Author Topic: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)  (Read 20424 times)

Offline x4000

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Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« on: August 25, 2010, 09:21:53 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 3.188:
(Cumulative release notes since 3.120 are here http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Current_Beta)

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

      *  Fixed omission preventing Siege Starship from being able to hit: warheads, Avengers, Superfortresses, astro trains, enclave starships.

    * Improved auto-gather logic to avoid science ships bouncing around.

    * The following modules now use a new shot-movement mechanic to fire their multiple-shot bursts in a brief sequence rather than all at once, to give more of the desired visual effect (gameplay impact should be minimal) :
          o Riot machine gun modules now fire 12 shots per salvo with a reload time of 4 seconds, instead of 3-shot salvos with a 1-second reload.
          o Riot laser modules now fire 8 shots per salvo per 8 seconds instead of 4 shots per salvo per 4 seconds.
          o Hybrid machine gun modules (I-IV) changed from firing 2/3/4/5 shots per 1-second reload to 10/15/20/25 shots per 5-second reload.
          o Hybrid laser cannon modules (I-IV) changed from firing 1/2/2/3 shots per 4-second reload to 2/3/4/5 shots per 8-second reload.

    * Fixed bug where roaming enclaves and preservation wardens would sometimes be given orders by generic minor faction logic.

    * Roaming Enclaves, Preservation Wardens, Neinzul Clusters, Neinzul Privacy Clusters, and Neinzul Nests will now generate mixed waves of their respective youngling types, rather than each squadron being homogenous.

    * Fixed bug where enclave starships (the normal ones, preservation wardens, and roaming enclaves) were not being considered starships in many cases.

    * Roaming Enclaves:
          o Speed from 16 to 24.
          o Range from 3500 to 5000. Also applies to preservation wardens.
          o Health from 4,000,000 to 8,000,000.
          o Ship production rate doubled.
          o Total ship capacity doubled.
          o Will no longer launch squadrons while on a planet adjacent to a target planet, but will instead personally go to the target before releasing.
          o Will now build up more ships before making aggressive moves.
          o Will now start retreating at 75% health instead of 50%.

    * Neinzul Clusters and Privacy Clusters from firing 50k/100k/150k/200k/250k shots every 2 seconds to firing 25k/50k/75k/100k/125k shots every 5 seconds. For reference, a mass driver fires a 900k shot every 10 seconds (but can't hit fleet ships, etc).

    * Neinzul Bomber Clusters changed the same way as normal clusters except new damage is 30k/60k/90k/120k/150k.

    * Neinzul Viral Clusters changed from 8k/16k/24k/32k/40k every 2 seconds to 4k/8k/12k/16k/20k every 5 seconds.
    * Neinzul Viral Cluster range from 83000 to 25000.

    * The Neinzul Viral Enthusiast AI Type previously seeded viral clusters on every single womrhole at every one of its planets. It still does that if it is a difficulty 10 AI, but only seeds a certain percent of wormholes on lower difficulties (Diff 1 = 55% of wormholes, 2 = 60%, 5 = 75%, etc). Note that it will always round down, but seeds a minimum of 1 wormhole per planet.

    * Fixed bug where the main AI would scrap hybrids if there were too many starships on a planet.

    * Fixed bug where hybrid drones would buzz around excessively while the hybrid was sitting still.

    * Siege Starships now have a bonus against tractor beam turrets (30x) and neinzul habitats (10x, this includes nests and clusters).

    * Bonuses against heavy defense now give a bonus against Avengers too.

    * Warp Counterattack posts are no-longer auto-targeted, since their destruction launches a wave and the player should have to make a conscious decision (either in destroying the post or the command station) for that to happen.

    * Updated Special Forces Captain description.

    * Fixed bug where mk III harvesters were not "redding out" like mkI and mkII when no spots were available.

    * Fixed bug that hid the pause button when both normal military ships and a Riot or Enclave starship were selected (since those have buy queues).
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Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2010, 09:22:04 PM »
My narrative explanation: http://arcengames.blogspot.com/2010/08/ai-war-prerelease-3189-porting-to-unity.html

Copied:

The        full    release notes are on the Arcen forums.  This update is mainly a maintenance release, with a variety of balance tweaks and bugfixes.

Platform Porting Has Started: What Does This Mean For The Coming Schedule?
In other news, as of a couple of days ago, work has now begun in earnest on the AI War port to Unity 3D (which adds in Mac OSX support, but also does a bunch of positive things for the game in general even on Windows).  We'd been spending the last while preparing in various ways for that shift in focus, but now we've made the leap.  Some players have already been wondering if there will be more updates before the port is done.

The short answer is: not many, if any.  Mainly critical fixes, and that's about it for a few weeks.  Right now our goal is to work as hard as we can on the port, to go ahead and get it to the point where we can do a public beta of that, and then we'll resume our "regular programming," so to speak.  The beta of the Unity version of AI War will need at least a month of public beta, and the longer we wait on getting it to the point of public beta, the longer it pushes out the next official release of the game in general: right now we're hoping for mid-October for the next official release, and to have the first beta version of the Unity port within about 2-3 weeks, but we'll just see how things go on both those fronts, those are both subject to change.

A lot of the uncertainty comes from the fact that this is, frankly, a massive undertaking and there is just Keith and I working on this.  With Tidalis it took us a  month to port it to Unity, but the Unity platform was new to us then (it's not now); and we didn't have an established meta-framework for graphics, UI, etc, on top of the base platform (we do now); and we hadn't done any prep work to get that game port-ready in advance (whereas we've done a lot of that with AI War).

On the other hand, AI War is a lot larger and more resource-intensive (which might mean more refactoring, and definitely means more initial porting work in general); and, worse-for-the-schedule, my son is due to be born basically anytime now.  It's the first for my wife and I, and he's already created a number of disruptions for me this week with false alarms and just general exhaustion and so forth, so even before he's born I'm at less than full speed.  After he's born I'm going to be focusing on being a new dad for three weeks or so, and will not be around the site and the forums much at all; I'll be having an hour or two per day to handle general business work for Arcen, and to do designer/producer type work, and possibly to get in a smidge of programming.  But in any case, I suspect my energy stores will be running on low and so the more intensive parts of the porting will likely be beyond my capabilities until I'm back from paternity leave.  Plus I'm just really looking forward to being a new dad and don't want to miss important things during those very first weeks.

So... we'll just see how this all plays out.  The overall schedule goals I've stated were made with knowing all this, but with so much of the burden falling on Keith, and him just being part-time and having a young family of his own to also look after, there are always many variables that can't be predicted.  I think it will all work out well in approximately the time schedule that we want, but we'll keep everyone up to date as things progress.


What Does This Mean For The Children of Neinzul Micro-Expansion?
Not a lot, really.  This has been our plan from the start.  The CoN micro-expansion is materially complete at this stage, and just in need of a lot of playtesting, and the resultant balance tweaks and bugfixes.  The above means that those bugfixes and balance tweaks won't be very forthcoming during the next 2-3 weeks or so, until the betas of the Unity port are out, but we'd still love to have feedback from players and we'll get to those items that do come up as soon as we are able, when the ported betas become public.

The official release of the CoN expansion will be on the same day as the official release of the ported-to-Unity AI War 4.0 version: so, mid-October is our best estimate at the moment.  But certainly the betas of the expansion are quite functional (and quite fun) at the moment, even if they are a bit rough in a few parts pending more player feedback and playtesting (that's just the process any new expansion has to go through, eh?).  And even during our beta/preorder period, all of the proceeds are still going to be going to the Child's Play charity.  As our first payments comes in from our distribution partners for CoN revenue, we'll be making our first donations to the charity and posting updates about that.  It's very exciting for us, and we've already made some solid progress toward our goal of raising $14,000.00 for that charity this year -- before the game is even fully released!

What Else Is Coming In AI War 4.0?
So, the big thing in AI War 4.0 is that Mac OSX support is coming, and that it's paired with the CoN charity micro-expansion.  However, for those who have been following the sixty-nine betas since the last official version 3.120 back in May, they know that a ton has changed in the base game itself.  Those release notes are over 26,000 words long already, or over 104 pages of a novel.  And that's before the port to Unity 3D, the stuff that is already out.

In the last few weeks we've intentionally been doing a lot of significant changes, to give people a lot of new stuff to play with while we're away for a few weeks with the porting and my paternity leave and all that.  After the porting is done, we plan on spending a full month (at least) in beta on the ported version, with porting-related testing and fixes, as well as balance tweaks and fixes based on all the other new stuff we've added lately.

But that's not all, of course!  We're also expecting to be adding yet more new ships and mechanics and such during that time period, continuing the trend of the last few weeks.  We want at least two weeks of balance/bugfix changes only at the end of our month post-porting testing cycle, but during that first two weeks of the testing cycle we intend to pack in some more goodies.

What Happens After AI War 4.0?
After AI War 4.0, our focus is largely going to be shifting to a game we're calling "Alden Ridge Arcade" for the moment.  This isn't the full Alden Ridge game that we've been talking about for the last year or so, but it's a smaller, arcade-focused spinoff of it.  After all these huge projects, we wanted something a bit smaller to tackle for the latter part of this year.  The idea is basically to have it be a really focused, polished experience based around some clever and strategy-rich arcade gameplay that we've come up with.  More on that later.

And aside from Alden Ridge Arcade, there will of course be more updates to both AI War and Tidalis, as always.  Our next full project (most likely the full-blown Alden Ridge game) will be kicking off in 2011, and there will be another full-sized expansion for AI War sometime next year, too.  But bimonthly-or-so updates for both AI War and Tidalis will continue throughout that whole period, of course.  With Tidalis it's minor tweaks, a few new blocks or mechanics from the Design a Block contest, and community-submitted levels and similar content.  With AI War, it will be back to more or less the sort of general updates and content additions that were common earlier this year while we were working on Tidalis (but before we got to the very end).

Lots of exciting stuff in the works!  Thanks to all our awesome players for their support.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 10:23:00 AM by x4000 »
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Offline wyvern83

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2010, 10:03:51 PM »
Neinzul Privacy Clusters

Are those new? I don't remember hearing anything about them.

Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2010, 10:20:58 PM »
Not new, no, but they may not have had much prominence in the release notes because we like to keep a few surprises and these are pretty rare.  These are the clusters that get mad when your scouts go near them, etc.
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Offline wyvern83

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2010, 10:28:12 PM »
Should be interesting to come across. The name makes more sense now, I read it as 'Piracy' in my head initially instead of 'Privacy'.

Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2010, 10:30:49 PM »
That would also cause some confusion, sure. :)

Someday I hope to have some Space Pirates of some sort, but so far the Marauders and similar are the main ones that do anything like that, heh.
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Offline Spikey00

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2010, 10:57:31 PM »
Would you like me to do handle some of the posting over on the Facebook page, if that helps (hopefully I would know how to go on about that)?

EDIT:  I SHALL DO YOU WITH GREAT JUSTICE, GREAT CHRISTOPHER PARK!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 11:01:41 PM by Spikey00 »
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Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2010, 11:02:04 PM »
Would you like me to do handle some of the posting over on the Facebook page, if that helps (hopefully I would know how to go on about that)?

If you'd like to, that would be really awesome.  I've set you up as an admin for both the Arcen and AI War pages on Facebook.  Thanks so much for that, and what you do with the official Steam group -- that's really such a huge help!
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Offline Giegue

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2010, 12:39:43 AM »
womrhole

theres something about a typo in the middle of patch notes that make it extra funny. (I'm still loling)


okay, seriously though. I'm confused about this whole unity thing. is it another expansion? a sort of switch to a new engine/language/other technical behind the scenes thing?
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 12:44:46 AM by Giegue »

Offline Spikey00

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2010, 01:15:48 AM »
Would you like me to do handle some of the posting over on the Facebook page, if that helps (hopefully I would know how to go on about that)?

If you'd like to, that would be really awesome.  I've set you up as an admin for both the Arcen and AI War pages on Facebook.  Thanks so much for that, and what you do with the official Steam group -- that's really such a huge help!

I am glad, for as a pheasant, you have done many a great upon me, and this is the least I may serve for you, sire.
I'd take a sea worm any time over a hundred emotionless spinning carriers.
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Offline Fleet

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2010, 09:26:58 AM »
okay, seriously though. I'm confused about this whole unity thing. is it another expansion? a sort of switch to a new engine/language/other technical behind the scenes thing?

This gives some explanation: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,5602.0.html

I believe it will serve as a replacement for .NET.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2010, 09:30:50 AM »
Yep, switching from .NET/SlimDX to Unity, which uses Mono (in our case) and whatever graphical APIs it can get its paws on and we don't have to worry which one it winds up being.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2010, 10:24:05 AM »
okay, seriously though. I'm confused about this whole unity thing. is it another expansion? a sort of switch to a new engine/language/other technical behind the scenes thing?

This gives some explanation: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,5602.0.html

I believe it will serve as a replacement for .NET.

Thanks for posting that, the first link in the narrative post was supposed to go there, but I messed it up.  Fixed it now!
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Offline x4000

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2010, 10:24:37 AM »
Would you like me to do handle some of the posting over on the Facebook page, if that helps (hopefully I would know how to go on about that)?

If you'd like to, that would be really awesome.  I've set you up as an admin for both the Arcen and AI War pages on Facebook.  Thanks so much for that, and what you do with the official Steam group -- that's really such a huge help!

I am glad, for as a pheasant, you have done many a great upon me, and this is the least I may serve for you, sire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pheasant  ;D ;)
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Offline superking

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Re: Prerelease 3.189 (Balance Changes And Bugfixes)
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2010, 12:25:13 PM »
I think someone else might have observed this, but there alot more ion cannons seeding around the galaxy these days; I'm frequently seeing two cannons seeding on one planet.