BETA AI War 2 v0.868 Released! “Fleet EXP Level-Ups and Starting Battlestations”

Release notes here.

Reminder: to play the beta, you MUST go into your Steam properties for the game, go under the Betas tab, and choose the “current_beta” option.  Otherwise you’re going to be stuck on the pre-fleets version of the game.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about regarding fleets, then reading this link is a really good thing to do or you are likely to be mighty confused.

So what’s new in this build?  This is obviously an incremental one, headed towards the non-beta full release of 0.900 that we’re aiming at in the next… weeks?  That timeframe is unclear, and will be based on testing feedback, which has been rolling in well so far; but there will be loads of incremental beta releases during this period.  Anyway, what’s new:

  • Lots of big-deal stuff in this one, just like in the last one!  Feedback is really heavily desired on the fleet EXP level-up thresholds in particular.
  • So the most notable thing, potentially, is that now basically as your fleets fight and destroy enemies, they gain EXP for doing so and then eventually level up.  This has always been planned, and for things like engineers and command stations (and a few other things), it’s actually the only way that those can level up; science techs don’t directly support them.
  • This is an automated process (the leveling up), contrary to what I’d been thinking about for a while, since that’s way less micromanagement for you.  But then what I’d been thinking of as alternative ways to spend EXP (for fleet customization purposes) will instead be “perk points” that you get on level up.  Rather like what happens in a variety of action games, Dying Light comes to mind.  Or Horizon: Zero Dawn, etc.  A bunch of others.
  • There are ten new quickstarts in here for you to enjoy, too — thanks, Puffin!
  • The mark level colors are now completely revised, so that you can properly read the gradient of difficulty across the galaxy map when looking at it colors-wise.
  • The AI no longer gets so much salvage, so it no longer will have such crazy strong reprisal waves early in the game.
  • Your player homeworlds are now able to produce a lot more energy, which helps a variety of things early in the game in particular.
  • Energy costs for lower-mark units now goes down when they are in fleets with higher-mark ships, same as happens with metal as of the prior build.  This only applies to player ships, so the fact that this can make you suddenly more or less vulnerable to nucleophilic or other effects with those ships is just one of those things you have to manage on those ships you choose to leave outdated.  In some cases it’s a real advantage, in others it makes them really vulnerable to specific ships like eyebots.
  • Drones now never cost you energy, as that was something that could really mess you up.  For the same reason they haven’t been costing metal for quite some time.
  • Several other bugfixes are in place, and we also upgraded the version of unity and hopefully that will fix the glitchy icons in the sidebar.  If you see that glitch again, please let us know!
  • And then one of the other best things for last, you now start with a hand-designed battlestation defensive fleet (of your choosing from a selection of 5) on your home planet, just like you start with a hand-designed offensive fleet of your choosing from a different selection of 5.  This makes it so that you don’t have to babysit your home planet at the start, you get one more bit of personality into your starting position from moment one, and also the very idea of battlestations (and the key role they serve) is introduced now from minute one even if you skip the (currently disabled) tutorials.
  • We’re closing in on 0.900.  I need to get the fleet management screen v1 in place, and then we’ll iterate on that from there later on.  Then it’s just a matter of new tutorials, and I think we’re where we need to be for this to come out of beta.  There’s then still a lot to do to get to 1.0, including a lot of things on fleets and whatnot, but with those additions the current build is I think complete and contained enough that it’s definitely not beta-quality anymore.

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

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