Author Topic: AI War 2 v0.714 Released! "Shields Down"  (Read 623 times)

Offline keith.lamothe

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AI War 2 v0.714 Released! "Shields Down"
« on: March 20, 2018, 08:25:08 PM »
Release notes here!

The main change this time is definitely the removal of Shields (forcefields from AIWC), the rationale and discussion is too voluminous for this post, but if you're curious the main discussion was here and here. (Edit: sorry, I was writing this in a hurry, and I forgot something very important: Thank you for all the feedback!)

Many of the other changes between 0.712 and 0.714 (0.713 was an internal version) were to adjust to this post-shield universe, and the result has been a lot of fun in testing. Here are a few of those changes:

* Snipers no longer have infinite range. Instead, they have about 50% longer range than anything else. So instead of shredding your unshielded missile corvettes instantly upon your arrival, AI snipers will have to wait for you to get in range. If you send in the corvettes expect heavy losses, but once you close the range the corvettes can do a decent job of killing the fragile snipers. Alternatively you can let the corvettes hang back and send in the fighters and bombers to do clear the way.

* To facilitate such "fighters go to point A, bombers to point B, corvettes to point C" tactics, the [ and ] keys now cycle through quick-selecting each of the types of units you have on the planet. So you can "press ], right-click A, press ] again, right-click B, press ] again, right-click C", or something like that. And if you then see a bunch of fighters bearing down on your bombers, press [ to get back to the bombers and pull them away from the fighters.

* The planet area has been increased yet again, so there's more room for you to keep the enemy away from key targets.

* Tractors are now much more powerful; again to make it easier to keep the enemy from getting in range of things you don't want it to shoot.

* Tractors, Gravity generators, and Tachyon arrays were generally overhauled to provide obvious paths for upgrading your defensive setup's ability to stop the enemy from getting places you don't want it to go.


And here are some other highlights:

* Several metric tons of voice work!

* A bunch of new space backgrounds.

* You now start with a Flagship. It's weaker than the normal ones but this way your early battles aren't lacking the basic sorts of support you'll normally have available later in the game.

* Your initial neighbors are much easier to conquer (you'll get chewed up if you simply blob-roll the whole thing, but you'll generally still win the battle).

* Unit counts have been doubled.

* A bunch of bugfixes, and some more balance work.

Enjoy!
Keith
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 08:29:26 PM by keith.lamothe »
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Offline x4000

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Re: AI War 2 v0.714 Released! "Shields Down"
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 08:44:13 PM »
One thing I want to note is that this does fly in the face of my intention to have bubble shields remain on in a one-per-planet fashion for the player side only.  That's still the most recent thinking on my part.  However, Keith has been balancing without those in mind, since those are meant to be specialist expensive items, and I can't say I blame him for that approach.  It might be that the bubble shields just don't feel needed anymore, since tractors and cloaking and so many other things are so much more powerful now.

But for anyone wondering why this release seemingly flies in the face of what I said I was leaning toward, that's why.  At this point the only way to know if solo bubble shields should come back is for us to test this more, particularly with help from players who are most offended at the loss of said shields, over the coming few weeks.  Feel free to wait until after the GUI overhaul is in, as we're not going to be closing the subject or something.  There's not a "speak now or forever hold your peace" situation here.

All that said... the shield-less situation that Keith has going at the moment seems pretty darn cool. :)
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Offline TheVampire100

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Re: AI War 2 v0.714 Released! "Shields Down"
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 10:10:26 PM »
* Snipers no longer have infinite range. Instead, they have about 50% longer range than anything else. So instead of shredding your unshielded missile corvettes instantly upon your arrival, AI snipers will have to wait for you to get in range. If you send in the corvettes expect heavy losses, but once you close the range the corvettes can do a decent job of killing the fragile snipers. Alternatively you can let the corvettes hang back and send in the fighters and bombers to do clear the way.
I'm a little torn wih this one. I liked that snipers had unlimited range in the original game, they added great support firepower on the battlefield while staying in safety and they marked a great defensive tool.
However, I can understand why this has been removed, I noticed myself that snipers in AIW2 are significantly stronger than in the first game and before you even reach them, half your fleet is gone.
With shields gone, this HAS to be the case anyway because you cannot properly defend against them anymore (unless bringing your own snipers in).

Changes like these are necessary anyway to see what would be a better balance approach.

* The planet area has been increased yet again, so there's more room for you to keep the enemy away from key targets.
Probably main reason, why snipers shouldn't have unlimited range anymore, the battle area is way bigger than it was int he firs game, the ships would take too long to reach them, gravity wells and tractors increase the nightmare here.

* Several metric tons of voice work!
I have to say, the voice work for this game is really good quality as far as voice quality for strategy games works. I was one of the few people who was "not full happy" with the decision that voice lines were added to units.
Hearing them now ingame swhows me, that I was wrong and they fit it better than thought. Great job!

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War 2 v0.714 Released! "Shields Down"
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2018, 09:22:39 AM »
Glad you like the voices!  Lots of really talented folks on that. :)
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: AI War 2 v0.714 Released! "Shields Down"
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 01:14:31 PM »
The range shift will help with the fleet-blobbing problem too. If the fleet blob is bigger than an individual unit's range, blobbing becomes less and less effective.

Offline x4000

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Re: AI War 2 v0.714 Released! "Shields Down"
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 01:32:47 PM »
The range shift will help with the fleet-blobbing problem too. If the fleet blob is bigger than an individual unit's range, blobbing becomes less and less effective.

Good point.  Incidentally... once again this is very much more like AI War 3.0 of Classic.  In a lot of ways, my favorite days with that game.  In other ways not, but still.  This sequel is hopefully blending the both of both eras of Classic.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: AI War 2 v0.714 Released! "Shields Down"
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2018, 06:02:47 PM »
In a lot of ways, my favorite days with that game.  In other ways not, but still.

Agreed.
I think I still have a bookmark to a Download.com archive of a version of 3.x