Thursday, March 24, 2011

AI War Beta 5.007, "Zombies Are For Eating My Neighbors," Released!

Well!  I've been so focused on A Valley Without Wind for the last month and a half that I really wanted to make sure AI War was getting the love it needs.  Keith has been doing updates for the game the last while, but we haven't had any really big burn-throughs of the mantis idea tracker in a while. 

Yesterday was mostly all about one big desync, so today I wanted to spend one more day in AI War land and accomplish a variety of player-requested stuff, before I head back to AVWW tomorrow.  That's what this release is all about, and it's the hugest one we've had since 5.0 came out.

One of the most notable things about this release is how minor factions and zombies have been tweaked.  Friendly ones will still guard your planets somewhat, but they're also a lot more likely to strike out and help you deal with the AI on nearby planets.  They thus act partly as a force for keeping the AI stalkers down, and for helping you with nearby offensives, rather than just being purely defensive.  The hostile zombies and minor factions have also gotten some improvements, and thus the devourer golem is now better at actually devouring AI ships in most cases, for instance.

Spirecraft Penetrators have gotten quite a nerf, but before you panic remember that nothing is written in stone.  These were clearly game-breaking in the hands of some players, though, so we went with some rather severe changes to work back up from there if this seems like too much.  Some of the players who've seen the notes on this already are pretty optimistic this is a lot closer, though, so that's a good sign.

There have also been not one but two very notable performance improvements.  Once massively reduces the load caused in big battles by gravitational effects, and the other makes control group adding/removing no longer cause crazy lag.  For me, that's also seemingly really speeding up the loading of savegames.

Beyond that, there are a couple dozen other smaller bugfixes and balance tweaks.  Oh, and a message that is sent now whenever an EMP or tachyon detonation occurs, which can help you detect breaches in your defenses when EMP guardians are secretly after you.


This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater itself, if you already have 4.000 or later. When you launch the game, you'll see the notice of the update having been found if you're connected to the Internet at the time. If you don't have 4.000 or later, you can download that here.

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