This one answers the results of our sixth "Worst Unit" poll. Our "winners" were the Zenith Reserves, the Decloaker, the Captive Human Settlement, and the Spire Armor Rotter. Everyone give them a hand! Hmm, they don't seem amused. But at least they'll enjoy the buffs!
We've also dealt with a couple longstanding player annoyances in this version:
Special Forces guard posts are no longer autotargeted so you don't have to worry about your ships (or minor faction friends) shooting them up and causing the +1 AIP per SF post. Another change was necessary to prevent that from being cheesed (to drain off AI reinforcements), but that's done too.
Now when the AI buys new stuff from the Zenith Trader, the resulting structures will not generate AIP when killed. So the AI can still replace warp gates and plant black hole machines and such with the trader, but it won't cost you AIP to take those trader-bought ones out. To compensate, there's a new item in the trader's AI-only shop. It's fairly nasty, but I'm sure the players will be the better judge of that.
And there's a few other fixes and balance changes in there.
Update: the 5.044 hotfix is out now, with a change that we hope will help with the performance problems people have been seeing in 5.042+. If it doesn't we'll need to do something more drastic.
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.