Monday, April 29, 2013

AI War Beta 6.024-6.025 "The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Buff (or Nerf)" Released!

This one ... does a lot.

In this release we're mainly we're answering a recent community poll by making its top results more attractive places to spend Knowledge (though the Raid Starship actually got its treatment for this in 6.023). Specifically:

1) Turrets in general. The combat stats are something of a sidegrade, though on the buff side of that line. The main thing here is bringing their K costs down (as well as making them more regular across different turret types).

2) Command station upgrades (like the MkII Economic Command Station, etc) now also provide a hefty bonus to your homeworld in the form of a foldout that provides the same benefit as the unlocked station. These are cumulative, so unlocking mkII and mkIII military command stations and mkII logistical command stations will put both a mkII military, mkIII military, and mkII logistics foldout on your homeworld. Incidentally, that gives everything on the planet a +100% to firepower and completely negates AI cloaking on that planet (both from the mil III) as well as slowing down enemies (from the log II) so that might not be a bad idea. If it didn't cost an arm and a leg in Knowledge, that is.

3) The Mobile Repair Station has taken over the Enclave Starship's role of fleetship production in the field (which incidentally makes that a base-game ability now, for the two of you who don't have CoN), been officially renamed the Mobile Space Dock, and come down from 4000 to 3000 Knowledge.

4) Speaking of the Enclave Starship, it needs to stop winning these polls ;) So it's been reinvented a bit. As mentioned above it no longer builds fleet ships in the field. It also no longer builds its unique-to-the-Enclave drones in the normal fashion, but instead generates them automatically much like a Spire Blade Spawner or Tackle Drone Launcher. The result is something much easier to use for just getting stuff dead and something much closer to the original "carrier" inspiration behind the Enclave Starship. K costs have also been adjusted to match most of the other starships.

5) The MkII Transport is now the Assault Transport. Basically the MkI Transport does such an exemplary job in the "Ship Bus" role that there wasn't much reason to spend 4000 Knowledge on a better transport. So the Assault Transport now provides several new tactical options through: cloaking, guns (that get stronger the more ships are loaded in the transport), instantaneous unload, more durability, and not delaying the first shot of unloaded ships as long as the MkI does. We'd also toyed with the idea of it dropping a shortlived forcefield on death, but that seemed a bit too gimmicky and a bit too easy to cheese (without still more gimmicks to prevent the cheese). Knowledge cost is now 3000.

A pretty good haul of buffs for the human side, eh?

Well the AI isn't happy. Not a bit.

A few key improvements to carrier/cpa logic should help make those more "interesting", and the AI's response to Knowledge Hacking has been... augmented, you could say. You won't notice much difference in the first K hack, and maybe a minor difference in the second hack, but from there on it can get considerably more dicey. None of this "9 Knowledge Hacks on Diff 10" shenaniga-tomfoolery, to use an example which is obviously hypothetical and not at all related to a recent AAR win.

Also we've tuned the recent Starship buffs back a bit as they were very much getting into the territory of overshadowing fleet ships despite the lower "total" available. This set of changes is relatively mild and some people think more tuning back is necessary, but some don't, so we'll see.

Based on a lot of thought and player feedback that the game was simply being too nice on this one point, Advanced Research Stations no longer grant mkII of their bonus type for free. Instead they give 500 bonus Knowledge immediately upon capture. Also, though not for strictly-related reasons (having more to do with not saddling mkIII price balance with the adv-factory question) mkIII fleet ship cost has come down from 6000 to 4000. The result is that if you normally unlock mkIII of every ARS bonus type you'll see absolutely no difference in total K expenditure (-500 + 2500 + 4000 vs 6000), but that if you don't it's something of a nerf.

The release contains a few other changes as well, notably the addition of a couple control toggles that should make life more pleasant for people wanting to "automatically dump any resources over 1.5M metal+crystal into mercenary production (or building that fort or trader toy, or whatever)" or "don't let cloaked or immobile AI units prevent automatic harvester rebuilding".

Update: 6.025 hotfix to fix a bug preventing most foldouts from spawning in multiplayer.


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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