This one carries a number of rather significant econ-related changes that have been brewing for a while:
Now that hacking has been around long enough and seems to be welcome, we’ve moved ahead with the combination of metal and crystal (into just metal) so that hacking can move up into the main resource bar. Crystal as a separate mechanic had some impact on the game, but ultimately we could do better.
The other main thrust was to nibble at both ends of the refleeting problem. To a large extent there’s no problem if a major player fleet wipe takes a long time to recover from. Actions should have consequences. But if it _only_ takes time (specifically, the player’s real wall-clock time), then that crosses the line from “reduced player ability” to “reduced player interest“, which is not cool. So now the AI can “take the ball and throw it back” proportional to your offensive casualties. That nibbles at one side (making post-fleet-wipe more interesting, possibly terminally so). On the other side, when the AI takes casualties in your territory you get bonus metal-per-second while your command stations gather up the salvage. That nibbles at the other side (speeding up the refleet, if you survive).
Along with that, the resource cap (aside from updating for the m+c combination) now increases a bit with each command station and thus keeps up better as the scale of the conflict increases throughout the game.
Finally, there are a few bugfixes including a rather important one to the core timing of the simulation. Previously (as many of you noticed) the sim actually ran faster when you moved the mouse around like a crazy person. No longer :) But now the + and – speed settings have a more pronounced impact and the +10 speed (renamed to “+!!!”) has been repurposed as a genuine “go as fast as you can” (while still drawing a few frames per second) setting. In the early game (before the sim load gets serious) that can let you pass a tremendous amount of sim-time very quickly if you want to.
Update: 7.012 hotfix for some unhandled errors on the Economy tab of the Stats window. Apparently it was still in denial about crystal.
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.