Author Topic: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)  (Read 8706 times)

Offline x4000

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Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« on: August 13, 2010, 10:56:13 PM »
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 3.179:
(Cumulative release notes since 3.120 are here http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Current_Beta)

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

    *  Fixed bug where holding control could let you see the location of exo-galaxy wormholes on planets you had not scouted yet.

    * Fixed longstanding bug that was causing inordinately high threat counts to stay forever and ever, because the AI considered the Dyson Sphere a constant high-level threat and thus thousands of special forces ships would collect and gawk at it in lieu of actually shooting (since the Dyson is invincible).

    * Fixed inaccuracy in science station description.

    * Attrition emitters, human cryogenic pods, planetary cloakers, counter spies, omega drives, rebelling human colonies, captive human settlements, home human settlements, AI troop accelerators, advanced research stations, and datacenters are all now immune to Dark Matter weapons. This protects them from astro trains, munitions boosters, and a few other similar things.

    * Core Warhead Interceptors can now be captured by taking over the planet the interceptor is on (now that warheads could be incoming from the AI, this makes sense, but previously it did not).

    * Transports, frigates, scout starships, raid starships, and riot starships are now immune to area damage. This significantly increases their usefulness in situations against things such as grenade launchers, lightning turrets and lightning warheads, and a few other upcoming nasties.

    * Riot Starships are now immune to blades, which is thematically fitting for them and also makes them not so incredibly prey to vampires.

    * This one is a HUGE and exciting change to the base game: the endgame has been completely overhauled for AI War. Previously, the home planets for the AI were always very similar to one another, and often they were something of a grind.
          o The chief problem was that things were too centralized on a single unit on those planets: the AI home command stations. You had to destroy those, and that was really the only goal; therefore, that was super hard if you didn't have enough firepower, or really easy if you did.
          o Now the emphasis is on a distributed network of specialized, much stronger guard posts, as well as a much weaker central home command station. However, the central home command station can't be touched until all the new AI Core Guard Posts have been destroyed, which means that there are many goals on the planet before you actually get to the final goal of killing the command station itself.
          o There are 9 new types of these specialized guard posts, with various abilities. Rather than enumerate those here, we'll let you discover those in-game. Some are more rare than others, and your seeding is different every time, which makes each AI home planet quite unique now. There is also room for expansion over time with more specialized guard posts in addition to the first 9.
          o The overall net effect is that you can take on the home planet a chunk-at-a-time now, and you can successfully destroy a chunk and then come back much later without having lost any progress. This is a big improvement over the old system, where you had to build up overwhelming force and win all in one big push; again, that tended to be either too hard or too easy (usually too hard).
          o Going along with the above, there is now quite a bit of strategy and puzzle-style challenge to figuring out the best attack pattern and order for actually clearing the guard posts on the AI home planets. Some of the guard posts are likely to support one another, and so your success depends on your ability to make and execute plans here. The goal is to make the endgame as strategic as the early and middle game, rather than it always devolving into a grind or a cakewalk right at the end.
          o Lastly, the AI home planets previously had really inflated ship caps, in that even if you destroyed guard posts it was impossible to neuter the AI home planets at all. This is no longer the case, and the AI home planets can now have their effective ship caps whittled down over time. This way the battles remain epic, but not laggy or grindy, hopefully. More tweaks may be needed to this over time, too.
          o All of the above DOES affect all existing savegames loaded in the new version. Enjoy!
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Offline strangelight

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2010, 11:20:36 PM »
Awwwesome. Hopefully this means no more ridiculous stalemates with thousands of ships sitting on either side of a gate :D

Offline quickstix

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 11:30:01 PM »
 :o Ok, this time I did fall over in shock.

I'd agree that the endgame never really felt as exciting as it should, especially in comparison with the big decisions you make in the midgame. I've always prefered more of a puzzle element in my RTS games, and I think these changes are just the thing AI War needed.

Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2010, 11:30:14 PM »
Hopefully so! :)

And, at least, this is the first step to more strategy and variety in the end game.  I think a lot can be built on this new structure, which is far more flexible than the old, so that's great. And this is a big first step!
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Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2010, 11:30:31 PM »
:o Ok, this time I did fall over in shock.

I'd agree that the endgame never really felt as exciting as it should, especially in comparison with the big decisions you make in the midgame. I've always prefered more of a puzzle element in my RTS games, and I think these changes are just the thing AI War needed.

 ;D Thanks.
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Offline MrPopov

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2010, 11:50:07 PM »
Don't forget to change the tutorial to inform new players of these changes.

Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2010, 11:56:23 PM »
For sure -- when this settles down some, I plan on it.  Thanks!
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Offline Vinraith

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2010, 12:05:21 AM »
This sounds very interesting indeed, and thanks for propagating the endgame changes forward into current save games so we can try them out sooner. :) I trust attacking AI homeworld "core posts" carries a significant risk of retribution from the AI, so that the larger issue of having a well prepared defense for the inevitable counter attack hasn't disappeared. I get that the strikes themselves will be an interesting challenge now, which is fantastic, I just don't want to lose that element of great risk in the endgame.

This is, by the way, the most amazing support I've ever seen for a game. Kudos! ;D

Offline 3dfx

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2010, 01:47:53 AM »
Heh,the new final stage game changes makes it harder i think....i always used to nuke the AI home station first,then take out the M5 ships.
Otherwise without nukes at the end...you'd just need a hell of a mercenery force (because of the 'no-cap' thingy) + all of the avalible ships you can build.

Anyways,I'm still shoked by the last changes,so its gonna take some time again to scout everything new out :) I'm just very happy with the great work you guys have been putting in the game  ;D

Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2010, 01:54:48 AM »
Thanks, guys!  And, definitely the intent is not to remove that sense of late-game risk.  I think that is still there, but if it turns out not to be then that should be easy to rectify with some new "AI Barracks" or similar that I've been wanting to do for a really long time, anyway.  That's definitely not something I want to lose, either.

There's some more major changes of at least this severity coming in 3.181, which will hopefully improve the overall balance, making certain things easier and other things harder and overall keeping the framerate protected somewhat, etc.  Good times!
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Offline Sunshine!

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2010, 02:07:04 AM »
What Vinraith has said is absolutely true, you guys go well above and beyond what anybody else is doing for their games, in terms of support, creativity and production value, and it's amazing.  I can't even get professionally published (by which I mean "non-indie," not to say that this isn't a professional job - it certainly is) to run bug free or without crashing, and I can't say I've ever had a problem with this game aside from some occasional bizarre and hilarious logic (AI Kegger at the Dyson Sphere!  Thanks for fixing that btw)

Offline Trezamere

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2010, 02:10:14 AM »
Gotta say I love the new ending, I always puttered out towards the end of my games because the end was just awful, this sounds so much better!

And as to the nuke thing on the other thread that's good to hear it was just a bug, thought I'll still have to try it out after I update to this version :P

Offline Fiskbit

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2010, 03:24:23 AM »
          o Going along with the above, there is now quite a bit of strategy and puzzle-style challenge

I think you should make the guard posts have a color and an arrow. I think we could do some interesting things with that.
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Offline Vinraith

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2010, 04:06:38 AM »
Thanks, guys!  And, definitely the intent is not to remove that sense of late-game risk.  I think that is still there, but if it turns out not to be then that should be easy to rectify with some new "AI Barracks" or similar that I've been wanting to do for a really long time, anyway.  That's definitely not something I want to lose, either.

There's some more major changes of at least this severity coming in 3.181, which will hopefully improve the overall balance, making certain things easier and other things harder and overall keeping the framerate protected somewhat, etc.  Good times!

Sounds fantastic! ;D


Offline Burnstreet

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Re: Prerelease 3.180 (Completely New Endgame)
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2010, 05:03:29 AM »
I am overwhelmed. You guys rock.
One week passed since my last AI wars round and so many new things.
My game I had to stop 2 weeks ago will have completely changed by now - 21x500 new knowledge, free beam frigates (finally a good counter to these unnerving shield boosters)... Good times.

I also very much like the capturable higher mark Ion cannons - the mark 1 / 2 are basically high-health and expensive spider turrets in the late game.