Author Topic: TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)  (Read 2155 times)

Offline x4000

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TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)
« on: May 14, 2014, 10:26:39 PM »
Original: http://arcengames.blogspot.com/2014/05/tlf-version-1019-solar-wind.html

Version 1.019 is out, and another biggie.  This one is more focused on a couple of key areas, though.

- The solar map balance, including the AI, has seen a huge number of improvements.  Races now act more like you would expect in terms of levels of aggression, and are more responsive to defending themselves when attacked, or proactively attacking when they declare war, etc.  Grace periods all still apply in terms of war declarations, but a race will no longer declare war and then keep all of its ships defensively sitting around.  That last was a rare case, but could happen.

- The other big thing to the solar map balance is a bunch of further refinements to the ground combat changes from yesterday.  These are not fundamentally changed for the most part, but there is now proper logic preventing the landing of ground troops when the space defenses at a planet are too high.  Like there was prior to last version.  Actually, that logic is now better and more flexible than ever, I think.  In the many, many (many) simulations I've run today, I've been quite pleased with what I've been seeing.  Incidentally, this also fixes the issue with the Thoraxians wrecking the entire solar system every game.  I'm a bit concerned about the Acutians at this point, but I'll have to do some further testing to be sure.  Right now the late game continues to have a very wide-ranging mix of races, so that's good.

- The events have had a ton of updates to make them more meaningful, more interesting, more balanced, and so forth.  This also makes the high and low RCI values more meaningful, incidentally, as that plays even more heavily into event selection now.  A bunch of the events have been updated in some way (20+), but there are a ton of events in general (around 60-70, somewhere in there), so more will be updated coming up.

- We cleaned up a lot of old stuff that just didn't need to be in the code anymore, and relating to some of that we found some bugs that we then fixed.  Hopefully we didn't introduce new bugs, but at any rate sometimes the best way to find that sort of thing is by a simple code review as opposed to front-end testing, and there was a fair bit of both today.

- One of the big things that was cleaned up was the concept of "flotillas."  This changed a LOT of code, so it may cause some bugs, but amazingly I have yet to find any.  I'm sure you will. ;)  Flotillas were something that were confusing for players, no longer needed in general, and which complicated the math for things like autoresolve and flagship seeding, among other things.  Clearing these things out makes the math simpler and thus easier to keep correct, and also makes things simpler for the player, while only removing something that was mostly not shown on the interface in the first place.  Transient bugs aside (knock on wood), this is definitely a big win.

Like I said, I've done a ton of testing and haven't been seeing any issues, but please do mantis any issues that you find.  Thanks, and goodnight!

--------------- Ongoing Updates All This Month ---------------
The support of the community, and the growth of it, remain amazing to me.  I've been promising daily new features, but since launch it has became clear that there are other things more on your mind.  Things like added interfaces, new AI behaviors and options, and things like that.  So, you know what?  I'm just going to go with that -- those count as features, really, in that they help to make the game more interesting and easier to understand and play.

So what else is going on?  Well, we're going to be working at this pace on the game for at least another month, which means that you're going to be seeing lots of good things coming.  If you've liked what you've seen in the last few weeks, you can imagine what another month of that will be like.  We do have two other things in the works as well, but we're not quite ready to reveal either one of them (although I am betting that most long-time Arcen fans can guess what both of them are).  Suffice it to say, neither one of these two other things are going to impact the general updates, improvements, and free additions to TLF that are coming over this month.

More to come tomorrow.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater, or if you have Steam it will automatically update it for you.  To force Steam to download it faster, just restart Steam and it will do so.
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 Teal_Blue

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Re: TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 01:46:49 AM »
i know you already hear this alot, but i just wanted to say that the game is really, really beautiful. I was just clicking through menu's and checking things out and the art is really nicely done. And the stats in the menu's are nicely displayed, and though i don't know what it all means right now, it is very nicely laid out. Very very nice game, still exploring and enjoying everything.
:)

-Teal


Offline zharmad

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Re: TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 02:48:20 AM »
I'm grateful for the hate spreading changes (it's the only one that I'm seen and they spam it,) but alas I have already consigned the Burlusts to death and can't stop the Thoraxians from wiping them out.

Offline Thumpy

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Re: TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 03:19:50 AM »
i know you already hear this alot, but i just wanted to say that the game is really, really beautiful. I was just clicking through menu's and checking things out and the art is really nicely done. And the stats in the menu's are nicely displayed, and though i don't know what it all means right now, it is very nicely laid out. Very very nice game, still exploring and enjoying everything.
:)

-Teal

agreed :)

plus somewhere along the way the performance seems to have improved quite a bit. When there are big battles going on my feeble laptop doesn't slow down as much anymore.

Offline nas1m

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Re: TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 05:03:01 AM »
Answering those here instead of in the 1.018 thread to hopefully make keeping track of this stuff easier...

Column sorting for the racial power grid I'm not sure that I want to get into right now because I have been considering some way of revamping that screen to allow for more data to get on there.  Possibly by switching the columns and rows and then making it scrollable, then making it so you can click rows to sort the columns.
Sounds good to me.

The breakdown of the ship power is a good one, I didn't put that on.
Mantised here :).
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 05:05:22 AM by nas1m »
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Offline Misery

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Re: TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2014, 05:59:07 AM »
Another good patch for the most part.  Spent some time with the game tonight finally.

In the course of doing this, I had a chance to have a go at one of the new mission types (joint assault/ground attack), and ran into a few major problems with that one.  After spending a bunch of time with it, it seems in major need of big changes.   I'll not go into that here, as I've instead made up a mantis ticket for it here: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=15178

The problems with it are pretty nasty though one way or another.  Even on Normal, these problems are likely to be enough to make the player not do the mission, even if it seems like a good idea in a strategic sense.

Offline x4000

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Re: TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2014, 05:17:09 PM »
i know you already hear this alot, but i just wanted to say that the game is really, really beautiful. I was just clicking through menu's and checking things out and the art is really nicely done. And the stats in the menu's are nicely displayed, and though i don't know what it all means right now, it is very nicely laid out. Very very nice game, still exploring and enjoying everything.

Thank you very much!  I'll pass that along to our artists. :)

plus somewhere along the way the performance seems to have improved quite a bit. When there are big battles going on my feeble laptop doesn't slow down as much anymore.

Yep, we've gone through a number of iterations on the performance to get that pulled up when you are fast-forwarding in late game in particular (as well as in large battles).  Another bunch of that is coming in the next release (at least 12% gains there, which is nice). :)

Another good patch for the most part.  Spent some time with the game tonight finally.

In the course of doing this, I had a chance to have a go at one of the new mission types (joint assault/ground attack), and ran into a few major problems with that one.  After spending a bunch of time with it, it seems in major need of big changes.   I'll not go into that here, as I've instead made up a mantis ticket for it here: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=15178

The problems with it are pretty nasty though one way or another.  Even on Normal, these problems are likely to be enough to make the player not do the mission, even if it seems like a good idea in a strategic sense.

Gotcha.  On autoresolve it's really not a big thing, heh.  But it is something I've been mulling.  For mission types you wind up hating, you can always just autoresolve, incidentally.  Not that I want to have a ton of those in there (some may always be polarizing, but in general missions are supposed to be widely appealing).  But definitely don't feel like you can't take a strategic option just because you don't like the tactical component.  Just autoresolve. :)
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Offline lifehole

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Re: TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2014, 06:39:35 PM »
If you're looking at this thread for any quick feedback (excluding mantis ofc but the quote I have isn't mine so I don't want to mantis ticket it.) this is probably one of the simplest quotes from the huge paragraph long discussions in the depths below the stickied threads that would do a lot for weapon balance, imo.


Problems with current system and simple solution.
  • Missiles are boring, too powerful and too slow. - Speed them up, fix the tracking, consider a "defensive fire" targeting option for the player, check the salvo logic.
  • Fleeing ships are tedious - Stop the fleeing ship logic, make all ships more aggressive, and try to get them to work in packs/formations.
  • Gravity Lance is too weak - x4 damage, limit firing arc to 45 degrees in front of ship. Consider widening the beam. Keep penetration. Add projectile destruction. Make it a short ranged, high damage, thrust. You are exposed from the sides, but head on are invincible (except is still doesn't do much versus shields).
  • Energy Blaster is misleading- Increase Energy Blaster damage by 400%. Add a -75% modifier to damage versus Hull. (Same actual damage, just more understandable.)
  • Spreadshot is too weak- Up range and reload speed. Perhaps increase the Arc. I don't think the 360 firing arc is fair.
  • Armor Piercing is underpowered - 200% damage
  • Minigun is overpowered - 50% damage

Offline Misery

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Re: TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2014, 12:40:17 AM »

Gotcha.  On autoresolve it's really not a big thing, heh.  But it is something I've been mulling.  For mission types you wind up hating, you can always just autoresolve, incidentally.  Not that I want to have a ton of those in there (some may always be polarizing, but in general missions are supposed to be widely appealing).  But definitely don't feel like you can't take a strategic option just because you don't like the tactical component.  Just autoresolve. :)


Oh, the problems with the mission are not a matter of hating it or anything.

They are a matter of it seriously taking an insane amount of time to finish on high difficulties.  Like, a seriously absurd amount of time.

I only went so far into the one I did, about 40 minutes worth.  If I had to estimate, finishing the rest of it would have taken.... about 3 hours.

That's for ONE battle.  Something definitely off.  That's all in the mantis thing though, so yeah, aint gonna ramble about that in this topic.

As for auto resolve, most of the time I prefer not to use it.  For me it's only there for battles I consider pointless due to being stupidly easy. Though I havent really done that yet, since those battles do typically take a very short amount of time.  Considering that THIS one was me, alone, VS 18 flagships and other stuff, I cant imagine that it would have come off as a win.

Offline Azurian

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Re: TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2014, 03:55:30 PM »
I hope you also do alpha player testing on expansions if you are adding new features so we can help with bugs and balance.
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Offline x4000

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Re: TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2014, 03:58:43 PM »
I hope you also do alpha player testing on expansions if you are adding new features so we can help with bugs and balance.

Oh you bet we will.  Same as we do with AI War expansions.  I'm not sure exactly the logistics on that yet, but usually we make it available for direct purchase early on our site, and then people who purchase it can give all the feedback they like, and then also we will send a steam key to those folks once we fully launch the expansion.  Something along those lines, anyhow.  We have separate processes for the expansion development and main game development, just habits that we've built up over time.
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