Release notes here!
This one’s all about adding support for Formations.
AIW Classic had limited support for this idea: you could set up your group of ships and use J+right-click to have them move to the target point while maintaining their position relative to one another. There was also a sticky-formation setting so that you didn’t have to hold J all the time. This was useful, but still tedious if you wanted a particular layout because you had to do it by hand at least once.
Now in AIW2 you can tell a control group to use a particular formation and whenever you give it a move order all ships on that planet will automatically arrange themselves according to that formation’s algorithm.
Further, all the formations and their algorithms are defined in external code, so modders can make their own formations. I’m sure you’ll come up with much more optimal ones than I could.
That said, I did take a stab at usefulness with the “Blob” and “Reverse Blob” formations, which are pretty good at packing your ships under your group’s best shield-generator and putting the short range stuff up front and the long range stuff in the back. Further optimizations that come to mind are putting all carrier units in the inner rings of the aft wedge and any additional shield generation units in the inner rings of the fore wedge.
Oh, we also fixed some nasty bugs with the OSX build since 0.518. That honestly took way more time than the formations. Platform issues are such fun 😉