Wednesday, May 14, 2014

TLF Version 1.019 (Solar Wind)

Version 1.019 is out, and another biggie.  This one is more focused on a couple of key areas, though.

- The solar map balance, including the AI, has seen a huge number of improvements.  Races now act more like you would expect in terms of levels of aggression, and are more responsive to defending themselves when attacked, or proactively attacking when they declare war, etc.  Grace periods all still apply in terms of war declarations, but a race will no longer declare war and then keep all of its ships defensively sitting around.  That last was a rare case, but could happen.

- The other big thing to the solar map balance is a bunch of further refinements to the ground combat changes from yesterday.  These are not fundamentally changed for the most part, but there is now proper logic preventing the landing of ground troops when the space defenses at a planet are too high.  Like there was prior to last version.  Actually, that logic is now better and more flexible than ever, I think.  In the many, many (many) simulations I've run today, I've been quite pleased with what I've been seeing.  Incidentally, this also fixes the issue with the Thoraxians wrecking the entire solar system every game.  I'm a bit concerned about the Acutians at this point, but I'll have to do some further testing to be sure.  Right now the late game continues to have a very wide-ranging mix of races, so that's good.

- The events have had a ton of updates to make them more meaningful, more interesting, more balanced, and so forth.  This also makes the high and low RCI values more meaningful, incidentally, as that plays even more heavily into event selection now.  A bunch of the events have been updated in some way (20+), but there are a ton of events in general (around 60-70, somewhere in there), so more will be updated coming up.

- We cleaned up a lot of old stuff that just didn't need to be in the code anymore, and relating to some of that we found some bugs that we then fixed.  Hopefully we didn't introduce new bugs, but at any rate sometimes the best way to find that sort of thing is by a simple code review as opposed to front-end testing, and there was a fair bit of both today.

- One of the big things that was cleaned up was the concept of "flotillas."  This changed a LOT of code, so it may cause some bugs, but amazingly I have yet to find any.  I'm sure you will. ;)  Flotillas were something that were confusing for players, no longer needed in general, and which complicated the math for things like autoresolve and flagship seeding, among other things.  Clearing these things out makes the math simpler and thus easier to keep correct, and also makes things simpler for the player, while only removing something that was mostly not shown on the interface in the first place.  Transient bugs aside (knock on wood), this is definitely a big win.

Like I said, I've done a ton of testing and haven't been seeing any issues, but please do mantis any issues that you find.  Thanks, and goodnight!

--------------- 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 since launch it has 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 few 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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