Monday, May 5, 2014

TLF Version 1.013-1.014 Released (Love, Hate, And Challenge)

Version 1.013 is now out, and is kind of all over the place.  I went through our issue tracker and was just really in kind of hoover mode today, cleaning up all the little bits and pieces that I could easily deal with, rather than focusing on anything singularly big.  Makes it a relatively easier way to ease back into the week for a Monday, and I'm quite pleased with how much cleaner the result is, too.

There are a bajillion little fixes in here, but most notably there are a lot of solar map balance improvements, and some key clarity improvements.

You can now really tell what is going on with the fighting at a planet, for instance, in terms of what is going on day to day in the kills and losses (way to go Keith on creating this one).  In a bunch of other cases where you could previously not select a race as an option for some reason for a deal, but you couldn't tell why, it now lets you select that option in a redded-out fashion to see the explanation of why.  Just like the attack race options in the prior version, but now more widely applied.  Again awesome from Keith.

Another biggie from Keith was a whole slew of late-game performance improvements during fighting, particularly ground combat.  There was a savegame that I ran into where the performance was just chugging, and I was surprised nobody had mentioned that.  So we got that back to where it should be.

Keith and I were both doing a metric ton of balance items on the solar map, and really there are just too many things to mention there.  There's nothing singularly huge there, other than the "RCI values climbing on federation races" bug being fixed.  But the sheer volume of little things that prevent oddness or exploits or whatever else is something I'm pleased to have done with.  I realize that these things weren't at the top of anyone's priority list, least of all mine, but I think that when you look at them you'll probably agree it was good to take one of these days where we just focus on "lots of little stuff" rather than always delaying them to focus on the largest items.  Otherwise those tiny items just stack up and never get done, for one.

There are a couple of new features, though, which I'm quite pleased with:

Firstly, there are two new strategic difficulties above Hard, and Hard is also a bit more difficult than it previously was.  We had a number of comments that the strategic portion of the game was too easy, and that's fair enough -- we had balanced it to try not to absolutely crush people on normal difficulty level, and Hard wasn't enough of a jump upwards.  And really there need to be more gradations between "not getting crushed if you are new" and "getting crushed most of the time even if you are very experienced."  So hence we have Harder and Nightmare now. :)

There are also two new race-specific actions, one for the Burlusts spreading hate when not in the federation, and one for the Andors spreading love when they are in the federation.  These are pretty cool, as they provide yet another decision point on when you get who into the federation.  I have the "spread whatever" actions defined for the other 6 races as well, but I didn't have time to get them in to this release.  I'll get those in tomorrow.  You guys had been asking for more things that the races are getting themselves up to beyond just war, and these provide some interesting things that also play into your decisions about who goes into the federation in what order, which is a double-win as far as I'm concerned.  Or will be, when all 8 races have their "spreading" actions, anyhow.

And I promise I will be getting to more quests likely tomorrow and definitely the next day, too.  Those are a big thing on my list for this week.  I just needed to take today kind of as a break from the larger stuff and do some housekeeping.

UPDATE: 1.014 is out as a hotfix version.

--------------- Ongoing Updates All This Month ---------------
The support of the community, and the growth of it, remain amazing to me.  I've been promising daily new features, but last week it became clear that there are other things more on your mind.  Things like added interfaces, new AI behaviors and options, and things like that.  So, you know what?  I'm just going to go with that -- those count as features, really, in that they help to make the game more interesting and easier to understand and play.

So what else is going on?  Well, we're going to be working at this pace on the game for at least another month, which means that you're going to be seeing lots of good things coming.  If you've liked what you've seen in the last two weeks, you can imagine what another month of that will be like.  We do have two other things in the works as well, but we're not quite ready to reveal either one of them (although I am betting that most long-time Arcen fans can guess what both of them are).  Suffice it to say, neither one of these two other things are going to impact the general updates, improvements, and free additions to TLF that are coming over this month.

More to come tomorrow.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater, or if you have Steam it will automatically update it for you.  To force Steam to download it faster, just restart Steam and it will do so.

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