Monday, April 28, 2014

TLF Version 1.006 Beta Released (Besieging And Federating)

Version 1.006 Beta is now out, and is another wonderfully vast one.  This one is still just in the beta branch (which you can optionally download inside the game itself from the updater) rather than as a full version that everyone gets automatically updated to.  So you can update or not for this one, at your discretion.  When the beta branch is fully tested out, we'll push it out in the normal way -- hopefully tomorrow or the next day, as I really want for everyone to be able to get these new goodies.

This version includes a whole lot of changes to how NPC vs NPC battles take place at planets, when one is besieging another.  This should result in much more pleasing results, but let us know what you think.  There are also some changes to where races will sometimes capture outposts rather than destroying them, which is also a nice (player suggested) touch.

Golly, there's also a bunch of new stuff relating to attitude shifts and influence shifts in various specific circumstances relating to certain hostiles alliances in particular.  Members of some hostile alliances can get disgusted with other members of their alliance and break away, which means that -- if you manipulate the attitudes to make this happen -- you can engineer the fall of an enemy alliance without having to resort to genocidal violence.  That's a nice new option. ;)

---------------Federating ---------------
The Federation Points system that I tried out last version were a fiasco, and a great example of why I wanted to do it as a beta branch.  Those have been removed, and a whole mess of other changes have been added relating to federating:

1. The general influence and credit costs for the standard routes of convincing races to join existing federations have gone up pretty much 10x.  You can't just speed through that anymore.  But!  Before you cry foul, keep reading.

2. Depending on what races are already in the federation, the influence requirements go either up or down.  So it can be either utterly ridiculous requirements for you to directly add them, making that impossible, or it can be something that goes back down to previous values, depending on the makeup of your federation.  That's pretty nifty.  But it's still not enough, so again keep reading.

3. There are now two new ways to get races into the federation. 

3.a. If a race is getting beaten to a pulp by a non-federation race, then they suddenly become really open to the idea of the federation.  The credit costs are a lot lower, as are the influence requirements.  So you can opportunistically get races in this way.

3.b. If a race has an RCI value of -2000 or worse (the specific RCI category that is required varies for each race), then they will absolutely have the lowest possible thresholds for credit to join a federation, and they only require -200 influence from you, which is obviously pathetically low.  So!  This makes a non-influence, non-attitude way of getting races into the federation: if you can figure out a way to make their key RCI value go all the way down to Scarytown levels without them catching on that it is you (and thus hating you more than -200), then you can get them into the federation in a very dubious fashion.

4. But wait, there is still more!  Previously, the only real ways to get races to have attitudes that are better towards one another were through trade routes and gifting of techs.  Trade routes are cool, but they are basically risk-free (there is practically no opportunity cost to them), and they are also extremely finite, so not something that you can stack at all). 

This release adds FIFTEEN new buildings that are all aimed at passive attitude shifts from other races toward the race that owns the building.  The races will not build these on their own, it's all at your discretion via Property Development.  My favorite bit about these new buildings is that they all have pros and cons -- some races are happy with each building to varying degrees, and others are unhappy with them to varying degrees.  Because of that interesting opportunity cost, you can stack these a lot more than you can the trade routes and it still works out well (in my testing so far).

5. And this is the last thing: previously, there were reports of essentially an exploit where you could federate and then just snap up non-spacefaring races as soon as they became spacefaring.  First of all, on hard strategic difficulty, time-until-spacefaring was getting longer instead of shorter, which is now fixed.  Facepalm.  But even more key, the races that are non-spacefaring start getting pretty miffed when you federate without even bothering to help them get spacefaring tech first.  Their attitude toward the federation races steadily drops, as does your influence with them.  I like this because it is absolutely sensible as a reaction from them, and it neatly nips that particular exploit off.

--------------- Ongoing Updates ---------------
All through this week we will continue releasing at least one new free feature every day of the work week, thanks to the overwhelming support this game has had.  This is far and away our best launch ever, and that gap keeps widening by surprising degrees.  We're extremely grateful to our ever-growing community for their support, as well as to the press for taking the time out to look at our stuff.  You guys are all awesome!

After this week, we'll see -- at minimum, we'll continue putting out at least one new free feature every week for at least a few months, if not longer.  A quest, a new weapon or ability, a new ship, a new action... something.  We'll vary it up, and make it fun.  I'm really excited about expanding the game even further, as large as it already is.  Right now we're doing that very fast in response to all the huge numbers of new players and all the things that a larger audience is bound to dig up in a game of this scope and complexity; once that settles down, we'll make it less intensive but still ongoing.

More to come tomorrow.  Enjoy!

This is a beta update that you can optionally download through the in-game updater.  Steam will not automatically update it for you yet, as we don't think everyone wants that inflicted on them. ;)

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