Thursday, December 23, 2010

AI War Beta 4.055, "Intra-Galactic," Released!

Well, it's that time of year again, where the Arcen staff takes the better part of a week off to spend time with family, recharging, etc.  Good times!  So it's going to be rather quite on the release front around here for a bit, but lots of good stuff is coming, as I noted yesterday.

I didn't manage to triage all the issues in mantis like I'd hoped to do this week, but we got the actual count of unfiled/confirmed/feedback issues down to 288 from over 500 on Monday, so I'm feeling really good about that.  There's still more to do before LotS and AI War 4.4 are released in mid-January, but overall things are looking really clean and polished.

So, today's release is a big one, sort of a holiday parting gift from us.  And boy is it an exciting one!

The biggest news from this release is the new Intra-galactic warp gates.  Be sure to check those release notes for the full details, but these basically let you warp ships from certain kinds of constructors across the galaxy to a location of your designation.  So you've got a fabricator or an advanced factory in some backwater hole, for example?  In the past you'd have to periodically manually transport them to the front lines, a hassle which made those constructors almost useless for practical purposes.  Now you just throw up an intra-galactic warp gate at your target planet, and that's where they pop out (paralyzed at first, but that wears off pretty quickly).  This is a feature that should make a lot of people's days right there by itself.

But wait, there's the proverbial more!  Tired of having your ships swallowed by Maws and never given back?  That's fixed -- and, now you can see exactly how many ships you have in maws, and what their cumulative remaining health is.  No more wondering.

You can also upgrade command stations in-place now, and things go a lot more smoothly vis-a-vis harvesters and reactors, etc.  Control group icons on the planetary summary are finally legible again!  Spire civilian leaders are a lot better balanced!  Range circles are less intensive on the GPU!  Force fields won't accidentally stall out while building anymore -- and EMPs work properly on force fields again!  Tachyon drones and decloakers have much better tachyon ranges!  Etherjets have much better tractor ranges!  Man that's a lot of exclamation points!

Oh, and fortresses have been completely overhauled.  Been giving them a miss for a while -- and/or not been feeling all that threatened by the AI fortresses lately?  Both of those end with this release.  Likewise, counterspies and ion cannons have their teeth back when it comes to scouts and similar, while spider turrets and sniper turrets are useful against raid starships again (and there was much rejoicing).

I'm really pleased with how much we were able to get done despite the holiday rush, but as I've noted plenty more is coming.  Probably this is my last missive for the next three or so days, though, and releases will be spotty and smaller for a bit after that.  Our normal programming returns on January 3rd.  Happy holidays, everyone!

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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