Tuesday, November 23, 2010

AI War Beta 4.040 Released!

This release doesn't quite make the Light of the Spire expansion "feature complete," but it does come close.  This version adds the last 3 classes of guardians, now bringing the total number of ships in the expansion up to 180, and so we're calling it at that as far as ships go.  We'd thought we might do two more classes of spirecraft, but there's just no time -- we need to get to polishing and balancing what we already have, and there's more than plenty here already (more than in any other expansion we've done, by far).

By the same token, the Constructor mode is also being cut from the expansion, as it was pretty similar to the Defender mode anyway, and we could use the extra time to get Defender mode better polished.  We are still planning a few more AI types (perhaps four, but no promises on that), and of course the usual accoutrement of achievements related to plots, minor factions, and AI types.  And there's still that spirecraft/golem rebalance, and the related minor factions, that need to be added as well.  Beyond that: it's polish time.  Bugs and balance issues, beware.

This version actually includes a wide range of bugfixes and balance tweaks already, come to that.  Also the actual unique far zoom graphics for the various spirecraft, which is a welcome change.  That's all the far zoom graphics in place except for the larger fallen spire ships, all of which are currently just using the fleet starship graphic as a placeholder so far.

And there are music tracks coming, by the way -- more than just the one listed on the wiki.  Pablo tells me he's aiming for 8 tracks of 5-6 minutes long, and so far he's already finished and mastered 5 of them.  He's got a really cool musical theme going for the spire that I think folks will really like.

Oh!  I almost forgot.  Also new in this version 4.040 is a new ship for the base game: redirection rally posts.  These work sort of like the preexisting rally post (now called mobile rally posts), except that they allow the setting of gather points, which can redirect incoming ships from one planet to another.  Using this new ship you can quickly set up chains of redirection for ships (rather than having to go back and repoint all your space docks), and you can even set up circular loops that make for cross-planet patrol paths, etc.  Pretty cool stuff.  This is the free DLC for November, but more stuff will be coming in December (so be sure to vote in the poll for what you'd like to see -- at the moment it's at the idea nomination stage).

Enjoy!  Lots more tweaks and such coming tomorrow.  Just a reminder that Thursday and Friday are a holiday here in the US, so we won't be doing much on those days.

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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