AI War 2 v0.876 Released! “Counterattacks Ate My Waves”

Release notes here.

This one refines a lot of things from the prior build, and fixes up neutering, waves, and counterattacks all in one fell swoop.  The list of short-term general annoyances is getting much smaller, and the discussion that started it all is here.

So what’s new?

  • Counterattacks were working well in the prior build, but in some respects a bit TOO well.  Basically the AI was being granted too many counterattack points (the same as too much salvage in prior builds), and so the counterattacks were just plain too large in a lot of situations.  Things should be much more reasonable now, but we do expect it to be something we need to tune over time, so please do keep the feedback coming.
  • An unintended side effect of counterattacks that I completely missed was the fact that neutering a planet (scouring away all the guard posts but leaving the command station) was being treated as if you had failed to conquer the planet.  Blah!  This is definitely a big part of why we love having so many dedicated fans who are testing things out.  Neutering is one of the oldest and most important strategies, and counterattacks were never supposed to mess with that.  As of this new version, they no longer do; the command station isn’t a counterattack-helping unit anymore, except for the AI Overlord version of it.
  • With some of the changes to waves in the prior build, I actually entirely broke waves, too.  So they were supposed to be more specialized, but they wound up just not coming at all anymore!  This was because waves themselves have been evolving a lot over time in the code, and the code needed a bit of a refactor in order to fully embrace the new “how much the AI pays for things is decoupled from how strong it is” balance change that we put in months ago.  The AI needs to be able to know when to not send a wave, or when to spend a bit less on a wave than it might otherwise spend, and it was previously having to approximate that sort of thing in a way that could often be quite wrong just because there isn’t a literal relationship between cost and strength.  Now it’s using real numbers and is thus able to make far more intelligent decisions.
  • Counterattacks were also happening too quickly, rather than being something that wouldn’t kick in until a certain threshold of battle.  We think that’s fixed.
  • And there are a variety of other bugfixes, including the Global Command Augmenter hacks always being hidden (oops, typo on my part).  Overall this should make the game far more pleasant to play, and the back-and-forth should feel a lot more natural.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.875 Released! “Counterattacks You Can Taste”

Release notes here.

This is a big one!  The list of short-term general annoyances is getting much smaller, and the discussion that started it all is here.

So what’s new?

  • You can FINALLY turn off construction on individual ship lines in your mobile fleets.
  • There’s a bunch of other stuff you can see about fleets that is handy info to have, too, in their tooltips.
  • Waves are now thematic based around the planets they come from, so they should be something that you can plan for without them being absolutely homogeneous around the galaxy.  The release notes explain it better, but I didn’t go with my “Wave Mainframes” idea because this is simpler all around, less cluttered, and gives more variety without being a mess.  It may need more tuning, we shall see.
  • Salvage and Reprisal Waves are gone.  What? Hol’ up a minute.
  • The release notes again explain it better, but we have a really cool new Counterattack mechanic that takes the place of Reprisal Waves, and which gives you waaaaay more control over the amount of risk you take on when you attack an overly-strong target.
  • In recent builds, some players were getting game-ending reprisal waves “out of nowhere” because of how they were attacking and how the fairly-invisible salvage mechanic worked.  This was not something I liked at all, because it basically feels like something you can’t control; and in some respects that was literally true, whereas in other respects you needed to have secret knowledge to avoid it.  Bad bad bad in both cases.
  • The new counterattacks can actually be far stronger than reprisal waves in the recent builds — absolutely apocalyptically game-ending, in fact — but the important thing is that the communicate to you the whole time from the point at which they start becoming dangerous.  That then gives you a chance to run away and take your small beating (rather than letting it get apocalyptic), or it lets you double-down and paralyze the counterattack long enough for you to eventually dispel it outright by killing all the AI guard posts and command stations on that planet.
  • Put another way, it adds some brinkmanship into attacking oversized targets, and gives you the controls to choose just how far you push things.  If you can stall the counterattack and then cancel it, that’s absolutely the best thing… but the risk of doing that if you might not be able to could mean that you bring down the roof on your head.  It’s all dynamic, right on the screen in front of you, and gives you an immediate feeling and source of back-and-forth.
  • And for smaller targets, it doesn’t even come into play and bother you, because this specific mechanic isn’t supposed to be a response to you just playing the game in general.  There are things like Cross Planet Attacks, reinforcements, and the hunter fleet for that already.  We didn’t need yet another mechanic that was inevitable.  We needed something devastating-but-avoidable, and hopefully the round-one balance on this is somewhat reasonable at least.  I’m sure it will need more tuning over time.
  • Oh dang, we also added three new hacks, too (thanks Quinn!).  You can hack big weapons of the AI to take them over (Orbital Mass Drivers and Ion Cannons), which gives you new strategic/tactical options during taking a planet.  Unlike the first game, there was no way to capture these before now.  And then you can also hack a co-processor to find all the other co-processors if you don’t want to wait for regular scouting to find them.
  • Techs also show you a bunch more info that is helpful for when you’re trying to capture new fleets, and new fleets also show you more accurate information based on your current techs and bonuses, rather than showing their mark-1-defaults.
  • Good grief we also fixed a bunch of bugs, too.  This really is a pretty hefty release.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.874 Released! “Basic Fleet Management”

Release notes here.

Finally!  The first tiny bits of the fleet management screen.  Lots more to come. The list of things that are planned for the short term to address general annoyances is here, and the discussion that started it all is here.

So what’s new?

  • You can now rename your mobile and battlestation fleets.
  • You can now pause all construction on individual mobile fleets (pausing construction for specific ship lines is coming, along with other goodies).
  • You can see a lot more info about fleet status from the fleet tooltips, and in the fleet management screen those line items ALSO have tooltips that explain them even further.
  • There are two new hacks, which allow for you to take over Global Command Augmenters (GCAs — those newthings that give you more turrets or other defenses at all your command stations if you capture and hold them) and Intra-Galactic Coordinators (IGCs — those things that add a multiplier to your ship caps for strikecraft or turrets if you capture and hold them) without having to capture and hold the planet.  But it costs you a lot in hacking points, so now you have an interesting decision to make.
  • There are also a bunch of new options relating to permadeath for certain categories of structures, and you can either make things more-permadeathy or less-permadeathy depending on your tastes.
  • A number of tips and strategies have been updated in-game to make the gameplay more clear now that GCAs are a thing and battlestations are less of a thing.
  • Reprisal wave balance has been nerfed again.
  • Golems and Arks now cost AIP to capture, and have larger fleets in general.  Let us know how much more powerful we might need to make them in general, if we do, to justify their costs.
  • You start out with 2 million metal rather than 540k, so that you never get metal starved at the very start of the game.  That was just a silly way to start.
  • There’s a new starting fleet option, the Consumer Fleet, which is all about eating your enemies in various ways.
  • The metal flows interface now updates in realtime and also shows data in a more readable format.
  • We fixed a whole host of bugs, too.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.873 Released! “Battlestation Overhaul”

Release notes here.

This works with existing savegames, but has the biggest impact on new ones.  This gets at another big batch of most-annoying-recently issues.

The list of things that are planned for the short term to address those bits is here, and the discussion that started it all is here.

So what’s new?

  • First up, there’s a new way to reduce AI Progress in the form of Major Data Centers… but the catch is that you have to hold the planet they are on.  The positive side is that their AIP reduction is HUGE.
  • In general there are also now a lot more data centers than there used to be, unless you were playing on difficulty 4 or below.
  • The number of battlestations and citadels on the map has dropped ENORMOUSLY.  Where it might have been several dozen of them previously, it’s now barely half a dozen in most cases (though you can make it add more in the lobby options if you want).
  • The battlestations were previously the only way to get more turrets and other defenses beyond the super-duper basics for your command stations, and this was… hard to manage as well as really annoying for players.
  • Battlestations still remain in a much smaller number because they are great for making beachheads or for AUGMENTING a choke point in your empire, but they are no longer the key way you get new turrets and defenses.
  • A new structure, the Global Command Augmenter, has been added to the game.  GCAs are something that you have to capture and hold the planet they belong to, but they give ALL of your command stations a bunch of new turrets and minefields and whatever else that are randomly rolled at the start of the campaign.
  • Basically the GCAs solve all of those “things are inconvenient by not being part of my main command station” issues, give you something new as a reason to capture and hold territory, and also really act as a force multiplier on your empire as a whole.
  • Soon there will also be the ability to hack them so that you don’t have to hold them (lower cost) or even capture them at all (higher cost), but we didn’t have time for that in this release.
  • There are also some notable new ways to get science and hacking points in general, now.  Previously Distribution Nodes were kind of useless and just gave you metal (which is generally not that exciting or in that short of supply), as did astro trains.  Now you get science and/or hacking points from those, which is extremely valuable and exciting instead.
  • The odds of your eyeballs being seared in by strobing lightning and/or grenade visual effects is now a lot lower, as those are now smaller in number but also a lot stronger.  Actually both of these got way more useful in general, with bonuses against stacks, etc.
  • AI Guardians also no longer seed so plentifully as before — it was quite ridiculous on the mark 6 and 7 planets, mainly because originally the game hadn’t expected those sorts of planets to exist.
  • The AI also now has its own version of turrets, which are lower-range by far, and thus their battlefields feel a lot more segmented now.
  • Also the AI uses far fewer turrets, and uses more monochromatic turrets on planets and near specific guard posts in general.  This makes it a lot easier for you to plan meaningful assaults, and also makes it so that their guard posts and strikecraft do more of the heavy lifting.  Turrets were always meant to be more of a player thing.
  • There are a variety of player structures that previously died to remains, letting you rebuild them infinite numbers of times if you lost them.  We’re going to add in an option later on to let you have that behavior again, but for now they die permanently AND are way more robust (3x the health and shields).  The idea is for there to be some risk to you in the middle-game, but for these to not fall over like paper dolls.  More balance on these may be needed, but we want to experiment with more permadeath options in general that some players will enjoy and others will avoid.
  • Strikecraft in general now have 3x the health and 2x the attack power that they used to, letting them hold their own as the backbone of everyone’s fleets a lot more.  This is a lot more like the first game was, but we may need to tune this more over time.
  • There are also now sliders in the lobby that let you adjust the relative strengths of strikecraft, turrets/guard posts, and frigates/guardians.  We’re looking for feedback on our defaults so that things feel as ideal as possible, but we’re also recognizing that some people want slower or faster games, and so these options allow for people to set that up no matter what.
  • Golems and Arks are now rare, and only accessible in the late game or very late midgame.  We’re going to be making them even more powerful and come with some extra costs, soon, based on the plans here.  Definitely a great idea by Kesseleth, and we’re partway through implementation.  This also means that the starting fleets now just all use transports rather than golems or Arks, which again emphasizes your strikecraft more.
  • You can also now read about what the various Warden and Hunter fleet types do, which was actually informative even to me.
  • And there are a variety of other small things in here.  This was a big release!

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris

AI War 2 v0.872 Released! “Supply and Control”

Release notes here.

This took a bit of extra time because I was moving house and moving my office, but also because we realized that there’s a lot of new cool stuff that we really do need to work on, beyond what I had indicated last release, in order to get this where we want.

The list of things that are planned for the short term to address those bits is here, and the discussion that started it all is here.

So what’s new in this actual build?

  • “Supply” has been removed as a concept, because it was decidedly annoying.  There are other things that will need to be added in to really make fleets manageable well, post-supply — but those are in the link above, and planned for quite soon.   Item one was to get rid of the annoying thing.
  • Tractor beams now have a lot of the benefits from the first game, including behaviors like the AI mobile ships with tractor beams actively working to kidnap your ships again and drag them off to stir up more threat and other bad things.
  • Tons of bugfixes, including one to that stutter that ships often had during battle, and another to make autobombs hesitate less before blowing themselves (and hopefully some enemies) to smithereens.
  • A whole messload of balance tweaks in general have also been added.  This ranges from certain strikecraft becoming way more useful (space planes and mirages for the win in particular), to forcefields becoming more viable to use, brawlers becoming slightly translocator-y and in general having a better feeling, and some of the golems not being SO overpowered compared to the others.
  • Another big balance change is that now guard posts have a lot of their personal hull into shields, making it so that fusion bombers are now a lot more useful against them, which is good for you.
  • The Instigators are now a lot more substantial in how they respond to you, giving you much larger forces to deal with rather than a small trickle.  They still give you plenty of time to deal with them, but they’re actually a threat you’ll notice and fear now, particularly depending on the difficulty level.
  • Turrets that are distributed to guard posts should also now be a lot less varied per guard post/planet, making it so that you’re less likely to run into “well, that mashup of turrets just counters everything, so I can’t really plan around it” issues like before.
  • Tractors and tachyon systems and cloaking systems now get better at higher marks!
  • When there are multiple AIs, they now pose more of a threat than before, with their budgets not being simply equal to a single AI like before.
  • The first of some of the new features (other than the removal of supply and the turret mix changes) are also in, in the form of some offensive hacks you can use against AI planets to weaken either their turrets or their guard posts (respectively), thus giving you more to do with your hacking points against the AI itself.  Even more is coming on that front, but the idea is that there should be more options to use your hacking points in ways that might prove critical to you actually being able to take out a tough enemy planet.  This is far preferable to there being such a paucity of ways to harm the AI via hacking that you just hack for science all the time.
  • Oh, and a bug where reprisal waves were double-sized is now fixed.  That should make that a lot more balanced.

We’re still in sort of a polish/refinement stage, but at this point we’re also in one where there are a number of substantial feature adjustments in order to really make the fleets stuff shine as much as possible.  This wasn’t something that I had fully foreseen, but it’s definitely welcome given how much this adds to the strategic options you’ll be enjoying.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

Problem With The Latest Build?

If you right-click the game in Steam and choose properties, then go to the Betas tab of the window that pops up, you’ll see a variety of options.  You can always choose most_recent_stable from that build to get what is essentially one-build-back.  Or two builds back if the last build had a known problem, etc.  Essentially it’s a way to keep yourself off the very bleeding edge of updates, if you so desire.

The Usual Reminders

Quick reminder of our new Steam Developer Page.  If you follow us there, you’ll be notified about any game releases we do.

Also: Would you mind leaving a Steam review for some/any of our games?  It doesn’t have to be much more detailed than a thumbs up, but if you like a game we made and want more people to find it, that’s how you make it happen.  Reviews make a material difference, and like most indies, we could really use the support.

Enjoy!

Chris