and save.
  • Added new resource to champion and normal+champion players: Shadow Charge.
    • Consumed by the new direct-use abilities added in this version.
    • Current and max charge is displayed on the champion UI.
    • Regenerates over time.
  • Added "ABILITY" tab to the champion's build menu. Only two are currently implemented:
    • Human and Zenith champions can "Project Shadow Shield":
      • Creates an immobile forcefield at the target point for 20 seconds (taking damage reduces the duration).
      • Must be initially placed within 4000 range of the champion.
      • Consumes 200 Shadow Charge.
    • Neinzul champions can "Project Shadow Repair Field":
      • Creates an immobile generator at the target point for 20 seconds (taking damage reduces the duration).
        • Repairs all friendly units in range (except golems), at no m+c cost.
      • Must be initially placed within 4000 range of the champion.
      • Consumes 500 Shadow Charge.
  • Changed the existing "MODS" tab of the champion build menu to not have the buy buttons for the modules but instead say "Click "MODS" to change Champion modules.".
    • And clicking MODS again when it is already showing now opens the Ship Design menu just like pressing Ctrl+M.
    • The reason for the change is that the normal buy-menu interface for modular ships to build their modules has always been a bit wonky, and the Champion stuff is only making that moreso. One of the big problems is that there's not really a way to infer from normal buy menu operations what module loadout the game should "save" to be redone after a respawn (the Ship Design screen knows to do this when you use Apply To Selection).
    • Since this may turn out to not be the best way to go (though we will try to make it work) : Added new toggle to the Advanced tab of the Settings window: Show Module Build Menu For Champion Ships.
      • If this toggle is enabled, selecting a champion ship's modules tab displays the old-style build menu that works just like other queue-builders (space dock), etc. This mode has a number of quirks due to the differences between producing modules and producing separate ships, and the Ship Design window is much better at communicating what you're doing, but some players may find the old menu more convenient for certain use cases.
  • Added new "Champion Unlocks" tab to the CTRLS window:
    • Previously the "modules available for this slot" list on the Ship Design tab would, for champions, display all available modules plus the next locked module in each line if the selected champion hull could use it. Unlocks were performed by clicking on those locked options. This functioned but is increasingly unwieldy as the number of modules increases.
    • Now the Ship Design tab's list of available modules (when viewing a champion) only displays the highest-usable-on-that-hull module in each line that is unlocked, and does not display anything locked.
    • Now, to unlock a higher module for your champion, you go to the Champion Unlocks tab where each available module line is displayed with the currently unlocked mark, and how many points it costs to unlock the next-higher mark.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the suggestion to create a separate interface for unlocking this stuff.
  • Fixed a bug where bomber drones launched from champion hangar bays could be scrapped (and resources gained from it).
    • Thanks to Drin for the report.
  • Fixed a longstanding (since March 2011) bug where several per-unit computations were being done every frame instead of every 6 or so frames as designed. Please let us know if you run into weirdness, as the game's gotten pretty "used" to that bug and it may be that something was inadvertently made to rely on it. Things look fine in our tests, though.
  • Offroad Scenarios now scale up somewhat in difficulty with the number of champions present in that particular nebula. The amount of increase is low enough that it's still always a significant advantage to bring more champions, but it's hopefully no longer a situation where a scenario is tough if you bring 1 champion and trivial if you bring 2.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for inspiring this change.

Prerelease 5.063

(Released August 16th, 2012)

  • Fixed some typos in some of the champion ship hulls' short-names.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where tackle drone explosions could damage friendly targets.
    • Thanks to Draco Cretel for the report.
  • The following units are now omitted from control group selection since control groups for them are just part of getting newly constructed ships assigned to the right control group and moved to the right spot:
    • All human intragalactic warp gates.
    • Human Rebel Colony (base game).
    • Spire Refugee Colony (Fallen Spire).
    • Spire Shipyard (Fallen Spire).
    • All splinter-faction construction facilities (Ancient Shadows).
    • Thanks to jerith for the suggestion.
  • Tackle Drones no longer make an explosion sound on death (they already had the same muffling flag as the spire blades, but their actual damage-causing explosion-on-death was a separate code path).
    • Thanks to MaxAstro and Draco Cretel for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug where inherently-cloaked ships were not decloaked by their modules firing (externally-cloaked ships were already working properly).
    • Thanks to Kemeno for the report.
  • Spire Civilian Leaders now do their first "pulse" of AIP change at one hour into the game, instead of one minute into the game, to avoid skewing the very-early difficulty of a high-diff game.
    • Thanks to motai for the suggestion, and many others for similar thoughts.

Prerelease 5.062

(Released August 15th, 2012)

  • Includes the language file updates accidentally omitted from 5.061.
    • Thanks to Minotaar, phoenix89, Eternaly_Lost, and others for reporting.

Prerelease 5.061 *Tackled*, Medic!

(Released August 15th, 2012)

  • A new Ancient Shadows bonus ship class has been added: Zenith Medic Frigate (Mark I-V).
    • Moderately large frigate with capable weaponry, but the main point of a medic frigate is the multiplex repair beam emitter that allows it to heal nearby ships (note: cannot heal a ship for a few seconds after that ship has taken damage).
    • Thanks to RCIX for the suggestion.
  • Another new Ancient Shadows bonus ship class has been added: Tackle Drone Launcher (Mark I-V).
    • Has guns of its own but primarily attacks by launching small tractor-equipped drones. The drones fly in a straight line dragging any enemy they can tractor along with them and explode when they reach their maximum range, dealing damage to up to (5*drone level) nearby targets. The drones are thus very effective at taking smaller craft out of a fight, but cannot damage tractor-immune ships in any way.
    • Give these a try, they're hilarious.
  • Fixed a bug where nebulae were being counted as human territory for deepstrike checks.
    • Thanks to Toll for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where super-hybrid logic for determining which planets were the right distance into AI territory for a dyson antagonizer was considering nebulae to be non-AI territory.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the report leading to this discovery.
  • Reduced the distance-into-AI-territory super-hybrids try to plant dyson antagonizers by 1, hopefully making them less excruciating to find.
    • Thanks to quite a lot of players for public lamentations regarding this.
  • The initial seeding of AI fleet-ships during mapgen now pays more attention to ship cap.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the report of a planet starting with ~43 Spire Stealth Battleships.
  • The game now tries to seed human home command stations further away from wormholes and tries harder to find such a spot. This should help prevent "AI says: I have a plasma siege starship, gg" situations.
    • Thanks to Diazo, Toll, and others for bringing the need to our attention.
  • Nebula-faction units and champions now have the same speed on all combat styles (equal to their prior speed on Normal combat style).
    • Thanks to Eternaly_Lost for pointing out that scenarios taking 30 to 60 minutes on normal took... a really really long time on Epic.
  • Spire Refugee Ship (the starship recovered in the second stage of Fallen Spire) can no longer be put in a transport, since the chase logic doesn't work right with stuff in transports and jumpships make it pretty trivial.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic and others for pointing out the oddness of it being transportable.
  • Now nebulae don't pick a scenario type during mapgen, but instead when first entered by a champion. Earlier in development it was possible for nebulae map placement to be different depending on the scenario, but this is no longer the case.
    • This won't impact games already in progress before 5.061, but games started in this version or later will adjust more gracefully to the addition of new scenario types, and this helps in some other areas too.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the question inspiring this change.
  • Amended the paralyzer module's tooltip to not call it "low base damage", since it isn't really.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report.
  • Added Neinzul Modular Fortress:
    • Quite similar to the normal modular fortress, but with different specialized modules available (when they're implemented, anyhow), and instead of the repair ability it has cloaking and cloaking-superboost (same ability as the cloaker starship).
    • Right now the only way to unlock this is via nebula-scenario reward in the soon-to-be-released third type of scenario, but that will change to at least some extent.
  • The Core (mark 5) variants of the youngling ships no longer self-attrition.
    • Mainly this is to make the fabricators that produce them more useful.
    • Thanks to the players who participated in the poll where this came up, and to Wingflier for organizing that.
  • Fixed a bug in previous versions where it was possible for a nebula to reward a champion hull when you didn't already have the smaller size-steps of that line.
  • Added a new nebula (offroad "planet") scenario for champions.
    • Includes 1 new neinzul splinter group.
    • Added 5 new possible unlock-champion-hull-type rewards, including the next size step up for the human and zenith lines and a new neinzul line (that gets fewer modules but a key special ability at each size step).
    • Added 4 new possible unlock-module-line rewards, some given only from this new scenario, some also eligible to be given from the existing one.

Prerelease 5.060

(Released August 13th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug where various Fallen-Spire seeding logic was considering nebulae. Spawning a shard-signal there is cute, but wrong.
    • Thanks to Eternaly_Lost for the report.
  • Fixed a longstanding but very intermittent null-exception in tech-menu-button rendering.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the report and log.
  • Fixed a bug in the past couple of versions where non-minor-faction photon lances (spire capital ship main weapons, etc) were considering a smaller subset of enemy units as targets.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where photon lances fired at forcefields overlapping the firing ship could wind up firing in a totally wrong direction.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the report and save.
  • Dark Spire starbases now fire more rapidly (but with less power) to better deal with attacking enemies and juking champions (the latter will still have an advantage, that's fine, not all starbases should require the same tactics).
  • The Devourer can no longer attack champion ships. The Devourer camping the auto-respawning champion at a human home command station was... hilarious, but we don't want the Devourer to get a nutritional imbalance.
    • Thanks to soMe_RandoM for the report.
  • Fixed another bug that was letting auto-explore scouts consider nebulae and thus getting stuck.
    • Thanks to fflaguna and Draco Cretel for the report.
  • Switching from the Normal role to Normal+Champion in mid-game is no longer rejected as an invalid role switch.
  • Opening the ship design window by clicking the CTRLS button and then the Ship-Design tab now tries to enable the "Apply To Ship(s)" button (which is now called "Apply To Selection" to be clearer). Previously it would only try to do this if opened through the context menu "View Ship Modules" or Ctrl+M.
    • Thanks to Cinth for pointing out that it was confusing for 2 out of three ways to get to this screen would do this, but the other would not.

Prerelease 5.059

(Released August 11th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug where offroad planets (nebula) were counting as non-AI-controlled-worlds for the purposes of determining how many worlds the AI could reinforce.
  • Fixed a bug in the recent changes to the reinforcement logic causing N guard posts on a single planet to get reinforced with (Strength*1)+(Strength*2)+(Strength*3)+...+(Strength*N) total strength, rather than just (Strength*N).
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for spotting this in the reinforcement logs, and to LordSloth for providing logs.
  • Fixed a bug in the reinforcement logging where it wouldn't list alerted planets in the "this is the order planets will be reinforced in". The order was correct, the logging was not (and it really helps for it to be right when finding problems like the above).

Prerelease 5.058 Further Shadows

(Released August 11th, 2012)

  • When playing as the Normal+Champion role it now only shows the Champion UI (XP/Hull/Shields) instead of the Normal UI (Metal/Crystal/Energy/Knowledge) when you have the champion selected and are in planet view on the same planet as the champion.
    • Thanks to LaughingThesaurus and Volatar for the suggestions.
  • Fixed a couple more bugs where the modular fortress was on the tech and buy menus even when Ancient Shadows was not enabled.
    • Thanks to Draco Cretel and Draco18s for reporting.
  • Added support for the chatline command "cmd:activate expansion 4", which lets you turn on the expansion midway through the game. Notes:
    • This will not add the nebulas (offroad "planets") to the game, so while you could in theory add champions to the game after enabling the expansion it would be a truncated experience.
    • Any expansion-specific special structures that have a chance of being seeded onto planets will have a chance to seed at this time, but there's nothing like that implemented yet.
    • What this will do, as of this writing, is give you access to research and build modular forts.
  • The Z+X keybind combo now shows NPC/minor-faction ranges as well as enemy ranges.
    • This is particularly helpful in the nebula/offroad areas when playing with champions.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a longstanding (back to the unity port) bug where the buy/tech menus would also draw the buttons from the menus above them, commonly resulting in "ghosts" of build queue buttons, etc.
    • Thanks to... is there anyone who has NOT reported this? Anyway, thanks for making sure we knew :)
  • Fixed relatively recent issue where photon lance beams would not actually draw all the way to the end of the beam (either the natural range or the poor thing it was currently incinerating).
  • Added a new nebula (offroad "planet") scenario for champions.
    • Includes 3 new splinter groups: one zenith, one neinzul, one spire.
    • Total of 16 new units from those groups, 3 of which have player-usable variants.
    • Added 2 new possible unlock-champion-hull-type rewards (not bigger than the existing ones, that's for later), only given from this new scenario right now.
    • Added 5 new possible unlock-module-line rewards, some given only from this new scenario, one also eligible to be given from the existing one.
  • Champion shields now regen twice as fast (the delay between last-damage-taken and the start of regen is the same, though).
  • Fixed a bunch of places where the existence of champions was not increasing AI response.
  • Fixed a bug where multiple human homeworlds (in SP or MP) were not increasing the guard post part of reinforcements.
  • Made the guard post part of reinforcements start increasing at a lower AIP.
    • Before it was basically stuck to the floor until 270 AIP or so, which was fine in the older system but appears to have been dragging things down since the AI started not getting blade spawners and laser gatlings in the same proportions.
    • Thanks to many players for pointing out how underwhelming reinforcements have been recently; this may or may not help much, we'll see.

Prerelease 5.057

(Released August 9th, 2012)

  • Zenith Reserves and Distribution Nodes no longer grant stuff to champion-only players, but instead to the first normal or normal+champion player in the game.
    • Thanks to TyberZann for reporting that these were working for champions.
  • Fixed a bug where auto-explore and auto-knowledge-gather ships would consider offroad/nebula "planets", which could lead to odd behavior and stalling out since they cannot enter those areas.
    • Thanks to Draco Cretel for the report.
  • Champion ship, champion modules, and the NPC nebula combatant's have all had their base ranges doubled, but now being in a nebula acts as if there's always a radar jammer present (which halves effective ranges).
    • The result is that the in-nebula ranges are the same (as they are intentionally shorter than folks are used to since it's easier to make something tactically interesting with shorter ranges) but the champion and NPC ships aren't so nearsighted in the rest of the galaxy.
    • Thanks to phoenix89 for the suggestion.
  • Champion ship effective speed has been doubled and the NPC nebula combatant speed has been increased to maintain a smaller margin over the champion ship, but now being in a nebula acts as if there's always a speed-halver present.
    • The result is that the champion's in-nebula speed is the same and the NPC in-nebula speed is a little lower (as they are intentionally slower than folks are used to since it's easier to make something tactically interesting with slower speeds) but neither is so slow in the rest of the galaxy.
    • Thanks to Varone for the suggestion.
  • The facility that spawns in the current nebula scenario when it is successfully completed now provides scout intel on the nebula.
    • Thanks to Toll for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug in the prior version where playing a normal+champion player with multiple homeworlds would cause you to start the game with multiple champion units.
    • Thanks to phoenix89 for the report.
  • Fixed bug with the new Normal+Champion role where viewing the modules of an existing non-champion modular ship (like a Riot or a Mod-Fort) would let you use the switch-to-ship button. That button's only supposed to work for heroes, and caused odd things when used on other stuff.
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Fixed bug with the ship design screen where you could apply a design from a different ship type to your selected ship. Result = Hilarity.

Prerelease 5.056

(Released August 9th, 2012)

  • Added "Normal+Champion" to the player role dropdown:
    • In this role you get both your normal starting units (home command station, etc) AND a champion.
      • Notably, this lets you put your champion ship in the same control group as other of your units (though if the champion ship dies it does get removed from control groups), and prevents confusion when using your science lab to unlock something from another player's interface, etc.
    • It displays the champion UI (XP/hull/shields) while you have the champion ship selected, and the normal UI otherwise.
    • Hopefully this will greatly simplify the process of starting a singleplayer game with a champion. Several tooltips and messages have been amended to gently shepherd people trying to use a champion in this direction ;)
    • The existing "Champion" role has been retained so you can still have champion-only players in MP and "extra" champions beyond the number of extra players.
      • Old saves started with Champion players will still be using this role.
    • The "Reserved For Champion" slot state has been renamed to "Extra Champion" to emphasize that it is no longer the main way to add a champion to a singleplayer game.
    • The "Open (Can Add Champion)" text has been changed back to "Open" everywhere since it was at least as confusing as it was helpful.
    • Thanks to contingencyplan for the specific suggestion that inspired this, and to many players for pointing out the tons of problems of the "1 Normal Player + 1 Champion Player" approach being the way to use champions in singleplayer.
  • Champion ships now have a build rate of zero, making it more explicit that they require a friendly engineer drone nearby.
    • Thanks to TyberZann for reporting what was happening when a champion somehow got its hands on m+c, and to TechSY730 for inspiring the specific fix.
  • There's now also a line shown in the alert box if a champion has a module in its queue that it could mount (slot is not full) and it doesn't currently have support from an engineer drone.
    • Thanks to orzelek and others for helping us understand that it was really not clear why the champion modules were not building.
  • Champion module upgrade clarification:
    • The "champion has unlock points to spend" alert now ends in the text "(click to spend)" (clicking it was already taking you to the unlock screen)
    • On the ship-design/unlock screen for a champion, instead of displaying "LOCKED" modules that are "in reach" but not unlocked now display "NEED MORE UNLOCK POINTS" or "CLICK TO UNLOCK" depending on whether you have enough points to unlock them.
    • Thanks to Varone for pointing out how not-friendly-to-new-users the system was.
  • Fixed a bug where the modular fortress could be researched without Ancient Shadows enabled. It still couldn't be built, though.
    • Thanks to Minotaar for uncovering our nefarious (albeit unintentional) marketing ploy.

Prerelease 5.055

(Released August 8th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug that caused unhandled exceptions when you had a saved modular fortress design and opened the SUP build tab.
    • Note that it was never intended that the designs show up on the build tab as the ship cap for the forts is 1 and even if you have more than one (in a multi-HW game) you can fairly simply apply a template to them all right after placement using Ctrl+M or the context menu View-Ship-Modules option to Apply Design to Ship(s).
    • Thanks to Cinth for the report.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause unhandled exceptions in some cases after a champion respawn due to it trying to place modules in slots that don't exist.
    • Thanks to TyberZann for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where the lobby was not clearing a specific champion-related flag when the user quit out of the lobby, potentially causing erroneous color conflicts on later attempts to start a game from the lobby.
    • Thanks to Kalias for the report.

Prerelease 5.054

(Released August 8th, 2012)

  • Further clarified the lobby situation by changing the "Host cannot start the game until at least one player selects the "Normal" role." message to "Host cannot start the game until at least one player selects the "Normal" role. If you are trying to play a singleplayer game with a Champion player (a feature of the Ancient Shadows expansion) just keep player 1 as a "Normal" player and set the player 2 slot to "Reserved for Champion". You'll be able to control Player 2's units (the champion) just fine."
  • Amended the lobby logic so that the slot text only says "Open (Can Add Champion)" on the slot itself, and still "Open" on the expanded dropdown list.
    • Thanks to x40-wait, he works here, nevermind.
  • The lobby player slot state dropdowns (the ones that can be Open, Closed, or Reserved for Champion) now have tooltips to explain the setting under the mouse cursor.
  • Fixed a bug where various champion-related player data was not getting cleared between games, leading to crashes and some cases (and inevitably desyncs in others).
    • Thanks to Kalias for the report.
  • The GalaxyWideSelectChampion keybind (which defaults to Ctrl+H) has been changed to also switch UIs to the player controlling the champion.
    • Thanks to LaughingThesaurus for the suggestion.

Prerelease 5.053

(Released August 8th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug where several of the champion modules were having their close-zoom images loaded using the wrong path (backslashes instead of forward slashes, OSX no likey).
    • Thanks to relmz32 for the report.
  • Unoccupied human player slots in the lobby now say "Open (Can Add Champion)" instead of just "Open" when the Ancient Shadows expansion is enabled.
    • Thanks to many players for expressing consternation at how the feature might be enabled (particularly in single-player).

Prerelease 5.052 From The Shadows

(Released August 8th, 2012)

  • The graphics of planets 3, 8, 11, and 16 have been substantially improved so that they have better borders and look more convincing as planets.
    • Thanks to doctorfrog for reporting the issues with them previously.
  • Building modular ships with a template or using the ship-design window to apply a design (whether or not that design is a saved template or just ad-hoc) will now try a lot harder to put the modules in the specific assigned slots instead of just any slot that can hold the module at the time.
    • This is basically just a cosmetic difference, but it's nice.
    • Note that now you'll probably want to not manually add to a build queue of a modular ship that's received its current build queue from a template (just built) or the ship design window (the Apply button); later we may make it physically impossible to do so, we'll see. Basically the interaction would be very difficult to define.
    • Thanks to chemical_art and others for periodically reminding us that it didn't really try to do this before.
  • Removed the "Reserved" option that was recently for player-slot-state in the lobby. It doesn't really work well in conjunction with either of the available roles (helper because a reserved helper does nothing, normal because you can't pick their homeworlds).
  • The blue "shield health" bar that shows on ships with module-generated forcefields now has more internal contrast and is easier to read.
  • Changed it so that planets are no longer hue-shifted. This was causing artifacts on some client computers, and the added variety provided by the hue shifts was not substantial enough to be worth the planets looking markedly bad on some machines.
    • Thanks to martyn_van_buren and Draco18s for reporting.

---------------------------- First Beta Of Ancient Shadows Expansion ----------------------------

  • You can get the Ancient Shadows expansion installer here.
  • Added new player role: Champion.
    • You can set a populated player slot (one with a connected player in it) to this using the role select dropdown.
    • You can also just mark a slot as "Reserved For Champion" using the slot-state select dropdown (previously just said Open or Closed) and that champion can be controlled by any human player.
      • Notably, this is the easiest way to add a champion when starting a new singleplayer game. Note that there always has to be at least one human player with the "Normal" role for a game to be started. Various changes have been made over the previous months to make controlling both a "normal" player and a "champion" player (in either SP or MP) easy.
    • What? Oh, what ARE Champions? Ah, right. A champion player starts with only one unit: a modular super-starship.
      • The champion gains XP when in the vicinity (20,000 range) of certain kinds of units when they die. This includes AI guard posts and command stations, but that's not the main source of XP.
        • To see how much XP you have, switch to the champion player's UI.
      • When the champion gets enough XP to level up they get an unlock point. Unlock points can be spent to get more powerful modules on the ship design screen.
      • If the champion dies it respawns (for free) at a human home command station. It will need engineer assistance to rebuild its modules, but that's a quick process.
      • The presence of a champion player increases AI response in most of the same ways that another normal player would, but not to the same degree. Balance is ongoing.
      • Champions are the only units that can fly through special wormholes (colored blue, and act much like normal ones do when "Show Unexplored Planets" is off, unless FOW is set to complete visibility) to the new nebula "planets".
      • In those nebulae the champions will encounter splinter factions of the 4 races (right now there's just 2 splinter factions, both human) and be able to help potential allies. Journal entries will provide details when you enter a nebula.
      • The enemies you encounter in nebulae will all (generally) give XP.
      • Completing a nebula's objectives successfully (permanent failure is possible) rewards some or all of the following:
        • Bonus XP to all champion players in the game.
        • Bonus Knowledge to to all normal human players in the game.
        • New lines of equipment modules (which you can then upgrade with unlock points).
        • New champion hulls (each champion player can only control one at a time, but you can switch and you'll respawn as the new one), both of larger sizes and of different racial tech-bases (human is all that's implemented right now).
        • Ongoing assistance from the splinter faction you just helped, if applicable.
  • Added some new keybinds to help playing both a normal player and a champion player in the same game:
    • Galaxy-Wide Select Champion.
      • Defaults to Ctrl+H.
      • Selects and centers your view on a Champion unit you can control (owned by you or by a team member who is allowing team control of units). If you already have one selected (with nothing else selected) it tries to cycle through other such units.
    • View Ship Modules (this already existed in the context menu, but this keybind works outside that)
      • Defaults to Ctrl+M.
      • Opens the Ship Design tab of the Controls window so you can see and modify the current module configuration of this ship.
      • If you have multiple distinct designable ship types chosen, this option is not available, but it does work for groups of the same designable type.
      • If the ship is controlled by a different player (as in the case of a champion unit, often) than the UI you're looking at, it switches your UI to that player.
    • Switch Back To Local Player UI.
      • Defaults to Ctrl+L.
      • If you've switched to the UI of another player (through the switch-to-UI buttons in the Stats window or by viewing the modules of another player's ship) this keybind will switch you back to the UI of the player slot in which you actually connected to the game.
  • Added new researchable unit to the normal command-station/mobile-builder build menu: Modular Fortress.
    • Ship Cap of 1 (normal fort has cap of 5).
    • 5x as much health as a MkI fort.
    • Has 8 light module slots that can hold Needler, Laser, MLRS, and Missile modules.
      • Each of those has mkI, mkII, and mkIII variants. The first is already available and the second two are unlocked by corresponding turret research (Needler = Basic).
    • Has 4 heavy module slots that can hold Shield and Heavy Beam modules.
      • Each of those has mkI, mkII, and mkIII variants. The first shield is already available, and the second two (and all the heavy beam ones) are unlocked by corresponding forcefield (non-hardened) and turret research.
    • Right now it's balanced so that having mkII modules in all the light slots and mkII HB modules in all the heavy slots gives a total dps (including the modular fort hull itself) in the overall ballpark as a cap of MkI forts. With mkIII modules it's even higher. It's pretty beastly, all told.

Prerelease 5.051 Optical Repair

(Released July 30th, 2012)

  • When human ships are told to go through a wormhole and they aren't able to because of a black hole machine, it will now tell the owner in a chat line that this happened (the chat window isn't visible on the galaxy map, but it's a step in the right direction).
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where mk3 nukes wouldn't actually destroy anything (aside from you, via +5000 AIP).
    • Thanks to Kalias for the report and save.
  • Fixed several issues where units with "infinite engine health" were not being handled consistently.
    • For example, a neinzul enclave starship had an internal engine health value high enough to be listed as "infinite" but not high enough to actually refuse to set engine damage to a value > 0. This could lead to protracted (and expensive, in previous versions) periods of trying to repair engine damage.
    • Thanks to bongotron2000 and Minotaar for the reports and saves leading to this discovery.
  • Removed the sprite pooling, including the sprite pooling option in the settings menu, and greatly improved both RAM use and CPU load with this and related underlying functions.
  • In particular, improved the batching of things like destination lines, ship-to-ship beams, and so forth. These should now perform better than they did before we even started the backporting (which then caused a performance hit on these operations).
  • Improved the various lines in the game for repair and such things so that they no longer seem to blip around like they were in the recent few versions.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for suggesting.
  • Previously, some planets were not attractive when hue-shifted to certain values.
    • The images for 14 and 31 have been adjusted so that they now will be.
    • Numbers 1, 4, 5, 7, 13, 27, 28, 29, 30, 33, 48, and 49 are now barred from doing hue shifts at all.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for starting the complaining about this. ;)
  • Fixed a bug in the last few versions where if you had a textbox selected, then clicking a button would not register properly the first time (it would just deselect the textbox and not click the button). Now it clicks the button without deselecting the textbox.
  • We _think_ the issue with the explosions not appearing properly the first time they are shown in a new run of the game has been resolved, but if you see that or any other explosion-related bugs again, please let us know.

Repair Rebalancing/Retweaking

  • Repairing engines now does not cost m+c (if health is also being repaired at the same time that costs m+c).
    • Thanks to Minotaar for inspiring this change.
  • Repair cost in general is now based off half the construction cost instead of the full construction cost.
    • Thanks to sarudak, TechSY730, Kahuna, and MaxAstro for inspiring this change.
  • MkI Engineer repair multiplier from 6 => 2; this isn't because it needs a nerf but because with the repair fix people need time to adjust to how much stuff costs to repair when the math isn't bugged and it's easier to do that when the repair happens over more than a couple seconds. If this is a problem an alternate approach can be found, but our understanding is that repair _time_ (as opposed to repair cost) hasn't really been a problem for folks, but vanishing economies have been.
    • MkII Engineer still has a multiplier of 9 and MkIII still has a multiplier of 12, the idea being that if you're unlocking those you specifically want them to do things quickly.
    • Thanks to Diazo for inspiring this change.
  • Golem construction costs adjusted due to the recent fix in repair cost computation (bear in mind that golems are never built, only repaired, so these numbers only impact the cost of repairing one, which jumped about 6 fold due to that fix) :
    • Armored golem from 30M+30M m+c => 10M+10M.
      • Combined with the halving of base repair costs in this release, this means that the armored golem now costs the same to repair as it used to take with engie 1s since those used to have a 6x repair multiplier. The difference is now it doesn't matter if you use MRS's or EngieIIIs except in terms of how fast it happens.
    • Artilery golem from 10M+10M => 8M+8M (lots of feedback that these are OP lately).
    • Black Widow golem from 25M+25M => 10M+10M (ditto).
    • Regenerator golem from 60M+60M => 20M+20M (note that the regenerator's post-reactivation repair cost is 10% of what it would normally be, due to an earlier change).
    • Cursed golem from 10M+10M => 3M+3M (a slight buff, but these aren't all that popular in general).
    • Hive golem from 20M+20M => 7M+7M (a slight nerf, but these are quite strong).
    • Botnet golem from 40M+40M => 20M+20M (in keeping with last version's changes, trying to make the cost of these more closely equal the benefit; let us know if this is still off)
    • Thanks to sarudak for bringing the unintentend consequence to our attention and TechSY730, zharmad, Kahuna, Cinth, MaxAstro, Hearteater, Diazo, Draco18s, Eternaly_Lost, and Minotaar for further feedback.

AI Eye Rework, Round 1

  • The AI Eye won our first "Aim the nerfbat (AI-side)" poll by a landslide, but it's taken a bit to figure out how exactly to best handle that request. Thanks to many players for weighing in on that. Below are the first additions of new eye types to make them less monotonous. More changes/variants will follow but the other changes above warranted a release before the rest of this was done.
  • The Sentry/Ion Eye alert text now says how many human ships over the triggering threshold the planet was when that particular pulse triggered.
  • Renamed the AI Eye to the Sentry Eye.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for the specific suggestion, and many players for voicing frustation trying to pronounce the unit name (though often "Aieeeee!" was a perfectly appropriate pronunciation).
  • Added new type of AI Eye: the Ion Eye.
    • Has same trigger conditions.
    • When seeding an eye, the game has an equal chance of seeding each type of eye, and only one eye is seeded per planet that's supposed to get one.
    • But when triggered, instead of spawning ships it powers on (it's in stand-down except when actively triggered) and starts firing. You don't want that to happen. It has the firepower of four MkV Ion Cannons.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for the suggestion.
  • Added new type of AI Eye: the Parasite Eye.
    • Has same trigger conditions.
    • Instead of spawning ships it powers on (it's in stand-down except when actively triggered) and starts firing. You really don't want that to happen. Multiple hyper-powerful railcannons that reclaim what they hit.
      • Standard "what can be reclaimed" rules apply.
      • Has the extra flag to prevent it from firing on non-reclaimable targets thanks to a test where multiple starships were dying every two seconds.
      • Note that this has a kill rate about 1/2 that of the Ion Eye, so the overall rate of "evening the field" should be similar.
      • In case you're curious, the results are not zombies and can be re-reclaimed if you're so inclined.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for the suggestion.

Prerelease 5.050 Botnet Escape

(Released July 26th, 2012)

  • The Zenith Starship and Spire Starship (previously mkIII and mkIV of the "flagship" line), in honor of tying for second in our seventh "worst unit" poll, have each been made into a separate line of combat-focused starships and made distinct from their previous role and each other.
    • Both lines have 3 marks.
    • Neither has munitions boosting (the main feature of the flagship line).
    • The Zenith Starships are now basically brawlers with quite a bit of health and mount 25 short/medium-range missile launchers each.
    • The Spire Starships now mount a single photon lance (the continuous beam weapon used by the Fallen Spire capital ships, etc, but much weaker in this instance) and are a bit longer ranged than the Zenith Starships and a bit less durable.
    • Also adjusted the remaining "flagship" line to fit the new structure:
      • The Light Starship has been renamed Flagship.
      • The former Flagship has become Flagship MkII.
      • A new Flagship MkIII has been added.
    • Thanks to many players for feedback on what these had become (not so interesting) over the past months and for participating in the poll.
  • As an honorable mention from the seventh worst-unit poll, the Golemite-AI-type golems (as distinct from human golems and exo golems), except for the Golemite-Botnet, have had their health increased from 0.1 times the normal version of that golem => 0.5 times that normal value.
    • Specifically, this means the Golemite-Armored, Golemite-Artillery, Golemite-Widow, and Golemite-Regenerator golems. There are no golemite versions of the other types (except the botnet, which was purposefully skipped in this instance; Botnets are terrors upon the galaxy).
    • Thanks to the players for participating in the poll.
  • The exos from BrokenGolemsHard and SpirecraftHard are now more aggressive:
    • The threshold for the first exo of each has been doubled, which means (all else being equal) it would take twice as long to happen and be twice as powerful.
    • The accumulation (which is AIP-based, unlike Fallen Spire exos) now acts as if effective AIP is always at least 50 + (game_second/360). In other words, the minimum starts at 50 and goes up by 10 each hour (1 every six minutes).
      • This minimum stops going up at 250 (20 hours). (thanks to TechSY730 for suggesting that)
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic, Kahuna, rabican, and others for playtesting examples where even on high difficulties these exos were fairly underwhelming, at least early on.
  • Since the Botnet Golem won (by a landslide) our first "aim the nerf bat" poll, a plan was set in motion. The Botnet, however, saw it coming. Pulling a koolaid-man, it busted out of its former niche into a whole new minor faction, to wit: Botnet Golem.
    • This is basically like the Broken Golems faction except:
      • It only seeds the Broken Botnet, and it only seeds one of them (Broken Golems no longer seeds any botnets, needless to say).
        • It tries to seed on a planet 4 or 5 hops from the human homeworld(s); if it can't it tries 3, 2, and then 1. This is a far more controlled distance than normal golems (which is just 3+ from human homeworlds) because it's best that the challenge of having this faction on not vary so widely as a simple 3+ distance seeding would.
      • The botnet's energy cost on Moderate went from 400k => 800k.
      • The broken-botnet's AIP-on-metamorphsis on Moderate went from 40 => 100.
      • The exo response on Hard is the same as Broken Golems, but it's separate from that so you're really getting all that pain just for the one unit.
    • Also increased the Botnet's health from 36M to 100M (still 1/5th of an Armored Golem) to make it less likely you'll lose the sole advantage granted by this faction to a silly mistake.
      • Note: the golemite AI's version of the Botnet's health is still what it was.
    • We're still very open to further balance changes; the main thing this move enabled was balancing the botnet separately from the other golems: we could have brought it down to the level of the other ones, but where's the fun in that?
      • Note: none of this affects the old saves except the change in base energy from 40k to 80k (and potentially the Moderate numbers for the Botnet will automatically go up, not sure).
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic, Kahuna, and others for showing how overpowered the Botnet was. Thanks to Cyborg, chemical_art, and others for showing how this was awesome. And thanks to the poll participants, of course.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where repairing units with a repair boost (which is most of the ones that can repair) were repairing units faster but still "spending" metal and crystal at the rate they would have if they had no repair boost. The cost difference between repairing with an MRS and with an EngieIII was pretty big. No longer.
    • If this causes economic hardship, let us know ;)
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for the report leading to this discovery.
  • Fixed a bug in the new lobby-setup-script grammar where the AddAIModifier, RemoveAIModifier, AddOptionalShipCategory, and RemoveOptionalShipCategory commands were not being recognized.
    • Thanks to Kahuna for the report.
  • The Cryogenic Pods and Human Home Settlements that start next to each human home command station are now immune to the splash effect from being under a forcefield net hit by a plasma-siege shot. Previously it was possible to be in an early-game situation where it was nearly impossible to keep them from being destroyed by Plasma Siege Starships coming in with waves on a wormhole within firing range of the home command station.
    • Thanks to Hearteater, Wanderer, and others for inspiring this change.
  • The Human Home Command Station now costs 1% as much to repair as it used to, so the repair cost falls below the default threshold where engineers won't auto-assist something because it's expensive.
    • Thanks to Spikey00, TechSY730, doctorfrog, and topper for inspiring this change.
  • The Player Home Forcefield Generator, in honor of tying for second in the seventh "worst unit" poll (seriously, it's a freebie unit, but if it floats your boat...) :
    • Now projects a grav well of 6600 radius (3 times its forcefield radius, 1600 more than the MkI Grav turret's radius) that allows a max speed of 8 (same as the MkI Grav turret).
    • Now projects tachyon coverage of 6600 radius (3 times its forcefield radius, 600 more than a MkIII Scout Starship).
    • Thanks Hearteater and Diazo for the suggestion, and to the poll participants for the feedback.
  • Previously any youngling type used in a wave would have its quantity doubled to compensate for the short lifetime. That made sense at the time but younglings have received many buffs (particularly the tiger, which is much like a bomber) since then. So the multiplier has been changed from 2 => 1.5.
    • Further balance feedback, in either direction, is quite welcome.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for reporting an... unfortunate incident involving 4 digits worth of youngling tigers.
  • Spire Shield Guard Posts (the normal ones, not the Core ones), in honor of tying for second in our first "Aim The Nerfbat (AI-Side)" poll, have had their health changed from 56M*mk => 28M*mk.
    • Galactic Sandpaper Incorporated has already filed for bankruptcy.
    • Thanks to the poll participants for the feedback.
  • Spire Stealth Battleship, in honor of tying for second in our first "Aim The Nerfbat (AI-Side)" poll:
    • Radar Dampening from 8000 => 10000.
    • Base Move Speed from 18 => 16. (for reference, a fighter's is 28, this is before a variety of other calculation steps)
    • Thanks to the poll participants for the feedback, and to TechSY730, Cyborg, and barryvm for specific suggestions in this direction.

Prerelease 5.049

(Released July 25th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug from 2 versions ago where it would starting a new game could try to seed a spire archive on an invalid planet and crash the start-game process.
    • Thanks to death2cupbots for the report leading to this discovery.

Prerelease 5.048

(Released July 24th, 2012)

  • Removed the "periodically clear the sprite pool" optimization from the last version as it was causing something very like a memory leak.
    • Thanks to amethyst, platinawolf, and Cinth for the reports and saves.

Prerelease 5.047 Archived Memory

(Released July 24th, 2012)

  • Added new slider to the Advanced tab of the Settings window: Sprite Pool Size
    • This option was mainly added to help players find some memory-crash and performance-regression problems and in general you shouldn't change it unless you know what that means.
    • Low pool sizes will keep possible memory footprint lower and help keep the pool from causing excessive memory use, but will also substantially reduce performance when there are not enough objects in the pool to handle all the things being drawn in a given frame.
    • High pool sizes have the opposite advantage/disadvantage.
    • The default of 5000 should handle most sane cases but shift-clicking around with a bunch of selected ships can pile up a bunch of lines (and thus sprites) in a hurry.
    • Thanks to Cinth, BlackCobra, vadatajs for providing reports and saves of the memory and performance problems.
  • Made the sprite pool periodically release the memory its holding (at the same times the game trims other parts of heap usage).
  • Fixed the spire-shard-reactor close-zoom sprite having an invalid height.
    • Thanks to platinawolf for the report.
  • Warheads killed by warhead interceptors no longer cause AIP-on-death.
    • Thanks fo Faulty Logic and others for suggesting/reporting.
  • Spire Archives, in honor of winning our seventh "Worst Unit" poll:
    • Now try to seed on a non-home, non-core planet adjacent to an AI core planet. So taking one doesn't mean taking or alerting a homeworld, and doesn't mean taking a core world, but does mean alerting a core world (unless you claim the archive planet with a warp jammer, at least).
    • Knowledge gain rate from 1/sec => 5/sec.
      • So to get the full 9000 knowledge takes 1800 seconds = 30 minutes; can cut that down a bit by having science ships help on the first 3000 (theoretical minimum total time of 20 minutes because the science ships can't help you on the last 6000 knowledge).
    • When their planet is exhausted of all 9000 knowledge, they automatically die without causing AIP.
    • In short: instead of being literally "during the homeworld assualts" plays for knowlegde these are a mid/late-game high-risk-for-knowledge plays, but if you pull them off (holding the planet for 20-30 minutes to get all the knowledge) you get 3 planets worth of knowledge for only one planet's worth of AIP and without a permanent possible +80 AIP hanging over your head if something slips through. If you were going to take that planet anyway, all the better.
    • Thanks to Minotaar, Faulty Logic, and others for the suggestions/votes in this direction.
  • Fixed some bugs with the Spire Archive gain-knowledge logic producing erratic display results (and not displaying how much it had gathered out of the total 9000, etc).
  • Zenith Electric Bomber is now immune to insta kill, like other low-cap fleet ships.
    • Thanks to Hearteater and others for periodically asking for this.

Prerelease 5.046 The AI Is Not Amused

(Released July 21st, 2012)

  • Planets are no longer hue-shifted when the nebulas are disabled, as that could look bad out of context.
    • Thanks to Kahuna and TechSY730 for suggesting.
  • Added a "Nebula Intensity" slider to the graphics tab of the settings window, that controls how faded-out the background nebulae are.
    • The default is about 80% of the intensity in the previous version; if you want it back there you can turn it all the way up.
    • Thanks to doctorfrog for the suggestion.
  • Added a memory optimization to the aggregate-targeting system to only initialize the data structures as it needs them rather than all up front. This may cause some slowdown when fighting on a planet for the first time or with a bunch of new ship types at once, etc, but in general that shouldn't be too bad and will "work itself out" during the early phase of a battle.
    • Memory had been pretty ok, but every time we add new ship types that's more memory footprint all around so it was good to counterbalance that a bit.
    • Thanks to Cinth for reporting recent out of memory exceptions. Not that playing 16-Homeworld games on a 120-planet map is going to be able to always avoid those, but we'll see.

High (and not so high) Difficulty Rebalance, Round 2 (Subtitle: the AI Launches A Wave)

  • People are still beating up on the 10/10 AI (even in non-superweapon cases) and it's getting kind of annoyed, so:
  • Data Center AIP-reduction-on-death is now reduced by 25% on Diff 8+, and by 50% on Diff 9+ (so 15 and 10, respectively). If the two AIs are different difficulties, the higher is used in this case (tried using the difficulty of the AI player that owns the data center but that leads to some display inaccuracy problems as the game is pretty used to units not having stats that vary between players).
    • Along with this, Took out the change that reduced the number of Data Centers seeded on Diff 9+ (as pointed out, this did reduce total AIP reduction available but also reduced the challenge of getting it).
    • Thanks to Hearteater for suggesting this approach.
  • Net AIP reduction for killing all the coprocessors is now reduced by 25% on Diff 8+ and by 50% on Diff 9+ (so 45 and 30, respectively; that's 105 and 90 total reduction but killing all the coprocessors costs +60 AIP). If the two AIs are different difficulties, the higher is used in this case.
  • AIP floor no longer has a cap of 300 (not that this should impact games where you were caring about AIP anyway, that requires really high total AIP to reach).
  • AIP floor was previously total-AIP-gained / 5. Under Diff 8 that's still true. Now on Diff 8+ it is TotalAIP / 4, and on Diff 9+ it is TotalAIP / 3. If the two AIs are different difficulties, the higher is used in this case.
    • This effectively reduces the return on superterminal hacking since it does +1 and -2 AIP per trigger.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for inspiring this change.
  • AIP floor minimum is now 10 instead of 1.
    • Thanks to rabican for the suggestion.
  • The schizo wave modifier now only causes waves to be mixed 75% of the time. The other 25% of waves will be normal.
    • Thanks to Wanderer and other players for feedback that schizo all-the-time is actually somewhat easier than games with the occasional all-bombers wave. Can't have that!
  • Previously it was very easy to keep an AI from ever reinforcing its homeworld until the very end during the assault upon it. This is generally desirable as part of the game is not stirring up that hornets nest until you've got the extermination squad in position. But the complete lack of reinforcements there may be letting that end-challenge get a little too tame against careful players. So now there's a 0.25%/0.50%/1% chance on Diffs 7+/8+/9+ (respectively) of a homeworld receiving high reinforcement priority per reinforcement pulse.
    • Let us know if this results in excessive hilarity. The reinforcement logs (if enabled) will record when it happens.
  • Buffed reinforcements a bit in general. Judging by CPA size and other indicators since the major rework of reinforcements this has been lower than it was by a significant margin.
  • When an AI gets 2 "brutal" picks for its homeworld (only happens on high difficulty), it now cannot pick 2 AI Eyes, since that's too nice.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic for reporting a case where this happened.

Core Guard Post Rebalance, Round 1

  • Did a balance pass on most of the core guard posts.
    • This is going to hurt.
    • Many things have been suggested to help bring the "multi-part boss battle" theme out better, but this at least brings the math into a more reasonable range for now.
  • Previously there was a fair bit of variance in how many core guard posts would go on a homeworld, and there tended to be quite a few (like 15 on Diff 10). Now it will always try for 8 (including the 0-2 "brutal" picks).
  • All Core Guard Posts:
    • Base Energy Cost from 500 => 10000 (doesn't matter except for IRE fire).
  • Core Heavy Beam Guard Post:
    • Total base attack power (this is divided amongst all its beams) from 8M => 4M.
    • Multiplier vs Swarmer from 4 => 3.
    • Multiplier vs Refractive from 3.5 => 3.
    • Multiplier vs UltraLight from 3.25 => 3.
    • Multiplier vs Medium from 2.5 => 3.
    • Multiplier vs Heavy from 1.75 => 3.
  • Core Electric Guard Post:
    • Basically balancing this against a cap of theoretical-mark-V electric shuttles, but still only about half that power with less than a quarter of the health.
    • Can now hit a maximum of 200 units per shot
      • This is the same mechanic as the electric shuttle and it can multi-hit targets up to 5 times each if hits are left over from the first pass. So it gets more-or-less optimal DPS as long as 40 ships are in range.
    • Base Health from 6M => 12M.
    • Multiplier vs Artillery from 4 => 1.
    • Multiplier vs Neutron from 2 => 1.
    • Seconds Per Salvo from 13 => 20.
    • Damage Per Shot from 3k => 50k.
    • Base Attack Range from 13k => 8k.
  • Core Missile Guard Post:
    • Basically balancing this against a cap of MkV missile frigates, but with way less durability.
    • Base Health from 6M => 18M.
    • Multiplier vs UltraLight from 8 => 4.
    • Multiplier vs Medium from 6 => 1.
    • Multiplier vs Light from 1 => 4.
    • Multiplier vs Swarmer from 1 => 4.
    • Multiplier vs Neutron from 1 => 4.
    • Multiplier vs Composite from 1 => 4.
    • Multiplier vs Refractive from 1 => 4.
    • Effective Attack Range from 36000 => 12000.
    • Seconds Per Salvo from 5 => 1.
    • Damage Per Shot from 80k => 200k.
  • Core Sentinel Guard Post:
    • Basically balancing this against a cap of MkV Zenith Beam Frigates, but with maybe half the power and way less durability.
    • Can now hit a maximum of 20 targets per shot.
      • Using the same mechanic as the Zenith Beam Frigate: the line attack does full damage to each target hit, but gets no compensation for not hitting the full number of targets.
    • Base Health from 3M => 18M.
    • Damage Per Shot from 4k => 100k.
    • Effective Attack Range from 9000 => 8000.
    • Multiplier vs Light from 16 => 1.
    • Multiplier vs Swarmer from 8 => 1.
    • Multiplier vs Neutron from 4 => 1.
  • Core Leech Guard Post:
    • Basically balancing this against a cap of MkV Parasites, but with way less durability.
      • Interestingly, the attack power was basically already spot-on.
    • Base Health from 6M => 12M.
    • Multiplier vs Medium from 3 => 4.
    • Multiplier vs Neutron from 1 => 4.
    • Effective Attack Range from 5000 => 6000 (slightly further out than its radar dampening range).
  • Core Zenith Bombard Guard Post:
    • Basically balancing this against a cap of MkV Zenith Bombards, but with way less durability and about half the attack power.
    • Base Health from 6M => 12M.
    • Damage Per Shot from 60k => 900k.
    • Effective Attack Range from 53k => 34k.
    • Multiplier vs Heavy from 1.75 => 2.
    • Multiplier vs UltraHeavy from 1 => 2.
    • Multiplier vs Structural from 1 => 2.
    • Multiplier vs Swarmer from 4 => 1.
    • Multiplier vs Refractive from 3.5 => 1.
    • Multiplier vs UltraLight from 3.25 => 1.
    • Multiplier vs Medium from 2.5 => 1.
  • Core Zenith Fortress Guard Post:
    • Was going to balance this against a cap of MkV Fighters (but without the hull-type-bonuses), but with way less durability and maybe 1/2 to 2/3rds the attack power... but it's actually already there.
    • Shot type from (default? it doesn't appear to be set?) => Flamewave.
  • Core Spire Shield Guard Post:
    • Base Health from 392M => 200M.
  • Core Neinzul Melee Guard Post:
    • Basically balancing this against a theoretical cap of MkV cutlasses, but with way less durability.
    • Base Health from 6M => 36M (it's a self-damaging melee unit, it needs it).
    • Base Move Speed from 30 => 44.
    • Damage Per Hit from 106k => 300k.
    • Multiplier vs Neutron from 3 => 4.
    • Multiplier vs Light from 3 => 4.
    • Multiplier vs Scout from 2 => 1.
    • Multiplier vs Composite from 1 => 4.
  • Core Booster Guard Post:
    • Base Health from 6M => 18M.
    • Munitions Boost and Armor Boost range from 8k => 16k.
    • Intentionally leaving the attack alone here: that's not really the point of the unit.
  • Thanks to Hearteater and many other players for their thoughts on making core guard posts more interesting; they will probably need more than this but it's a start.

Prerelease 5.045 It's Full Of Something Other Than Stars!

(Released July 19th, 2012)

  • An all-new, much higher-quality starfield/nebulae background effect is now drawn behind planets. These are vastly more varied and interesting, and require a similar amount of CPU/GPU processing to render as the old ones did.
    • Thanks to Eldon Harris for creating the nebulae effects used.
  • The game no longer scrolls the nebulae at the start of the game, instead giving you a really good static look at a really interesting nebulae background.
  • A completely new method for rendering the planets has been put in place, and they are now more a part of the background starfield/nebula than anything else.
    • As part of this, 14 of the pre-existing planets have been kept although scaled down, and 40 new planet graphics by Eldon Harris have been added to the game. It makes quite a difference when combined with the new nebulae!
  • Updated the description of the Counter Dark Matter Turrets to be more clear about how they actually work.
    • Thanks to doctorfrog for reporting this one.
  • Unlike in AVWW, the game now returns to precalculating its materials rather than pooling them, since this may have been adversely affecting performance in recent versions.

Prerelease 5.044

(Released July 19th, 2012)

  • Fixed the close-zoom image for the AI Core Neinzul Spawner Guard Post having a height that wasn't a power of 2.
    • This would only impacted you if you were all the way zoomed in on one of these, and would have led to it looking stretched or (on older graphics card) looking gibberish-like.
    • But in the recent backporting we added some extra sanity checks that catch this when the player tries to look at it.
    • Thanks to Fleet for the report.
  • Removed the usage of Graphics.DrawMesh (which helped performance in AVWW, but seemed to harm performance in AI War for some people) in favor of Graphics.DrawMeshNow (which is what we've been using in AI War up until the last couple of releases). If you were seeing performance problems in the last few versions, please let us know if you continue to do so.
  • Made a minor improvement to the Spirecraft Ion Blaster's behavior: in FRD it's now much better about going after stuff that's outside of its range (previously it was only really doing that while it was reloading). The improvement is "minor" in that there are still problems with its behavior (dancing back and forth during FRD with valid targets it could be chasing, after it fires, etc) but we needed to get the attempt at fixing the recent performance problems out in a hotfix asap.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for reporting the "not chasing in FRD" problem.

Prerelease 5.043 A Dubious Honor

(Released July 18th, 2012)

  • In honor of it winning the latest worst-unit poll, Zenith Reserves:
    • AIP cost on death from 5*mk => 1*mk.
    • Amount of ships granted increased roughly 33%.
    • Thanks to many players for telling us for months how the AIP cost made these not much of a choice in harder scenarios, and to the voters in general.
  • In honor of coming in second in the most recent worst-unit poll, the Decloaker:
    • In general, moving this from a mobile tachyon unit with outdated stats to a mobile tachyon unit with roughly mkI-starship stats.
      • Note the tachyon range of 20k was already huge, no buff seemed necessary there.
      • Also note that it isn't really a starship from the perspective of starship disassemblers, etc, it's just beefed up because it has a ship cap of 4.
    • No longer has the IsBlind flag.
    • Now has cloaking.
    • Base Damage-per-shot from 36k => 50k.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 10 => 2.
    • Effective Attack Range from 18k => 8k (the only reason they had such a long range was that we hadn't revisited this one since the last major range changes).
    • Base Health from 40k => 2M (again, in the general range of mkI starships).
    • Base Energy Use from 100 => 1000.
    • Base Metal Cost from 5000 => 10000.
    • Base Crystal Cost from 7500 => 20000.
    • Now has most common-to-starship immunities.
    • Thanks to players who voted on the worst-unit poll and provided their feedback.
  • Captive Human Settlement, in honor of coming in third in the "worst unit" poll: AIP-on-death from 100 => 15.
    • As was understood in the discussion in the nomination/poll threads, these are supposed to be a "penalty" unit, but players had a very good point that 100 AIP was just gameshattering for something like that (rebel colonies have the same AIP-on-death, for instance).
    • Thanks to players who voted on the worst-unit poll and provided their feedback.
  • Spire Armor Rotter, in honor of coming in fourth in the latest "worst unit" poll:
    • The general idea is to make these pretty good combat ships in their own right, at least until armor matters more in the general case and armor rot thus means more.
    • Base Health from 14,500*mk => 23k*mk (this gives them a similar cap-health as fighters).
    • Multiplier vs UltraHeavy from 2 => 3.
    • Multiplier vs Heavy from 2 => 3.
    • Multiplier vs Polycrystal from 1 => 3.
    • Thanks to players who voted on the worst-unit poll and provided their feedback.
  • Microparasite, because it (like other experimentals we need to get back to) had really outdated stats:
    • In general, rebalancing these to be something like the MkV Parasite while maintaining their distinguishing characteristics (like having twice the cap and firing 4 times as fast).
    • Metal Cost from 1800 => 1400.
    • Crystal Cost from 240 => 3400.
    • Base Health from 7200 => 36k.
    • Base Armor Rating from 500 => 1500.
    • Base Damage-per-shot from 8000 => 2000.
      • Previously they had 6.4x the dps of a mkV parasite, even though they were considered mkIII! This is still 1.6x the dps of a mkV parasite.
    • Base Armor Piercing from 0 => 3000.
    • Effective Attack Range from 4600 => 6000.
    • Multiplier vs Polycrystal from 20 => 4.
    • Multiplier vs Artillery from 1 => 4.
  • Special Forces Guard Posts no longer count as reinforcement-warp-gates and are no longer autotargeted (by player or player-ally-minor-faction ships).
    • They still get reinforcements when their planet is reinforced, and those reinforcements use the special forces behavior, but they can no longer make a planet eligible for reinforcement all by themselves.
    • This removes the "cheese" that was possible by keeping them alive to trick the AI into reinforcing a planet with nothing but a special forces guard post on it (generally a waste).
    • With the cheese gone, there's no longer a need to make it hard to keep these alive, so the autotargeting could go away.
    • Which in turn removes the annoyance of getting +1 AIP from actions over which you did not have direct control (particularly with minor faction allies).
    • We may do something more clever with the special forces ships themselves in the future, we'll see. In the meantime these two changes seem to be a net improvement.
    • Thanks to Faulty Logic, Wanderer, rabican and others for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where Decloakers in waves (only possible by having 1 wave-sending AI and 1 support-corps AI) were not having their ship cap multiplier applied and thus were appearing in vastly larger numbers than they should have been. Wasn't a big deal before, but would have been devestating with their new stats.
    • Thanks to rabican for the preemptive report and wave-calc logs uncovering the decloaker plot to conquer the galaxy before it could be set in motion.
  • Adjusted the last version's addition of radar dampening to mkII+ basic, laser, mlrs, and HBC turrets:
    • MkII's from Attack Range - 1000 => Attack Range - 2500.
    • MkIII+'s from Attack Range - 1000 => Attack Range - 4000.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for showing how the previous values did not accomplish the stated goal of preventing wormhole-exit-alpha-strike by waves on those kinds of turrets.
  • Fixed some missing-loca errors in the previous version.
  • The Zenith Trader has finally yielded to the threat of sanctions and now only sells no-AIP-on-death versions of structures to the AI. The toys will still annoy you when the AI gets them (indeed, a new toy has been added to the AI-only list to maintain annoyance equilibrium) but the Trader will no longer be an indirect source of AIP.
    • Note that this will not affect stuff the AI has already bought off the trader.
    • Thanks to Wanderer and others for periodically reminding us that this was putting a cramp on their desire to include the trader, particularly in harder scenarios.

Prerelease 5.042 Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain

(Released July 17th, 2012)

  • The textbox improvements from AVWW have been backported to AI War.
    • Note that since we can't backport the entire AVWW GUI at this time (AI War has some controls that are simply not compatible with the AVWW-style GUI at the moment), there may still be some wonkiness with the textboxes in some cases. If you see any that are reproducible, please do let us know.
    • However, in the most-annoying-cases of things like the chat box losing focus, the hope is that these changes have fixed that issue. Knock on wood!
  • Backported the ability to do hue shifts via shader from AVWW.
  • Backported an enormous amount of the new render pipeline from AVWW; this doesn't involve much of the sorting that AVWW was doing, because AI War already had its own highly-evolved and engine-appropriate way of doing its graphical sorting.
    • However, this does decouple most of the graphics from the main CPU processing such that if your GPU is having trouble keeping up, it will impact the speed of gametime much less or not at all.
    • Additionally, as we saw with AVWW, we're now making more efficient use of GPU time in general by parallelizing some of that work, which leads to various gains (not really higher framerates here, but less likely of a drop in framerate and more flexibility about what target framerate you select, since that's something that can be manually set in this game).
  • Neinzul enclave drones are now immune to reclamation.
    • Thanks to Tssbackus for reporting oddities when the AI reclaimed drones.
  • Made the clamp/repeat status of images explicit rather than implicit inside the code, which lets us do a number of new visual effects when needed.
    • The immediate effect is that the various beams (repair, cloaking, etc) now have a slightly higher fidelity to themselves.
  • Non-square images are now supported by the game (more backporting from AVWW).
  • Sprite dictionaries are now supported by the game (again more backporting from AVWW).
  • All of the explosion effects in the game now use sprite dictionaries, which makes the initial game load quite a bit faster as it has to load 140ish fewer files (though the amount of data is roughly the same, it's still faster).
  • Backported the draw order sorting from AVWW after all. This should help with the performance of lots of shots, lines, forcefields, or similar being on the screen at the same time. Or far zoom icons for ships, for that matter. It won't help for the ships themselves when you are very zoomed in, but that's comparably rarer.
  • Fixed a bug in the new energy model where if you had zero home command stations (even in MP, where losing your home command isn't game-over) the energy collectors would produce 15k energy instead of 150k.
    • Thanks to Kalias for the report.
  • Invincible modules now don't show some of the irrelevant data about them (health, armor, certain immunities, etc).
  • Fixed bugs where several of the seeding frequencies of some things were based off the total number of "planets" in the game, including black holes and some other stuff that is solely tracked for the purpose of where-not-to-put-planets-or-links-in-mapgen and display on the galaxy map. Some map types don't even have those cosmetic bits, making them somewhat different from those that did.
    • This included special forces guard posts, astro train stations, and AI Eyes.
  • Added "Reserved" slot type in the lobby; just makes it so that that player is in the game at the start even if there's no human to fill the spot. Doesn't really do anything right now, though possibly it would allow creating singleplayer Multi-HW games that play like normal MP games, but the other player names would probably be "???".
  • Fixed a bug in the last version where right-clicking the units-to-place button in the line-place context menu would close the menu instead of reducing the amount of units-to-place.
    • Thanks to vadatajs and Eternaly_Lost for reporting.
  • Fixed some missing-loca bugs with the parts of the view-controls window pertaining to the line place context menu.
  • Shield Bearers (the normal ones; this was already true of the spirecraft ones) are now immune to insta-kill.
    • Thanks to Varone for the suggestion.
  • All non-shield modules are now immune to armor boosting (they're invincible, it'd be a waste).
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report.
  • AI Carriers:
    • Effective range from 6000 => 3000.
    • Base Health from 3M*mk => 2M*mk.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for inspiring these changes.
  • MkII+ Basic, Laser, MLRS, and Heavy Beam Cannon turrets now have radar dampening equal to their range minus 1000 to prevent them being inevitably alpha-striked by really substantial waves.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for inspiring these changes.

Prerelease 5.041

(Released July 11th, 2012)

  • Added "Line Place" context menu option for when you open the context menu (defaults to alt+right-click) while you have the build menu open and an item selected for direct placement.
    • From the line-place menu instructions:
      • Step 1: Click where you want one end of the line segment to be. This line segment doesn't actually set the final location of anything, Instead it tells the game the length and angle of the segment.
      • Step 2: Click where you want the other end of the line segment to be.
      • Step 3: Specify the maximum number of units you want to place below (left click the number to increase, right click to decrease, and the usual keys for multiplying by 5, 10, or 50), pick whether you want a packed line (good for mines), and then left-click where you want to place the units.
    • The main use case in mind for this was efficient use of mines, but can also be helpful for many defensive emplacements, or simply for aesthetic appeal. The interface could be cleaner but this is what we had time for right now.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for inspiring this addition.

Prerelease 5.040 Reenergized

(Released July 10th, 2012)

  • AI Guardians energy cost from 500*mk => 1250*mk; this is basically irrelevant (AI players don't have an energy model, really), but does help Impulse Reaction Emitters hurt them, giving the IRE another situation in which they are useful that isn't dependent on superweapons or something like that being enabled.
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the suggestion
  • Added some extra logging on the calculation of wave-time-intervals (when advanced logging is enabled).
  • Fixed a moderately longstanding bug where if while starting a new game you select a planet as a homeworld, then deselect it (in favor of some other homeworld(s) ) before actually starting the game, and that planet happens to have the superterminal on it, the superterminal would start the game in "active mode". Needless to say, that would be a short game.
    • Thanks to Mick for the report and save.
  • Forcefield-protection no longer prevents a cloaked unit from being revealed by tachyon beams.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for pointing out that this was happening, and wasn't much fun if the cloaked unit in question was a guard post.
  • Grenade Launcher grenade explosion radius from 200/300/400/500/600 => flat 500.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for pointing out that at 200 the MkI was frequently not hitting max targets even when fired into a relatively dense group.
  • Flak grenade (from guardians and turrets) radius from 300/350/400/450/500 => flat 500.

Energy System Rework

  • The motivation here:
    • The previous energy system was settled on after a series of different models were tried, and has been around for over 2 years, and has served pretty well.
    • But there were a number of problems pointed out by players over the years, the most bothersome being:
      • There's significant motive to maintain as close-to-zero positive net energy balance because energy costs metal+crystal per second and a positive net energy balance provides no real benefit.
        • A positive balance did protect against having your forcefields shut off in case of losing a reactor, but that could be easily protected against by a big pile of low-powered reactors that you can bring up as needed; or you can go low-power a hundred spider turrets, or whatever.
      • And maintaining that low-wasted-energy state involved _tons_ of micro. A couple of "automated energy hamster" hotkeys were added to greatly reduce that micro (by making the "low-power least efficient 'on' reactor" and "power-on most efficient 'off' reactor" operations a single keystroke instead of minutes of scrolling and clicking), but that was really just a bandaid.
    • Many people have requested automated energy management as a solution to all this, but whenever the game is simulating something that it then turns around and plays optimally without your involvement... that means something is wrong. In this genre, anyhow.
    • Thanks to Cyborg and other players for making this point, and being patient as we tried to find a better model.
  • The overall result is that the energy/econ game should actually be easier, unless you were relying on low-efficiency reactors or low-powering tons of stuff to make ends meet. In those cases it shouldn't be much harder.
    • But please let us know if the new model really messes you up in some way, or if you have other feedback. It's not like this model can't be changed, it just seemed a definite step in the right direction from where we were.
    • If you're curious about the comparison math, check out this post: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,11031.msg110117.html#msg110117
    • Anyway, on to the specific changes:
  • Removed the Energy Reactors (all of them, MkI, MkII, MkIII).
  • Added the "Energy Collector", which is like the energy reactors were except:
    • Produces 150,000 energy.
      • For reference, in the previous model an EnergyI+EnergyII+EnergyIII produced 125,000.
    • No ongoing m+c cost.
      • For reference, in the previous model an EnergyI+EnergyII+EnergyIII cost 57m+57c per second to run.
    • Can only build one per planet per player.
    • Output scales up with that player's number of homeworlds (to scale up for the extra stuff multi-HW players can build, similar to how reactors used to do it but without spamming lots of them).
    • Cannot be low-powered (there'd be no point).
  • Added the "Matter Converter", which is like the energy reactors were except:
    • Produces 50,000 energy.
    • Costs 100m+100c per second to run.
    • No construction cap, and also no efficiency penalty for stacking.
      • Yes, this does mean that for now it's best to just pile these all up in a defensible place (much like manufactories); that will probably change in the future but probably not through an efficiency penalty.
    • Cannot be low-powered, since the main point of this rework is to avoid "player-time-tax" micro.
      • This can still result in mid-battle micro if you just lost a collector or whatever and need to build another converter, but that's real in-game costs at a critical moment rather than the only difference between optimal and sloppy play being how much wall-clock-time you personally want to spend "making change for a dollar" throughout the game.
    • In general, these are very inefficient compared to the old reactors, but more efficient than deeply-stacked low-efficiency reactors. The idea is that the collectors replace the output you used to get from normal-efficiency reactors, and the converters fill the role of the low-efficiency reactor piles.
  • Putting units in low-power mode now no longer reduces their energy use.
    • Again: removing the motive to micro stuff for energy purposes is one of the driving motivations here.
    • Renamed "Low Power mode" to "Stand Down mode", since it's no longer for the purpose of reducing energy.
    • The mechanic for reducing energy use in stand-down mode is still there, just unused. It may be used for golems or stuff like that later, we'll see.
  • Removed energy costs from Human Home Settlement and Cryogenic Pod structures, since you can't low-power the settlements anymore (and 8000e a pop isn't much fun in a tight early-game situation).
  • Removed the auto-build-energy-reactors controls, and added toggles at the galaxy-level and planet-level for autobuilding collectors, and sliders at the galaxy-level and planet-level for autobuilding converters.
  • Added new slider to galaxy-wide per-player-controls screen: Energy Buffer To Maintain
    • If this is set above zero, the game will try to maintain that amount of "buffer" energy above zero. A few examples:
      • Docks will not build ships that would take you below the buffer amount.
      • Ships will not be reclaimed if it would take you below the buffer amount.
      • Broken Golems will not be activated if it would take you below the buffer amount.
    • This can be restrictive, but it can also help if you're deliberately trying to keep all your defenses operational in the event of the AI destroying one or more of your energy producing units.
    • Note that this will not stop you from scrapping energy producing units (however low that may take your net energy), so be careful.
      • This is because going negative energy never stopped scrapping before, so that part wasn't changed.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for the suggestion.
  • When upgrading saves from 5.039 and earlier:
    • For all EnergyI, EnergyII, and EnergyIII units:
      • If that player already has an Energy Collector on that planet, the reactor is replaced by a Matter Converter.
      • Otherwise, the reactor is replaced by an Energy Collector.
    • After that, while the player has > 60,000 spare energy and any remaining Matter Converters:
      • Scrap a Matter Converter on the planet with the most remaining Matter Converters controlled by that player.
    • The result should be that:
      • If you had a positive energy balance before this version, you will have a positive energy balance when you load the save in 5.040+.
      • It won't give you a lot of Matter Converters you don't need.
      • You'll still want to look at your energy situation and make adjustments for the new model. Particularly if this version-upgrade logic somehow messes up in your case ;)
  • The automated energy hamsters have taken off without giving notice, but we suspect they're on vacation in Bermuda.
  • In case you were wondering, all the tooltips and relevant tutorial components have been updated for the new model, but please let us know if we missed something.
  • Thanks to many, many players over the years for weighing in with feedback on the energy model. Keep it up, we know this one isn't perfect either ;) Particularly:
    • Cyborg, for originally getting through to us that the old model was no more challenging than "making change for a dollar", and a lot more time-consuming.
    • Hearteater, for proposing multiple alternate models (including the one that inspired the one we ultimately went with above).
    • chemical_art, Diazo, Wingflier, Wanderer, TechSY730 for lots of participation in the discussions/debates/etc.
    • And many others I'm sure I'm forgetting; the forum search engine appears to have forgotten about the relevant threads to avoid further trauma.

Prerelease 5.039

(Released July 8th, 2012)

  • Remains Rebuilders no longer require supply, to make rebuilding a "satellite" planet at least possible.
    • If this makes some wild exploits possible please let us know, but since most of the stuff that can be rebuilt requires supply anyway...
    • Thanks to Wanderer for pointing out the tension between these requiring supply and the newly added rebuildable-ness of command stations.
  • Fixed a bug where neinzul drones (which cannot go through wormholes) could inherit a go-through-wormhole order from the enclave starship building them, and would actually go through the wormhole.
    • Now they'll generally _move_ to a point near the target wormhole, but they won't try to traverse the wormhole itself.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report.
  • Fixed a longstanding omission preventing low-power ships under a forcefield protecting a passive guard post (and perhaps other guard posts) from coming out of low-power when the forcefield/post/guards were attacked.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report and save.
  • Fixed the colony ship tooltip which was still saying it had to be near the target construction point, and also amended its hint about replacing existing command station to reflect recent changes.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where beam and warbird starships were still in the "Starship mk III" buy-group for the AI; they're now in the mkV group where they're actually balanced to be now.
    • Thanks to zharmad and TechSY730 for the report.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the "prevent construction of new command station by a different player than the current controller of the planet" rule was preventing gifting of command stations.
    • Thanks to iob for the report.

Prerelease 5.038 If You Rebuild It They Will Come

(Released July 7th, 2012)

  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the AI fortresses in the tutorial were the mkIII _human_ versions, not the AI versions.
  • Human Fortresses now drop remains and can be rebuilt (and due to the 50% discount on a rebuild vs. a fresh build it's more than just a convenience).
    • Note that this does not impact AI fortresses at all.
    • Thanks to chemical_art and many other players for the suggestion.
  • Human Forcefield generators (including hardened ones) now drop remains and can be rebuilt.
    • Note that the normal under-construction-forcefield-generator restrictions still apply; namely that it cannot receive construction assistance if it is close to another forcefield that has recently taken damage (this was added a few months ago to prevent forcefield+engie stacks that were effectively immortal).
    • Still, the fact that the rebuild starts at 50% instead of 0% (and is automatic if there are remains rebuilders nearby, as opposed to requiring player intervention) is a buff.
    • Also note that this does not apply to the "player home forcefield generator" that starts next to each human home command station: those are supposed to be irreplaceable.
    • Thanks to chemical_art and other players for the suggestion.
  • Human command stations (other than the home command station) now drop remains and can be rebuilt.
    • Also removed the rule where colony ships and mobile builders on the planet (or in a transport on the planet) when a human command station dies also die.
    • That rule (and the lack of rebuildable command stations) was there to prevent exploits based around very rapidly rebuilding command stations. It could often tie up AI attack forces much longer than would normally be possible, etc.
    • However, one of the most unnecessarily-micro-intensive operations in the game was rebuilding lost planets because you have to build a colony ship, select it, give it a move order to the lost planet, switch to that planet, select the colony ship, select the command station type you want, and place it. Way more player interaction than should be necessary for "rebuild what was there". But we couldn't make it a lot easier without making those exploits possible again.
    • So, to replace the previous exploit-prevention, now when a non-home human command station dies then it "stalls" the construction of any human command station on that planet for 4 minutes (1 minute if the station that died was a military station); during that time a new station can be placed or the previous one's remains rez'd by a remains rebuilder, but the resulting under-construction station will not actually make any progress on construction until the stalling timer has expired.
      • Note that all ways of removing a human station will trigger this timer: being destroyed by enemy fire, being scrapped, and being replaced by another human command station. The latter is something of an inconvenience but the thought is that it is far less than the convenience gained by being able to automatically rebuild command stations. If this is wrong, let us know :)
    • Thanks to buttons840 and many other players for pointing out how much micro this could be.
  • Fixed a bug where remains-dropping-units destroyed by the forcefield-cascade-splash-damage from a siege plasma shot would not drop remains.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report.
  • Fixed a bug in the last couple versions where the detect-loss-of-focus-windowed-mode (on windows) logic was causing the game to stop rendering a lot of stuff just because the window didn't have focus, though the window could actually still be visible.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for the report.
  • Fixed several bugs in the rule that changed possible wave time based on number of entry points, and added info on that computation to the wave logging logic.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for the report that led to this discovery.

Prerelease 5.037

(Released July 7th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the last version where the new neinzul drones were not being selection-filtered the same way as most mobile military ships (it was because they can't go through wormholes, incidentally).
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report.
  • Now when a unit is actively making progress on a build queue it loses the ability to be cloaked until 2 seconds after the last build queue activity.
    • Notably, this prevents neinzul enclave starships from spamming a planet with drones (and whatever else) with impunity. Can still FRD built non-drones through a wormhole to a target planet, though, and that's fine.
    • Also this will break the cloak on modular ships that are building new modules, but since modules mostly can't die in combat anymore (except shield modules) and their internal build queue is disabled while they're in low-power mode, and if they're not in low-power mode and they're on an enemy planet they've probably lost cloak due to shooting at something... all told, shouldn't be a big change for them.
    • Thanks to RogueThunder and others for (reluctantly) notifying us of how exploitative this was.
  • Fixed a typo in wave size calculation logging.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report.
  • Fixed a bug in the last version where the laser turret upgrades could show the stats on laser drones instead of... laser turrets. Similar for other turret techs that also unlock drones.
    • Thanks to Minotaar and Wanderer for the report.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where a unit could both be reclaimed and regenerated, which would sometimes lead to an AI unit being reclaimed, zombified, and warped off somewhere deep in AI territory. Not great for threat management.
    • Fixed a related bug where a unit that had swallowed other units or was tractoring other units would take them with them when regenerated. Now those units simply cannot be regenerated unless they have no such "load".
    • Thanks to HTL2001 and TechSY730 for the reports.
  • Further improved the maw swallow-target logic to not get stuck on invalid targets (like if it's shooting at a starship, etc, it will now try to swallow valid targets on its target list).
    • Fixed a related bug where maws could try to swallow-target a starship (which it cannot swallow).
    • Thanks to Wanderer for reporting that they were still getting stuck.
  • Nuanced the new wave-time-calculation rule added in the last version such that it is not in effect at the very beginning, and gradually phases in so that it is fully in effect at the two-hour mark. So at the 30 minute mark it has about 25% impact, giving you a chance to expand the number of "entry points" before the AI starts throwing max time waves at you automatically.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for reporting a test game where this rule rather... decisively concluded the game early.
  • Carriers now display "x(Variable, see below)" next to their attack power to make clearer that their salvo size varies (by the number of contained ships).
    • Thanks to Wanderer for the suggestion.
  • Carrier hull type from Scout => Ultra-Heavy.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for inspiring this change.

Prerelease 5.036 The Wandering AI

(Released July 3rd, 2012)

  • Vampire claws are now immune to being camouflaged by the Camouflager AI Type because the combination of melee and cloaking didn't work very well there (could wind up with non-decloakable enemy vampire claws just sitting on your planet for a long time).
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the report and save.
  • Made Maws try to vacuum their shoot-at target if for some reason vacuuming their "assist" target failed.
    • Thanks to Wanderer and Eternaly_Lost for providing saves where Maws had lockjaw.
  • Amended the reinforcement logging to better reflect the impact of alert on the order that planets are checked for reinforcement.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for pointing out that what it was saying was not what was happening.
  • Fixed a bug where when the AI picked engineers or remains-rebuilders for reinforcements, it was "spending" too much on them.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for submitting the log that showed this.
  • Fixed a fairly longstanding bug where player ships would not autotarget an AI ship that was under a (non-module) forcefield and guarding something because that ship had not set its "angry" flag (to avoid leaving the protection of the forcefield). Now it considers the ship eligible for shooting if either it or its guard post has been angered recently.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for the report and save of player Spire Blades having this problem.
  • Core CPA Guard Posts now start a timer-for-CPA instead of instantly triggering a CPA.
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the suggestion.
  • Core CPA Guard Posts now trigger in response to >= 1 enemy human military ship being present, rather than > 1.
    • So that Artillery Golem won't get by on the ol' "But I'm just *one* ship!" excuse anymore.
  • Since the recent mine rebalance it's become apparent that the EMPs were made a bit too strong, and the Area mines hadn't been given enough to justify the 4k Knowledge cost.
    • EMP mines:
      • Health halved, which halves the number of times a single one will go off before needing to be rebuilt.
      • Knowledge cost from 1500 => 1000.
    • Area mines:
      • Knowledge cost from 4000 => 2000.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for inspiring these changes.
  • Spire Maw vacuum-recharge-seconds from 2 => 5/4/3/2/1.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for the suggestion.
  • Knowledge Hacker and Ship Design Hacker collision priority set to 890 (below only stationary objects, standard/hardened forcefield generators, command stations, command station cores, and rally posts).
    • Thanks to Wanderer for pointing out that trying to cover these with Riot starship forcefields could lead to a Riot displacing the hacker and resetting the timer.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where an Ion Cannon killing a warhead would cause it to not properly detonate as if it had been killed by a Warhead Interceptor.
    • Thanks to Wingflier for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where the AI would not attack armored warheads (due to a "very low priority target" flag on those unit definitions).
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report and save.
  • The rest of the "official" lobby setup scripts have been updated to use the new grammar.
  • Fixed a bug with the do-not-auto-pause-on-lost-focus toggle where the lost-focus logic was still suppressing basically all game logic even though it wasn't entering a formally paused state.
    • Thanks to amethyst for the report.
  • Put in an experimental method of detecting that the game has lost focus in windowed mode (our recent solution for this only works in fullscreen mode). Once loss-of-focus is detected, the existing logic for that state will apply (not scrolling, resetting input afterward to clear stuck keys, autopausing unless the no-autopause toggle is on).
    • For now it only works on Windows (the new method is not even tried on Mac), sorry about that, but if this works out we can probably get something similar to work on Mac too.
  • Previously Core CPA Guard Post spawns were scaling with Floor(AIP/50) instead of actually AIP/50 due to the data type used to store the result; now that part does not get floored, allowing a more granular factoring-in of AIP.
  • Spirecraft Shieldbearers:
    • Can now be put in low power mode (shutting off their projected shield).
    • Now their projected shield no longer shrinks as the shieldbearer loses health.
      • Something more like shrinking-to-90% had been considered, but that would still have resulted in stacks of them getting whittled down all at once (while still taking up ship cap) rather than dying one at a time while leaving the remaining ones at high health (depending on how they were stacked).
    • Now have AI-only variants that can be chosen for exos.
      • To make them actually work with exos, this variant actually has normal guns. They're only moderately powerful (about 1/4 as much DPS as a same-mark siege tower), but they avoid the logical problems the gunless ones had in exos.
      • These still have the shrink-when-damaged behavior, to make them a bit easier to handle.
      • Adding shieldbearers may make exos significantly harder, but that may not be a bad thing. Let us know if you find it particularly fun or unfun; adjustments can be made.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 and others for inspiring these changes.

Rebalancing High (and-not-so-high) Difficulties

  • Since the many changes to high-difficulty wave calculations a few months ago the 9+ difficulty range has gotten a fair bit of play and generally looks easier than it has been. And just recently the game was beaten fair-and-square on 10/10. In response to that bug:
    • A Diff 9+ player will seed 1 less data center than normal (but no fewer than 1 if it would have seeded any).
    • On Diff 8+ the first step of the wave size formula has been changed from:
      • ( AIProgress * AIDifficulty ) / ( 13 - AIDifficulty )
      • to ( ( ( AIProgress * 0.8 ) ^ 1.1 ) * AIDifficulty ) / ( 13 - AIDifficulty )
      • This produces very similar sizes in the early game but adds a gradual exponential increase as AIP gets higher, having both the effect of making later planet captures not feel as much less significant (in terms of wave size) than early planet captures and increasing the overall "throw weight" of the AI's attacks on these higher difficulties.
    • On Diff 7+ the randomization of wave intervals (which feeds directly into step 5 of the wave size formula) has been changed to consider the number of planets that the AI can send waves against (and thus the probable defensive power of those worlds, i.e. chokepoints, and the viability or lack thereof of smaller waves):
      • If there are 6+ wave-targetable planets it uses the normal (pre-5.036) formula of adding a random number from (AIDifficulty*-60) to (AIDifficulty*120).
      • If there are 5 wave-targetable planets the random is from (AIDifficulty*-30) to (AIDifficulty*120).
      • If there are 4 the random is from 0 to (AIDifficulty*120).
      • If 3, from (AIDifficulty*30) to (AIDifficulty*120).
      • If 2, from (AIDifficulty*60) to (AIDifficulty*120).
      • If 1, from (AIDifficulty*90) to (AIDifficulty*150) (making it actually able to hit single-chokepoints harder than it used to).
      • The upshot is that it makes the AI a little "smarter" about figuring out that it may as well not bother sending small waves against concentrated defenses and should just save up for stronger attack forces. Accordingly, since the AI on <7 is intentionally a bit dumb it doesn't get this new rule at all.
    • Thanks to many players (including zoutzakje, Diazo, Wanderer, rabican, Orelius, chemical_art, and probably others I can't remember right now) for the past few months of 9+ playtesting and related suggestions. No good deed goes unpunished.
  • Previously, an AI of difficulty 9.3 or higher would automatically be one tech level higher than normal. This was generally fine but did cause a pretty massive difficulty cliff between 9.0 and 9.3, and we prefer to keep each step a relatively smooth progression from one step to the next. Now:
    • That automatic tech level increase has been removed.
    • AI's with difficulty > 9 get an additional reduction to their tech thresholds (on top of the normal difficulty*10 one) of ((difficulty-9)*200). So the threshold for reaching tech 2 is:
      • 9 = 210 (same as before).
      • 9.3 = 148.
      • 9.6 = 85.
      • 9.8 = 43.
      • 10 = 0 (so diff 10 starts at tech 2).
      • Of course, that makes the thresholds for tech 3 and tech 4 much higher since it's using the normal base of 800 and 1200 for those instead of 300 and 800 (which they used to use due to automatically being one tech level higher), thus actually making things a lot easier for those higher AIPs. See next change.
    • To add back some of the difficulty but in a more granular fashion than before, on diff 9+ (not just 9.3+) waves will have a portion of their fleet ships "promoted" to the next tech level according to how close AIP is to the next tech level.
      • So if you're playing on 9.6 and have 50 AIP, approximately 50/85= 58% of the mkIs fleet ships in a wave will be promoted to mkII.
      • Of course, they'll also run into the tech level multiplier which will reduce their actual numbers significantly, but roughly 58% of the wave's "strength" of that ship type was spent on the higher tech level.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for the suggestion.
  • Previously carriers were way less dangerous than the ships they contained, tending to make a wave + a stack of carriers feel a lot more like that many back-to-back waves. This is better than the pre-carrier condition of waves capping out at 2000 ships, but still tends to cause the actual difficulty of waves to increase much much slower with the size of the wave than is desirable. So:
    • Now gets +1 shots-per-salvo per 16 ships inside the carrier (that's on high caps; per 8 ships on normal, 4 on low, 2 on ultra low). So a carrier containing 1000 ships on a high caps game has 63 shots per salvo.
    • Base Attack Power from 1400*mk => 19200*mk (the base strength of 16 fighters on high caps, but without the fighter's bonuses).
    • Seconds-Per-Salvo from 2 => 4 (same as fighter, cuts down a bit on shot-spam).
    • Can no longer fire as though ignoring through forcefields, but it can still move through them.
    • Shot type from dark matter => energy bomb as the idea is not for these to be easily counterable via counter-dark-matter turrets.
    • Hull-bonus against Turret from 0.1 => 1.
    • Hull-bonus against Structural from 0.1 => 1.
    • Hull-bonuses against Scout and Command-Grade staying at 0.1.
    • In summary, a full carrier is now pretty dangerous, but the firepower is still significantly lower (by about 3x, probably) than its total contents. That's fine as they'll probably still feel more powerful than you want them to be.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for inspiring this change.
  • Previously it was possible for AI Homeworlds to get really brutal combinations like an AI Eye + 3 (or more) Core Raid Engine guard posts (which is pretty much the RNG saying "good game" on higher difficulties but you don't know until you scout it), or nothing really all that threatening at all. Randomization is core to AI War, but this particular bit of it could literally be the difference between a fairly easy endgame and a mathematically-impossible-to-win situation.
    • Now, for AI Homeworlds, it randomizes the three most brutal structures (Core Raid Engine, Core CPA, and AI Eye) separately from the rest of the structures:
      • On Diff 9+ it always gets two picks from this new set. So you could get an Eye + a Core Raid, or two CPAs, or two Eyes (which is actually kind of nice to you since they don't really stack), or whatever. But not 3 Core Raids. And not none of the above.
      • On Diff 8+ it randomly rolls (per homeworld) between one and two picks.
      • On Diff 7+ it always gets one pick.
      • Below Diff 7 it randomly rolls between zero and one picks.
    • As the set of core guard posts expands in the future (expansions, mainly), this "brutal" set can also be added to.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for inspiring this change.

New Drones For The Neinzul Enclave Starship

  • Didn't want to let the AI have _all_ the fun, so: Added 4 new drone ship types that only the Neinzul Enclave Starship can build:
    • Neinzul Laser Drone I-IV
      • MkI and II require Laser Turret II technology. MkIII and IV require Laser Turret III technology.
      • Has 5x bonuses against the hull types that Laser Turrets have a bonus against.
    • Neinzul Needler Drone I-IV
      • MkI and II require Basic Turret II technology. MkIII and IV require Basic Turret III technology.
      • Has 5x bonuses against the hull types that Basic Turrets have a bonus against.
    • Neinzul MLRS Drone I-IV
      • MkI and II require MLRS Turret II technology. MkIII and IV require MLRS Turret III technology.
      • Has 5x bonuses against the hull types that MLRS Turrets have a bonus against.
    • Neinzul Missile Drone I-IV
      • MkI and II require Missile Turret II technology. MkIII and IV require Missile Turret III technology.
      • Has 5x bonuses against the hull types that Missile Turrets have a bonus against.
    • A Neinzul Enclave Starship can build any of these up to its own mark level once you have the corresponding turret technology, just select an enclave and click the "DRONE" tab on the buy menu (similar to how the Starship Constructor has a "RIOT" tab for the Riot Control Starships).
    • Stat wise:
      • Each drone only lives 30 seconds; no repair, no attrition-stops-on-low-power, no regeneration chambers, nada. It's got 30 seconds to hurt something.
      • Drones do not have the lightning speed of the normal Youngling types (not wanting these to horn in on what makes the younglings special). One consequence is that the "mothership" has to be within a certain range of the stuff you want hurt.
      • Drones are pretty flimsy, but dying from enemy fire isn't much of an event for these.
      • Ship cap is about 25% of normal because these aren't supposed to be like a whole new ship unlock, they're just a bonus on top of what you already get for turret (and enclave starship) research.
      • Drones cannot traverse wormholes.
      • Drones are super, super cheap in both metal/crystal and energy.
      • Attack-power-wise on an individual basis they're about as strong as a normal fleet ship with 5x bonuses, making them fairly effective against the stuff with those hull types.
    • The motivation behind these:
      • High-difficulty play can make it feel very painful to spend knowledge unlocking something that doesn't give an offensive boost. That's fine, but turrets in particular could get very little love due to their... very limited offensive use, shall we say. So having turret research provide a modest amount of offensive boost (if you have CoN and thus the Neinzul Enclave Starship, anyhow) seemed like a fun way to do things. And we've already done the cross-tech thing with having turret research unlock spire capital ship modules in LotS, so doing a bit more of it seemed fine.
      • Despite the fairly massive buffs Neinzul Enclave Starships received not long ago there's still been a lot of feedback that they're underwhelming and that they don't have a lot of point. Well, now they can build lots of little sharp points that will really annoy the AI for you, and they're the only way to build them.
      • But this is also not so powerful that you have to do turret research or even use the enclaves at all, it's just making it nicer if you do.
    • Thanks to many players for feedback on a variety of issues that inspired this addition.

Better Scaling For Multi-Homeworld Games

  • Previously CPA size was multiplied by the number of (non-Helper-role) human players, fixed to be multiplied by the (starting) number of human homeworlds.
  • Previously if there were multiple human homeworlds (and thus human ship cap was much higher) each AI player would send that many extra waves (and various threats like normal CPAs and exo-attacks would be multiplied in size accordingly, though not always linearly).
    • This was generally fine but:
      • Particularly on high homeworld counts that could lead to a ton of waves all smaller than the carrier threshold that would nonetheless add up to larger than the max number of AI ships that the game generally allows on a planet (5000), causing those extra AI ships to just disappear.
      • Also, now that carriers will be more of a threat, it would be nice for them to see use in those circumstances.
      • Some important varieties of AI strength were not being increased at all, like: Reinforcements, Counterattack Guard Post spawns, Raid Engine spawns, Core Raid Engine spawns, Core CPA Guard Post spawns,
    • So now:
      • If there are one or two human homeworlds, the number of waves per AI player is calculated the same way as before: one and two, respectively. But if there's more than that it still doesn't go above two and instead increases the size of the individual waves proportionately.
        • So 3 HWs means twice as many waves as single-player (instead of three times as many) but they're 1.5x as large as they would have been. 4 HWs means twice as many waves that are 2x as large, and so on.
      • Reinforcements, Counterattack Guard Post spawns, Raid Engine spawns, Core Raid Engine spawns, and Core CPA Guard Post spawns now use the same scaling-with-HW-count as is used for normal CPAs: multiply by 1 + ((HW_count-1)*0.33).
        • This isn't 1:1 because the power increase from multiple homeworlds isn't (closer in MP, but the problems of coordination and efficiency are in play there).
    • Thanks to Wanderer, Eternaly_Lost, and others for feedback on multi-HW play (notably the lots-of-non-carrier-waves thing).
  • When Spirecraft are enabled and there's more than one human homeworld, the number of asteroids seeded will go up.
    • The main reason is that on Hard you're facing much harder exos on multi-HW, but weren't getting any additional benefit to match. Medium was not as much of a concern, but it could use it too.
    • The increase is 50% for each additional human homeworld, so 2 HHWs => 150% asteroids, 3 HHWs => 200%, 4 => 250%, etc. A straight-up 1:1 was also possible but seemed excessive. In general multi-HW isn't really a 1:1 increase, but let us know if this scaling feels like too much or too little.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for inspiring this change.

Prerelease 5.035 Teleport Battle Stations And The Return Of The Dyson Sphere

(Released May 24th, 2012)

  • Fixed bug where the new pop-cap mechanic for the dyson sphere was setting the population cap properly according to faction-intensity... and then setting it to 2. Yeaaaaah. Dyson's on vacation in 5.034, boys and girls!
    • Thanks to platinawolf for the report.
  • Fixed an omission in the previous version where the variable intensity of the Advanced Hybrids plot did not do anything (all values 1-10 did exactly the same thing as Advanced Hybrids being on before variable-intensity was implemented).
    • At intensity 1, hybrids get access to the more advanced modules and maturity classes normally granted by Advanced Hybrids.
    • At intensity 2, the super hybrid can execute the first stage of the Hybrid-Dyson plot.
      • Note that said plot no longer happens at all with Advanced Hybrids off; the super hybrid can still spawn but it'll just be a beefier hybrid in general.
    • At intensity 4, the second stage of the Hybrid-Dyson plot becomes possible.
    • At intensity 7, the third stage of the Hybrid-Dyson plot becomes possible.
    • Fixed a bug in the previous version in the computation of how much each maturity gain contributed to the hybrids' "central dirty tricks bank" where it was doubling it if Advanced Hybrids was _off_, not when it was on.
      • Also adjusted the computation so that instead of simply doubling it when Advanced Hybrids is on, it adds 25% of the original amount per point of the Advanced Hybrid plot's intensity (if the AI's have different intensities for it, picks the higher of the two). So on 4 it just doubles it, like before the variable-intensity thing.
    • More can and probably will be done with the different intensities, but it's a start.
  • Now if you use the mid-game Manage Players interface to switch a player from the Normal role to Helper and then save that, it properly tells you that you can't do that rather than trying (and generally causing a desync).
    • Thanks to Cyborg for the report.
  • The Lobby now has a "role" dropdown for each occupied human player slot. The only options are Normal and Helper, but that makes it possible to have someone join from the start as a Helper. A few notes:
    • At least one human player has to be in the "Normal" role for the game to be started. This does not have to be the first player (i.e. host).
    • Helpers cannot select homeworlds (and are not given any units or planets at the start of the game).
  • Fixed a bug in the handicap modifier computations that caused negative handicaps to be far harsher than they were supposed to be in some circumstances (like making CPA size zero when it was supposed to be, say, 24, because the multiplier was about 51x smaller than it was suppposed to be).
    • Thanks to Minotaar for the report and save.
  • CPAs now don't get queued up if the result based on difficulty, AIP, etc would be way too small (under 200 ships, for high caps, adjusted appropriately) (once a CPA is announced, however, it will happen).
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where AOE "canister" shots (flak, grenade, plasma-siege) were not properly hitting forcefields when targeting a ship protected by them, unless the targeted ship was also in range of the explosion from the point where the shot hit the forcefield.
    • Thanks to Dazio for the report and save.
  • Marauders and Resistance Fighters can now be targeted by ships that cannot target small units (Bomber Starship, etc).
    • Thanks to Wanderer for pointing out that the Marauder Frigate wasn't already like this.
  • Since the Riot Starship MkIII did pretty well in the last worst-ship poll:
    • Gave them tachyon coverage matching the MkIII scout starship.
    • Added a couple additional options for its highest-level hardpoint:
      • Grav Tazer
        • Similar to the Riot IIs tazer but also applies the "halt" effect (same as the grav ripper) to everything hit, making it take longer for even paralysis-immune ships to get away.
        • Note that these share the same planet-wide stagger category as Riot II tazers, to prevent these making permanent tazer lock possible again.
      • Grav Generator
        • Basically a ship-mounted grav turret, requires research of Grav Turret Is.
    • Thanks to many players for feedback indicating that they didn't really see a reason to upgrade from Riot IIs to Riot IIIs.
  • This doesn't really impact the player at all, but some may care: Implemented another, far saner grammar for the Lobby Setup Scripts.
    • Only BeginnerGame.xml, BeginnerGame2.xml, and RandomFactions1.xml have been updated to use it, but that covers all the unique syntax necessary to re-implement the others, too. Currently the game will still parse the old grammar, but that will go away when the rest of the "official" scripts have been converted.
  • Teleport Battlestations, in honor of doing pretty well in the last worst-unit poll:
    • Base Max Health from 14k*mk => 28k*mk (bringing it from 4.8M cap-hp, which is basically the minimum for a fleet ship, to 9.6M cap-hp where about 18 other types will be lower than it).
    • Base Attack Power from 400 => 700 (bringing it from 39.2k cap-base-dps and 94k cap-max-dps, where some ships have a base dps higher than that max-dps, to the midst of the respectable-attack types).
    • Thanks to many players for feedback on these.
  • Added new toggle to Interface tab of Settings window: Disable Pause On Lost Focus.
    • Normally the game will automatically pause if it detects that the game has lost focus (it can only detect this in fullscreen mode, not windowed mode).
    • Enabling this toggle will suppress that auto-pause behavior, which may be helpful for multiplayer games and some other situations.
    • Thanks to amethyst for the suggestion.

Prerelease 5.034 Is It Really A 'Minor' Faction If You Scale It That High?

(Released May 7th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the previous version where Neinzul Rocketry Corps lightning warheads were causing AIP-on-death (despite saying they don't).
    • Thanks to dragon95046 for the report.
  • Amended the "if base max health >= 1,000,000, then immune to fusion cutters" rule to exclude fleet ship types whose mkI versions don't pass that >= 1,000,000 threshold (to prevent situations where fusion cutters were getting way less useful against higher-mark AI planets, etc). The fleet ship types that still have the immunity due to health:
    • Spire Stealth Battleship
    • Spire Blade Spawner
    • Spire Maw
    • Spire Tractor Platform
    • Thanks to chemical_art and other players for inspiring this change.
  • Ships killed by a zombie-reclamator no longer spread any excess reclamation damage they have to other ships. The spreading mechanic was intended to make non-zombie-reclamators more reliable; the zombie reclamators were already plenty powerful enough :)
    • Thanks to amethyst and Minotaar for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where the Dyson Sphere itself was alerting its planet and neighboring planets on the AI thread, but not on the main thread. It now does not alert on either (but the actual enemy-to-all gatlings and player-ally gatlings count for alert purposes, of course).
    • Thanks to zoutzakje and others for reporting.
  • There's now a galaxy-wide population cap on each of the three types (enemy-to-all, player-ally, and ai-ally) of Dyson Gatling, equal to the current effective AIP.
    • So if AIP is 80, there could be 80 enemy-to-all gatlings, 80 AI-ally gatlings, and 79 player-ally gatlings and if the Dyson was currently player-ally it would still spawn another player-ally gatling before ceasing to spawn until either the player-ally gatling count went down or the AIP went up.
    • Thanks to Wanderer (and others, more recently) for pointing out how dominating the Dyson Sphere could be.

New Variety for Existing Minor Factions

  • Human Resistance Fighters:
    • Now instead of being an on/off toggle in the lobby, it can be set to a value from 0 to 10. 0 is disabled, 4 is the previous "normal" increment frequency, 1 is way less frequent than that, and 10 is way more frequent than that (it's not linear).
    • Don't use a high value unless you want to see these happening a LOT.
  • Marauders:
    • Now instead of being an on/off toggle in the lobby, it can be set to a value from 0 to 10. 0 is disabled, 4 is the previous "normal" increment frequency, 1 is way less frequent than that, and 10 is way more frequent than that (it's not linear).
    • Don't use a high value unless you want to see these happening a LOT.
  • Human Colony Rebellions
    • Now instead of being an on/off toggle in the lobby, it can be set to a value from 0 to 10. 0 is disabled, 4 is the previous "normal" frequency, 1 is way less frequent than that, and 10 is way more frequent than that (it's not linear).
    • Don't use a high value unless you want to see these happening a LOT.
  • Dyson Sphere:
    • Now instead of being an on/off toggle in the lobby, it can be set to a value from 0 to 10. 0 is disabled, 4 is the previous "normal" spawn-check frequency (one check per 20 seconds), 1 is 1/4th of 4 (one check per 80 seconds), 8 is 2x what 4 is (one check per 10 seconds), and 10 is insane (one check per 6 seconds).
    • The galaxy-wide population caps on each of the three gatling types are modified by this 0-10 value. 4 is cap = AIP; 1 is cap = AIP / 4, 8 is cap = AIP * 2, etc (it's linear).
    • So if you want a game-dominating dyson sphere, you can still get it :)
  • Zenith Miners
    • Now instead of being an on/off toggle in the lobby, it can be set to a value from 0 to 10. 0 is disabled, 4 is the previous "normal" frequency, 1 is way less frequent than that, and 10 is way more frequent than that (it's not linear).
    • Don't use a high value unless you want to see these happening a LOT.
  • Broken Golems (Hard)
    • Now instead of being an on/off toggle in the lobby, it can be set to a value from 0 to 10. 0 is disabled, 4 is the previous "normal" strength, 1 is way less than that, and 10 is way more than that (it's not linear).
    • Note: the only thing impacted by the intensity value for Broken Golems (Hard) is the strength of the exogalactic strikeforces sent by the AI as a response to this faction being on. The benefit you derive from it (number or strength of golems, etc) is not affected.
    • Don't use a high value unless you want to see VERY strong exogalactic strikeforces (their frequency does not change).
  • Neinzul Preservation Wardens:
    • Now instead of being an on/off toggle in the lobby, it can be set to a value from 0 to 10. 0 is disabled, 4 is the previous "normal" increment frequency, 1 is way less frequent than that, and 10 is way more frequent than that (it's not linear).
    • Don't use a high value unless you want to see these happening a LOT.
  • Neinzul Roaming Enclaves:
    • Now instead of being an on/off toggle in the lobby, it can be set to a value from 0 to 10. 0 is disabled, 4 is the previous "normal" increment frequency, 1 is way less frequent than that, and 10 is way more frequent than that (it's not linear).
    • Don't use a high value unless you want to see these happening a LOT.
  • Neinzul Rocketry Corps:
    • Now instead of being an on/off toggle in the lobby, it can be set to a value from 0 to 10. 0 is disabled, 4 is the previous "normal" number seeded at the beginning of the game, 1 is way fewer than that, and 10 is way more than that (it's not linear).
    • Don't use a high value unless you want to see a LOT of these (Would you like to play a game of... ?).
  • Fallen Spire
    • Now instead of being an on/off toggle in the lobby, it can be set to a value from 0 to 10. 0 is disabled, 4 is the previous "normal" strength, 1 is way less than that, and 10 is way more than that (it's not linear).
    • Note: the only thing impacted by the intensity value for Fallen Spire is the strength of the exogalactic strikeforces sent by the AI as a response to this faction being on. The benefit you derive from it is not affected.
    • Don't use a high value unless you want to see VERY strong exogalactic strikeforces (their frequency does not change).
  • Spirecraft (Hard)
    • Now instead of being an on/off toggle in the lobby, it can be set to a value from 0 to 10. 0 is disabled, 4 is the previous "normal" strength, 1 is way less than that, and 10 is way more than that (it's not linear).
    • Note: the only thing impacted by the intensity value for Spirecraft (Hard) is the strength of the exogalactic strikeforces sent by the AI as a response to this faction being on. The benefit you derive from it (number of asteroids or strength of spirecraft, etc) is not affected.
    • Don't use a high value unless you want to see VERY strong exogalactic strikeforces (their frequency does not change).
  • Note that the Trader, Devourer, Easy and Moderate Golems (which don't fit into this idea of "faction intensity", they're really just different things than Hard Golems), Spire Civilian Leaders, and Easy and Moderate Spirecraft are all still just on/off. This isn't because we don't have any ideas on how they might be made so, just none that were very simple to implement at this stage.

New Variety For Existing AI Plots

  • Hybrid Hives
    • Now instead of being an on/off toggle in the lobby, it can be set to a value from 0 to 10. 0 is disabled, 4 is the previous "normal" number of hive spawners seeded at the beginning of the game, 1 is way fewer than that, and 10 is way more than that (it's not linear).
    • Don't use a high value unless you want to see a LOT of these.

Lobby Setup Scripts

  • Preface: over the years we've had requests accumulate on a number of different fronts that couldn't easily be handled the way things were, like:
    • Numerous new players asking "What's a good setup for my first game?"
    • Variable-strength minor factions and AI plots (which could be handled just by the above changes, but read on)
    • Randomized minor factions and AI plots, particularly combined with variable-strength.
    • Randomized and hidden minor factions and AI plots (so you don't know what's there until you run into it in the game, with potentially hilarious results).
    • Some kind of overall "difficulty ranking" for a particular game setup.
  • So, from a small scripting language that was written for (and actually not ultimately used for) AVWW, a Lobby Setup Scripting system has been cobbled together. The actual scripting language is likely to completely change in the next version (it's really verbose, cumbersome, etc, but it does work), but the short story is it's now possible to define external scripts which populate the settings in the lobby.
    • Please note, those of you with scenario-building aspirations, that this really only sets stuff in the lobby. It cannot directly influence mapgen (placement of planets, units, etc) in any way.
    • To use a script, start a new game, and in the lobby on the Map tab pick an option from the Setup Script dropdown. It will then immediately execute the script and apply the changes to the lobby.
    • The following scripts are available in this version:
      • Beginner Game
        • A fairly simple, fairly easy scenario that may be a good next step for new players who have just completed the intermediate tutorial.
      • Beginner Game 2
        • A bit harder than the scenario generated by the Beginner Game script. May be a good next step for new players who have just completed the intermediate tutorial and are feeling confident.
      • Random Factions 1
        • This script sets up some randomized minor factions and AI plots from the base game (no expansions required).
          • Note (this goes for the rest of these scripts, too): it's not purely random, it starts with a certain number of "points" and randomly picks factions/plots to allocate them to. Friendly factions (in this case, human resistance fighters) actually increase the point total when chosen, rather than decreasing it. The point is that while there's simply no way to get any kind of overall "difficulty score" of a particular scenario, it is possible (with significant effort) to make a script which produces scenarios within a particular range of difficulty. Which, hopefully, scratches the real itch behind the "difficulty score" request.
      • Random Factions 2
        • This script sets up some randomized minor factions and AI plots from the base game and The Zenith Remnant expansion.
      • Random Factions 3
        • This script sets up some randomized minor factions and AI plots from the base game and the The Zenith Remnant and Children Of Neinzul expansions.
      • Random Factions 4
        • This script sets up some randomized minor factions and AI plots from the base game and the The Zenith Remnant, Children Of Neinzul, and Light Of The Spire expansions.
      • Unknown Factions 1
        • This script sets up some randomized minor factions and AI plots from the base game (no expansions required), and then hides them so that you cannot see what has been selected either in the lobby or in the game. If you then pick another script (or none) the hidden status will be reset.
      • Unknown Factions 2
        • This script sets up some randomized minor factions and AI plots from the base game and The Zenith Remnant expansion. It then hides them so that you cannot see what has been selected either in the lobby or in the game. If you then pick another script (or none) the hidden status will be reset.
      • Unknown Factions 3
        • This script sets up some randomized minor factions and AI plots from the base game and The Zenith Remnant and Children Of Neinzul expansions. It then hides them so that you cannot see what has been selected either in the lobby or in the game. If you then pick another script (or none) the hidden status will be reset.
      • Unknown Factions 4
        • This script sets up some randomized minor factions and AI plots from the base game and The Zenith Remnant, Children Of Neinzul, and Light Of The Spire expansions. It then hides them so that you cannot see what has been selected either in the lobby or in the game. If you then pick another script (or none) the hidden status will be reset.
  • Thanks to HitmanN, Chris Fifty-Two, KDR_11k, Vinraith, Sunshine (and probably others) for suggesting randomized minor factions and AI plots.
  • Thanks to zebramatt and others for advocating for scenario difficulty-scores, even though we can't quite do that.
  • Thanks to topper and others for requesting some kind of "suggested settings" or "presets" for the lobby, particularly for new players.

Major Improvements Relating To Loss Of Window Focus In Fullscreen Mode

  • Some recent breakthroughs with the unity engine from A Valley Without Wind have now been backported to AI War. Specifically:
    • The game now knows if it has focus or not if you're running in fullscreen mode (not windowed, sorry).
    • If the game does not have focus, it now stops doing any edge scrolling (so you don't return to find yourself out in the middle of nowhere.
    • If the game does not have focus, it issues a pause command just one time -- that way, in solo or multiplayer, accidental clicks onto a secondary monitor out of fullscreen now pause the game without spamming pauses at other players.
    • IF the game does not have focus OR if the Steam Overlay is brought up, it now does a better job of resetting all the input. This should finally resolve that stupid "stuck keys" thing with alt-tabbing and shift-tabbing.

Prerelease 5.033 And Other Times There Are A Few Too Many Ponies

(Released April 17th, 2012)

  • Metal/Crystal Harvester Upgrades:
    • MkII production from 31 => 30.
    • MkIII production from 73 => 55.
    • Results/Rationale:
      • Assuming 12 resource spots on the homeworld and 4 resource spots per captured planet (the latter is a well-attested average, to the author's surprise).
      • MkII upgrades are better than EconII if you have 1, 2, 3, or greater than 12 planets, but are worse from 4 to 11.
      • MkIII upgrades are better than EconIII (plus EconII since it's unlocked on the way) if you have 1-4 or greater than 13 planets, but are worse from 5 to 12.
      • Harvesters still have the advantage of not occupying the command station "slot" but also still have the disadvantage of being at the mercy of mapgen: sometimes you don't have the luxury of picking a planet with 4+ resource spots instead of a planet with 1-2.
      • All in all, the question of "do I upgrade harvesters or econ stations?" should now be more situational and map-based.
    • Thanks to many players for feedback on the recent harvester buffs, including strident efficiency graphs and amusing anecdotes of overrunning the galaxy with unending waves of constant production.
  • Fixed a null exception that happened when gifting a spirecraft mining enclosure to another player.
    • Thanks to topper for the report and save.
  • Neinzul Enclave Starships, in honor of winning the fifth "Worst Unit" poll.
    • Base Armor Rating from 1000 flat => 1000*mk.
    • Base Health from 500K*mk => 3M*mk.
      • This gives an individual one 80% the health of an individual corresponding fleet-boosting starship; not using cap comparisons here since these are not military ships (i.e. ships with an attack), but for reference those fleet-boosting starships have 2x as much cap.
    • Now have radar dampening of 8000/7500/7000/6500.
      • Between this, the armor, and the health it should be a lot more reasonable to keep these alive unless you get overwhelmed, in which case these should die (cloaking was experimented with, but was way too exploitable; that much cheese requires cloaker starships).
    • Knowledge Costs from 0/3000/5000/10000 => 0/2000/2000/14000.
      • This is because the first two upgrades are purely for in-the-field construction (which is worth something) and the last is a game-changing ability to have mkIV production capacity without an advanced factory.
    • The rate at which they construct ships used to be the same as a space dock, and is now 4*mk as fast as a space dock (so 16x for a mkIV).
      • This is because previously using these efficiently basically required engineer support (specifically, engineer mkIII support). Engies still help, but it's not as critical.
    • Thanks to many players for providing feedback on these in recent months, and for voting in the poll.
  • Armored Warheads, in honor of placing second in the fifth "Worst Unit" poll:
    • Base Attack Power from 300k/1.5M/2.4M => 1M*mk.
    • Explosion Size from 1500/1250/750 => 1500*mk.
    • Now do 10k*mk armor damage, enough to strip all the armor off most units that aren't some kind of boss fight.
    • In general you still aren't going to want to use these a lot, it's still a "rot your teeth" sort of unit where heavy use is rarely a good sign for how well your game is going. But these should be more useful than they were, for sure.
    • Thanks to many players for providing feedback on these in recent months, and for voting in the poll.
  • Lightning Warheads:
    • Base Attack Power from 300k/1.5M/2.4M => 800k*mk.
      • Just keeping up with the armored warhead changes; only a significant change to the mkI, really. So the armored ones pack about 25% more punch, for whatever that's worth.
    • Explosion size changed to match the new armored warheads: 1500/1250/750 => 1500*mk.
  • Metal/Crystal manufactory input and output scale multiplied by 10 (so consumes 200 of a resource to produce 140, instead of 20 for 14), in honor of placing 3rd in the fifth "Worst Unit" poll.
    • Thanks to many players for suggesting an increase in scale for these, and for voting in the poll.

Prerelease 5.032 Then The Pendulum Swung Back

(Released March 30th, 2012)

  • Fixed an omission in the previous release; nanoswarm attack power was supposed to be doubled and their reclamation double-efficiency flag removed. The latter happened, but not the former. Now both are in.
    • Thanks to Dazio for the report.
  • Fixed a really, really longstanding bug where the AI got 1 bonus reinforcement at diff 8, 1 bonus reinforcement at diff 9, and 2 bonus reinforcements at diff 10, but no bonus reinforcements at any of the non-integer difficulties between those. Now it's 2 for 10 and 1 for >= 8
  • Fixed a longstanding bug (since ship cap scales were added, roughly) where the ship-cap-scale multiplier was being applied twice to reinforcement calculations (so high got the normal amount, normal got half as much as it should have, low got 1/4 as much as it should have, etc).
    • The effect isn't as severe as it probably sounds, because most of the calculations ended in "if less than 1, set to 1" and other bugs (see below) were letting the AI get a lot more mileage than was mathematically sanitary out of that 1.
  • Corrected some longstanding issues where reinforcements were frequently getting stuff like Spire Blade Spawners in roughly the same proportion as Fighters; the ship cap multipliers were being used, but if a particular individual group of spawns in a reinforcement (there could be over 10 in a single reinforcement-of-planet event, and multiple such events can happen on a single planet per overall reinforcement) only had 1 ship to pick it could freely pick either a fighter or a spire blade spawner (or whatever it had unlocked) and the fact that it had just gotten something like 30x as strong as what "1" normally means was simply ignored. If it had 20 ships to pick and picked a blade spawner that would be the end of the pick, though, so it wasn't totally ignorant of that dynamic.
    • Now it does a bit of arithmetic "carrying" so that if one individual spawn really picks something low-cap like that (and it still can do that, otherwise stuff like blade spawners just won't happen in most reinforcements) then it remembers that for further spawns in that reinforcement event, which can make certain reinforcements a little lopsided but in general is at least a balanceable situation now.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 and many other players reporting odd and/or brutal populations of these kinds of units from reinforcements over the past year and some months.
  • Now that the AI is no longer able to get a ton of low-cap ships where it should only be getting a few of them, the AI-specifc per-guard-post caps on those low-cap types have been removed (and some per-planet ones, but the ones on stuff like engineers): those had just been bandaids to prevent massive swarming by those ship types because we didn't know what was going on there or how to fix it.
    • This is particularly important because the bandaid was pretty brutal about making sure it was enforced, so the AI would wind up sending a reinforcement and part/most of it would be ditched without spawning because it would violate the caps, etc.
  • Just under "Enable Advanced Logging" on the Advanced tab of the Settings window, added a "Enable Reinforcement Logging" toggle.
    • Similar to Enable Advanced Logging, this enables logging of AI reinforcements to the ReinforcementsLog_MainThread.txt and ReinforcementsLog_AIThread.txt files in your RuntimeData directory.
    • This is off by default because:
      • This is really only for when you want to see if there is some problem with the reinforcement logic (short of logging, it is very hard for anyone to tell) and want to show evidence to the developers
      • Reading one of these logs in midgame will give "spoilers" about what the AI has, etc. It's not considered a cheat, however, because all the actually-important info it gives you would be available if you had turned off fog-of-war in the lobby before the game.
      • Lots of disk I/O during the game causes instability on some systems.
    • All that said, if you're curious about the numbers, and especially if you think something is wrong (there certainly was plenty wrong for a while now, though it worked ok in most scenarios), have a look and let us know :)
  • Fixed a bug in multiplayer where hacking an ARS and having the first player pick an unlock on that planet would cause the other human players to be given a random unlock about a game-second later.
    • Thanks to Niccus for the report and save.
  • Added new button to Galaxy Layout context menu: "Reset My Layout To Official"
    • Prompts you to confirm the action, and if you confirm it sets the positions of all planets in your alternate layout to the official positions.
    • Thanks to Nodor (and others, previously) for pointing out the need for this in case the planet positions get messed up (as can sometimes happen on load and/or changing resolutions).
  • Made the "signal markers" in Fallen Spire invincible in the same sense as the Dyson Sphere (well, without a certain caveat which applies to the Dyson).
    • Thanks to Tharrick for reporting that it was actually possible for one of these to get destroyed if the AI did a tachyon burst during hacking to drop the marker's perma-cloak. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" apparently wasn't sinking in.
  • Changed the targeting logic for AOE units (that don't already use the alternate logic for engine damage, paralysis, reclamation, or insta-kill) to prefer non-AOE-immune targets. This is necessary because of the recent change to let flaks and some other aoe units be able to damage an aoe-immune ship they fire directly at, but since an aoe-immune ship is likely to be in a pile of other aoe-immune ships most of the dps is wasted when there are non-aoe-immune targets available.
    • Note that if the flaks are already locked on to something aoe-immune (like a missile frigate) and something non-aoe-immune (like a fighter) comes into range, the flaks will probably take a few seconds to retarget since the game only does the target logic every so often.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for reporting the highly-sub-optimal behavior.
  • Mobile Repair Stations, in belated honor of doing well in the last "worst unit" poll
    • Maximum simultaneous repairs from 100 => 20.
    • Repair rate reduced.
    • Time it must remain stationary before starting repairs from 60 seconds => 5.
    • Now has cloaking.
      • This doesn't break when repairing, but beware AI tachyons.
    • Thanks to many players for feedback on how this unit just didn't seem worth the trouble; hopefully now it will be worth 4000 K but also not be so "insta-heal entire fleet" overpowered as it was before the last rework (but if you have all 9 in range of a fleet not much will stay damaged unless it is under ongoing fire). If there are still problems please let us know :)
  • Fixed a bug where if the AI had a pile of over 2000 zombie threat ships (and over 4000 total threat) it was possible for it to try to redeploy those zombies to carriers, and the carrier would be created with the appropriate contents, but the zombies would not actually be scrapped. Causing the AI to redeploy them again, creating still more carriers, and failing to scrap the zombies again. It was just carriers all the way down, leading rapidly to tens and hundreds of thousands of threat. Fixed so that the scrapping works, and thus the duplicate redeployments no longer happen.
    • Thanks to mlhibou for providing a report and save of this apocalyptic situation, and to Niccus for a similar report.
  • Fixed a regrettably longstanding bug where it was possible for modules (notably hybrid modules) to become "stranded" without a parent ship and to basically act as somewhat buggy (and, recently, the non-forcefield ones are now invinicible) turrets.
    • Thanks to Draco18s, SpaceBrotha, and Caseycc for providing reports and saves.
  • The Tech buttons on the ARS tab of a science ship on an ARS planet are now sorted so that the leftmost one is the one that would be unlocked by capturing without hacking.
    • This is more info than it really should give, but getting the info is a simple savescum operation so we may as well shortcircuit that.
  • Added new galaxy display mode "Detected Immobile Minor Factions".
    • This shows "DS" next to the planet with the Dyson Sphere, "RC" for a Neinzul Rocketry Corps Silo, and "HC" for a Rebelling Human Colony.
  • Mostly as a visual improvement (via more variety of shot speed) and somewhat to make some weapons a little more effective:
    • Laser shot speed tripled (wait, why does a laser shot have a speed?)
    • Minor electric shot speed doubled.
    • Shell shot speed increased to 1.5x what it was.
    • Ion shot speed doubled.
    • Combat style now applies to all shot speeds, not only artificially-increased ones.
    • Note: shots will always move at least 40 faster than their target.
    • Feedback is very welcome on whether these changes make combat more interesting, or are a detriment; just an experiment, really.
  • Missile shots (from the missile frigate, MLRS fleet ship, MLRS turret, Missile Turret, Anti-Armor Ship, etc) now can acquire a new target from their firing ship's target list if their current target is destroyed or otherwise no longer available (note that all shots insta-hit a ship trying to leave the planet, but missiles now won't "overkill" them in that case).
    • Bear in mind that the parent ship's target list does not necessarily include all viable targets, and is often limited to 50 nearby targets, but this still significantly decreases DPS wastage for missiles (which generally move fairly slowly).
  • Fixed a bug where a superterminal could be "paused" by scrapping your command station, saving, and reloading.
    • Thanks to Niccus for the report and save.

Prerelease 5.031 Harvest Of The Unloved

(Released March 21st, 2012)

  • The hacking-response wild-roll for "short range warp jump" can now generate a much wider range of spawn points.
    • Thanks to Toranth for reporting that it was always picking points in two relatively small areas.
  • Now when a unit dies while under the influence of a parasite infestation ("reclamation damage"), those parasites will behave far more efficiently:
    • If there are enough of them on the ship to take it over (that is, reclamation damage is >= half the ship's max health) then enough will remain to perform the takeover.
    • Any remaining parasites (which means all of them, if there aren't enough to take the dying ship over) will spread to nearby (within 2000 range units) valid targets that have not been fully infested.
    • The end result is that while the exact same amount of reclamation damage is being done, the efficiency of it actually doing something in condensed fighting is way more satisfactory, particularly towards the end as all the partially-reclaimed ships die off and the parasites all pile up on the survivors.
      • In fact, it's possible that reclamators are now back to being OP, but not nearly as much as in the days when a single leech-starship salvo could "tag" 40 ships for guarunteed reclamation. Your feedback on the new balance will be appreciated.
    • Thanks to many players over the past year or so for reminding us that reclamators are more fun when it's easier to get some kind of reliable reclamation-rate out of them (even if said rate is not OP).
  • Youngling Nanoswarm:
    • Base attack power from 400*mk => 800*mk. Still not much at all, but it allows:
    • Inherent "damage does 2x as much reclamation damage" rule removed. So it does the same amount of RD as before, just without the fiddly rule (which is now completely gone, the nanoswarm was the only thing using it).
  • Mines:
    • Base Health is now 16 times the damage done, to allow 16 detonations before "wearing out" instead of the 2/3 that were probably common before. There are 16 mines in the graphic: the logic is unassailable, no?
    • Standard Mines:
      • Base Metal+Crystal cost from 360+1200 => 20+40, which puts them at about 2x the cap m+c cost of zenith autobombs (which are in many ways simply mobile mines).
        • Note that the build time for all 3 mine types is still 90 seconds.
    • Area Mines:
      • Base Metal+Crystal cost from 1080+3600 => 40+80.
      • Now hit a maximum of 10 targets with their aoe.
      • Base Damage per hit from 7500 => 52500 (half as much damage as a normal single-target mine).
    • EMP Mines:
      • Base Metal+Crystal cost from 720+2400 => 60+120.
      • Fixed an error in the tooltip: it said the paralysis was 60 seconds long, but it's really only 10 seconds.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 and several other players for recent feedback on mines, leading to these changes.
  • Harvester Exo-Shields, in honor of winning the 4th "Worst Unit" poll (and the first one for which it was eligible) :
    • Now has cloaking.
    • Now cloaks the protected harvester.
    • No longer halves production of protected harvester.
    • Energy Use from 1000 => 5000. At maximum non-ZPG energy efficiency (running everything off mkIIs) that's a bit under 4 (m+c)/s to run, or 1/5th of a mkI harvester.
    • The result is that:
      • They have a much lower operational cost which no longer scales up with higher harvester marks or with your energy efficiency.
      • More importantly, they allow a new tactical choice: do you want attacking enemies to potentially be distracted some/all of the harvesters in the system, or do you want to make sure they stay focused on the command station or some other objective? Some defensive setups get much higher efficiency when the enemy stays focused in a particular radial or linear area, and this can help with that. On the other hand, sometimes the AI's tendency to split up after harvesters is a big help.
    • Thanks to many players for their feedback on why this unit was very rarely an interesting choice.
  • Metal/Crystal Harvester II/III, in honor of getting 2nd place (by one vote) in the first "Worst Unit" poll in which they were eligible:
    • A bit of background:
      • Unlocking Econ Station II costs 4000 knowledge and gives a total of 576 m+c above the "standard" command station (econ I) if you build all 6, and that bonus is still relevant if you unlock Econ III. That's about 0.144 (m+c)/s per knowledge point.
      • Unlocking Econ Station III costs 5000 knowledge and gives a total of 1536 m+c above the "standard" command station. Benefit/K Ratio is about 0.3072.
      • Previously, unlocking mark II of either metal or crystal harvester cost 3250 knowledge and, assuming a mid-game situation of 13 total planets (i.e. all 6 of econ II and econ III could be placed) with an average of 2 spots of that resource per planet (ymmv, but it's probably not far off) gave a total of 208 resources above mkI harvesters. Benefit/K Ratio was about 0.064.
      • Previously, unlocking mark III of either harvester cost 4000 knowledge (but really 7250 since you don't get the benefits of mkII and mkIII at the same time like you do with econ stations) and, across 26 ressource spots, gave a total of 416 resources above mkI harvesters. Benefit/K Ratio (assuming 7250 "real" K cost) was about 0.0574.
    • So, to do something about this pretty vast disparity:
      • Harvester II:
        • Knowledge cost from 3250 => 2000.
        • Production from 28 => 31 (so +8 => +11).
      • Harvester III:
        • Knowledge cost from 4000 => 2500 (so 4500 total).
        • Production from 36 => 73 (so +16 => +53).
          • Yes, that's a lot, but that's what parity with econ III looks like. And nerfing econ III would have been an outrage considering how much waiting-for-resources happens on challenging games _with_ econ IIIs.
    • In short, harvester upgrades should now be competitive with econ station upgrades. Getting mkIII in both harvesters also now costs the same amount of knowledge as getting mkIII econ stations, but has a somewhat lower "barrier to entry" in that the individual knowledge costs are smaller.
      • Further balance feedback is, of course, welcome. This change will have a fairly dramatic impact in favor of harvesters on multi-HW games, for one, but it's primarily important that choices be interesting in single-HW games and adjustments can be made for the less common scenarios (as long as multi-HW doesn't become excruciating, of course). Of more concern is the impact on multiplayer games if all players gift all their harvesters to one player who upgrades to mkIII harvesters (and gives resources back) and other such tomfoolery, but that can also be adjusted for as the need arises.
    • Thanks to Cyborg and many other players for pointing out the fact that harvester upgrades were basically just universally inferior (with some small exception) to econ station upgrades.
  • Warp Jammer Command Stations, in honor of tying for third in the first "Worst Unit" poll it was eligible for:
    • Now prevent their planets from putting adjacent AI planets on alert.
      • Those adjacent planets can still be put on alert any other way (for example, but another bordering human world without a jammer or by a significant human presence on the planet or a different adjacent planet).
      • But this still allows a new strategic choice in shaping the AI's response to your presence.
      • Notably, this could be used on a planet adjacent to a particularly hard-to-crack AI planet to allow you to get supply on the target planet and thus deploy turrets and such without putting the target planet on permanent alert (which is normally a distinct no-no for core worlds and homeworlds). But beware, if the jammer is destroyed, its effects go away. Also, jammers are far from free.
    • Also fixed a longstanding bug where these counted (for display purposes only, apparently) as an AI reinforcement warp gate.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for broaching the subject of how to make these more interesting, and to many other players for confirming the idea that the jammer needed something more.

Prerelease 5.030 Refined Hacking

(Released March 14th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the wave-mouseover-to-show-ship-info feature in the last version that would display a blank info window and throw some (thankfully harmless) errors if the ship-type-info window had last been used to display an unlocked ship type with a "(x out of y in service)" addendum (like from mouseovering the buy queue items on a space dock).
    • Many thanks to zoutzakje, Cyborg, and Ranakastrasz for the reports and saves to track this one down, it was pretty elusive.
  • The "AI is responding to your hacking on (planet name)" messages now specify whether it's knowledge-hacking or ship-design hacking, to avoid confusion. If both are actually happening on one planet, it will display both messages.
    • Thanks to Cyborg for inspiring this change.
  • Previously if a planet had multiple AI Advanced Research Stations on it then doing a ship-design-hack on the planet and then capturing the planet would only let you unlock 1 bonus type (capturing it without sd-hacking led to the normal multiple types being unlocked) out of the normal set of 3. Fixed it to let you unlock n bonus types out of a set of n*3, where n is the number of AI Advanced Research Stations on the planet. In general multi-hacking like this is more advantageous, but it's very much an edge case due to the small planet counts necessary to get more than 1 ARS on a planet.
    • This change applies retroactively to uncaptured ARS's from old saves, but could not be applied to already-captured ARS's, sorry about the inconvenience.
    • Thanks to Nic for the report.
  • Now the tech menu's ARS tab (which is used to view and select what bonus type you want to unlock after hacking and capturing an ARS) displays even if no hacking has been done, so you can make a decision about whether you want to hack or not without savescumming (not that anyone would do that).
    • The tab still won't show if there were never AI-controlled ARS's on the planet, since then the planet has no bonus types to show.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for inspiring this change.
  • Superterminal-hacking response:
    • Surges no longer automatically set the recharge time for the next pulse to 1 second (15 seconds is the normal time), as chain-surges were entertaining to the developer but not so much to the players.
      • Thanks to Wanderer for inspiring this change.
    • Fixed a bug where multiple surges could happen on the same spawn; two surges on the same spawn on diff 7 would multiply spawn strength by 12.25. Ow. This wasn't intended, but a flag wasn't being set right. Now surge-rolls after the first on a spawn are treated like a "multiply by 1.5" roll, similar to how the short-range-warp-jump roll is treated as a x1.5 roll if it's already happened for that spawn.
    • When spawn strength is over the cap (500), the way it "trades" strength for higher-mark-level-spawns and shorter-recharge-to-next-pulse has been significantly changed:
      • Instead of trading for tech until <= 200 and then trading for recharge until <= 500, it randomly picks one to trade for if over 500; if it's still over 500 it randomly picks again, etc. Max tech level is 5, of course, and minimum recharge is 1 second.
      • When trading for tech, it now multiplies strength by current_mark/next_mark instead of deducting a flat 150, to better represent the linearly-increasing power that typically happens with higher marks.
        • Thanks to Hearteater for inspiring this change.
      • When trading for lower recharge time, it now multiplies strength by new_time/old_time instead of deducting a flat 33, to better represent the increasing impact of multiple cooldown reductions.
  • Changed the Ship-Design-Hacker's description to be a bit clearer.
    • Thanks to Hearteater and Wanderer for suggestions on how to reword it.
  • Previously hacking response wild-rolls that increased spawn strength did so by multiplying the current strength value by some x%. The exponential growth this caused with higher numbers of rolls was intentional but turned out to get wildly out of control, doing things like spawning 4000 raid starships (heh) or arithmetic overflow, etc. So it's been changed to be an additive boost instead, adding x% of the pre-rolls strength to the current strength value.
    • To compensate, the now-additive bonuses are a bit higher in magnitude than they used to be.
    • The one exception to this is the superterminal's "surge" roll, which is still mutiplicative, but can only happen once per spawn. Still, it can put on some real hurt if it happens after a bunch of additive boosts (but nothing that will challenge the domain of the datatype storing the strength value).
    • (posthumous) Thanks to Toranth for warning us of the 4000+ raid starship spawn.
  • Fixed a bug where the "spawn raid starships" wild-roll was giving the AI the kind of raid starship reserved for human use. Now gives the AI-variant. Already-created ones will probably remain as they are, but it shouldn't be a big deal.
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report.
  • Previously hacking responses continued after the hacking was "done" (all knowledge gathered by a knowledge hacker, or the planet successfully sd-hacked by a ship-design hacker). This was intentional, to motivate getting the hacker out of there or in a transport or whatever, but it's a reasonable request to have the responses stop without player intervention, so that's what will happen now.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the suggestion.
  • The "spawn raid starships" wild-roll no longer creates "zombie" raid starships that blindly agress upon whatever humans are in vision, but rather non-zombies that are coordinated like an exo and go charging after some juicy human target.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for the suggestion; please direct your rotten fruit in his direction (assuming it doesn't have a bonus vs. Ultra-Light hulls, you'll need those).
  • The grav well display circles now use much more subtle colors and rotate 1/8th as fast as they used to.
    • Thanks to clone, doctorfrog, Wanderer and others for suggestions on how to make these less Yeargh!-inducing.
  • Previously there was no way to know how ticked off the AI was at previous hacking attempts and thus what to expect in future ones. This was somewhat by design, as this isn't another AIP or whatever, but if the player is to make strategic decisions about hacking some kind of feedback (other than angry-ships-to-the-face) is important. So now once there's been any hacking antagonism actually generated (note: ship-design hacking doesn't actually increase that value until the hack is complete, since you haven't gained anything until then) an alert will display with a general descriptor ("Very Low", "Low", "Moderate", etc) of where things are.
    • The numeric ranges represented are pretty broad and somewhat guesses, so let us know if the AI hacking response just roflstomped the galaxy at "Low", etc.
    • Thanks to Hearteater and others for inspiring this change.
  • Previously the bonus-type selection buttons on the ARS tab of the tech menu for ship-design-hacked planets would still show the "KNWL" indicator over the top of buttons for which you didn't have enough knowledge to do the unlock if you were unlocking mkII of that type normally. Except you aren't spending knowledge by clicking them, so it shouldn't show the KNWL thing, and now it no longer does.
    • Thanks to HTL2001 for the report.
  • Now picking a bonus type from the ARS tab of the tech menu after a ship-design-hack is a per-player decision in multiplayer (and in singleplayer, but the difference isn't noticeable unless other players join).
    • If you think you might have players joining later, don't forget which planets had the ARS unlocks :)
    • Note that normal (no hacking) capture of an ARS still gives the same bonus type to all players, which gives ship-design hacking an additional advantage in multiplayer (though remember there's still only 3 types to pick from per ARS, so it's not all that much of an advantage).
    • Thanks to Cyborg for inspiring this change.
  • Dyson Antagonizer/Converter alert messages now contain the planet name if you've scouted the planet since that unit came into existence, not just when you've actively got a scout on the planet.
    • Thanks to Shrugging Khan for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug where helper players were getting the overflow from other players resources income-past-cap.
    • The resources were basically being lost since helpers cannot gift resources, which is intentional as otherwise this overflow case would represent an in-game bonus from having slots devoted to "helper", which would invalidate the assumption that the game can be balanced as if they weren't there and thus the AI's strength doesn't have to go up due to the presence of helpers, etc.
    • Along with this: apparently in the past overflow was going to ALL human player slots, even those that had never had any players in them, causing the resources to be split more ways than necessary in MP games with fewer than 8 human players. Fixed now.
    • Thanks to Mercatio for the report.
  • Reference tab of stats window:
    • The label on the "Display Comparisons For Ship" dropdown has been changed to "Target Ship".
    • The labels on the columns have been changed from "Them > Me" to "Opponent Attacking" (note: the header of the first column on the table is "Opponent") and from "Me > Them" to "Target Attacking". Also, "Result?" has been changed to "Opponent Wins?" and the Win/Loss text switched.
    • The Opponent-Attacking columns have been swapped with the Target-Attacking columns so that the Opponent-Attacking ones are first.
    • The overall idea behind the above changes is that the reference comparison is most often used to see "what do I have that can efficiently kill a bunch of the target type?", and not often used to see "what can the target type kill efficiently?".
    • Thanks to Ragnorak for reminding us about this.
  • The mouse wheel will no longer do affect zooming of the main game window while the stats window is visible (previously it was a real pain when trying to mousewheel-scroll through the various tables and dropdowns, etc).
    • Thanks to many players for repeatedly reminding us about this.
  • Fortresses (mkI, II, and III; human and AI) now have a radar dampening range of 30000. Since most ships have ranges lower than that it doesn't affect them, but this prevents sniping them (notably with zenith-bombards and sentinel frigates) from way out of range.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug in the reference export where flak guardians were showing as firing only one shot per salvo.
    • Thanks to Dazio for the report.
  • Spirecraft-Medium and Broken-Golems-Medium no longer have a score penalty.
    • Thanks to many players over the months pointing out that medium's counterbalance is at least as effective as hard's.
  • Fixed a bug where the hacking data (how much you'd done, and thus how annoyed the AI was) was not getting reset between games (the logic was there, but the wrong function was getting called).
    • Thanks to Toranth for the report leading to the discovery of this.
  • Added a sanity check preventing QueueAnotherSpawnAfterThisOne wild-rolls from causing an theoretically infinite loop on spawns with a very high number of rolls. This probably wasn't happening, but it was probably happening enough to bog things down if you hacked all 5 Advanced Research Stations or whatever.
    • Thanks to Toranth for reporting a hang during hacking, which was probably due to this (and the multiplicative spawn strength stuff).
  • Knowledge-Hacking / Ship-Design-Hacking responses now honor the last "mutate" roll instead of the first, and can now roll to switch back to a normal-ship spawn. Previously as roll count got high basically all the spawns would be mutated (raid or zombie guardian, currently) and this wasn't as fun as genuine variety.
    • Thanks to _K_ for inspiring this change.

Prerelease 5.029

(Released March 5th, 2012)

  • Fixed a critical data-loss bug in 5.028 where mkII/mkIII unlocks of bonus ship types would be lost upon loading the game (i.e. don't save in 5.028!)
    • Many thanks to Physical Original for the report and save.

Prerelease 5.028 Hacker Revolution

(Released March 5th, 2012)

  • Added new toggle to CTRLS window: Brave Scout Starships.
    • If this toggle is checked, your Scout Starships will suppress their normal self-preservation instincts. Specifically:
      • They will not evade (run to a far-off spot) upon exiting a wormhole under any circumstances.
      • They will not avoid being included in a selection with military ships.
    • This will tend to reduce the effectiveness of their automatic behavior for the purpose of scouting, but may make them much more useful for providing tachyon and counter-sniper coverage for a fleet.
    • Note: this applies to the scout starships of the player who's brave-scout-starships toggle is checked, regardless of who is trying to control them in a multiplayer game with Allow Team Control on. Allied Scout Starships will still be wimps unless their owners check this toggle too.
    • Thanks to many players for requesting a way of making their scout starships not imitate Sir Robin.
  • Scout Starship:
    • Base Health from 120k/480k/960k/1.2M => 300k*mk.
    • Base Armor Rating from 1500 flat => 1500*mk.
    • Tachyon Range from 750/950/1150/1550 => 2000*mk.
    • Ship Cap from 5/4/3/2 => 5/5/5/2.
    • Energy Use from 2000/4000/6000/6000 => 2000/2000/2000/5000.
    • Base Move Speed from 224/464/704/704 => 240/480/720/720.
    • Now can cloak-boost up to 20*mk allied cloaked ships (range: 4k/5k/6k), except the MkIV which isn't being given cloak-boosting due to potential issues with a tachyon-immune ship having a lot of cloak-boosting.
    • The MkIV Scout Starship:
      • Now provides counter-missile coverage.
      • Will now not use the evade-after-exiting-wormhole logic at all, since it is permacloaked (the non-starship MkIV Scout has the same attribute already).
    • Thanks to many players for feedback leading to these changes.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug (ever since starships were allowed to be loaded into a transport) where putting a ship with modules into a transport, saving the game, and loading the game would cause the modules to be removed from the game because the game thought they were no longer accessible (the "has a parent ship" link wasn't being checked).
    • Thanks to ArcDM for the report and Solarity for a more recent report and save.
  • Fixed some longstanding (since introduction of group move trying to handle immune-to-speed-boosting units) bugs with group move:
    • Previously, for example, a speed-boostable 140-speed unit group-moving with a non-speed-boostable 152-speed unit would result in the boostable ship going 152, and the non-boostable ship going 140 (_below_ its normal speed!). This was because the non-boostable one was taking the minimum speed of it's boostable friends, and then setting its speed limit as if those friends were not actually boostable.
      • This bug has been captured, stuffed, and placed in the museum. It couldn't get away fast enough.
    • Thanks to HellishFiend and Spikey00 (among others) for reporting.
  • Fixed a few longstanding bugs where ships were able to fire on targets significantly out of their range because in a few places the range checking was early-out'ing with max(dx,dy). This would have been fine if the target's current-forcefield-radius (and possibly other factors, none confirmed) were applied before the range check instead of after, but that wasn't the case and so the early-out threshold was wrong. Well, it's right now.
    • Thanks to Draco18s for the (initial) report and save.
  • Knowledge Raiding:
    • Now scales more granularly with difficulty (for example,previously 9.3, 9.6, and 9.8 all had the same intensity of response as 9; no longer). This somewhat increases the difficulty of k-raids on non-integer difficulties.
    • Now considers the ship cap of ships being spawned when deciding how many to spawn, so a laser gatling doesn't "cost" as much as a fighter, but a Maw "costs" quite a lot more. This makes the difficulty of k-raids not nearly as variable based on what bonus ship types the AI has, or the unit-cap-scale being used.
    • Now only the AI controlling the planet spawns response ships, but spawns twice as many, rather than both AIs spawning ships separately. This makes the composition different if the AIs have different bonus types.
    • Now the spawns happen every 10 seconds instead of (11 - Difficulty) seconds, and the strength is multiplied by 2.5 to roughly normalize it to what diff 7 was doing. The base strength of the spawn is still linearly proportional to difficulty, but this second difficulty-based factor which made it heavily higher-than-linear is no longer there. That really steep ramp-up at the end was good before, but would be excessive with the other changes below.
    • Now, the more knowledge you raid for, the more intense the response. Up to 1 planet's worth of knowledge there is no change, after a full 2 planet's worth of knowledge the response is 1.5x as intense (having increased linearly during the raids after the first planet's worth), at 3 planet's two times as intense, at 4 2.5x, and so on.
      • In multiplayer games this ramping-up is adjusted, e.g. if 3 players have raided 9000 total knowledge (3000 each), the ramp-up is the same as in a single-player game where that player has raided 3000 knowledge. Multi-homeworld players only count as 1 for this purpose.
      • Now each spawn makes a number of "wild rolls" which apply various effects to what happens.
        • These range from "nothing" to "make it spawn around the planet edge" to "multiply it by 1.5" to "make it all raid starships" to "make it spawn on a neighboring planet", etc.
        • At first there is only 1 roll per spawn, but this goes up by 1 for every 1500 knowledge raided.
    • If you have Advanced Logging enabled, each spawn will generate an entry in the "CounterSaboteurSpawns.txt" log file; it may not make sense to players but is very helpful to us if you submit it with your feedback.
    • For the detailed discussion see http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,9906.0.html , but in brief the rationale is:
      • K-raiding's main purpose is to let players dig themselves out of a hole by gaining power without increasing AIP.
      • K-raiding also needs to not be a way of circumventing normal AIP-gain on a wide scale. To some extent it's good; avoiding 200 AIP via it is a bit much.
        • If a player gets in a hole multiple times in a row, it's ok if the k-raiding gets harder and eventually either they die to it (sparing them a longer game) or they have to bite more AIP (making progress, probably towards sparing them a longer game).
      • If possible, K-raiding also needs to not be boring. Partly that means making it so that "playing optimally" doesn't involve 10+ k-raids in a game, and partly that means making the actual AI response to the raids more interesting.
      • In general, the balance of all this is tentative. It looks right in our testing, but it may be too easy or (perhaps more likely) too hard. Please give us feedback and we will continue to refine towards better balance and more fun :)
    • Thanks to Hearteater, Wanderer , techsy730, chemical_art, and others for feedback on how k-raiding was (still) exploitable and boring, and on proposals to improve it.
  • Science Lab III:
    • Has been renamed to "Knowledge Hacker"
    • Is now mobile, cloaked, and significantly more durable.
    • Now has a 15-second setup-after-moving time (similar to the MRS's 60-second setup time before it can repair) during which it cannot gather knowledge.
    • Since you can now build them off-planet where they're not triggering spawns, these changes significantly reduce the amount of player-hassle and wall-clock-time spent on a single knowledge raid; the raids themselves (beyond the first raid) are far more dangerous so it should balance out difficulty-wise, but be less annoying.
  • Superterminal Hacking:
    • Now the superterminal never seeds on an AI homeworld or core world (can still seed next to a core world which is mean, but not nearly so mean as having to permanently alert a homeworld, or capture one, in order to use the superterminal).
    • Also, the superterminal's response is now based only on the reduction achieved through the superterminal, not total AIP-reduction, so it's no longer very important to do the ST before getting reduction from other sources.
    • Now the antagonism generated by knowledge raiding feeds into the strength of superterminal spawns, and the number of times a superterminal has "ticked" feeds into that same antagonism (thematically, they're both "hacking" and the AI dinnae like it).
      • Reducing AIP via superterminal hacking is significantly more "efficient" than knowledge raiding in terms of what you gain in return for making future hacking efforts more dangerous. The disadvantage is that this requires the superterminal, and doesn't stop if you lose control of the system (unless you destroy the superterminal).
    • Now also uses a "wild roll" system like what k-raiding uses, but it's somewhat more tame in terms of what kinds of crazy it can throw in there. Right now all it can do is surges (10% of the time, the same effect that was added in the previous version), and the "short range warp jump" (15% of the time, spawns the units away from the superterminal itself) wild-effect that the k-raid spawns can get.
    • If you have Advanced Logging enabled, each spawn will generate an entry in the "CounterSaboteurSpawns.txt" log file; it may not make sense to players but is very helpful to us if you submit it with your feedback.
    • The rationale for this is trying to make both k-raiding and superterminal-hacking more interesting and more of a strategic choice (since now using one makes the other more dangerous), but also to make it harder to use the superterminal for arbitrarily-high AIP reductions (we've seen cases where players could kill 400 AIP with it without even being in much danger).
      • As with k-raiding: In general, the balance of all this is tentative. It looks right in our testing, but it may be too easy or (perhaps more likely) too hard. Please give us feedback and we will continue to refine towards better balance and more fun :)
    • Thanks to Wanderer and others for various feedback over the past year showing how much people could run away with the game using the superterminal, generally stopping due to boredom rather than threat. Now you'll die of something else before you die of boredom :)
  • Advanced Research Station Hacking:
    • Added the "Ship-Design Hacker" (for lack of a better name, let us know if you think of one): a 4th ship to the "science lab" line, very similar to the "Knowledge Hacker". It gathers no knowledge, but has another ability.
    • If you keep a Ship-Design Hacker on an AI-controlled planet with an AI-controlled ARS for 10 minutes (it must remain stationary during this time; it's one of those kinds of countdowns), it will "hack" the Advanced Research Station and reprogram it such that when you capture the planet:
      • Instead of being immediately granted a new bonus ship type, you will be able (from the tech menu of the ARS, or of a Ship-Design Hacker) to select one of three bonus ship types.
      • Note the hacker does not have to survive after the hack has been completed, and the ARS does not have to survive after the planet is captured, but you will need a science lab, ARS, or SDH (anything with a tech menu that normally lets you unlock II/III versions of fleet ships, basically).
    • However, the AI will react to Ship-Design Hackers the same way they react to Knowledge Hackers. Also, the number of previous ship-design-hacks you've pulled off will increase AI response to future hacking (of all 3 kinds). Each subsequent ship-design-hack makes things a lot worse than the previous one did, such that 1 isn't a big deal, 2 is a big deal, 3 is a huge deal, 4 is probably death if you hack seriously again, and 5 is really going to mess you up if you so much as look like you're hacking the rest of the game.
    • In summary: if you don't "use" your opportunity to hack for k-raiding, or for the super-terminal, you can use it here to get more flexibility in your fleet composition. You can also do all three activities, but remember that they each make the others more dangerous.
  • Amended Bomber Starship description to note that it is unable to hit small targets.
    • Thanks to rabican for reminding us that it wasn't admitting to this particular limitation.
  • Fixed a bug where aoe shots would do fail to hit a forcefield they detonated against unless the actual forcefield-generating unit was in range of the explosion. Now the collision check is done against the forcefield's current radius rather than its center point.
    • Specifically, this deals with plasma siege starships firing upon but being unable to damage an AI forcefield (when it was high enough health, at least).
    • Thanks to TechSY730 and rabican for reporting and providing saves.
  • Dyson Antagonizer (hybrid plot) :
    • Now tries to be built somewhat closer to the AI's border.
    • Health from 80M => 40M.
    • The more dangerous values may be restored for Advanced Hybrids or some other option in the future, but the previous string of buffs to this plot was proving too much for normal.
    • Thanks to various players for feedback on this.
  • The "Detected AI Progress Reducers" galaxy map display used to just show "DC " followed by the total number of reducers on the planet (for planets with any). Now it shows "DC", "CP", "ST", or "CL" (Data Center, Co-processor, SuperTerminal, Civlian Leader) and if there are multiple on a planet it shows them with spaces inbetween (so potentially something like "ST DC DC").
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for pointing out that the previous display left something to be desired.
  • Impulse Reaction Emitter, in recognition of winning the 3rd "worst ship" award:
    • Effective Range from 4200 => 6000.
    • Base Move Speed from 20 => 30. This makes it slightly faster than a fighter.
    • Base Metal+Crystal cost from 300+300 => 250+250. That's mkI; other marks use normal progression.
    • Minimum multiplier from 5 => 8.
      • The base-cap-dps was already high at 73k and is now in the top 10 among fleet ships (including self-destructing ships and ships with no bonuses) at 117k, but this helps counterbalance the fact that it doesn't get more than the minimum multiplier against most fleet-ship targets.
    • Multiplier from (target energy use)/1024 => (target energy use)/256. So it starts getting a higher-than-minimum bonus against ships using 2049+ energy, up to the max multiplier of 30 against targets using 7680+ energy (note that the IRE is not any better damage-wise against max-multiplier targets, since it was already very powerful there).
    • Thanks to the poll voters for bestowing this dubious honor, and for more specific feedback on what the unit actually was lacking.
  • Space Plane, in recognition of doing really well in the 3rd "worst ship" poll:
    • Vs-Hull multipliers from 2.4 => 3.2.
      • For reference, that's against Light (Fighter), Polycrystal (Bomber), Heavy (... a lot of things), and UltraHeavy.
      • Eyebots have 3.2, and a somewhat lower base-dps, but can shoot through forcefields.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 3 => 9.
    • Base Attack Power from 600*mk => 1800*mk.
      • So that's the same dps as before (aside from the multiplier increase), but higher alpha capacity for hit-and-run using their radar dampening, etc.
    • Base Energy Use from 100 => 50, because with the 1.75x ship cap the default energy use (100) was kind of excessive.
    • Base Metal+Crystal cost from 90+90 => 75+75 (that's mkI). More in keeping with the dies-due-to-light-breeze-when-it-can-catch-them nature of the ship.
    • And the AI is really happy about this part: the Space Plane is now immune to AoE damage. That's bargained down from immune-to-gravity, so be happy.
    • Thanks to the poll voters for their feedback on this unit.
  • Vampire Claw, also in recognition of runner-up-for-worst-ship:
    • Base Health from 5000*mk => 10000*mk.
      • Previously they only had 4M cap-health, which was below even stuff like eyebots. Kind of rough for a melee ship even with self-regen. Now at 8M they're still really low compared to most fleet ships.
    • Now have cloaking. Be afraid. Bring tachyons. And garlic.
      • Note that this means that games with cloaking ships disabled won't have claws. But any game already started that has them will continue having them, regardless of that setting.
    • Base Energy Use from 200 => 160.
    • Base Attack Power from 650 => 850.
    • Added Artillery to the hull types this has a bonus against (om nom missile frigate tasty).
    • Now has a 0.3x multiplier against the command-grade hull type.
    • Thanks to the poll voters for their feedback on this unit.
  • Youngling Tiger:
    • Base Metal+Crystal from 40+40 => 25+25, same as commandos and weasels.
  • Youngling Vulture:
    • Base Metal+Crystal from 40+40 => 25+25, same as commandos and weasels (and tigers, now).
  • Spire Gravity Drain:
    • Base Metal+Crystal from 0+3000 => 500+1000. These were tied for most expensive fleet ship, and 2x (or more) as expensive as all but 6 other fleet ship types. Wasn't really anything to justify that.
    • These need more rebalancing attention, but ran out of time for that in this release.
  • Spire Gravity Ripper:
    • Base Metal+Crystal from 1800+1200 => 1000+500. Was similar to the grav drain's situation.
    • These need more rebalancing attention, but ran out of time for that in this release.
  • Spire Armor Rotter:
    • Base Metal+Crystal from 800+1900 => 450+900. Was 3rd most expensive.
    • These need more rebalancing attention, but ran out of time for that in this release.
  • Space Tank:
    • Base Metal+Crystal from 1100+0 => 600+100. Was 5th most expensive, and more expensive than bombers, now slightly less expensive than bombers.
    • Base Attack Power from 2600*mk => 2300*mk.
    • Vs-Hull-Type multipliers from 3.2 => 6.
      • Bombers have 6. Space Tanks now have a roughly 30% higher base-dps, since the general idea is for bonus ship types to be 30-50% more useful than triangle types.
    • Effective range from 4800+200*mk => 6300+200*mk. Since they're so slow.
  • Grenade Launcher:
    • Base Energy Use from 400 => 150. It had twice the cap-energy-use of the next highest fleet ship type.
  • Sentinel Frigate:
    • Base Attack Power from 14000*mk => 31000*mk. It had a cap-dps (base=max for this one) of 44k, which was really laughable. 100k is bit on the low end for a type with no bonus of any kind, but it is an infinite-range ship.
  • Made end-of-Fallen-Spire spawns yet more enthusiastic, due to the opposition they sometimes face on 10/10. That AI sure is stubborn...
  • On planet view, the game now draws two circles representing the key zones of the planet's "gravity well". These will generally only be seen when zoomed very far out. The inner circle (60000 range from planet center) represents the bounds of the area within which stationary structures may be built and transports may unload. The outer circle (80000 range from planet center) represents the boundary beyond which ship engines are unable to maintain a useful velocity.
    • The underlying rules have been there for over a year, but seeing the ranges involved the minimap.
    • To go with this, added new toggle: Disable Planet Area Display, which disables this new drawing behavior. If there's a bunch of complaints this toggle may be changed to default to "on", but we'll see :)
    • Thanks to clone for reminding us how little clue the game gave (particularly to new players) about the existence and importance of these two ranges.
  • Now for wave alerts that list the actual ship type being sent at you: moving your mouse cursor over a wave alert will bring up that ship's data, similar to mousing-over a ship of that type.
    • Thanks to clone for the suggestion.
  • Science Labs I/II/III, the Survey Ship, and the new Ship Design Hacker are now all immune to the maw's swallow effect. This has nothing to do with a recent test going unexpectedly and terribly awry, of course.

Prerelease 5.027 SuperTerminal Overload

(Released February 23rd, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug where the stages of the hybrid-dyson plot that were supposed to only happen when Advanced Hybrids were on were happening when only Normal Hybrids were on.
    • Note: the antagonizer is part of what should happen with normal hybrids, but we're working towards more flexibility there too.
    • Thanks to orzelek for the report.
  • AI Super-Terminals:
    • Previously these became active after you finished building a command station on the planet, and went dormant again as soon as your command station was destroyed. Now they never go dormant after becoming active: now, the only way to shut down an active superterminal is to destroy it.
      • Thanks to Atomjack for pointing out that it was too easy to keep turning the terminal on and off previously.
    • Now each super-terminal "pulse" has a 10% chance to be a "surge":
      • It puts a message in the chat log letting you know there was a surge.
      • It intensifies the pulse by (highest AI difficulty / 2) (so diff 7 means that pulse will be 3.5 as strong in terms of enemy ships generated).
      • It sets the time until the next pulse to 1 second instead of the usual 15. "Chain surges" are therefore possible, albeit fairly unlikely.
    • Previously when the super terminal reached a certain size of mkV pulse it simply didn't get any more dangerous; now it will start shortening the time between pulses as the strength goes past that point.
    • In all, super terminals were being a little too tame. It's great that proper playing of an ST can make the difference between winning and losing, but they seemed to need more danger and unpredictability to balance out their fairly powerful advantages. It's more like "riding the bull" now, and if it gets out of control it can kill you.
  • Mapgen will no longer put the dyson sphere adjacent to an AI core world, because having a core world on alert the whole game was nearly an automatic loss on some more intense scenarios. It's better if you die because of something you actually had influence over.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for reporting a game where the dyson sphere was bordering 3 core worlds. Ouch.
  • Riot Tazer:
    • Paralysis Time from 1 => 3 (internally 2 => 4, but the first second generally gets eaten due to processing order).
    • Reload Time from 2 => 8.
    • Per-planet stagger from 2 seconds => 6 seconds.
    • This helps prevent some transient (and difficult to reproduce) stunlocks due to processing order, while maintaining the ability to keep things locked down 50% of the time.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for reporting the transient stunlocks.
  • Anti-Starship Arachnid V:
    • Has become Spider Bot V, which it has been internally since the beginning but had a bunch of special changes to make it an anti-starship unit.
      • Long ago this was a really important unit for the AI because it would spawn them in response to human usage of starships, but that hasn't been the case for rather a while.
      • In the meantime, they generally only see service if a human player captures a fabricator that produces them, and while the AI does use some starships generally these units are very, very low on usefulness to a human player because they literally can't hit anything that isn't a starship. So now they're just Spider V.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for reporting that he shot his monitor after finding 2 Anti-Starship V fabricators. At least, that's what's on the police report.
  • Spider Bots:
    • Engine Damage per shot from 15 => 60.
      • This brings mark I cap-engine-damage-per-second to about 30% of a cap of Spider Turrets; a cap of mkII (which has fewer ships) to 50-55%, and so on.
    • Base Health from 3600*mk => 7200*mk. They were right at the flimsiest end of fleet ship cap-health (5M), now just in the lower 3rd (10M).
  • Beam Starship:
    • Rebalancing as a MkV starship, since the fleet ship fabricators produce MkV stuff.
    • Base Move Speed from 14 => 22.
    • Base Health from 4.5M => 22.5M. Now on par with the Core Starship for cap-health.
    • Max targets hit per shot from infinite => 9. Same as Zenith Beam Frigate.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 5 => 2. Not the same as Zenith Beam Frigate.
    • Base Attack Power from 28k => 44k. If it hits 9 targets every 2 seconds, that puts cap-dps at about 3/4 that of the Core Starship's bonus cap-dps.
    • All vs-hull-type multipliers removed; the "bonus" for ships like this is typically obtained by hitting more than one ship; max bonus is against large clumps where you can always hit the max.
    • Energy and m+c costs looked ok; energy a bit high, m+c rather low for mkV but since you have to get a fabricator to build these we can let it slide unless it becomes a problem.
    • Thanks to zharmad for the reminder that these have needed a rebalance since before 4.0.
  • Warbird Starship:
    • Rebalancing as a MkV starship, since the fleet ship fabricators produce MkV stuff.
    • Made eligible for spawning in exos again; were originally removed from that because if they were lead ships they made the whole group go terrifast. Well, Raid Starships are even faster and are still eligible, so these are going back in. Generally these won't be picked to lead all but relatively early exos with lighter overall firepower.
    • Base Health from 3M => 17M. Now about 70% of Core Starship for cap-health (or: a bit over 10M*mk, where 7.5M*mk is about as low as any combat starship should go in the current approach).
    • From no vs-hull-type multipliers => 4 vs polycrystal, heavy, ultra-heavy, and structural.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 5 => 2.
    • Shots-per-salvo from 40 => 16.
    • Base Attack Power from 2k => 8k. This brings non-bonus/bonus cap-dps to a bit under 200k/800k, very similar to the core starship in that regard.
    • Energy and m+c costs looked ok; energy a bit low, m+c rather low for mkV but since you have to get a fabricator to build these we can let it slide unless it becomes a problem.
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for the reminder that these needed a rebalancing.
  • Paralyzers (specifically, zenith paralyzers, but also nanoswarms to some extent) are now much more aggressive about spreading out their fire across available targets to make better use of the paralysis effect.
    • It still will focus more than is optimal in cases where a group of more than 100 paralyzers (of the same mark, controlled by the same player, relatively near one another) has more than 100 non-paralyzed targets in range (they'll generally all focus on 100 of the targets in the first volley, and spread out afterward) due to our desire to not have target lists longer than 100 for RAM-consumption reasons. But it's a lot better than it used to be.
    • Thanks to soMe_RandoM and (more recently) zharmad for bringing to our attention how sub-optimal the targeting used to be.
  • Reference tab balance export:
    • Removed a lot of no-longer-relevant columns.
    • Added columns for base shot strength, targets hit per shot, shots per salvo, seconds per salvo, minimum and maximum special multipliers (for vulture/IRE/polarizer), short name, wave name, etc.
    • Improved computation of non-bonus and bonus dps to be right in more cases (still off for autobombs/minirams/nanoswarms, etc).
    • Thanks to Dazio for suggestions on what would be helpful for working on the new wiki pages for each ship (and thanks to him and others for that work, of course!)
  • Fixed a bug where the minimum special multiplier wasn't working for Zenith Polarizers against targets that literally had zero armor, so their dps was 1/4 the intended value in those cases. Fixed a related bug for Impulse Reaction Emitters, but that probably wasn't affecting any significant cases.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report.
  • Acid Sprayers:
    • Base Attack from 450 => 600. This puts the non-bonus cap-dps pretty exactly at the fighter's.
    • Base Movement Speed from 40 => 50. Now same as the ether-jet; this is a very short range ship and needs to be able to close the distance.
    • Vs Hull Type Multipliers from 6 => 8. The fighter's vs-polycrystal bonus is 5, for reference.
    • Base Metal/Crystal cost from 0/300 => 40/180. So 10% more expensive to build to cap than a fighter (though it's still twice as much energy).
    • Thanks to the many players weighing in the poll naming the Acid Sprayer as the second winner of the "worst ship" award. In honor of these changes, the award has been optimistically confiscated.

Prerelease 5.026 Pay Attention, Exos!

(Released February 15th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the previous version where broken-golems-hard and spirecraft-hard exos could sometimes pick any human-controlled unit as their main target.
    • Thanks to dotjd for the report and save.
  • Vorticular Cutlass:
    • Base Health from 7000*mk => 10500*mk. This puts them at the top of the target fleet ship range with 30M*mk cap-health (Armor Ships and Shield Bearers were the only other ones up there before this).
    • Base Speed from 16 => 54. So from slower than a fighter to slightly faster than an etherjet.
    • Base Metal/Crystal cost from 200/50 => 30/30. Now the same price as infiltrators, a bit lower than tele-raiders, etc.
    • Base Energy use from 100 => 20.
    • Thanks to many players for ongoing feedback about these being, possibly, the least useful fleet ship in the game since its last major changes.
  • Fixed bug where autobombs/nanoswarms/etc could now target and fly into an aoe-immune ship but couldn't actually do anything to it. They'll now do damage and their other effects as normal, though if it's just a big pile of aoe-immune targets you'll probably want to hold them off for efficiency reasons: they'll only hit the direct target, unless there's something aoe-able in range.
    • Thanks to techsy730 for the report.
  • Youngling Nanoswarm:
    • Paralysis time from 1*mk seconds to 3*mk seconds. Partly because really short paralysis times work a bit oddly, partly because these needed to be more useful.
    • Engine damage from 2*mk => 10*mk.
  • The "The Tank" AI-type wave multiplier from 0.5 => 1, as the intent behind it is that it be actually stronger on offense than usual, rather than weaker. The average should be fine, but possibly another increase can come later.

Prerelease 5.025 Balance Beam

(Released February 13th, 2012)

  • Everything that fires Siege Plasma (Plasma Siege Starship, Plasma Siege Cannon modules), Flak grenades, grenades, or self-explodes (autobomb, nanoswarm) can now fire directly upon aoe-immune targets, but the resulting aoe will still not hit any aoe-immune targets (just the directly hit target).
    • Notably, this restores the Plasma Siege Starship's ability to target Raid Starships, which was unintentionally lost in the previous version.
    • Thanks to techsy730 for pointing out the error, and several players for the suggested mechanic change.
  • Added new toggle to CTRLS window: "Make Multi-Planet FRD Patrol" (defaults to on).
    • If this toggle is checked, your FRD units will pursue and engage enemy units on the same planet even if currently under orders to proceed to a different planet.
    • Otherwise, your FRD units will prioritize a "move to different planet order" and will not break off to pursue enemy units.
    • Note: This used to be the default behavior but was changed during the last year. Several requests to return to the previous behavior have led to this change, but the suppress-patrol behavior is available by unchecking this toggle, for those who want it (or to use it for a certain period of time). More granular control could be added, but we didn't want to overbuild this.
    • Thanks to many players for reminding us that they really like it when FRD means "Patrol".
  • When computing the number of reactors of a specific mark controlled by a specific player on a specific planet for the purposes of reactor-inefficiency, that number is now divided by that player's number of homeworlds (if that player has more than 1). This allows them to get basically the same energy output per m+c cost as an equivalent number of separate players with the same total number of homeworlds.
    • On the same note, the "auto build energy reactor" toggles on the CTRLS window (both galaxy-wide and per-planet) have been converted to sliders allowing you to specifying that more than one should be auto-built. If both the galaxy-wide one and a per-planet one are greater than zero, that planet will auto-build the higher of the two numbers (but not the sum, unlike with engineers).
    • The energy difference between multi-HW and multi-players has been known for a long time and not considered a priority. However, recent scientific analysis has concluded that multi-HW AARs have significant potential entertainment value, hence the change.
    • Thanks to many, many players asking for this over the years.
  • Added new unit cap scale option: Ultra Low
    • Most large-cap ships have roughly a quarter of the standard cap (Fighter MkI = 24), and are roughly four times as expensive, four times as strong, etc.
    • This puts the lowest possible load on the your CPU when you have the biggest-possible battles. Also helpful if you're playing a game with 8 human homeworlds (in multiplayer or otherwise).
    • Thanks to Wanderer for submitting a save that showed a Low-caps battle making a modern CPU cry.
  • Flak Turrets:
    • Effective range from 4000/5000/6000 => 4500/5500/6500 to make them a little easier to place around a wormhole.
    • Now when under a firepower-reducing forcefield they retain 75% of their attack power instead of the customary 25%.
    • Hopefully they'll now be closer to the general usefulness of other turrets in that they don't have to die immediately (if protected).
    • Thanks to chemical_art, techsy730, Wanderer and other players for weighing in on the flak's recent usefulness and making suggestions.
  • Lightning Turrets:
    • Now when under a firepower-reducing forcefield they retain 75% of their attack power instead of the customary 25%.
  • Heavy Beam Cannons (just the human standalone ones, not any of the spire variants, though the spire variants were impacted by the m+c and knowledge cost changes) :
    • All marks:
      • All vs-hull-type bonuses removed, these are just straight damage now, which is more thematically appropriate. Also, it's nice to have at least one turret type that doesn't have that kind of bonus.
      • For reference, these aren't really "aoe", they're "blast-through"; a beam loses strength as it does damage.
    • MkI
      • For reference, MkI unit cap is 12 for these, and each fires 3 beams every 7 seconds.
      • Base Health from 250k => 850k. This brings cap-health a bit higher than missile turrets, which are the squishy end of turret types.
      • Base Energy Use from 750 => 1650. This brings cap-energy to just slightly above MLRS and several other turret types.
      • Base Metal/Crystal Cost from 8000/14000 => 6500/11000. This brings cap-mc to slightly below most turret types.
      • Base Attack Power from 50000 => 140000. This brings cap-dps to be second highest turret non-bonus-dps (lightning being highest) but well below the any turret's bonus-dps.
      • Knowledge cost from 2000 => 500. The other mkI turrets are free.
    • MkII
      • For reference, MkII unit cap is 8 for these, and each fires 6 beams every 6 seconds.
      • Base Health from 1.25M => 2.55M. Basically: mkI health * (2 for being mkII) * (1.5 for smaller unit cap)
      • Base Energy Use from 1300 => 2500. (roughly mkI * 1.5 for cap)
      • Base Metal/Crystal Cost from 16000/28000 => 13000/22000. (mkI * 2, customary for mkII)
      • Base Attack Power from 50000 => 180000. Basically: mkI damage * (0.429 for rate-of-fire-difference) * (2 for mkII) * (1.5 for unit cap)
      • Knowledge cost from 3000 => 2500. Most other mkII turrets are 2000-3000.
    • MkIII
      • For reference, MkIII unit cap is 4 for these, and each fires 12 beams every 5 seconds.
      • Base Health from 2.25M => 7.65M. Basically: mkI health * (3 for mark) * (3 for unit cap)
      • Base Energy Use from 2000 => 5000. (roughly mkI * 3 for cap)
      • Base Metal/Crystal Cost from 32000/56000 => 26000/44000. (mkI * 4, customary for mkIII)
      • Base Attack Power from 50000 => 225000. Basically: mkI damage * (0.179 for rof diff) * (3 for mark) * (3 for cap)
      • Knowledge cost from 3500 => 3000. That's pretty normal for a mkIII turret.
    • MkIV
      • For reference, MkIV unit cap is _1_ for these, and it fires 40 beams every 4 seconds.
      • Base Health from 3.25M => 40M. Basically: mkI health * (4 for mark) * (12 for unit cap)
      • Base Energy Use from 2000 => 20000. (roughly mkI * 12 for cap)
      • Base Metal/Crystal Cost from 64000/112000 => 52000/88000. (mkI * 8, customary for mkIV)
      • Base Attack Power from 50000 => 290000. Basically: mkI damage * (0.043 for rof diff) * (4 for mark) * (12 for cap)
      • Knowledge cost staying at 3000. Thought about 3500, but it really is just one unit.
    • These haven't seen a real rebalance in... a long time, and had fallen behind pretty drastically through the various changes since the 3.x days. Hopefully this will make them statistically competitive with other turret types (that have much larger caps). Feedback on how it all actually works out in practice is very welcome.
    • Thanks to Hearteater and others for feedback that inspired these changes.
  • All modules (except those that generate forcefields) are now invincible and thus untargetable, etc.
    • This really helps prevent a lot of fiddliness when losing modules on a Riot (or whatever), especially when you've got a build queue competing with the ship's auto-replacement logic, etc.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where modules would not always decloak their parent ship when firing.
    • Thanks to several players for reporting that the previous fix for this wasn't working.
  • Now when a modular ship is in low-power-mode, all its modules act as if in low-power-mode.
    • Note that if a module was already in low power mode and the parent is made low-power and then taken out of low-power, that module will stay in low-power. The other modules that were not in low-power before will come out of it when the parent does.
  • Riot Starships:
    • Ship Cap from 4/3/2 => 4 flat. Most of the special starship types have non-decreasing caps already.
    • Base Health from 900k*mk => 1.8M*mk. This brings their just-the-hull health up to just below the squishy end of the current target zone for starships (7.5M*mk cap-hp, though Raids and Leeches are currently way below that for other reasons).
    • Shield mkI/mkII Base Health from 500k*mk => 1.8M*mk. This brings their hull+shield health up to the middle of the target zone.
    • Base Speed from 20/17/14 => flat 20.
    • Base Energy Cost from 3000/4000/5000 => flat 3000.
    • Base mkI Metal+Crystal Cost from 20k+60k => 30k+50k (mkII is 2x, mkIII is 4x).
    • Knowledge Cost from free/3500/4500 => free/4000/5000. DPS starships run 0/5k/7k, more specialized ones like the raid run 0/4k/4k, etc.
    • Base Attack Power from 3600/5200/6800 => 4000*mk. This brings their non-bonus-dps up to the very low end of the current target zone for starship (20k*mk cap-dps). So it's really low (even with module damage), but it's a utility type.
    • Base Engine Damage from 40/55/70 => 40*mk.
    • Multiplier vs Medium from 2 => 4. Its other 4 bonuses were already 4.
    • All Modules:
      • No longer have an energy cost. 12k cap-e for the hulls is enough.
    • Machine Gun Modules:
      • Engine Damage Percent Floor from 50%/30% => 40%/20%.
    • Laser Modules:
      • Engine Damage from 17*mk => 30*mk. The machine guns are still 3x as efficient for total EDPS but have shorter range and cannot bring engines as low as these.
      • Multiplier vs CloseCombat from 5 => 4.
      • Multiplier vs Neutron from 3 => 4.
    • Shotgun Modules:
      • Base Attack Power from 40 => 400.
      • Engine Damage from 28 => 36. Makes these 2x as efficient as MGs for total EDPS.
      • Shots per salvo from 25/49 => 25*mk.
      • Multiplier vs Swarmer from 6 => 4.
      • Multiplier vs CloseCombat from 5 => 4.
      • Multiplier vs Refractive from 5 => 4.
    • Tazer Module:
      • Multiplier vs Medium from 3 => 4.
      • Multiplier vs Artillery from 3 => 4.
      • Now has a planet-wide stagger time of 2 seconds, to prevent permanently stunlocking 4000+ ships in a multi-hw setting with 4 Riot IIs. They can still be used to effectively halve the attack power (due to prolonging reload time) of non-paralysis immune enemies. Also tends to interrupt them while they try to get away.
      • Thanks to Wanderer for being the one to confirm the long-held suspicion that these were horribly exploitable.
    • Tractor Modules:
      • Tractor Range from 1700*mk => flat 4400. Same as mkIII tractor turrets.
      • Tractor Count from 10/40 => 72*mk. Same as mkII/mkIII tractor turrets (but mobile and not needing supply).
        • Note that this doesn't scale with unit cap scale and really should, but that's a bit out of scope for this time frame and these would be the numbers on high caps so you're not losing anything.
    • For reference, total cap-EDPS with all MG/SG builds firing within main-gun range is now 3080/4720/7080, compared to the spider turret's 7833 (from infinite range, insta-fire, and able to take engines down to 1%, but immobile and way more expensive).
    • This was another long-overdue rebalancing, hence the magnitude of changes.
  • Orbital Mass Drivers:
    • Now when under a firepower-reducing forcefield they retain 75% of their attack power instead of the customary 25%.
    • Thanks to techsy730 for the suggestion.
  • Leech Starship:
    • Base Energy Use from 10k/14k/18k => flat 5k. So cap-e is same now as Raids (the next highest for combat starships)
    • All vs-hull-type bonuses removed, to allow for a bit more of an overall damage buff and thus more general reclamation utility.
    • Base Health from 1.6M*mk => 3.2M*mk. Was well below the target range for starship cap-health, is now just on the low-end (bottom is 7.5M*mk).
    • Shots per salvo from 1 => 3. That brings it up to the target range for starship-with-no-bonuses cap-dps (about 66k*mk), and should help it reclaim more.
    • Hull type from UltraLight => Heavy because UltraLight tends to be a major pain to kill when in the hands of the AI (see: raid starships) and the health just doubled.
    • Thanks to many players for feedback that this was an underwhelming unit.
  • Light Starship/Flagship/Zenith Starship/Spire Starship/Core Starship
    • Ship Cap from 5/3/2/2/2 => 4 flat.
    • Base Speed from 15/18/18/24/22 => 22 flat.
    • Base Armor Rating from 1000/2500/2500/2500/2500 => 1000*mk.
    • Base Energy Use from 2k/10k/20k/20k/20k => 4k flat.
    • Base Attack Range from 1500/4800/3000/10000/500 => 3000+(200*mk).
    • Base Health from 2M/6M/14,625k/12,675k/25,350k => 3.75M*mk. This brings them to 15M*mk cap-health, and the target range for starships is 7.5M-40M*mk (though there aren't any "Armor Starships" or whatever that would actually use the top of that range, etc).
    • Shots-per-salvo from 5/9/14/4/5 => 5 flat.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 4/4/2/2/5 => 4 flat.
    • Multiplier vs CloseCombat from 12/12/1/1/1 => 4.
    • Multiplier vs Medium from 8/8/1/6/1 => 4.
    • Multiplier vs Light from 6/6/1/1/1 => 1/1/4/1/4.
    • Multiplier vs Polycrystal from 1/1/0.01/4/1 => 4/1/1/4/4.
    • Multiplier vs Artillery from 1 => 1/4/1/1/4.
    • Multiplier vs UltraLight from 1/1/1/4/1 => 1.
    • Multiplier vs Swarmer from 1/1/1/1/0.1 => 1.
      • Part of this is to make each of the mkI-IV varieties good against one triangle ship type, and the mkV good against them all (not that you can get the mkV normally, but the AI can!).
    • Base Attack Power from 3600/12k/30k/60k/60k => 8k*mk. This brings them to 40k*mk non-bonus and 160k*mk bonus cap-dps, which is about right for a 4x-bonus starship.
    • Munitions boost range from 3k/6k/5k/8k = 2k+(1k*mk).
    • Most of the mark-specific quirks (flagships do a little engine damage, zeniths and up have warp detection, spires are immune to gravity, different ammo types, etc) are still there.
    • There've been a lot of balance problems with this line for a while, and we've held off from comprehensive changes partly since they're really two separate lines (fleet starship and alien starship) and we'll probably split them up at some point. We'll probably still split them up later since that would be cool, but for now it's easier to balance them as a cohesive line according to the guidelines used for the other combat starships.
  • Golems-Hard and Spirecraft-Hard exos are now a bit more wily about what their primary objectives. FS exos may follow suit later.

Prerelease 5.024 Carrier Rules Of Engagement

(Released February 6th, 2012)

  • Fixed an... interesting omission in the previous version: Plasma Siege Starship base range was supposed to have gone from 16k to 4k, but did not. On further thought, the change was made to 6500/7000/7500 instead (same as mkI/II/III missile frigate).
    • Thanks to TechSY730 and Wanderer for the report.
  • Spider turrets:
    • Base Metal Cost from 6000 => 1200.
    • Base Crystal Cost 15000 => 2400.
    • These weren't actually changed in last patch because they weren't inheriting the sniper turret costs. This is actually a good thing as spider turrets are substantially more useful than sniper turrets. They now cost 2x as much m+c as the sniper turret (3600 vs 1800).
    • Thanks to c4sc4 for pointing out that the costs hadn't changed.
  • Fixed a bug in the previous version where Ally counts on the galaxy map display were higher than they should have been (specifically, it was taking the total number of friendly ships and adding the number of "my ships" instead of subtracting it).
    • Thanks to dorenthas for the report.
  • Fixed a display bug where a constructor that had to stop building would sometimes still show in some places as continuing to spend resources. They were not actually continuing to spend resources while unable to build, but it looked like it.
    • Thanks to Cyborg for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where a constructor that had to stop a build in mid-construction due to the ship cap for that type becoming full (another constructor "won the race", so to speak) would usually fail to refund the resources it had already spent on the ship being built.
    • Thanks to Cyborg for the report that led to this being found.
  • Stats Window -> Resource Flows Tab, detail (i.e. non-summary) mode:
    • The unit type name for each entry is now a button.
      • Left clicks center your view on the unit (and switch to its planet, if different from your current view).
      • Right clicks try to toggle whether the unit is in low power mode (note that a unit in low power mode will typically not be shown in detail mode because it only shows stuff with a non-zero metal or crystal impact).
      • Fixed a bug where the "Reason" column always said "Normal Operation", even if it was supposed to say Assisting, Repairing, Self-Building, Build Queue, or Low Power Operation.
  • After a few months of etiquette classes, player-ally zombie ships have learned to die silently. (Note: minor faction player-ally ships already knew this)
    • Thanks to Red Spot for the suggestion.
  • AI Carriers:
    • Are no longer invincible if there's >= 2000 AI ships already on the planet.
      • Previously this was necessary to avoid too many AI ships on a planet at once for decent cpu/ram performance.
    • Now, when a carrier deploys (it deploys when destroyed):
      • If there are fewer than 1400 AI ships already on the planet, and another carrier has not deployed in the last few seconds, it deploys normally as before.
      • Otherwise, it "combines" its contained units into a fairly small assortment of ships and deploys those. The population of this group uses similar logic as exo waves, but is not itself an exo wave (there's no leader, no beeline-human-homeworld logic, etc), it behaves as normal threat.
        • The more AI ships there are on the planet, the more "condensed" it tries to make this deployment, so in those cases you'll see more enemy starships, etc but far smaller quantity.
    • Also, if there are less than 500 AI ships already on the planet, and it is a non-AI planet and there's at least one enemy military (non-mine) unit, and another carrier has not deployed in the last few seconds, it automatically deploys.
    • Rationale: Previously it was possible to have carriers slip through otherwise impenetrable defenses because there were simply too many AI ships (which may have been somewhere else on the planet) to quickly kill. This was desirable from a design standpoint because we don't want a single layer of impenetrable defenses to be the end-all defensive strategy in the game. However, it has proved consistently frustrating (in a non-fun way) for some players so it seemed a good time to try something different. Now the presence of a ton of other AI ships doesn't make the carriers invincible, it just makes them very dangerous to destroy. Hopefully in an interesting way :)
    • Note: none of this impacts Barracks; they're still invincible in such cases, but we haven't heard many reports of players being frustrated by barracks invincibility.
    • Thanks to Cyborg and others for inspiring this change.
  • Added new toggle to controls (CTRLS) window: Auto-target Carriers.
    • If this toggle is checked, your units will consider AI Carriers normally when picking targets automatically. Otherwise, they will not automatically fire upon an AI Carrier (it may still fire upon a carrier that it has already put on its target list, but that will last no longer than the current engagement).
    • Regardless of this toggle, you may still directly order your ships to fire upon an AI Carrier.
    • This toggle is useful because killing a Carrier can be dangerous (due to what comes out), but sometimes it's more important to make sure your defenses don't ignore them.
    • This defaults to off. If you want your units to auto-target carriers, you will need to turn it on.
    • Note: implementing this involved a fundamental change to the logic that controls "can this unit be targeted at all?" and "can this unit be automatically targeted?". Specifically, that was always previously decided solely based on the potential target's type, and now it has to consider the player that owns the unit trying to do the targeting. While these changes were tested and very carefully checked it's certainly possible that a bug slipped through and will cause all manner of strange and wonderful consequences. Mantis and enjoy.
  • Plasma Siege Starship
    • Shot now has a traditional (lightning-type) aoe that does 6.25% of normal damage to up to 14 extra nearby targets.
      • In order for this normal aoe to work, the restriction from firing upon fleet ships has been removed. Previously it was there primarily to keep the autotargeting from "wasting" shots on small stuff, but this has become less important. It still prefers targeting starships, etc.
    • Still has the "siege" effect when hitting a forcefield, but that's been changed from 1% of the damage done to up to 200 ships to 6.25% to up to 25. That's less total, adjusting somewhat for the addition of the traditional aoe and the greater ease of getting the whole bonus.
    • For reference, the Siege's dps (per unit, not per cap) against a single target is about 71% that of the Bomber Starship (previous version notes said 1/3rd, that was actually inaccurate). If the traditional aoe hits the full 14 targets, that brings it up to about 133% that of the Bomber Starship. If the shot also hit a forcefield that's protecting other units, that extra "siege" damage is just gravy on top (potentially up to a total of 245% or so).
      • If this proves to be too much, adjustments can be made, but typically we get more useful feedback for a new/changed unit that's stronger than it should be than if it were weaker.
    • Thanks to many players for the feedback leading to these changes.
  • Fixed a bug in the previous version where the siege splash damage from the Plasma Siege Starship could hit targets normally untargetable or direct-target-only.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for the report and to the brave (if unwitting) Advanced Research Station that died discovering this bug.
  • Spirecraft Shield Bearers:
    • Ship cap doubled.
    • Amounts produced:
      • Reptite: from 0 => 1 mkI (so can now be built from Reptite)
      • Pysite: from 1 => 2 mkI
      • Xampite: from 1 => 2 mkII
      • Ebonite: from 1 => 2 mkIII
      • Adamantite: from 1 => 2 mkIV
      • Titanite: from 1 => 2 mkV
    • Hopefully this will bring their costs more into line with their actual utility (as non-repairable shields).
    • Thanks to techsy730 and others for inspiring these changes.
  • Fixed a bug where ships with no attack power would still display hull attack multipliers if they were internally defined (such as with ships that used to have an attack, like Spirecraft Shield Bearers).
    • Thanks to techsy730 for the report.
  • Lightning Turrets
    • Attack changed to function like electric shuttles: Hits up to 200 targets, and if hits are left over can hit each target up to 5 times (meaning that groups as small as 40 take the full power of the attack).
  • Lighting Turrets/Electric Shuttles: The per-planet-per-player-per-type-per-mark delay has been reduced to a very minimal duration, generally allowing a full cap of lightning turrets to unload its full power before the first one finishes reloading.
    • This still prevents a total alpha strike, but that also helps avoid a situation where the entire lightning turret cluster unloads on a couple of leading fighters before the rest of the wave shows up.
    • It also looked really cool in testing.
  • Player-Ally Dyson Gatlings are no longer unable to shoot mkV units.
    • In previous iterations this rule was necessary because player-ally dysons were clearing off AI homeworlds and/or core worlds. Since player-ally dysons rarely wind up on AI planets anymore the rule no longer seems necessary, and "why are my dysons not shooting X?" questions have been happening on a regular basis for quite some time.
    • Thanks to many players over time reminding us (sometimes unintentionally) how much they wanted their ally gatlings to shoot mkV things.
  • Hybrids:
    • If either player has Advanced Hybrids enabled, hybrid maturity-xp contributions to the central dirty-tricks "bank" are now doubled compared to Normal Hybrids.
    • The first couple stages of the only such dirty-trick progression currently implemented now happen a bit faster, but the first and second nasty bits have been made less nasty.
    • Thanks for Wanderer for the testing and feedback leading to these changes.

Prerelease 5.023 Plasma Siege Starships

(Released January 30th, 2012)

  • Fixed a bug in the previous version where all tractor beams (instead of just the black widow golem tractor beams) were doing the paralysis effect.
    • Thanks to Fleet for the report.
  • Zombie and minor faction ships no longer count as part of the "My" counts on the galaxy map. Those that used to count as part of that total now count as part of the "Allied" total.
    • Thanks to BobTheJanitor for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a bug in recent versions where the context menus never had scroll-bars and thus the galaxy-map-display select couldn't be used to select some of the further-down items.
    • Thanks to Minotaar for the report.
  • Removed the "press slash while mousing over an option for more info" text from the bottom of the context menu since there wasn't actually such info to be had on a lot of items in various modes of the context menu.
    • Thanks to Minotaar for the report.
  • Artillery Golem:
    • Base Armor Rating from 0 => 4000.
    • Base Recharge Time from 30 => 8.
    • Basically: when you see an Artillery Golem you can get on your side, we want you to be happy. When you see an Artillery Golem on the enemy side, we want you to be sad. Previously it wasn't doing a whole lot of either.
    • Thanks to Orelius and others for feedback on golems.
  • Fixed a bug in the previous version where the Black Widow paralyzing tractors would only apply a maximum of 2 seconds of paralysis, with quick gaps in the middle every 2 seconds. Now it correctly applies 2 seconds of paralysis damage per 1 second of tractoring.
  • Regenerator Golem:
    • Repair cost reduced by 90% to make regeneration not "cost" quite so much more than simply producing the ships from scratch, in metal+crystal terms.
  • Cursed Golem:
    • Self-attrition reduced by 50% (now would go from 100% to 0% in 60 minutes instead of 40).
  • Fixed a bug in the new munitions boost listing where it was displaying +70% as -31% or suchlike. Also fixed a rounding bug (+19% instead of the actual +20%, etc) in both that listing and the maximum-personal-boost listing.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where units with no attack were showing the new maximum-personal-boost listing.
    • Thanks to Nice Save for the report.
  • Turret base energy costs:
    • Basic Turret from 150 => 100.
    • MLRS Turret from 150 => 100.
    • Flak Turret from 300 => 200.
    • Missile Turret from 150 => 100.
    • Counter-Dark-Matter Turret from 4000 => 1000.
    • Counter-Missile-Turret from 4000 => 1000.
    • Counter-Sniper-Turret from 4000 => 1000.
    • Sniper & Spider Turrets from 250 => 150.
    • Grav Turret from 500/8000/10000 => 400*mk.
    • Tractor Turret left alone (150/240/300).
    • Laser Turret (150) and Heavy Beam Cannon (750/1300/2000/20000) left alone. They're energy weapons.
    • Lightning Turret from 500/1000/2000 => 400 flat. Energy weapon, yes, but that was a bit high.
    • These really aren't that big a deal, but it does help rein in some numbers that were set long ago, and bring the energy-per-dps ratio of the main attack turrets under the stuff that shoots and has engines.
    • Thanks to Cyborg, Hearteater, and others for feedback leading to this.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the number of spire shipyards and spire hab centers supported by a spire shard reactor was being multiplied by the number of human home command stations. The number of spire capital ships of each type supported by a spire shipyard (or refugee outpost, for the frigates) is still multiplied by that number, as is intentional.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where a ship with an inherent kiting range (raptor, zenith bombard, etc) would not correct for the radar dampening range of its target.
    • Thanks to Sunshine and others for reporting this.
  • Fixed a bug in the auto-build-energy-reactors controls where they were trying to check for remains of other energy reactors but were not checking the right list for those.
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for the report.
  • The Shards recovered in the Fallen-Spire events are no longer cloakable. Previously they could be cloaked via a cloaking starship; this was not deliberate on our part and made those recoveries way easier than they really should be.
    • Thanks to Spikey00 for reminding us about this.
  • Zenith Beam Frigate Base Range from 7500+100*mk => 6500+100*mk.
    • They're supposed to be long-ranged, but some marks were outranging their main triangle counter (missile frigate, which has 6500+500*mk base range), which isn't appropriate given the beam frigate's very high damage when it hits several targets per shot.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for the feedback inspiring this change.
  • Some further adjustment to high-difficulty wave size calculation, this time not changing diff 10 much at all but making the 9.3-9.8 stretch build up more gradually rather than 10 being more than 2x as hard as 9.8.
    • Previously in step 8 any difficulty greater than 7 received a 2.5 multiplier (7 got 2.25, and lower the lower you went).
    • Now:
      • 7.3 through 9 still get 2.5.
      • 9.3 gets 2.75 (10% harder than before).
      • 9.6 gets 3.00 (20% harder than before).
      • 9.8 gets 3.80 (52% harder than before).
      • 10 gets 4.5 (would be 80% harder than before, but see next change).
    • Previously each wave on diff 10 would actually cause 2 separate waves. This was from an old rule where 8 through 10 got double waves, but that was changed to just 8 due to the challenge-cliff it caused between 7.6 and 8. Now this rule has been entirely removed, since 10's waves are now so much larger than before.
    • We're very much open to more feedback on this; basically diffs 9.3 through 10 aren't really where we expect people to play (indeed, we may need to make them harder if someone actually beats 10 in a fair fight again), but we want it to be fun for those who do.
    • Thanks to Hearteater and others for the feedback inspiring this change.
  • Previously Sniper and Spider turrets cost 8 to 10 times as much metal+crystal to build a cap of compared to all other turret types, so:
    • Base Metal Cost from 1500 => 300.
    • Base Crystal Cost from 7500 => 1500.
    • They're still the most expensive turrets, that's intentional, but they're no longer quite so punishing (before you could have built a fleet of starships for the cost of a cap of sniper turrets).
    • Thanks to Wanderer and others for reminding us of how skewed this was.
  • Antimatter Starship:
    • Yes, this one is getting _another_ revamp. Some background:
      • First, they were called dreadnoughts. They did tons of engine damage. Too much. Nerfed.
      • Then, they were called useless. For a long time.
      • Then, we made them hit like a train from long range, but unable to fire upon anything remotely small. They were called Siege Starships (alias: "awesome").
      • But this broke a lot balance because you could just camp around your siege starships from across the planet and bomb everything to bits.
      • So they were given antimatter bombs that can't hit forcefields, fortresses, or... well, much of anything. In fairness they do great against starships and guardians, but that's proven too small a niche to really please their users. They were renamed "Antimatter Starship", which has since become a dire insult in 75% of the inhabited galaxy.
      • But the solution was unclear: we could shorten their range, but Bomber Starships (which were made normally available shortly after these were changed to Siege Starships) already fill the short-range big-stuff-killing niche.
      • And now, the next episode...
    • Base range from 16000 => 4000.
    • Shot type changed back from Antimatter Bomb => Energy Bomb (same basic type as bombers use, so no one is specifically immune to it like some are to antimatter bombs). Still cannot fire on small ships, like before.
    • If it hits a forcefield, it will also damage up to 200 units protected by that forcefield (or forcefields physically near that forcefield) with 1% (to each target) of the damage done to the forcefield.
      • Note: even stuff the starship itself cannot aim at (small units and cloaked units, etc) can be hit by the splash damage.
      • The 200-count doesn't change between low, normal, and high unit caps because that would change the dps of the unit pretty significantly. If it proves to be a problem we can try a few things.
    • Has been renamed to the Plasma Siege Starship.
    • The end result:
      • Still longer-ranged than the bomber starship, but much shorter than before, so not worrying that it will break balance in that way.
      • Still only about 1/3 of the bomber starship's single-target dps, but can up to triple the total damage output in a "siege" situation against a forcefielded group of targets. Still not the better choice in terms of raw damage, but the utility of being able to get at the protected targets should counterbalance that and create its own niche.
    • Thanks to many players for continuing to remind us that they want this starship to be cool.
  • Plasma Siege Cannon Modules (the ones for Fallen Spire modular stuff) now also have the forcefield-splash-damage attribute. Thematically, the Siege starship is (using) a plasma-siege-cannon now.

Prerelease Minor Tweaks And Fixes

(Released January 27th, 2011)

  • Fixed a bug in the previous prerelease that broke all the tutorials.
    • Thanks to Lorini for the report.
  • Black Widow Golem:
    • Number of tractors from 100 => 200.
      • Tractors on non-scaling ships do need to be made to scale with unit caps, but we don't have time to implement that just yet. Bear in mind that when that scaling comes, the current number of tractors will be the _highest_ value: corresponding to "high" caps, because that's what the caps were before scaling was added (when the tractor numbers were established to begin with), so it won't make them any better. For now, enjoy :)
    • This golem's tractors now do 2 seconds of paralysis damage per second to each held ship. Ships immune to paralysis are not affected.
    • Base Health from 80M => 200M.
    • Basically just trying to make this golem a lot more useful and a lot less likely to die when not baby-sat.
    • Thanks to Orelius and others for some recent feedback on this golem.
  • The earliest time that an AI player can even check for sending a wave has been changed to avoid both AIs sending their first waves on the exact same second on higher difficulties (which artificially increases the difficulty of the first wave, giving a false impression of how hard the second will be). Specifically, it's still (( 14 - Difficulty ) * 100) seconds for the first AI player, and 1.5 times that for the second AI player.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for feedback that inspired this change.

Prerelease 5.021 Hybrid Helper Pie

(Released January 24th, 2012)

  • Added some lightweight extra debug info to GameButton.RenderSelf to help us find the bug that's causing really intermittent null exceptions in there somewhere (we can't reproduce it ourselves, and user reports don't have code line numbers, but this new info should help).
  • Added a note to the context menu about how to get info on what a menu item does.
  • Sentinel Frigates and Zenith Electric Bombers are now considered large enough targets for ships like the Antimatter Starship.
    • Thanks to techsy730 for the suggestion.
  • Now, when a Hybrid is at maximum maturity, additional "experience points" go towards a fund for ruining the player's day. Their first funding goal seems to involve the Dyson Sphere.
    • To clarify: this doesn't mean that they're building or spawning dyson spheres or whatever. Something more sinister.
  • All Hunter-Killers have been shifted up one "tier" in terms of the "cost" the AI has to pay to include them in an exogalactic strikeforce. This should help avoid them happening unintentedly-early in MP games, etc.
    • Thanks to several players for sharing their, um, "experiences" with early/mid-game HKs.
  • Decoy Drone energy cost from 18000 => 1000, to let the unit's use not be obscured by the power cost.
    • Thanks to Wanderer for reminding us of how high it was.
  • Wave size calculation: the minimum base wave size is now 34, regardless of difficulty.
    • The minimum base size of a wave used to be (AI Player Difficulty * 10 * AI Player Handicap). Assuming no positive or negative handicap this generally meant that the first few points of AIP would not increase wave size and the initial wave size was prevented from being embarrassingly tiny.
      • This has served us well but caused the first wave on very high difficulties to be disproportionately difficult such that it's a punishing puzzle to survive the first 7 minutes and after that holding on is significantly easier (though still very tough) because then the player has had more time to actually build initial defenses and so on. It's better for the first wave to not be way more difficult than the second wave on non-trivial difficulties, so the minimum is now just 34. This actually makes difficulties 1-3 harder, but those are so incredibly easy to start with that it's not likely to make much difference.
    • Now AIP increases will actually have an impact on wave size much earlier on difficulties 4+.
    • AI handicap is still factored in (so with 300% it will have a minimum size of 102).
    • The wave size calculation article has been updated to reflect this change, and is a good reference if you want more info.
  • The alternate-victory condition on the Fallen Spire condition has been made a bit more vigorous about winning, since the recently added AI Hunter Killers were refusing to go quietly.
    • Thanks to a number of players for observing that the alternate victory was not always resolving in a timely fashion.
  • Neinzul Preservation Warden spawn counts now scale up with AI Difficulty (the higher of the two is used, this is 1 at diff 7, 1.5 at 8, 2 at 9, 3 at 10) and AI Handicap (again, the higher of the two, negative handicaps don't apply to this), similar to other non-AIP-based threats. Previously it only scaled with the number of human players/homeworlds, and of course the number of human-controlled resource extractors.
  • Added new "Switch To UI" buttons to the Stats window (Scores tab) that allows you to switch your UI to display what another player is seeing.
    • This only works if the target player has the "Allow Team Control Of Ships" control enabled.
    • This is different from the already existing team-control in that:
      • Your resource bar will show the resources for target player, rather than your own.
      • Your planetary summary and so forth will display ships as if the target players ships were "yours"; any ships of your own will show like "ally" ships.
      • The control group keybinds will respond according to the control groups set for the target player, not your own.
      • The CTRLS screen will show (and allow manipulation of) the target player's control options. Yes, that's a lot of power, and some additional "permissions" may prove necessary. But in general: please cooperate :) If it's a problem, just don't use allow-team-control.
        • To clarify: this is options like focus-fire, auto-frd, etc. None of this has anything to do with what keys/buttons are mapped to what commands, that's all local to each machine and doesn't change regardless of whose interface you're looking at.
      • In general, the game's UI should work just like the target player's UI.
    • All that said, this would be somewhat limited in usefulness, were it not for the next feature in these notes.
    • This is in need of a lot of testing to make sure it works right, so don't be surprised by bugs, just report them :)
  • Added new human player role: "Helper" (probably not the best description, but it's more than "Observer", which is the usual term for a non-playing "player").
    • Currently the only way for a player to get into this role is:
      • Host opens "Manage Players" menu.
      • Host sets a previously unused player slot to:
        • Name = profile name of the player who wants to join as an observer/helper
        • Change "Disabled" to "Active"
        • Change "Role: None" to "Role: Helper"
      • Host clicks "Save"
      • The player who wants to join as an observer/helper connects and joins the game.
    • A player in the "Helper" role has no (and cannot be given) units, metal, crystal, energy, or knowledge. More generally, they have nothing in the game.
    • However (and the resource bar tells them this, in lieu of an m/c/e/k display) they can use the new "Switch To UI" buttons on the Stats screen to "switch" to another player who has the "Allow Team Control Of Ships" control enabled, and then can play normally as if they were connected as that player.
    • Also, they can simply observe the game as they have the same vision as the other human players.
    • These "Helper" players do not provoke extra waves or other increased threats normally associated with a multiplayer game.
    • Some possible uses of this feature:
      • If you want to play a game with other people but want to play against a single-player level of challenge with a single-player level of resources, albeit with more hands helping to control (and micromanage, if desired).
      • If you want to let someone simply watch a game without impacting the balance at all.
      • If you want to help someone learn some part of the game; they can play and you can jump in or out as needed.
    • Like the switch-to-ui feature, this is in need of a lot of testing to make sure it works right, so don't be surprised by bugs, just report them :)
  • Neinzul Youngling Tigers:
    • Time-to-live from 2 minutes => 4 minutes, which is the same as other youngling types.
    • Metal and Crystal cost from 50/50 => 40/40.
    • Base Armor Rating from 300*mk => 600*mk.
    • Base Health from 11k*mk => 13k*mk.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for suggesting/inspiring these changes.
  • Neinzul Youngling Vulture:
    • Metal and Crystal cost from 50/50 => 40/40.
  • Spire Teleporting Leech:
    • Base Energy Cost from 400 => 200.
    • Base Metal Cost from 2200 => 1200.
    • Base Crystal Cost from 800 => 500.
  • Science Lab MkII:
    • Base Health from 120k => 500k.
    • Base Armor Rating from 1500 => 5000.
    • Now has cloaking.
    • Long story short: they're still more expensive than MkIs, but now they actually are significantly easier to keep alive in dicey situations than MkIs.
    • Thanks to Hearteater and others for inspiring this change.
  • AI Superfortress:
    • Base health from 750 million => 450 million. This brings it from 5*human-version to 3*human-version, putting it in line with the other fortresses.
    • Health regen halved.
    • Thanks to several players for pointing out that superforts had not been changed in line with the other fort types.
  • AI Fortress I/II/III: health regen halved.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug where the galaxy-nav code of AI-ally Dyson Gatlings was getting distracted from its main purpose.
  • Ships that generate attack (munitions) boosts now show the magnitude of the boost in the tooltip, not just the range.
    • Thanks to SpaceBrotha for the question that reminded us that this info wasn't directly displayed anywhere.
  • Ships that are not immune to attack boosting but have a attack-boost-ceiling below the default (which is 4, i.e. 5x or 500% of normal damage) now display their maximum receivable boost in their tooltip.
  • Higher mark Hybrid Drone Spawners now spawn drones more quickly in addition to being capable of spawning higher mark drones (a mkIV drone spawner still only spawns mkI drones for a hybrid at the first maturity level, and so on).
  • Hybrids: second-stage and third-stage maturity now takes less time (about half what it used to, still longer than first-stage), as previously most hybrids died either before or during the first stage.
  • Attack Hybrids now use a variant of the behavior the standard AI free (threat) ships use to avoid charging a human planet with insufficient firepower. Combined with other hybrid changes in this release this may result in hybrids being a lot harder (and/or a lot more annoying) than they used to be. Which may be for the best, but feedback is welcome :)
  • Hybrids will no longer try to take Spire Mini-Rams as drones, as generally melee drones don't work that great.

Prerelease 5.020

(Released November 3rd, 2011)

  • Fallen-Spire city-provoked exogalactic strikeforces "buildup" rate (this only impacts the time between attacks, not their size or composition) redistributed a bit:
    • Spire City Hubs now generate 1/4 the "aggro" they used to.
    • Spire Shard Reactors, Habitation Centers, and Shipyards now, instead of generating zero "aggro", generate 1/8th what the Spire City Hub used to generate.
    • So a city with all 6 building slots taken up causes exactly the same amount of buildup as before.
    • But the advantage is that if your cities get really beat up in an AI attack and you lose city structures you have more time to rebuild before the next exo. Not exactly smart of the AI, but the alternative is often a game that is fundamentally lost but just a matter of time.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for inspiring this change.
  • Youngling Nanoswarm:
    • Fixed bug in targeting logic that was making it focus on single targets when the intent was that they would aggressively spread themselves out across all available targets. The new behavior still doesn't reach quite the desired behavior (they still tend to only spread out over a subset of the available targets) but it's still a significant improvement. Hopefully more can be done later.
      • Note that this overrides the Non-Sniper-Focus-Fire control; there's very little reason one would ever want these the auto focus-fire since they do so very little damage. Of course if you really want a bunch of nanoswarms to all attack the same target you can give them a normal attack order.
    • Explosion range from 200/225/250/275/300 => flat 1000.
      • They still only hit a max of 3/5/7/9/11 targets when they explode, so this makes it more likely that they'll actually get multiple hits.
  • AI Fortress health from 6x human fortress equivalents => 3x human fortress equivalents.
    • Previously it was easy to take out an AI Fortress with just bombers (and other polycrystal stuff, since fortresses can barely scratch the paint on polycrystal) but it could take a really long time. We want the fortresses to be challenging but not in the "how long do I have to wait before it dies" sense. Hopefully we can find some other more interesting (and not very time consuming) way of making them more challenging.
    • Thanks to many players for weighing in on this subject.

Prerelease 5.019

(Released October 5th, 2011)

  • Fixed a divide by zero bug in the previous version.
    • Thanks to Fleet for the report.

Prerelease 5.018

(Released September 30th, 2011)

  • Spirecraft Ion normal shot damage from 700 => 14000, and armor piercing from 0 => Max.
    • Previously their damage was just token, but this brings them up to roughly the DPS of the Spirecraft Siege Tower (which, for reference, also has max armor piercing), but can't target anything that's immune to insta-kill (which is basically anything bigger than a fleet ship). The result is that a cap (8) of MkI Spirecraft Ions is capable of doing well against a single cap of even MkV fleet ships unless those fleet ships have a bonus against them (bombers, chameleons, raiders, IRE's, etc), and so on. In general, a lot of these together can put some serious hurt on fleet ships (particularly low health ones) even when they can't insta-kill.
    • Related note: since their seconds-per-salvo is higher on the lower cap scales, and since their shot damage now actually matters, and since just about everything they can target scales with the caps, their damage will now be scale upward on the lower caps.
    • Updated the tooltip, which is reproduced here since it probably helps understand what we're doing here:
      • Like Zenith Ion weapons (which AI Ion Cannons use), Spire Ion weapons insta-kill most ships with a mark level equal to or lower than its mark value, and cannot fire at all on ships immune to Ion weapons (i.e. immune to insta-kill). Unlike Zenith Ion technology, these ships are mobile, much shorter-ranged, and actually do decent damage to higher mark ships.
  • Humorously, Ion Cannons, Core Warhead Interceptors, and Orbital Mass Drivers were previously not immune to insta-kill. They now are.
  • Added to the Dyson Gatling tooltip to reflect the lack of ability to shoot at Mark V targets.
  • If an AI player has a positive handicap that is now factored into that game's TotalSpecialDifficultyModifier which is in turn used for determining the total "population cap" of Hybrids in a game with them on, and also factors in to the budget multiplier for exo waves. Negative handicaps on AI players have no effect, and the higher of the two AI handicaps is used if they're not equal.
  • Added a new ability to the Spirecraft Attritioner in hopes of making it more generally useful. From the new tooltip:
    • One unique side effect of Spire attrition technology is that when an enemy ship is destroyed by any cause all its allies (that aren't immune to attrition) take a certain percent of that ship's maximum health as feedback damage. This feedback damage is cumulative with multiple Spirecraft Attritioners and higher mark attritioners cause a higher percentage, but this feedback damage is divided evenly across all affected targets and thus does not greatly damage any one target.
    • Basically, this functions as a small boost to overall fleet dps (averaged out over time), and thus makes the attritioner useful in short engagements where previously its contribution would have been minimal.
    • Current percentages are 0.5%/1.0%/1.5%/2.5%/5.0% for the 5 marks of attritioner. Also, this effect does trigger on enemies killed by attrition/feedback (otherwise it motivates micro to make sure a triggering-source kills big targets). In our tests this has not seemed overpowered though it is likely that further balancing will be needed. Bear in mind that mkV attritioners require the extremely rare Titanite, and mkIVs require the not-much-more-common Adamantite.
    • Thanks to Hearteater and many other players for weighing in with feedback that led to this change.

Prerelease 5.017

(Released September 12th, 2011)

  • AI Hunter/Killers are now eligible to be chosen for exogalactic battlegroups. The MkI is considered one notch above the Armored Golem cost-wise, and proceeding up from there. For anyone who remembers the slaughter those things could perform before, their number of shots-per-salvo has been halved but their health has been doubled.
    • chemical_art will probably regret making the suggestion that inspired this.
  • Fixed an (apparently) rare array-index-out-of-bounds error in the buy-menu "tooltip" window.
    • Thanks to Cyborg for the report.
  • Added a second confirm step when scrapping Spirecraft mining enclosures (since scrapping them does not give you back the asteroid from which they came) and the player home forcefield generator (since it cannot be rebuilt).
    • Thanks to Cyborg for inspiring this.
  • Strong forcefields (the same ones that had the blocking effect in 5.015) now have their blocking effect back.
    • The "cannot use a wormhole covered by a hostile forcefield" rule is still in to prevent the bug with teleporting stuff "sneaking" through.
    • The collision detection between blocking forcefields and hostile ships has been refined to include a more precise check for ships that appear to be colliding to the coarse check we've used for a while. This is because the coarse check was making it a lot more likely that AI ships would get "stuck" on a single human forcefield that just happened to be in their way. Now they should slide around a lot more readily.
      • Note that you can still set up blocking walls of multiple forcefields and catch AI ships in a pocket, etc. We aren't thrilled by this as it's basically exploiting the simplistic AI movement logic (it has no pathfinding, just straight line to target, because anything else is cpu-prohibitive for this game) but there are actually more efficient ways to slow down most serious AI assualts (grav turrets under ffs, logistics stations, etc) so this particular "exploit" isn't really breaking the challenge. Maybe one day we'll make it so when the AI detects a blocking wall it retaliates by initiating some gargantuan pathfinding routine and thus churns your processor and framerate to a halt. For now, knock yourselves out :P
    • Thanks to everyone who chimed in with feedback on this!
  • Hardened Forcefields:
    • Now shrink with damage like normal forcefields, since the rigidity was making them much more likely to actually die rather than diminish to a point where the AI left it alone, and since they would make the "blocking walls" tactic even more effective than it used to be.
    • Armor from 1 million to 500k, to expand the set of armor-nemesis things that can actually get through it. If this feels too low, let us know!
  • For the ships listed below, armor piercing increased from "really high" (6 figures) to 999,999. They're really supposed to just flat out get through any armor, excepting maybe some of the ships so large we don't mention them in release notes because it would be a spoiler.
    • Zenith Polarizer
    • Spire Armor Rotter
    • Youngling Vulture
    • Youngling Nanoswarm
    • Raid Starship
    • Lightning/Armored/EMP/Tachyon-warheads
    • Botnet Golem
    • Devourer Golem
    • Sentinel Frigate
    • Spire Blade
    • Spire Gravity Drain
    • Spirecraft Siege Tower
    • Sniper
    • Electric Shuttle
    • Lightning Turret
    • Sniper Turret
    • Spider Turret
    • And a variety of lesser known but related types.
  • Fixed a null exception that could happen rarely when a unit was looking for the next wormhole to move to while moving from planet to planet.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for the report.

Prerelease 5.016

(Released September 6th, 2011)

  • Preservation Wardens previously did not scale at all when there were multiple human homeworlds and/or multiple human players. Now each time the game spawns a warden it instead spawns 1 warden per player/human-homeworld (specifically, the number of human players or the number of human homeworlds, whichever is greater).
  • Human Forcefield Generators:
    • Ship-cap from 9/5/5 => 10/6/6
    • HP from 14M/30M/56M => 20M*mk.
    • Metal cost from 4k/6k/12k => 4k*mk.
    • Crystal cost from 19k/35k/70k => 20k*mk.
    • Energy use from 3k/6k/10k => 3k*mk.
    • Build time (seconds) from 240/300/480 => 120 + (120*mk) (240/360/480).
  • Added new unlockable support unit type: Hardened Forcefield Generator MkI-III. Basically the same as normal human generators except:
    • 1/4th the HP.
    • 1,000,000 Armor Rating instead of zero (this effectively reduces all incoming damage to 1/5th its normal power, unless the attacker has extremely high armor piercing or very high damage-per-shot).
    • They do not shrink as they take damage, making it easier to know how long a given target will be protected, etc. On the other hand this may make it harder to tell "at a glance" how long the generator has left to hold, so we might need to do something else here.
    • The first mark is not available by default, but costs 1000 knowledge (mkII and III are 2000 and 4000 knowledge each like the normal line).
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for the suggestion (some time ago) that led to this.
  • Due to very widespread feedback that ion weaponry is very underpowered, all Ion Cannon and Spirecraft Ion Blasters now fire 4 shots per salvo instead of 1. Other changes are likely to follow, we'll see how it feels to players.
  • Put in a fairly radical change to the base forcefields, but bear with us on this -- if it's not workable we'll take it out. And really, in most senses this should be equivalent to the way that things were before, but more CPU-efficient as well as fixing one bug and one exploit. With that out of the way:
    • Change 1: Made it so that strong force fields no longer block enemy ships from passing through them -- on either side. So if you have a forcefield in the way of the AI, or they have a forcefield in your way, your ships can pass right through them with no problem. As with weaker forcefields, the thematic explanation is that you're going around the forcefield in the Z axis, which makes sense. This change has no bearing on the protection of ships under the forcefield; ships are just as well protected now as ever.
      • The exploit in question was a problem with players being able to block enemy ships due to those ships sometimes "sticking" against the force fields. The reason ships would stick is because of the coarseness of the distance check we were using, which was coarse so not to take up so much CPU. Now enemy ships can just fly past your forcefields unimpeded if they're heading to targets beyond them, which -- with one exception, see below -- is what we've always intended in the first place.
      • This is also where we derive our CPU gains from, as normally each ship had to check its relative position to all enemy strong forcefields on a planet every time its position changed even a little. This isn't killer, but in light of the bug and exploit relating to strong forcefields
    • Change 2: Made it so that when a strong forcefield is covering a wormhole, no non-forcefield-immune enemy ships can go through that wormhole from the side the forcefield is on.
      • Players have been using forcefields to do this very thing for a long time, and we think that's great. However, this was taking advantage of ships not being able to move in to actually physically reach the wormhole, and that was thus not working very well for teleporting ships, which would teleport right to the center of the forcefield, then get caught in the wormhole before the forcefield could push them back out. This is the bug we referenced above, and it was very much not in players' favor (unlike the exploit), and this set of changes now fixes it.
    • NET EFFECTS:
      • 1. Players can't use forcefields to interrupt enemy travel on the planet they are on, nor can the AI.
        • Some players would set up forcefield clusters to trap enemies inside when they come through wormholes, but that was already error-prone because enemies would tend to pop out to the other side if the forcefields weren't positioned precisely right. These players should instead put a single forcefield (or all their forcefields, if they really prefer) on the enemy side of their wormhole and that will now provide much better protection than their older method ever did.
      • 2. The AI can't slip teleporting ships past your forcefields over wormholes unless those teleporting units are also forcefield immune, which should be a huge boon to players in games with teleporting enemies.
    • Thanks to mindloss for most directly inspiring these changes, although we've been mulling it for a while based on cumulative feedback.

Prerelease 5.015

(Released August 29th, 2011)

  • Previously, the recently added ActivateHighestEfficiencyLowPowerEnergyReactor and PutLowestEfficiencyActiveEnergyReactorIntoLowPower keybinds were considering reactors that were still under construction. Hamster re-education has taken place (bug fixed).
    • Thanks to Ranakastrasz for the report.
  • Due to widespread feedback that the martyr is very OP, we've drastically increased the asteroid "cost" of building them:
    • Previously Reptite could be used to build 2 MkI Martyrs. Now it cannot build martyrs at all.
    • Previously Pysite could be used to build 4 MkI Martyrs or 2 MkII Martyrs. Now it can only build 1 MkII (can't build MkIs).
    • Previously Xampite could be used to build 4 MkII Martyrs or 2 MkIII Martyrs. Now it can only build 1 MkIII (can't build MkIIs).
    • Previously Ebonite could be used to build 4 MkIII Martyrs or 2 MkIV Martyrs. Now it can only build 1 MkIV (can't build MkIIIs).
    • Previously Adamantite could be used to build 4 MkIV Martyrs or 2 MkV Martyrs. Now it can only build 1 MkV (can't build MkIVs).
    • Note that the units themselves are just as incredibly powerful as before (we really want them to be highly useful), but hopefully this change puts their real cost more in line with their utility and also puts a saner limit on the total number the players can have in a game. More changes may follow if necessary.
    • For reference, previously the total number of martyrs that could be produced from all asteroids in an average 80-planet galaxy was about 2200 on average (so someone holding 15% of the galaxy might reasonably field 220 over the course of the game, if they didn't use many other spirecraft). Now that total-possible number average about 480 (so that same martyr-happy player would probably only have about 48 to use, unless they take more planets).
    • Thanks to the many players who've weighed in on this subject.
  • Zenith Viral Shredders:
    • Simplified the scaling of replication costs (how much damage a shredder has to do to replicate) and made it better at preventing game-breaking swarms of shredders. Now instead of it using a linear multiplier based on the owner's number of shredders on that specific planet, it quadruples the replication cost for every full cap of that mark of shredder owned by that player anywhere in the galaxy (but if they own less than or equal to a full cap, there is no extra cost).
      • So if the mkI cap is 98 (normal cap scale) and you have between 99 and 195 (inclusive) mkI shredders they will have to do 4x as much damage to replicate as normal. If you have between 196 and 293 (inclusive) mkI shredders they will have to do 16x as much damage to replicate as normal. And so on (maximum multiplier is 1024 to avoid arithmetic overflow; at that point a mkIV on low caps would need to do over 376 million damage to replicate).
    • Base Energy Use from 100 => 50 (note: all mkI types use half normal energy).
    • Replication-created shredders now copy the FRD, Attack Move, and any unit commands (movement waypoints and whatnot) of their "parent". Note that they already copy the control groups and "am I currently selected" status of their parent.
    • The end result of all this should be that if you play your shredders well you'll be able to maintain maybe 2 or 3 caps worth of them (a pretty significant advantage over other bonus ship types) but it's going to be difficult to get into the really absurd numbers. On the other hand, maintaining that swarm won't cost as much energy as it used to and it should require less micro due to the commmand copying.
    • Thanks to the players who've told us about their massive abuse of absurdly large shredder swarms.
  • For a very long time it's been possible to ward off almost any amount of damage through sufficient micro of a pile of forcefield generators and engineers (to repair the ff's as they collapse within the protection of other generators, or go on low power mode, or are being newly built). While ff's are supposed to be extremely helpful in protecting stuff, it wasn't intended that they be able to do so indefinitely while under constant attack. So:
    • When a forcefield is damaged by enemy fire, all allied forcefields whose fields are in contact (or very close to it) with the damaged ff will take 1 point of damage from the energy conducted along the surface of the field. The damage itself is inconsequential since the ff's have millions of hp, but it will trigger the "cannot be repaired less than 6 seconds after being damaged" logic. This also applies to forcefields currently under construction or in low-power mode. So it won't be possible to repair some forcefields in a ff-pile while others in the same group are under fire.
    • Forcefield generators now cannot be assisted during construction if they have been damaged recently.
    • When a new forcefield is placed for construction, if it is in near any allied forcefields (low power or not) that is currently unrepairable due to recent damage, the newly placed forcefield inherits the longest assist-delay present among those neighbors. So it won't be possible to speed-build new generators under other fields that are currently under fire.
    • This also applies to all the "shield bearer" and module type shields.
    • If this leaves some situations unreasonably hard other changes can be made to compensate, we just wanted to close this "micro to dodge anything" loophole.
    • Thanks to mindloss for most recently bringing this up.
  • Put in a small code change that might lead to more efficiency during really large battles with a lot of things being drawn as well as a lot of sound effects being played. It might also make no difference, but it's a good precaution either way; our tests so far have not really been clear as to whether there is any benefit.

Prerelease 5.014

(Released August 4th, 2011)

  • Starship costs tweaked around a bit:
    • Bomber starship metal cost reduced from 120k to 80k.
    • Fleet starship metal cost reduced from 60k to 40.
    • Siege starship crystal cost reduced from 120k to 80k.
    • Riot Control starships crystal cost reduced from 80k to 60k, and metal cost reduced from 30k to 20k.
    • Enclave starship costs reduced from 30k metal and crystal to 20k each instead.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for suggesting.
  • Zentih SpaceTime Manipulator energy costs reduced to 20k from 60k.
    • Thanks to Lancefighter for suggesting.
  • Removed all mention of the AIP costs on the Zenith SpaceTime manipulator text.
    • Thanks to Zair for reporting.
  • Siege Starships renamed to Antimatter Starships for the sake of clarity, and given the following new description text:
    • This starship is the best capital killer in your basic fleet: excellent against starships, guard posts, guardians, most turrets, and other large ships like golems or spirecraft. It is so specialized that it can't even fire upon most small mobile targets. That said, many targets (forcefields, most fortresses and command stations, etc) are specifically protected against its antimatter bombs.
    • All in-game references to them (tutorials, etc) have been adjusted.
    • Thanks to the several dozen players who weighed in on our poll for how to rename these!

Prerelease 5.013

(Released August 1st, 2011)

  • Gravity Drills under player control can now be scrapped by that player.
    • Thanks to Wingsofdomain for suggesting.
  • Stealth Battleships previously had a bonus of 1.4x against artillery hulls. Now they don't, making them not so overpowered against things like siege starships.
  • Speaking of siege starships, they have now gotten doubled health -- making them no longer "glass cannons," which they haven't been in a while anyhow. And making them substantially more useful in general.
  • All marks of Spire Stealth Battleship now have an AIPerPlanetShipCap of 8 (only applies to not-freed ships). This is an experiment brought about by continuing feedback that the per-guard-post caps are insufficient forkeeping the populations down to a level that doesn't make the game way harder when the AI happens to roll SSBs as a bonus type. This won't impact their numbers in waves and other offensive uses, but one thing at a time.
  • Riot Control Starships mark I are now unlocked from the start of every game. This should help with uncertainty that players would feel about whether or not they would be useful in a given scenario. Now players can try them out and see; and if they are useful and they want more, then the mark II and mark III versions are effectively 1500 knowledge cheaper now, since they no longer have the mark I prerequisite.
  • Mark II scout starships now cost 250 knowledge to unlock instead of 1500. Mark III are now 2000 instead of 3500, and mark IV are now 3500 instead of 4500. This brings the mark II down into the realm of "candy tech," and makes the III and IV variants not so cost-prohibitive that nobody uses them.
  • Mark I gravity turrets are now 750 knowledge to unlock instead of 2000, making them a lot more feasible for players to experiment with as well.
  • Zenith SpaceTime Manipulators no longer have an AI Progress of 1 on their death; that made them very difficult to use. They now cost 2x more energy to use, however (from 30k to 60k). The AI also no longer cares about them at all in terms of extra priority on killing them. And lastly, they now cost 1750 knowledge to unlock instead of 1000.
  • Mark II scouts now cost 500 knowledge to unlock instead of 1000. Mark III scouts now cost 2250 instead of 2000, making the entire scout line only slightly cheaper.
  • Completely rebalanced armored warheads, as they have been the unused warhead for too long:
    • They now cost 50k energy to run instead of 2.5k.
    • They now cost 10x more metal and crystal to create.
    • They now cost 2/4/6 AIP rather than 10/15/20.
    • They now have the same (much lower) attack stats of their lightning warhead counterparts.
  • The attack range of mark III lightning and armored warheads has been increased by 250 -- making them not so much smaller than the mark II versions of the same.
  • Some starfield changes:
    • Slightly improved the draw efficiency of the starfields by reusing a single mersenne twister rather than initializing a new one every frame.
    • Changed it so that there is only now one layer of starfield, rather than three. This makes for a more cohesive style with most of the starfields, as well as making the sky not QUITE so incredibly dense with stars. This also removes the parallax effect from the stars themselves, which made the foreground stars really look more like dust than stars.
      • This also is a small boost to performance, and a slight reduction in VRAM usage per frame. On most computers it won't make a substantial difference, though.
    • Added in a parallax effect to the nebulae, making it so that they now have a slight motion and will wrap around the screen view if players scroll enough.
    • Thanks to annikk.exe for inspiring these changes.
  • Added a bit more command-queue-related debug info in for hitting F3 and hovering over ships.
  • Fixed a bug that would cause ships to sometimes ignore their wormhole orders to instead stay and fight when they have a target. This was most noticeable with astro trains since they are never supposed to stop to fight, but it actually was affecting all AI ships since sometime prior to 5.0 most likely. Possibly as far back as 4.0. This had serious implications to the AI's ability to effectively retreat; the AI should be a lot more swift-footed now, while still getting in pot-shots when it decides to leave.
    • Additionally, a potential desync was discovered where players that were using the F3 debug menu and hovering over ships might cause a desync in multiplayer. Fixed that.
      • Fixing this also reduced the per-ship memory footprint by about 8 bytes, which we're always pleased to do.
    • Thanks to Hearteater for reporting.
  • Made Cloaker Starships mark I knowledge-free now, instead of costing 1k knowledge. This helps to compensate players a bit for the generally-increased difficulty of the Zenith expansion.
  • Same with the Neinzul Rnclave Starships mark I. They were 2k knowledge, but now they are knowledge-free.
  • Mercenary Neinzul Enclave Starships, which would now be pretty well pointless, have also been revamped. Now they are the equivalent of the mark II Neinzul Enclave Starship, rather than the mark I starship. This is very powerful, but they are also now limited to only a single ship in their shipcap, rather than 6 ships.

Prerelease 5.012

(Released July 21st, 2011)

  • Added new "Activate Highest Efficiency Low Power Energy Reactor" KeyBind, InGame context, no default binding.
    • Searches through all your energy reactors that are low power, finds the one with the highest efficiency (accounting for penalties from multiple of the same mark on the planet), and takes it out of low power.
  • Added new "Put Lowest Efficiency Active Energy Reactor Into Low Power" KeyBind, InGame context, no default binding.
    • Searches through all your energy reactors that are not in low power, finds the one with the lowest efficiency (accounting for penalties from multiple of the same mark on the planet), and puts it into low power.
  • Fixed bug where the command-station foldouts each player got on each ally's planet were not executing galaxy-wide or per-planet controls (like Auto-FRD, auto-build engineers, auto-build energy reactors).
    • Thanks to many players for pointing this one out.
  • Added new galaxy-wide control toggle: "Prevent Auto Build On Ally Planets".
    • If this toggle is checked, it prevents your galaxy-wide auto-building controls (for stuff like engineers, rebuilders, and energy reactors) from taking effect on ally planets.
    • Your per-planet auto-building controls ignore this toggle.
  • Added new galaxy-wide control toggle: "Allow Ally Rebuilders To Rebuild My Remains".
    • If this toggle is checked, ally rebuilders will automatically consider the remains of any of your units to be valid rebuilding targets. Note that starting the rebuilding process costs no resources, the rebuilt unit is yours, and the rest of the rebuilding process is paid for like normal construction.
    • Also, please note that if an ally is using the "Engineers Do Not Assist Allies" toggle, their rebuilders will not automatically consider your remains regardless of your controls.
    • Thanks to lanstro for inspiring this change.
  • Fixed bug where Core Starships were not immune to translocation.
    • Thanks to Toll for the report.
  • Fixed some old tooltips referring to the expansions tab of the settings screen to correctly refer to the "License / Expansions" window (which is accessible from the main menu).
    • Thanks to FroBodine for the report.
  • Fixed a bug that has been causing astro-trains to not be able to attack for the last six months or so.
    • Thanks to Prezombie, Hearteater, and ArcDM for reporting.
  • Ships that have "temporary invincibility" (such as Core Shield Generators that are on planets you don't control, or AI Core Guard Posts and AI Core Command Stations when there are Core Shield Generators still active, or AI carriers when there are more than 2k AI ships active on their planet) now show up with a new angry red/yellow ship-style force field that is visually marking them as invulnerable. The actual mechanics haven't changed, but now there is a more clear visual indicator of the pre-existing logic.
    • Thanks to Elok for suggesting.

Prerelease 5.011

(Released June 21st, 2011)

  • Fixed rare null exception that could happen when changing control groups.
    • Thanks to leb0fh for the report and save.
  • Spire Civilian Leaders are now no longer giftable, to avoid a bug whereby gifting them back and forth would repeat the AIP decrease.
    • Thanks to dnatabar for the report.
  • Added a new "Galaxy-Wide Select Own Science Lab" key-bind that works in both planet-view and galaxy-view (like go-to-flare does) and defaults to Ctrl+T.
    • If you are viewing a planet and you own science labs on that planet, this drops any current selection you may have and selects one of those science labs (note that it does not center the viewport, there's another key for centering on the selection if you want that).
    • Otherwise, if you own science labs on another planet in the galaxy, this drops any current selection you may have, switches your view to one of those planets, and selects one of those science labs on that planet, and centers the viewport on that lab.
    • Otherwise (if you own no science labs), this does nothing.
    • Note that this only works with your science labs, it completely ignores science labs of allied players. Also, it does not attempt to rotate through eligible selections the way other selection functions do.
    • The reason for all the caveats of what this doesn't do is that its SOLE purpose is to let you access the tech-research menu from anywhere in the galaxy without having to know specifically where to find a science lab.
    • Thanks to TheDeadlyShoe for the suggestion that inspired this.
  • Fixed a bug where a self-destructing aoe weapon with a limited number of secondary targets (autobomb, nanoswarm, etc) would fail to do any damage to anything in some cases where only the main target was hit.
    • Thanks to Nalgas for the report and save.
  • Added "Galaxy Layout" item to top-level context menu (when showing the galaxy map). Clicking it shows these options:
    • "Official Layout" - Switches your galaxy view to the official layout, meaning the map as actually generated.
    • "My Layout" - Switches your galaxy view to your alternate layout. If you have not made any changes, this will look like the official layout.
      • While looking at your alternate layout you can move a planet around by holding shift, left clicking the planet, and dragging it aroud while holding the left mouse button.
    • "Player 1 Layout" - Switches your galaxy view to this player's alternate layout.
      • And 7 others just like it for players 2 through 8.
  • Fixed bug where copying in your global controls from disk could lead to building engineer IIs and IIIs without the required tech.
    • Thanks to Ranakastrasz (and others) for reporting this.
  • Added new global control toggle "Prevent Warhead FRD".
    • If this toggle is checked, it prevents your warheads from entering Free-Roaming-Defender mode even when something like the 'Auto-FRD Military' toggle or a slip of the finger when giving a move order would set them to FRD.
    • If you can imagine a nuclear warhead attached to a roomba, you can imagine cases where you would use this toggle. And cases where you would not.
    • Please note that this will not take any warheads already in FRD out of it.
    • Thanks to Ranakastrasz for inspiring this addition.
  • Fixed a bug where Defender games were always being recorded in the high-score list as lost.
    • Thanks to Night for the report and save.
  • Fixed a bug where lightning and armored warheads were following the unit-cap-scale.
    • One of the side effects of this is that some Neinzul Rocketry Corps silos (only the lower-mark ones, and only on low or normal caps) were "scaling down" to a maximum internal capacity of zero, effectively making them Neinzul Rocketry Bricks. No longer.
    • Thanks to ArcDM for the report and save that led to this being discovered.
  • The "Hostile Warheads on (planet name)" alerts are now shown for all planets you have scouting on, not just human-controlled planets.

Prerelease 5.010

(Released April 14th, 2011)

  • Spire Blade Spawners:
    • Now have an attack again (not having an attack was causing all kinds of bugs and unintended behaviors), with a base power of 1000 per shot, 8 shots per salvo, 2 seconds per salvo, and effective range of 6000 (for reference, that's the same as the spire stealth battleship except it's 25% the base power and 1000 lower range).
      • Notably, this should make the BaseAIPerGuardPostShipCap flag work correctly again for them (it's set to 1 for them).
      • But since they were unable to guard stuff in the past due to zero attack, to correct old saves the AI ones just being completely stripped out when loading something from 5.009 or earlier. Human ones are not affected.
    • Have the new DoesNotMoveToPursueUnlessOrderGivenByPlayer flag, which prevents human ones from chasing an auto-targetted target (in FRD or not). Hopefully this will deal with the complaint that lead to the original removal of their guns.
    • Thanks to Sunshine! and techsy730 for reports and saves of the bypassing-caps problem.

Prerelease 5.009

(Released March 28th, 2011)

  • The health of the non-core AI Spire Shield Spheres has been reduced by half (for all five mark levels of the non-core versions).
    • Thanks to Vinraith for suggesting.
  • Fixed another rare desync that would occur when the "ship to kill" logic was loaded from savegames that were saved during a big battle. Not many people save DURING a big battle, so this one didn't come up much.
    • Thanks once again to Fleet and Tssbackus for reporting, and for their patience. They have all the bad luck!
  • Added in a new "aggregate hash" that sums up a few key integer stats from non-cold-storage ships (location xy, destination xy, is destination settled, "ship to kill" object number), to provide a sort of early warning system against desyncs.
    • This makes the game much likely to actually desync quicker when there is a desync going on under the hood, which will make them easier to find, and hopefully also easier to reproduce when a player does run into a desync.
    • This adds a bit to the CPU load, but since it's all addition, it's nothing particularly notable, which is one of the plusses of this.
    • We are, of course, hoping not to have to use this any time soon. But in the event that Fleet and Tssbackus get unlucky again, this should help eliminate any ambiguities that might otherwise come up.

Prerelease 5.008

(Released March 25th, 2011)

  • Zenith SpaceTime Manipulators can no longer be swallowed or regenerated.
    • Thanks to FunnyMan for suggesting.
  • Human-allied zombies and minor factions were not being properly limited in their pool of planets to fix, thanks to a typo in their logic. It should now be fixed.
    • Thanks to techsy730, Vinraith, and zoutzakje for reporting.
  • Zenith Electric Bombers:
    • No longer use scaled caps (due to the 0.1 ship cap multiplier, that can make the additional /2 or /4 from normal and low caps cause a more significant truncation than is desirable).
    • Event attack cost (used for exogalactic strikeforce computations) tiers increased from "Medium Corvette" through "Heavy Frigate" to "Light Frigate" through "Medium Destroyer", since the previous placement was putting mkIII zelecs at the same place as a mkV bomber. It's not a goal to balance the event attack costs terribly precisely, but that was a bit excessive.
    • Thanks to Garthor for bringing the odd cost issue to light.
  • Sentinel Frigates:
    • Event attack cost (used for exogalactic strikeforce computations) tiers increased from "Heavy Corvette" through "Light Destroyer" to "Light Frigate" through "Medium Destroyer".

Prerelease 5.007

(Released March 24th, 2011)

  • AI ships that are spawned in response to saboteurs, such as the human mark III science lab, are now zombie bots.
    • Thanks to Irxallis for suggesting.
  • Fixed a bug with zombie or minor faction electric shuttles, where the shuttles would just sit there. This also should improve the behavior for any ships that explode (including warheads, etc) when controlled by a minor faction, when zombified, when in FRD or attack-move in general, and possibly when in the hands of the AI in some circumstances.
    • Thanks to Burnstreet and BobTheJanitor for reporting.
  • Previously, zombiefied ships were being bound by player ship caps, but they should not have been. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Dalden and Ozymandiaz for reporting.
  • Previously, allied minor faction and zombie ships would just patrol around player planets endlessly, which was helpful for defense, but problematic for two reasons: first, that it could cause massive amounts of slowdown after many hours of them stacking up, and second, that it could cause massive buildups of AI stalkers, who never dare to attack the planets with so many defenders, which leads to something akin to stalemate situations.
    • Thus the allied minor faction and zombie logic has been adjusted as follows:
      • Neutral planets are now considered the same as allied planets, and the ships will patrol to them like any others.
      • If there are more than about 100 of AI threat ships on an adjacent planet, the ships will also patrol to that planet to clean them off.
      • If the human-allied team has more than a token military force (more than about 10 ships) on a planet, then these ships will patrol to there, to help aid in that attack.
        • This allows for small raids to still happen with raid starships or whatever without assistance from these minor factions, but it enlists their help for larger-scale engagements.
    • Thanks to many players for weighing in on this, including Burnstreet, Draco18s, TechSY730, vinco, BluePhoenix, and ArcDM for reporting various things related to this, with various suggestions.
  • Dyson Gatlings are now immune to paralysis attacks.
    • Thanks to Sunshine for suggesting.
  • Slightly improved the targeting handling when a ship is targeting a teleporting ship that is out of range.
  • Spirecraft Penetrator balance:
    • Mark I moved from pysite to xampite. Mark II moved to ebonite, and now produce two per asteroid. All the other marks not moved around.
    • Penetrator health reduced 8x.
    • Penetrator perma-cloaking replaced with normal cloaking.
    • Thanks to Irxallis for suggesting.
  • Fixed a problem with too-low throttles on minor faction / zombie ships preventing them from even attacking at all in some cases.
    • Thanks to zoutzakje for reporting.
  • The devourer golem is now completely invincible -- it was never meant to be killable in the first place, but recent changes to the game made that so that it was possible post-5.0. Like the dyson sphere, the devourer is more intersting when it is indestructible.
    • Thanks to ArcDM for inspiring this, although I'm not sure if that's what he really was hoping for.
  • Minor factions now shoot low-power ships without prejudice, which means that devourer golems actually will devourer more again.
    • Thanks to ArcDM for reporting.
  • Zenith SpaceTime Manipulators, like forcefields, now have the ability to move very slowly but not to go through wormholes, to allow for better repositioning of them.
    • Thanks to vinco for suggesting.
  • Gifting a ship now copies across its current attack recharge, cloaking recharge, and similar, preventing a few exploits related to that and penetrators in particular.
    • Thanks to Irxallis for reporting.
  • Fixed the bug with two buttons for mark V fighters showing up in the mark V fighter fabricator.
    • Thanks to leb0fh, Orelius, akbr1984, and snelg for reporting.
  • Previously, when command stations were replaced, colony ships and mobile builders were still dying even though they shouldn't have been. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Red Spot and TechSY730 for reporting.
  • Improved the clarity of the colony ship description.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for suggesting.
  • Previously, when a player was controlling an ally's ships and tried to put that ship into a control group, it would add it to the ally's control group instead of the local player's control group. Having cross-player control groups is not possible without really expanding the control group data structure, which doesn't seem like a good idea to do at the present time, so for the time being allied ships simply won't go into control groups if a player tries to put them in there, at least cutting out the worst of the confusion.
    • Thanks to FunnyMan for reporting.
  • The Zenith Trader previously had incorrect line breaks. Fixed.
    • Thanks to doctorfrog for reporting.
  • Previously, if there were fewer than 30 enemy-to-the-AI ships and none of them were both uncloaked and had attack strength of 0, then the planet was incorrectly being put into cold storage. Now it's only in cold storage if there are fewer than 30 enemy-to-the-AI ships and all of them have full cloaking, which was the intended logic from the start.
    • This should fix some issues with the devourer golem not really doing its thing, and in general some minor faction issues in general.
    • Thanks to Fleet and TechSY730 for reporting related bugs.
  • Previously, adding and removing ships to control groups was way slower than it should have been. In terms of bulk add/removes, it was way, WAY slower than it should have been. This was a past optimization that was not fully optimized -- it had one critical flaw, mainly. This is now fixed, and it has a couple of major effects:
    • Obviously, when editing control groups in bulk, it's hugely improving the speed of that (it could cause "Waiting For Players" messages, before).
    • Unexpectedly, it also makes savegames load in less than half the time they used to. As it turns out, there was a lot of "take this ship out of the control group it already wasn't in" going on in there, and that was just eating performance.
    • Thanks to FunnyMan for reporting.
  • AI Progress reduction messages now show up as light green instead of light red, to avoid being misleading.
    • Thanks to sgt_deacon for suggesting.
  • The radar dampening range of marauders and resistance fighters has been changed to be about 1000 greater than their attack range in all cases, soo that they always have to come into range of their targets in order to fire on their targets. This makes it so that turrets and other fixed-position defenses are not completely powerless against them.
    • Thanks to Draco Cretel for suggesting.
  • Spire Civilian Leader Outposts are now included in the galaxy map filter for Detected AI Progress Reducers.
    • Thanks to Orelius and c4sc4 for suggesting.
  • Spire Civilian Leader Outposts previously did not have their minor faction stance properly set, so they could not be attacked. Now they are properly noted as AI Allies until captured by the human team. They are still direct-only to attack, though, so unless you accidentally mis-click on them your ships won't attack them.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for reporting.
  • Armored Warhead health reduced from over 2 billion to 40 million. This is still a huge amount of health, but they are no longer infinitely survivable. This also fixes a bug where the interface was having an overflow exception and rendering their health as 1.
    • Thanks to rustayne for reporting.
  • When planet-wide EMP or tachyon detonations occur, as from a warhead or an EMP guardian, a chat message is now sent to the human players telling them who detonated what, and where. This message is also clickable. The goal here is preventing EMP guardians from punching QUITE so impenetrable a hole in player defenses without notice.
    • Thanks to KDR_11k for suggesting.
  • Warhead Interceptors have been nonfunctional since slightly before 5.0 of the game (I disabled them, but never did get around to re-enabling them. They should work once again, but I haven't had a test case to work on it to be sure. If anyone has a save with them not working after this version, please let us know.
    • Thanks to Orelius for reminding us of this.
  • The efficiency of gravitational slowing (gravity drains, gravity turrets) has been greatly improved, such that big battles that previously would grind to a halt because of them can now be played at 3x their prior framerate in one test case in particular.
    • One major improvement was to exclude checking of gravitational slowing for ships that can't move or aren't moving at the moment (since they don't need to be slowed!), and the other was to skip redundant gravitational slowing checks for gravitational sources that are the same and which are too close together. This last is very similar to how the speed improvements on the range data display (from way back pre-2.0 days) works.
    • Thanks to rustayne for reporting.

Prerelease 5.006

(Released March 23rd, 2011)

  • Astro Trains are now immune to translocation and gravity effects, since both of those cause more problems for players than they would ever solve.
    • Thanks to Sunshine for suggesting.
  • Adjusted controls window to be more likely to fit within 1024-wide resolutions; previously it was functional but didn't quite fit.
    • Thanks to Balthier for the repot.
  • Double-clicking a profile name in the profile list now selects it, rather than opening it for editing.
  • When a desync is encountered, the clients are now notified of that instead of them thinking it's just a regular waiting for players.
  • FINALLY fixed a long-standing and excruciatingly rare desync that nevertheless was reliably hit by two of our players, Fleet and Tssbackus. Huge thanks to them for their persistence in helping us figure this out. For all the details, here's the mantis issue: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=3077
  • The planetary summary now makes substantially better use of its available vertical space, thus saving horizontal space in many cases.
    • Thanks to gamewarlord777 for suggesting.
  • Guard posts, fortresses, superfortresses, force fields, and exo-shields are all now immune to regeneration from regenerator golems/trains.
    • Thanks to FunnyMan for reporting.
  • AI Motherships are now considered large ships for purposes of bomber starships and siege starships being able to hit them.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for reporting.
  • When an engineer is repairing a ship, and it was not set to repair that ship explicitly by the player, and it's not in free-roaming defender mode or attack-move mode, it will no longer try to chase the ship it is repairing. Instead it will just find a better target and keep its position. This allows for players to exercise more tight control over their engineers now that engineers have a huge repair range and no longer teleport.
    • Thanks to Sunshine for suggesting.
  • In recent versions, the self attrition time has been reporting a negative time. Fixed.
    • Thanks to Garthor for reporting.
  • When a ship is translocated away from its current location, all incoming projectiles now are also immediately translocated to its new destination, and thus will hit it instead of fizzling. This makes the military command stations a lot less unwieldy.
    • Thanks to KDR_11k for suggesting.
  • Raid starship rebalance, thanks to many players for various suggestions:
    • Raid Starship health has been increased from 1.6 million health * mark level to 2 million health * mark level.
    • The AI now has separate versions of the Raid Starships, which have only 1/2 the health of the human counterparts.

Prerelease 5.005

(Released March 17th, 2011)

  • Savegames from 5.004 were accidentally all uncompressed, though flagged as compressed, which caused them to not be able to be read back in. Two fixes:
    • First, fixed the actual cause of this, so new savegames in 5.005 will be saved properly.
    • Second, updated the load savegame process so that it can read even the "corrupt" saves from 5.004 without issue.
    • Thanks to SpaceJelly for reporting!
  • Spire Blade Spawner:
    • Ship cap from 0.05 of normal to 0.03 of normal (in practice, from 9 to 5 for mkI). Note that this impacts AI usage as well as human.
    • BaseAIPerGuardPostShipCap from 2 => 1.
  • Spire Gravity Drain:
    • Grav range from 3000*mk => 8000 (flat).
  • Spire Gravity Ripper:
    • Attack power from 1000*mk => 2000*mk.
    • Seconds-per-salvo from 1 => 2.
    • So basically the gravity ripping effect is being nerfed to 50% of what it was, and the normal attack is better against armor. We'll see where to go from there.
  • Spire Miniram:
    • Ship cap multiplier from 0.25 => 0.20.
  • Spire Stealth Battleship:
    • Effective Attack range from 6500 + (500*mk) => 7000 flat (thus, they can no longer engage while still protected by their 8000 radar dampening range).
  • Spire Tractor Platform:
    • Hull Type from Turret => Heavy.
  • Previously, turtle AI types had over 13 times as many AI Eyes as "normal". Moderately defensive ones (Shield Ninny, Grav Driller, and Peacemaker) had only 2 times as many as normal. Turtles now have about 2.6 times as many as normal.
  • Light Starship:
    • Base Health from 1.5m => 2m.
    • Armor Rating from 500 => 1000.
    • Given Radar Dampening of 8000 (to make it harder to deny a fleet its fleet starship munitions boost by ganking the fleet starships from long range). For reference, its munitions boost range is 3000.
  • Flagship:
    • Base Health From 4,875k => 6m.
    • Given Radar Dampening of 8000. For reference, its munitions boost range is 6000.
  • Neinzul Youngling Commando:
    • Base Health from 6600*mk => 8000*mk.
    • Base Attack Power from 1000*mk => 1200*mk.
  • Impulse Reaction Emitter:
    • Now has a minimum multiplier of 5 (roughly what it would get vs a ship with 5,000 energy cost). This might be excessive, we'll see, but the ship was having significant "used as a paperweight" issues against anything at all small.
  • Zenith Mirrors:
    • When a shot is reflected, the returned shot's power is now increased 4x. Thought to be a perpetual motion machine until the first power bill arrived. More seriously, this is an attempt to correct for the fact that things now tend to have a higher ratio of hp to damage (particularly against their own hull type) than when the mirrors were first added.

Prerelease 5.004

(Released March 16th, 2011)

  • Added "Toggle Use-Group-Move-By-Default" In-Game key-bind (no default key, but you can set one on the In-Game tab of the input bindings window):
    • Toggles the value of the Use-Group-Move-By-Default global control (normally changed through the controls screen, but can be set this way for convenience).
    • Note that if you have the controls window open while using this key-bind, the controls window will not automatically update to reflect the change as that would destroy any changes made since the window was opened.
    • To make it easier to know which way it was toggled (without having to open the controls window, which would defeat the purpose), using this toggle displays a local message on the screen noting the change.
  • HUGE Memory breakthrough.
    • Bad news first: the bad news is that this touched 63 different code files, and has resulted in approximately 4500 disparate lines of code being changed in a spiderweb pattern all throughout the application. So... expect some bugs. So far we haven't seen any, but with an organization change this drastic some are inevitable. Why, oh why, would we do this?
    • Well, that brings us to the good news: the baseline heap memory usage for the application has been literally HALVED, and in large savegames it's also... well, about halved in most cases. For those players that had been experiencing the dreaded "Too Many Heap Sections" error (thanks to Unity 3D's less than stellar garbage collector bounding capping out at about 900MB), this is tremendous news.
    • As a small ancillary bonus, this also makes both the program itself and individual savegames load a bit faster. The older your CPU, the more you will notice this effect (on older CPUs, it could shave off multiple seconds, actually).
    • As another not-so-small bonus, this restructuring cuts down on some confusing cases with the spirecraft and how some of the by-unit-scale stuff works. Long-term, this should mean a lot fewer bugs related to the unit cap scales, which is also welcome news. Some subtle bugs related to the armor rating have already been fixed as just part of making this transition, though we don't think anyone reported these specific ones.
  • The regen ability now shows how long, in time, it will take to completely heal the ship from 0 hitpoints to full hitpoints, rather than showing the per-second gain. Thus some mental math is removed, and the display of this can be consistent between different unit cap scales.
  • Ever since the porting to unity, annoyingly, we've had a bug of our own making that caused the first profile to always be the one used, rather than whatever you last used. Fixed.
  • Player profiles are also now once again sorted by name, which they used to be but haven't been since the switch.
  • A new "Don't Compress Savegames" toggle has been added to the Advanced tab.
    • The only time you should turn this on is if your save process is being inordinately slow, or if you are getting "Too Many Heap Sections" crashes. Otherwise, you'll want this on, as uncompressed savegames are pretty huge. But enabling this will save on RAM use during savegame compression and decompression -- the larger the save, the more the savings in RAM with the compression disabled.

Prerelease 5.003

(Released March 8th, 2011)

  • Updated the Unit Cap Scale "High" option's lobby tooltip to note the chance of the game simply running out of memory in the late game and that autosaving and reloading every couple hours can be necessary to get through it.
  • Fixed a typo in the first Fallen Spire journal entry.
    • Thanks to Neck for the report.
  • Fixed a bug where the "I Have A Bad Feeling About This" achievement was not being awarded.
    • Thanks to Tirulii for the report and save.
  • The AI's (announced) exogalactic strikeforces provoked by the Fallen Spire stuff now also contribute points to a sort of "homeworld defense fund". If that has any points and an AI homeworld comes under major assault, a defense force is immediately spawned on that homeworld. This can prove... unpleasant.
  • Minor faction Fallen Spire ships (NOT the human-controllable ones) buffed quite a bit.
  • Previously the controls window was not fitting vertically on 1024x600 (which isn't officially supported but we try to make it playable). Fixed to fit better.
    • Thanks to Talaraine for the report.
  • Courtesy of the current #1 on the mantis vote tallies: Added "Copy To Disk" and "Copy From Disk" buttons to bottom of the controls screen.
    • Copy To File creates a copy of your global controls (excluding per-planet stuff, but including ship designs) as "copiedGlobalControlSet.dat" in your RuntimeData directory.
    • Copy From File prompts you to confirm first, and if you confirm it overwrites all your global control (excluding per-planet stuff, but including ship designs) from what's in "copiedGlobalControlSet.dat" in your RuntimeData directory. If you don't actually have such a file it doesn't do anything when you confirm.
    • Thanks to Fleet for the suggestion that inspired this feature.
  • Courtesy of the new #2 item on the mantis vote tallies list: Added "Mobile Tractors With Full Load Rally" toggle to the global tab of the controls screen.
    • If this toggle is checked, when one of your mobile units with tractor beams (notably Etherjets, Spire Tractor Platforms, Spirecraft Martyrs, and Black Widow Golems) has a "full load" (all tractors active), it will look for a rally post to rally to. If that rally post happens to be a redirector, that will work as it normally does, etc.
    • When the rally trigger kicks in, all other orders (including FRD and attack-move, etc) will be canceled on the tractoring unit. But if you give the ship an order after the rally behavior is triggered, it won't retry the rally unless it it loses one of its tractor targets and then fills up again.
    • Note that this does not apply to Riot Control Starships with tractor modules, because the modules themselves are not mobile units.
    • Thanks to PineappleSam for the suggestion inspiring this control.
  • Another from the vote tallies: Artillery Golems are now immune to radar dampening.
    • Thanks to Fleet for the suggestion.
  • Courtesy of the new #2 item on the mantis vote-tallies: Added "Auto-Scout-Picket" command to the context menu (there's also an key bind, unbound by default):
    • Tell all cloaking scout units in the selection to try to station themselves on a planet where you do not currently have scout intel. Basically it:
      • 1) Makes a list of all scouts with cloaking in your selection.
      • 2) Makes a list of all planets you do not have current (less than 5 seconds ago) scout intel.
      • 3) Sorts that list of planets by distance (ascending) to the planet with your selection.
      • 4) Tells the first scout in the first list to go to the first planet in the second list, and so on. If it runs out of planets it loops back to the beginning of the planet list and thus it will double up, etc. When it runs out of scouts it stops.
    • Please remember that this order (and auto-explore) are only intended to automate simple scouting situations and thus save you time giving otherwise trivial orders. If your scouts all die before accomplishing anything that means that it's not a simple scouting situation and you'll need to take manual control to get good results.
    • Thanks to Malibu Stacey for the suggestion that inspired this command.
  • AI War engine upgraded to Unity 3.3, from previously being Unity 3.1.

Prerelease 5.002

(Released February 22nd, 2011)

  • Fixed bug in last version where maws had no ship cap.
    • Thanks to Orelius for the report.
  • Removed the (somewhat jokingly named) "HasWarpEngineMufflers" UnitData flag, and replaced it with per-unit logic that looks at ActionStatus (Normal, MinorFaction, or Zombie) and tells it to not play wormhole-transition sounds for MinorFaction or Zombie ships that are allied with the player.
  • Fixed bug on the stats window resource-flows tab where most construction/repair/etc outflows were reported as positive instead of negative.
  • Fixed bug that was greatly delaying the onset of gravity slowdown on units entering grav range in some cases.
    • Thanks to chemical_art for the report and save.
  • Courtesy of being really high on the vote tallies: previously double-clicking a single unit would select all (your) units of that exact type on the screen. Now triple-clicking will do the same thing except it will include all units of the same general type (ShipType). Meaning that triple-clicking a fighter of any mark will select all your fighters of any mark on the screen.
    • Caveat: the general categorization being used is sometimes more general than mark; notably remains rebuilders have the same ShipType as engineers. Requests to make triple-clicking an engineer not also select remains rebuilders are likely to be ignored ;)
    • Also, we have to do this triple-click detection manually, so basically it's looking for a third click within 3 tenths of a second after the double-click selection. If this timing is problematic, let us know.
    • Thanks to Toll for the suggestion.
  • In response to the number-one-on-the-vote-tallies mantis issue:
    • Added new PlanetView KeyBind: "Show Strong/Weak Info":
      • Defaults to Alt+W.
      • When this is active and the mouse cursor is over a ship, each planetary summary sidebar entry will display Win/Lose/Draw (and a % indicating intensity of win or loss, if it's not a draw) as a rough indicator of how effective a cap of the ship type under the cursor would be against a cap of the entry's ship type. Since planetary summary entries frequently include multiple distinct types of ships, this is perhaps most useful in conjunction with the "Guide" mode of the planetary summary that shows all ships of a given mark level (the default key for switching to guide mode is F1). However, even in normal mode this can be useful to at least get a rough feel for which of your ships on the planet are the best you have on hand against a specific target.
      • Caveat: this is not using a full simulation or anything like that, it uses the same simplified formula as the reference tab uses. So stuff with modules won't really get accurate results (because it's only counting the base hull), etc.
      • Suggestions on text color, default keys, etc, are quite welcome; we're not totally happy with the effect right now but don't have a lot of time to fiddle with alternatives.
    • Added new PlanetView KeyBind: "Strong/Weak => One Vs One":
      • Defaults to Alt+E (so the full combination would be to hold Alt+W+E).
      • When both this and the "Show Strong/Weak Info" keybind are active, the strong/weak info shown will use a one-ship vs. one-ship comparison instead of the normal cap vs. cap comparison.
  • Snipers (the ship, not the turrets) :
    • Bonus vs UltraLight from 6 => 1.
    • Bonus vs Light from 1 => 6.
  • On to #2 on the vote tallies list: The mouseover tooltip for the AI Progress display on the resource bar now displays each of the tech level thresholds for each AI Player.
    • Thanks to wyvern83 for the suggestion.
  • Fixed a moderately longstanding bug where having the first AI player at tech level 1 and the second AI player at tech level 2 would actually draw as the text "II/II" instead of "I/II" on the resource bar.
  • The "selection description" window in the bottom right of the hud that shows the count of each type in the selection now shows two percents: the first is the average percent-of-max-health of the living ships of that type (this used to be there before the Unity port, and it's back now!), the second is the lowest percent-of-max-health of the living ships of that type.
    • Thanks to Vinraith for reminding us about the missing average-health info.
  • The selection description window will now try to display up to 30 entries without resorting to a scrollbar, instead of only 5.
  • Replaced the old "if CanUseNeinzulRegenerator then multiply by 2" wave-size rule with a more general UsefulnessInAIWaveMultiplier UnitData field.
    • Everything with CanUseNeinzulRegenerator (which is just the 5 youngling types), gets a 2 for this.
    • As an experiment, Bombers get 0.8 and Fighters and Missile Frigates get 1.2. Bomber waves will probably still be more dangerous (as is intended) but it might make the difference in "interestingness" less. Not planning to touch the bonus ship types because if the AI has a particularly bomber-like bonus ship type that should just be a characteristic of the kind of difficulty you'll be facing in that game, etc.
  • Exogalactic strikeforces provoked by the Broken-Golems-Hard or Spirecraft-Hard minor factions (but not Fallen Spire ones) now have a chance (50% for Broken-Golems, 20% for Spirecraft) of using an alternate composition distribution that heavily favors a large lead ship and a single battlegroup.
  • Broken-Golems-Hard and Spirecraft-Hard exogalactic strikeforce initial-strength, per-minute-increment-amount, and maximum-strength all increased roughly 10%.
    • Thanks to Shrugging Khan for pointing out that these are a bit on the easy side right now. In other words, blame him if these slaughter you now.
  • The Armored, Black-Widow, Artillery, and Regenerator Golems used in exogalactic strikeforces are now different than the "standard" AI golems (like those used by the Golemite AI Type). The main difference is that they lack the 1/10th-health-of-a-normal-golem rule (but the Armored variants still have a 1/2 health modifier, since they're so buff).
    • Thanks to Shrugging Khan for continuing to provoke the golems.
  • Black Widow golem health and Attack Power boosted a bit (15%-ish).
  • Regenerator Golem health doubled, in response to various concerns that they're less useful than other golems.
  • The "shot travels at least 40 speed faster than its target's current speed" logic has been extended to include "shot travels at least 40 speed faster than its target's tractor-er's current speed", since in the "tow" case the target's current speed is almost always zero.
    • Thanks to kjara for the report.

Prerelease 5.001

(Released February 16th, 2011)

  • Made it possible to bind Mouse2, Mouse3, Mouse4, Mouse5, or Mouse6 to the primary key of a KeyBinding. For reference, Mouse2 is the middle mouse button. Mouse0 is left-click, Mouse1 is right-click, and both are excluded from this due to being used in many other ways by the main input code. Mouse3-6 don't exist on most mice, but are available for those who have them.
    • One example use of this is to bind OpenDefaultContextMenu to Mouse2 (middle mouse). We're not sure if this would cause major conflicts with middle-mouse-scrolling or mouse-wheel-zooming (due to accidental click-downs during wheeling); if you try it please let us know how it goes. Seemed ok in our testing.
  • Fixed a bug where the special-move context menu's catch-right-clicks option was basically failing to do anything. Now when it is toggled on it properly re-interprets right clicks outside the menu as "set destination to clicked point and then execute".
  • Updated tooltips for:
    • Armored Golem.
    • Artillery Golem.
    • Black Widow Golem.
    • Cursed Golem.
    • Regenerator Golem.
    • Hive Golem.
    • Botnet Golem.
    • Military Command Stations.
    • Captive Human Settlements.
    • Fallen Spire lobby tooltip (reference to wiki removed due to complaints).
    • Thanks to Burnstreet, c4sc4, techsy730, and Sunshine! for contributing suggestions about these.
  • Fixed a bug where hybrids were... basically completely broken. Sigh. The "don't let hybrids rebuild modules if they've recently been damaged" code was inverted in such a way that they could never build modules. And because they could never get modules, they were never satisfied that they were ready to go attack or defend or whatever.
    • For reference, this bug went unreported for roughly 20 versions. The Hybrids are plotting revenge.
    • Thanks to Draco18s and Draco Cretel for reporting. The Hybrids might spare them.
  • Reclamators (excluding zombie-reclamators) :
    • Replaced the "cannot do reclamation damage to ships more than one mk level higher" rule: the reclamation effect of the actual damage done is multiplied as follows:
      • If the reclamator is 4 mks higher than the target (mkV shooting mkI), multiply by 64.
      • If the reclamator is 3 mks higher than the target, 48.
      • If the reclamator is 2 mks higher than the target, 32.
      • If the reclamator is 1 mk higher than the target, 16.
      • If the reclamator is the same mk as the target, 8.
      • If the reclamator is 1 mk lower than the target, 4.
      • If the reclamator is 2 mks lower than the target, 2.
      • If the reclamator is 3 mks lower than the target, 1.
      • There is no 4-mk-lower case because mkV are not reclaimable.
    • Leech Starship base attack power from 120k*mk => 30k*mk.
    • Parasite base attack power from 4000*mk => 1000*mk.
    • Nanoswarms inherent 16x-reclamation property down to 2x, but no reduction in actual damage.
    • Spire Teleporting Leech base attack power also not reduced, because the general feeling is that these are pretty underpowered already. Might nerf these later if this proves to be too much.
  • Parasites:
    • Effective range from 3700 => 6000.
    • Armor piercing from 0 => 750*mk.
    • Base Health from 7200*mk => 14400*mk.
  • Fixed a relatively longstanding bug where AIPerPlanetShipCap and AIPerGuardPostShipCap were generally not being enforced when loading a game (either just-starting or loading later).
  • Some triangle rebalancing:
    • The rationale here is that bombers have been having their way with forcefields a bit too much, and having fighters be so much more "general-dps" than the other two has made them much less a natural predator of the Bomber. Also, the Missile Frigate is still being reported as the least desirable by a significant margin.
    • Fighters (including the tachyon and bulletproof variants) :
      • Bonus vs Polycrystal from 2.4 => 5.
    • Bombers:
      • Bonus vs UltraHeavy from 10 => 6.
      • Bonus vs Structural from 10 => 6.
      • Bonus vs Heavy from 10 => 6.
      • Bonus vs Artillery from 10 => 6.
      • Base Attack Power from 1900*mk => 2400*mk.
    • Missile Frigates:
      • Bonus vs Light from 10 => 6.
      • Bonus vs UltraLight from 10 => 6.
      • Bonus vs Swarmer from 10 => 6.
      • Bonus vs Neutron from 10 => 6.
      • Bonus vs Composite from 10 => 6.
      • Bonus vs Refractive from 10 => 6.
      • Base Attack Power from 1600*mk => 2400*mk.
      • Base Crystal Cost from 700 => 500.
  • Fixed a bug with the electric shuttle "chain lightning" mechanic where it could hit a single forcefield way more times than intended. Used to be as many as 200 per shot, but now down to 5 (anything can be hit 5 times per shot).
    • Thanks to Draco18s for reporting.
  • Fixed bug where electric shuttles were able to chain-hit the same target 10 times in one blast (thus getting maximum efficiency against groups 20 or larger) instead of 5 (thus needing to hit at least 40 to get full damage).
  • Fixed a bug where Spire Blades, Spire Minirams, and Spire Rams would not actually automatically die (but just self-damage by some amount) when attacking.
  • Tractor Beam Turrets:
    • Base Health from 210k/840k/1680k => 560k*mk.
    • Base Armor Rating from 1200 (flat) => 450*mk.
  • Beam Guardians:
    • Bonus Vs Turret from 8 => 1.
    • Bonus Vs UltraLight from 8 => 1.
    • Bonus Vs Artillery from 2 => 1.
    • Base Attack Power from 4000*mk => 4500*mk.
    • Base Armor Rating from 600*mk => 300*mk.
  • Laser Guardians:
    • Base Armor Rating from 1000*mk => 300*mk.
    • Base Health from 1.4*(standard guardian health) to 1.1*(standard).
    • Shots Per Salvo from 3 => 15.
    • Seconds Per Salvo from 4 => 2.
    • Base Attack Power from 17k*mk => 1700*mk.
    • Base Armor Piercing from 500*mk => 300*mk.
    • Base Attack Range from 7000 => 5000.
  • Raider Guardians:
    • Now Have Radar Dampening Range of 8000.
  • Lightning Guardians:
    • Base Armor Rating from 800*mk => 600*mk.
    • Now use the same "can hit up to 200 targets max, but can do max damage to as few as 40 by hiting each target up to 5 times" logic as Electric Shuttles.
    • Base Attack Power from 1600*mk => 2400*mk (for reference, Electric shuttles on low caps have 1600*mk, albeit somewhat slower reloading).
  • Tractor Guardians:
    • Base Armor Rating from 1200 (flat) => 450*mk.
  • Spider Guardians:
    • Base Armor Rating from 1000 (flat) => 150*mk.
  • Sniper Guardians:
    • Base Armor Rating from 1000 (flat) => 150*mk.
  • Tachyon Guardians:
    • Base Armor Rating from 400 (flat) => 150*mk.
  • Gravity Guardians:
    • Max Target Base Speed from 10/8/6/4/2 => 11/10/9/8/7.
    • Grav Beam Base Range from 8k/10k/12k/14k/16k => 7k/8k/9k/10k/11k.
    • Base Armor Rating from 100*mk => 300*mk.
  • Zombie Guardians:
    • Shots Per Salvo from 2/3/4/5/6 => flat 2.
    • Base Armor Rating from 5000*mk => 300*mk.
    • Base Attack Range from 9000 => 7000.
  • EMP Guardians:
    • Base Armor Rating from 1200 (flat) => 300*mk.
  • Carrier Guardians:
    • Base Armor Rating from 1200 (flat) => 300*mk.
  • Note: the guardian rebalancing is far from done, this was just to tone down some more obvious issues.
  • Handicap now has the following effects, all of which is new unless otherwise noted:
    • AI
      • Previously it affected the speed at which the AI reinforced. It no longer does.
      • Increases the number of ships in each wave and reinforcement, and decreases when negative.
      • Roaming Enclaves and Preservation Wardens are spawned sooner or later into the game.
      • Scrap waves are scaled accordingly.
      • Specifically "forced waves" are scaled accordingly.
      • Cross planet atacks are scaled accordingly.
      • Saboteur and deep strike reactions are scaled accordingly.
      • For now, event attacks are NOT affected by this.
      • Initial seeding of AI planets are intentionally not affected by this -- same as human players get no starting benefit from handicaps.
    • Player
      • Increases the amount of resources gathered from producers (using a new formula), and decreases when negative (also using the new formula).
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for suggesting we revisit this.
  • The tech level of the AI is now only inflated by 1 artificially when playing on greater than difficulty 9, rather than greater than difficulty 8.
    • Thanks to TechSY730 for suggesting.
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