The full release notes are on the Arcen forums.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
the above DOES affect all existing savegames loaded in the new version.