This one has quite a bit of stuff, actually. Many various "underdog" units have been made more attractive in various ways:
Things that can now be scrapped that could not be before:
Cheaper knowledge costs or AI Progress costs:
riot control starships
Zenith spacetime manipulators
mark II scouts
neinzul enclave starships
mark I riot control, cloaker, and neinzul enclave starships
mark III lightning/armored warheads
mercentary neinzul enclave starships
But that's not it! Starfields actually got a bit more attractive and a bit lighter on the GPU (they were already trivially light anyhow, though). And even more importantly, fixed a longstanding bug that has been mucking with AI retreats, and which recently has been causing astro trains to stall out on player planets.
So expect a more dynamic, responsive foe when you spring a trap that the AI recognizes and wants to run away from. Previously the AI was issuing retreat orders that a good portion of its ships were simply ignoring to stay and shoot at stuff! Now they'll shoot stuff as they flee, then come back when it's inconvenient for you.
What's the deal with all the balance changes above?
Well, these are all ships that players seem to ignore as not being useful, because their cost-to-benefit ratio was just slightly off (or, in the case of riot control starships, it was too big a gamble to unlock the mark I version and then see if you need them or not).
The tweaks overall are fairly slight, but they should help bring the difficulty of the expansions (sans minor factions and other special features) back down at least a little bit closer to that of the base game alone, while at the same time encouraging experimentation and use of more of the ships that are there.
I also changed around the knowledge costs of a few of the lesser-used techs to make them more attractive. Several new things now fall into the "candy tech" realm, where they are attractive to take but start to "rot your teeth" if you take them too much. I think the same will now be true of the armored warheads when it comes to AI Progress costs, too, actually. We used to have that dynamic with lightning warheads back in the 2.0-3.0 days, and this will hopefully bring elements of that back.
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.