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 Post subject: UPDATE 0.8.4 (The Brain Surgery Update)
PostPosted: Tue 06 Dec, 2016 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri 25 Feb, 2011 3:21 am
Posts: 1998
Hi all,

Here's what we have been working on for the last couple of weeks. We have been trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible before we make the engine upgrade to support multiplayer in v0.9.0. We hope you like it!

Escape Pod Interactions:

You can now intercept escape pods on the starmap and then do terrible things to them. Messing with escape pods is considered taboo in the galaxy, so expect any witnesses to be unhappy about your pod fishing.

Reeducation (lobotomy)
- Costs more scrap the higher level the enemy captain
- Gives the captain the “passive” trait (lobotomy)
- Resets the relations to 0
- Only seen in neighboring provinces, so do somewhere secluded
- Good way to install a leader who is neutral toward you (will also be a passive leader)
- Medium relations hit.

- Is free!
- A new low level captain with a blank slate will spawn elsewhere in the galaxy, same face different captain. (prevents depopulation)
- If the captain was a faction leader that hated you, this can improve faction relations if the new leader doesn't hate you as much.
- Capital will move to the new leader's starbase if you kill the leader.
- Only seen in neighboring provinces, so do somewhere secluded
- Good way to get revenge and be rid of some troublesome captain forever.
- High relations hit

- Converts a zombie back to being human for a lot of rez
- Everyone in the galaxy likes this. (everyone hears about it)
- Cured captain is very happy with you
- Vaccinated against re-infection for a while (3 minutes)

Faction Neutralization:

When faction members are defeated in battle, if there are no remaining starbases from their faction, they will become neutral. This means that you can now wipe out a faction. Kill the starbases, then kill the captains so they can't respawn into the faction.

Starbase Bounty Increase:

Starbase bounties were far too low, allowing players to wipe out empires far too easily late game simply by using scrap. You can still do it, but it will now be a lot more expensive so you will need to strategize more in how you spend.

The minimum starbase bounty is calculated based on the owner's tech level and the starbase's size.

The Chipper!

We have added what we call the chipper on the inventory screen. You access the screen from the starmap in the bottom button array.

If you want to be rid of parts and don't want to drag them to a starbase to sell, you can chip them on the spot. You will get 50% of the scrap price that you would have gotten at a starbase, so hauling is better, but if you don't want to haul, and don't want the parts to weigh you down, then chip em and make your own scrap.

Select the parts that you want to chip and transfer them to the other side of the inventory screen. There you can either chip them, or drop them into space as before as a scavenge field (good way to get pursuers off your back sometimes, especially zombies)

Infected parts are special, since they have zombie goo all over them, they give you Rez instead of scrap when chipped. So now you need to decide if you want to clean that infected part, or convert it to some much needed Rez.

The Disinfector

When we added the chipper, we also added a much simpler way to clean your stored parts. The Disinfector works just like the chipper, but in this case, you can transfer your stored infected parts and then disinfect them by spending goons. This means you no longer need to attach a part to yous ship to clean it of infection.

Battle Wagon Logic Upgrade:

We have changed Battle Wagon's target acquisition logic based on used feedback. So how it works now is that Battle Wagon's guns will prioritize shooting at your contextual target (E), then your locked target, and then anything it can possibly hit.

So Battle Wagons tries first to kill what you told your fleet to kill, then it will try to kill whatever you may be looking or shooting at yourself, then it will scan for anything it can hit.

The reason this works so well is that if you are actively shooting, you override Battle Wagon mode so you will always be hitting what you want if you are pressing the fire button.

A neat side effect of this new system is also that Battle Wagon can now shoot space props if you target them with (E).

The Fighter Swarm:

Fighters now work like a swarm of angry bees and instead of needing to be directed, will now seek and destroy within their attack radius. Their target acquisition also takes hints similar to Battle Wagon. So fighters will prioritize your E target, then whatever you are pointing at, and then anything in range.

Some effects are that you no longer "need" to use E to send fighters after enemy ships, which will then allow you to keep your Carrier strike craft our of weapons' range more easily.

If there is no (E) target, fighters will automagically sweep to whatever you are shooting at. So if you start shooting at a ship or an enemy strike craft, you will notice your swarm of angry little bees swarming to that target naturally as well.

Mining Op Upgrades

So the Mining Op was underwhelming resource wise vs. time required to mine. We are hoping these new changes will make mining op's more of a treat to try when you see one pop up.

- There are double the resource rocks in the Mining Op now.
- Each resource rock contains double the amount of Rez.
- We added a second tractor beam to the mothership to make pickup faster.
- Rez drops from rocks come in larger denominations, now in 1,2,5,10 (was 2,5)
- Resource rocks won't drop explosive wisps anymore (so you don't risk breaking the rogue miner crates, causing an unwanted battle.

Threat Levels and Strike Craft

Strike craft will now play their proper role in threat level calculations. Large ones in particular will make a big difference, and now the threat levels should be much more reasonable, at least when it comes to a fleet's strike craft factoring in.

Final Battle Readiness:

We noticed a reoccurring problem with players not realizing when the final battle was ready to start, or not knowing what they had to do to start the final battle. We have made this a lot more explicit. Now when the final battle is ready the helper tip tells the player to kill the capital base, there is a callout indicating readiness (also in sandbox which had nothing)

But most importantly we have changed the war meter once the final battle is ready. Once you achieve the threshold for the final battle, the war meter will stop counting and will instead tell you to go fight.

Prestige Command Points

A great player suggestion came up to add command points to the prestige system, so we did it. Command points are now infinitely leveling. This means that given a high enough level, you could now field four large strike craft. Prestige command point levels will give you 2 points instead of the usual 8 for main levelups.

Other Tweaks and Fixes:

- Fixed stash showing values with markup

- Fixed long profile names warping in trade window

- Torpedoes and Bombs (and all missiles) got a health boost. Bombs and torps got a bigger health boost.

- Flak cannon damage down 20%

- AI more willing to accept peace if losing badly in a war

- Fix for autosaves being blocked for 15 seconds after a battle.

- Autosaving is forced to happen on game exit regardless of timing of last autosave.

- Accept/Decline on quit to main menu and quit to desktop.

- Large Bounty Hunter engine received a dispenser slot (hangars/krule)

- Fix for possible control lockout when restarting a single player game from in game.

- Increased medium bandit hive threat from 35->40

- Increased large bandit hive threat from 45->55

- Special twiddling of phase 2 final fight ships if > 11 cores. Was causing unwinnable scenarios.

- Fix for non progression if complete final mission without starting a faction

- Small strike craft health + armor up 50%

- Hammerhead has a higher banking angle when turning.

- Clear to spine, and clear ship in the inventory menu don't make a noise anymore

- The following mothership parts now support small turreted weapons.
- Science --Large Nose: Flat Deck
- Civilian -- Large Engine: Camel Back
- Militia-- Large Engine: Horizon Back
- Miners -- Large Nose: Foundry
- Hunter -- Large Nose: Sting Nose

- Added Ion barrels to the final mission in cease players need some extra shield popping potential.

- The whole reticle turns red when a target is in range now, to make it more obvious.

- Player core in scan view will show both total ship stats and core stats.

- Lots of improvement with the controller in menus

- Zombie Capital threat now shows as ??? since it is outside the usual threat assessment system and also MYSTERY wooooh...

Moving Forward

Next, we will be working on v0.8.5 which contains mostly tuning and bug fixing tasks to get us solid for our extended work on v0.9.0.

Version 0.9.0 will be the big engine upgrade and multiplayer rewrite required for Unity 5.5 (We are currently on v0.5.0.2)

Once we upgrade the engine, we will need to rewirte our multiplayer back end to comply with the major multiplayer changes in Unity since v5.1. That upgrade will take us offline for a while, but we will have more details upon the release of 0.8.5.

We don't expect that it v0.8.5 will be ready before January due to us taking a little time off to be with our families over the holidays. We will be pushing fixes to v0.8.4 though as needed.

We look forward to seeing you all again in 2017!

Andrew (Blorf) and Ricard (Narlak)

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