This one is VERY near the end of our polishing the game to get it ready for 6.0. I still have some achievements to add, a bunch of text fixes to make, and a couple other not-really-game-logic things to change, but other than that, we’re there. Unless there’s something horribly broken in this version; so let us know if you find something! In my testing it’s working rather well.
Several champion-related enhancements are in this one, specifically:
– It’s now much easier to update your champion to use newly unlocked higher-mark versions of the modules it’s already using.
– If the players have champions, the AI now gets some special “nemesis champions”. The bulk of that work was stolen shamelessly from the Heroic AI type, but combined with the (also shamelessly appropriated) Strategic Reserve logic to produce something very different without adding much complexity to the code (kind of important right now). The end result is some fairly nasty guards on the AI homeworld to prevent an easy assassination by well-built player champions. You can still do that kind of assassination, but you’ll either need to bring in some really heavy guns in addition to your champion or raise AIP enough that the AI is (thematically speaking) putting its resources into other ways to kill you and doesn’t have as much to spare on its nemesis fleet.
– The costs of mkIV and mkV module upgrades have been reduced so that you can max out more module lines in the endgame, and thus have more flexibility in what you use.
– Nebulae will no longer spawn duplicate scenarios if there’s nothing left to spawn in them, since they just don’t make sense if they happen more than once. Many maps don’t have more than 9 nebulae anyway, but if you do those extra ones will just be empty (until/unless we define more scenarios, that is). But if you really want those additional scenarios there’s a chat-line command (non-cheat) to re-enable the old behavior. It’s mainly for you beta players who got used to it ;)
And there’s a few other changes in there, all in the notes.
This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater itself, if you already have 4.000 or later. When you launch the game, you’ll see the notice of the update having been found if you’re connected to the Internet at the time. If you don’t have 4.000 or later, you can download that here.