Tuesday, August 10, 2010

AI War Prerelease 3.177 (Knowledge Changes, Civilians, 3 Home Planet Outposts)

The full release notes are on the Arcen forums.  This is another impactful release, mainly for the base game (a lot of CoN work is in progress but not yet ready for even beta release quite yet).

With this release, the knowledge-per-plant jumps from 2500 to 3000.  It wasn't all that long ago that the knowledge increased from 2000 to 2500, but a lot of new knowledge-costly items have been added (like the various new command stations), and the intent is to encourage a balanced and experimentation-friendly play style.  In light of that, the mark II technology unlocks for fleet ships are now only 2500 to unlock instead of 3000, while the mark III/IV technology unlocks are now 5000 instead of 4000.  This makes it 500 knowledge more costly to go all the way to the end of a fleet line, while making it easier to get partially along multiple fleet lines.  This also makes the command stations, turrets, starships, etc, a bit more attractive.  But not all of them -- the dreadnoughts, flagships, zenith, and spire starships have each had their knowledge costs increased by 1000.  The dreadnought changes were supposed to be paired with some increases to their health and the speed of their bullets, but those are not in place quite yet (next prerelease).

As if that wasn't a huge enough change above, the starting situation for human home planets is now a vastly different picture than ever before.  There are now three outposts instead of one, and you start with a lot more on your home planet.  One of the outposts is a completely civilian outpost with a bunch of the new cryogenic pods and home human settlements; both provide you some added resources, but will cost you AI Progress if they are destroyed.  This accomplishes two things: it makes the start a bit faster for you if you're in a good defensive position, and it makes the start a lot riskier for you if you're in a poor defensive position.  Playing with multiple starting home planets just got a lot harder, as did starting in the center of a spokes hub or similar.  Those sorts of starts are still quite possible, but the risk/reward balance is now a lot more appropriate in those scenarios. This multiple-starting-outposts change is also indicative of some future additions we'll likely make over time, to develop out the civilian presence more and in more interesting ways.  That may even be the focal point of a future expansion down the line, we'll see.

For now, there's a lot of pretty significant changes already.  And more additions are coming soon.  Enjoy!

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