Author Topic: Prerelease 3.178 (Neinzul Cluster/Nest/Bomber/Viral, New Ion Cans, Starships+)  (Read 6732 times)

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 30,289
The latest beta is available via the Updates window in version 3.060 or greater of the game.  Just open the game and you can quickly download the prerelease through the updates tab.  If you don't yet have 3.060 or greater, you can download 3.060 here.  This prerelease version is compatible with any vendor's version of the game -- Steam, Impulse, whatever.

Note:  If you have bug reports related to this release, please log them in the bug reports subforum with one bug per topic.  It makes things infinitely easier for us.  Thanks!

Looking for a Patch That Can Be Manually-Installed?
Because of the time involved in creating multiple versions of each patch, we only create manually-installable patches for official versions of the game, not each beta prerelease.  But you can easily create your own manually-installable beta patch!  Please note that current betas can only be successfully applied to version 3.060 of the game or later (if you later wish to revert to the official version for any reason, you can download the full raw files from the above link to do so).

To create your own manual beta patch, simply download these two files:
1. Current Beta Director Xml File.
2. Current Beta Zip File.

If you try to open that zip file, it will say it's corrupt -- that's okay, it's not really a zip file.  Finally, create a new zip file on your computer, and put both the director and the fake-zip-file inside it.  Call your outer zip file something that starts with Beta and ends with an extension of .zip.  Beta.zip will work just fine, or you can name it after the specific version number if you want to hang onto it.  And that's it!  Now you have your very own manually-installable package of the AI War beta version of your choice, which you can install by simply selecting via your Updates window in the game.  Please note that "Beta" in the filename is case-sensitive.

What's new since 3.177:
(Cumulative release notes since 3.120 are here http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Current_Beta)

-------------------

    *  Added Neinzul Cluster (I-V versions) AI defensive structure; also added Neinzul Cluster-Bomber AI type (moderate) that starts with a cluster on every one of its planets that isn't right next to a human homeworld.

    * Fixed bug in auto-knowledge-gather that could cause a crash.

    * Fixed a crash that could happen with Neinzul ships looking for a regeneration chamber.

    * Previous versions had changed the long-standing behavior that fortresses were not selected with other mobile military; the military selection logic has now been changed to exclude anything that cannot travel through wormholes.

    * Added Neinzul Viral (only one mark) Swarmer and Neinzul Viral Cluster I-V (which is a cluster that only has the swarmers), and Neinzul Viral Enthusiast (which has viral clusters on every wormhole).

    * Added Neinzul Bomber (only one mark) and Neinzul Bomber Cluster I-V (which is a cluster that only has the bombers), and extended the Neinzul Cluster-Bomber to pick Bomber Clusters half the time and normal Clusters half the time during initial map generation.

    * Added the Neinzul Privacy Cluster, a rare form of Cluster that emits tachyon beams and is antagonized by scouts as well as normal military (no other cluster is antagonized by a mere scout). This type of cluster is seeded on roughly 1 out of every 20 planets of a Neinzul Cluster Bomber AI.

    * Neinzul Regeneration Chambers are now seeded on AI planets as part of map generation (including loading old saves) in any game with the CoN expansion turned on. The seeding ensures that no AI planet (with the possible exception of those directly bordering a human homeworld) is more than 1 hop away from an AI-controlled regen chamber.

    * Hybrid Hives will now no longer take Neinzul Youngling ships as drones, since they are so short-lived.

    * Neinzul Youngling ships that are below 30% health have had logic to automatically look for a regen chamber on their planet, but now will also check directly adjacent planets.

    * Fixed a bug from the last couple of prereleases that could cause odd AI behavior such as its ships shooting off into the ether. It was a funny and unintended occasional side-effect of one of the recent performance improvements.

    * Previously, there were only mark I and II ion cannons. Now, mark III, IV, and V ion cannons have also been added. These new ion cannons cannot be purchased by humans from the trader, and cannot be captured from the AI on planet ownership change. Like their lower-level cousins, they insta-kill all non-insta-kill-immune ships with a mark level equal to or lower than their own mark level. In the case of the mark V ion cannons, this basically means that the best way to take them out is starships.
          o These will be seeded into existing savegames, but the seed rules in general are as follows:
                + Mark III ion cannons are only ever seeded for AI players of difficulty 6 or higher, and at most with 1 per planet.
                + Mark IV ion cannons are only ever seeded for AI players of difficulty 7 or higher, and at most with 1 per planet.
                + Mark V ion cannons are only ever seeded for AI players of difficulty 8 or higher, and at most with 1 per planet.
                + Even though there can only be one ion cannon of each mark level per planet, you could indeed see situations where you have a mark III and a mark IV ion cannon both on the same planet. The likelihood of each mark level of ion cannon appearing is diminishing as the mark level increases. However, the likelihood of each is increased as the difficulty of the AI player is increased.

    * The ships that the Zenith Trader will build for the AI has been updated to give better weighting to the ships based on their level of power, and to include the new, more-powerful ion cannons at a fairly low likelihood.

    * The AI, on difficulty 5 and up, now will occasionally build a "nest" of spider turrets on some planets. These are pretty rare, and basically consist of a big clump of spider turrets all clustered together and ready to paralyze the engines of incoming player ships. Normally the AI doesn't use spider turrets at all, since if they were too prevalent they would be really annoying. These pretty-rare nests provide interesting unusual challenges, though. On higher difficulties, the nests have more spider turrets in them, and there is more of a chance of them appearing.
          o These will be seeded into existing savegames.

    * The AI, on difficulty 7 and up, will now use Mobile Repair Stations and space tugs on some of its planets. These are pretty rare, but add to the challenge of those particular planets like the addition of a mark I or mark II fortress does. The chance for these goes up with higher difficulties.
          o These will be seeded into existing savegames.

    * The speed of the energy bombs fired by dreadnoughts, resistance fighter/bombers, neinzul bombers, and zenith bombards have all been doubled.

    * The health of the mark i, ii, and iii dreadnoughts have been increased as follows: from 200k to 300k, from 300k to 600k, and from 400k to 900k. This makes the dreadnoughts vastly more fearsome and gives them much more survivability.

    * The health of light starships, flagships, zenith starships, and spire starships have all now been doubled.

    * Added Neinzul Nest (I-V) structures, which are like clusters except that they are also angered by the humans controlling their planet or an adjacent planet, or killing AI units on their planet or an adjacent planet. They also have a greater capacity than normal clusters. They also differ from clusters in that they have no attack of their own but can take vastly more damage and cost 10 AIP if destroyed instead of 2.

    * Added Neinzul Nester (harder) AI type, which starts the game with Neinzul Nests on most of its planets (half of them on Diff 10, scaling down for lower difficulties).

    * Previously, there was only a mark I scout starship. Now new unlockable mark II, III, and IV scout starships have been added. Each has progressively better tachyon beams, health, and movement speed, as well as higher costs and progressively lower ship caps. The mark IV scout starships also are perma-cloaked like the regular mark IV scouts. The difference is that these scout starships can be unlocked at any time, unlike the regular scouts. But on the other hand, to unlock all the way through tech IV with regular scouts only requires 3,000 knowledge (and you get a single mark IV scout). In the case of the scout starships it requires 9,000 (and you get two mark IV scout starships).
          o These are in no way intended to replace the main scout line, but they do provide a new similar-but-different-in-the-specifics alternative for some circumstances (for one example among many: if there are no advanced factories remaining on the map, and you REALLY need a perma-cloaked scout). Unlike regular scouts, these are also useful for combat support because of their counter-sniper flares, tachyon beams, etc.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 30,289
My narrative notes: http://arcengames.blogspot.com/2010/08/ai-war-prerelease-3178-neinzul.html

Copied:

This beta has a mix of new stuff for the base game, as well as specific to the Children of Neinzul micro-expansion.

The biggest new addition for the CoN expansion are the new Neinzul Clusters and Neinzul Nests, and their related new ships.  There are a good dozen specific structures between those two categories, with varying mark levels and personalities.  The Clusters let off bursts of Neinzul ships whenever they are antagonized or killed (think of stepping on a spider's egg sac -- yick), and if they survive the antagonization they recharge their cache of Neinzul ships and will later send out more the next time they are antagonized.  The Nests are similar, but are also angered by the humans controlling their planet or an adjacent planet, or killing AI units on their planet or an adjacent planet.  There are some other various differences between the two, as well, that the release notes and in-game tooltips cover in more detail.

Going along with the new Nests and Clusters are the new Neinzul Bombers and Neinzul Viral Swarmers, which are small AI-only fleet ships which get released from specific types of clusters.  The first two AI Types for CoN have also now been added in the form of the Neinzul Viral Enthusiast (easier) and the Neinzul Nester (harder).  The AI also now uses Neinzul Regeneration Chambers.

In terms of what has been added to the base game, it basically boils down to ion cannons and starships.  Since 1.0 and before, there have only ever been two marks of ion cannon: mark I and mark II.  Well, the time has come for marks III through V!  Those very advanced weapons are now in the hands of the AI, but only on the higher difficulties (see release notes), and only fairly rarely in any given galaxy.  It's a good idea to use starships or very high-level ships to take these out, probably with the aid of transports to dump your attackers right next to the cannons.

In terms of what has changed for starships, the dreadnoughts have now had a significant health boost and a significant speed boost to their energy bombs (which also applies for a few other ship types, such as Zenith Bombard Cannons, actually).  The flagship, Zenith starship, and spire starships have also had their health doubled, partly in reaction to their recent knowledge cost increase, and partly due to the new survivability of the dreadnoughts.  Lastly, there are now three new marks of scout starship (marks II through IV, to add to the existing mark I).  These starships provide combat support or excellent scouting capabilities, but at a pretty steep cost.  The mark IV scout starships are even more useful than the venerable mark IV scout from the advanced factories, but the knowledge cost to get the highest-tier scout starships is three times as much.

Another notable change is that the AI will now sometimes make use of mobile repair stations and space tugs, or of clusters of spider turrets.

More to come soon!
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 06:39:01 PM by x4000 »
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,958
By the way, I accidentally left a testing variable on for the Neinzul Nests (which only spawn when playing against a Neinzul Nester AI Type), such that they will create their ships at an... unfriendly rate.  Very unfriendly.  I'd suggest staying clear of those until the next prerelease.  Sorry about that ;)

Also, there are actually 3 new ai types in this release, if I'm recalling correctly, as the Neinzul Cluster Bomber is new too.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Diazo

  • Master Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,710
  • I love/hate Diff 10
And it just keeps coming.  :o

Downloading now so comments in a bit.

Although I am going to have to try out nests now.....  8)

D.

Offline superking

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,205
I wish you guys just developed AI war permamently forever :) make it subscription, like an MMO and release changelogs like this every night !

Offline voiddarkness

  • Newbie Mark II
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Is it just me or the update wont show and i cant manually update it?
Also, is the xml file still for 3.177?

Offline Vinraith

  • Hero Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 806
This, again, looks absolutely awesome. Also, thank you so much for seeding some of the new stuff into existing save games. With such fast patching and such long games (not that either of these is a bad thing! ;D) it's great to be able to see some of the changes in my ongoing campaigns.

Offline superking

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,205
Is it just me or the update wont show and i cant manually update it?
Also, is the xml file still for 3.177?

Offline carlosjuero

  • Full Member Mark III
  • ***
  • Posts: 211
Do you hate me X? MK III/IV/V Ion Cannons now? MK II Ion Cannons make my life a living hell in many systems, the attrition rate is going to quadruple now :( - it adds another dynamic, I agree, but wow. I love the updates, but I am quickly being outpaced by them skill wise O.o. I have a bad feeling my Epic campaign  is going to stop short with these new updates - I am already surrounded by Ion Cannon planets in it (and all of my "gateway" worlds are MK III/IV so normal ship attrition is crazy high) and they are going to end up getting an upgrade :/.

Still love the updates and keep em coming, just wonder if someone in my staff leaked my battle strategies to the AI... and if said AI slipped notes into X's changelog plans while he was sleeping.

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,958
I also can't see 3.178 (just 3.177) when updating my steam copy.

Providing a perfect opportunity to include my last commit and thus sweep my little nest snafu under the rug.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Buttons840

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 559
I wanted to comment on a previous observation by a player (perhaps fixed now?) that the Cyro stasis human civilian ships (or whatever?) would produce 400 energy while using 100.  Keith responded that we should just be happy with the extra energy. :)  However, this is inconsistent with other units in the game and the ship should just produce 300 energy while using none, as no other unit in the game both produces and uses energy to my knowledge.  Just my view.

Of course, if a ship must either consumer resources or energy to be instantiated (a function of the engine), then it's excusable.

I'm kind of surprised it's even possible to have a ship both produce and use energy.  I would have expect energy usage to be a single variable on each object, a positive number for reactors and other producers, and negative for regular ships; a quick sum of these number would then give you your net energy.

Small issue I know, but we AI War players are a funny kind.

Offline carlosjuero

  • Full Member Mark III
  • ***
  • Posts: 211
Think of it as part of the flavour - the Cryo-Stasis units use Solar Power generators to keep themselves powered up, they produce more than they need in order to provide for backup redundancy/system failure override/support the infrastructure around them. It makes it so the Humans still alive don't have to worry about spending every iota of their resources just trying to keep the cryo-units running, the colony running, _and_ stage a resistance against the AI.

:)
I wanted to comment on a previous observation by a player (perhaps fixed now?) that the Cyro stasis human civilian ships (or whatever?) would produce 400 energy while using 100.  Keith responded that we should just be happy with the extra energy. :)  However, this is inconsistent with other units in the game and the ship should just produce 300 energy while using none, as no other unit in the game both produces and uses energy to my knowledge.  Just my view.

Of course, if a ship must either consumer resources or energy to be instantiated (a function of the engine), then it's excusable.

I'm kind of surprised it's even possible to have a ship both produce and use energy.  I would have expect energy usage to be a single variable on each object, a positive number for reactors and other producers, and negative for regular ships; a quick sum of these number would then give you your net energy.

Small issue I know, but we AI War players are a funny kind.

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,958
Well, to more or less repeat what I said earlier, the "point" of the cryo pods (thematically speaking) is to keep those people in cryostasis.  Not to generate power for external use.  However, cryostatis takes a fair bit of power, and it requires a rather insanely consistent supply of power.  So there's (let's say) 8 separate power producing units on the platform each putting out 50 energy.  It takes 7 concurrent failures to be a problem.  But during normal operation there are 6 units whose output is not being used.  Guess who gets the bonus?  Sure, they could just shut down the other reactors, but where's the fun in that?

If the point of them were to produce power, I would agree that it's better to have either production or consumption, but in this case it really does make sense that an energy-consuming facility has onsite power production that is over and above what it actually needs.

Edit: Ninja carlosjuero strikes.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline snrub_guy

  • Full Member Mark II
  • ***
  • Posts: 160
Did you read my comment in the last prerelease thread that I was trying out with a starfleet commander A.I for the first time and go:

"Bwahahaha, let's give all the starships twice the health! That might even make him cry! Bwahahaha!"?

Things may be about to get interesting.

Offline Buttons840

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 559
From a game perspective it is inconsistent.  No other game unit both produces and consumes at the same time.  If their purpose is to just keep to themselves alive and be self sufficient then have then neither consume nor produce power.  In my view their purpose is to produce power, and they do produce a net gain in power.  Again, I'm only saying it's inconsistent with other units in the game.

From a lore perspective it does make sense to have them consume some power.  After all, they do have people to keep alive and other functions to perform and all that takes power.  However, I then have to ask myself why command stations and reactors (and other important structures) use absolutely 0 power?  How do you explain that in your lore.  :)

It's a very small issue and I'm not going to bring it up again.