Release notes here!
This one focuses on the UI, but there’s a lot of other stuff too.
On the UI front:
1) The “Let’s make a better sidebar” experiment has been abandoned, beaten unconscious, and fed to the Devourer Golem. In some order.
– Now we have a sidebar very much more like the original game’s, though with the extra feature of using each team’s color rather than a standard blue/orange/yellow for me/enemy/ally.
2) The main galaxy map display mode now shows way fewer units (just key units and sensor scramblers), since it was way too cluttered. You can use the other display modes to see the other categories, in turn.
– The planet names also no longer try to name the owner, and instead rely on text color to tell you that. Again, decluttering.
3) The game no longer automatically assigns a “Fighter, Bomber, Missile Corvette” build queue to your Ark. If you want that behavior, you can use the new “Build Policy” behavior menu to set your Ark to just build everything it can. The Build Policy framework is very powerful, and addresses one of the longer-standing UI requests from AIWC (build queue templates) but in a much more flexible way. This allows us or modders to write scripts that control what gets built and in what order, and can automatically adapt to changing conditions from battle losses, which builder is closest to the rally point, tech unlocks, etc.
On other fronts:
4) More updates to the Nanocaust faction from community member BadgerBadger. The very same Badger has also submitted a bunch of changes to the Zenith Dyson Sphere faction to bring its behavior more in line with AIWC. Thanks, Badger!
5) The ratio of ship-size to gravity-well-size has been altered so that more ships can fit into the same space. You can still zoom in to see them honkin’ huge, but one of the biggest balance changes from AIWC to AIW2 was actually that ratio, to an unintentionally huge degree. Made things feel kind of cramped. So this is a step in the right direction, and there’s now a handy lever to tweak it further (the “ship_size_scale” attribute in ExternalConstants, to be precise).
6) Several other things, including another huge chunk of AI code moved into moddable-territory, and fixes for a bunch of bugs, like the one from the last few versions that made the AI always start in “tutorial” mode unless you specifically selected an AI type.