Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What's Coming Up For AI War?

Version 5.0 is out most places (not yet Steam, but that's coming) along with the latest massive expansion, Light of the Spire.  This is a big milestone!  And you might notice that the next expansion isn't due until late this year at the earliest.  So what happens in the meantime?

Well, our take on the core community is that they are currently pretty worn out on reinvention.  We've had a nonstop flurry of changes to the game all the way from version 4.0 and the Children of Neinzul expansion in the September, up through 5.0 and the LotS expansion in late January.  At some point the game has to stop changing massively and kind of "settle."

That's the phase that we're entering now, and it's something that a number of players have hinted to us that they'd like.  "Letting the game settle" does not mean just forgetting about it.  Rather, it bespeaks a different way of continuing to work with it.  Those who were around for the eight-month span between 3.0 and 4.0 know what I'm referring to.

It boils down to refining what we already have in place, tweaking where tweaking needs to happen, and adding little extra features that enhance the overall process of the game rather than reinventing it wholesale.  During this period, we're going to be paying special attention to the Vote Tallies section of our mantis idea tracker.  New features that rank high in the vote tallies are a lot more likely to get implemented in our ongoing free DLC releases, alongside the various bugfixes and general tweaks that will be going into the game on an ongoing basis.

All in all: it's a great time to be playing AI War.  You can learn the current rules and functionality with the security that it isn't going to be changing on you every week.  And yet the game isn't going to get stagnant, it's going to be gradually changing into the best possible version of itself.  A lot of people remember the post-3.0 time period with special fondness, despite the fact that our attention was so hugely on making Tidalis, and I think that's why.  It's no secret that our focus coming up is going to be hugely on making A Valley Without Wind, but at the same time that leaves plenty of room for continuing AI War's evolution.

It's definitely a great time to be playing AI War!


  1. I like "settling" - for the last few months I have been avoiding AI War because it seemed like every time I started the game there was a new beta patch that fundamentally changed on something worked.

    Although the changes to the Mobile Repair Station still aggravate me.

  2. MRS changes was in fact a good one. They simply made the game too easy.

  3. The change was at the expense of making MRS fundamentally useless, except as a static defensive item, in which case it should be renamed "RS" because they are no longer "mobile."

    Although the one thing that came up missing between 3.x and newer versions is the "Arc Move" commands, and I do not see them listed anywhere on the "Vote Tallies." It was a clunky interface, but it was a nice way of setting your units up in a formation instead of just having giant mucking "blobs" wandering around.

  4. Yep, like Brad, I also avoided playing AI War for the past few months. I told my friend the same thing (I gave him a copy of it for Christmas). Lumping together bug fixes and new features/rule changes in the beta patches was a big turn-off for me.

    That said, I'm glad to see that there will be no major changes to AI War for a while.

  5. Well, there's really no other way to update the game other than updating everything at once -- we can't separate out bugfixes from rules changes, given that it's all the same codebase. Generally speaking, for the folks that like to play a stable game, that's why we have official versions that we only update every 2-3 months. The betas are for the bleeding-edge crowd, but that shouldn't discourage people not in that mindset from playing.

    Anyway, those sort of forced-march long periods of change really can make for some weariness on all parties, so even the bleeding edge crowd was looking for things to settle for a while. So everyone seems pretty happy now, at least! ;)


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