Thursday, January 6, 2011

AI War Beta 4.061 Released!

This one is chock full of changes, once again -- mostly of the internal RAM/CPU efficiency-improving kind.  This is both good and bad: good because the memory and processor use is better than ever, and bad because with this many changes throughout the codebase, there are bound to be some bugs that get found related to this conversion that get found over the next few days.

To wit: in the 4.060 version, in the tutorials apparently player and AI troops were best buds and didn't want to shoot at each other anymore, despite whatever orders from you or the AI overlords.  That's fixed in this release, but that in turn required a rather large rejiggering of the tutorial innards for handling the AI player, and so there might be some lingering issues there.  For the longest time during my testing with them, I couldn't get the AI ships to stop killing each other and ignoring the player.  Go figure. 

Again, there aren't any known issues at this time relating from any of this, but I'm just saying to be extra on the lookout over the next few days.  So why go through all this hassle and so forth?  Well, savegames now load faster, as well as those RAM and CPU improvements.  In one test save that was using about 1200mb of ram, our 4.060 release reduced that by about 40mb, and our new 4.061 release reduces that by a further 20mb.  The general savings with the new version will be about 2mb per 10,000 ships in the game, so this is an even bigger benefit to the largest games out there.

There are also benefits in this one to help out with memory load in large battles, and particularly on large maps in general.  Whew.

Aside from performance improvements, there are a number of other notable things.  A lot of the ship short/wave/type names have been tweaked to be clearer and more consistent with their full names.  Core Missile Guard Posts got a needed buff.  The alert colorization from the prior version actually works now.  Scout speed has been made constant regardless of combat style.  The yellow color of the player in the tutorials is now brighter.

And... the balance of player speed versus AI speed has been really redone.  Previously, players just got a silent double speed versus what the AI has.  The idea was to make logistics less painful for the human players, without making the AI able to rush the player planets too fast.  The downside was that this really was a great advantage for players in AI territory in particular, really hurting the need for tactics beyond just kiting and blobbing. 

This release, therefore, removes that silent bonus -- and instead gives a double-the-speed-of-allies ability to all the human command stations.  That retains the bonus on your planets, but makes losing a command station even more of a bad thing, along with making AI territory back into a more fair fight.  Oh, and the AI home command station now also has this ability, meaning you're at a disadvantage there.

Last, but definitely not least: we finally found and fixed that "most games on the scoreboard show as incomplete even when completed" bug.  Thanks for your patience with that one!  The nature of our testing was such that we weren't likely to find it: it mainly occurred when you won with a lower score than you'd previously had with that game (not just from save-scumming -- the adjusted score can fluctuate downwards as well as up).  Enjoy!

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.