That transmission... Mother's deciphered part of it. It doesn't look like an S.O.S. It... it looks like a warning.
Today's update contains some significant changes to economic balance and AI behavior, as well as a number of UI and gameplay improvements. As always, your feedback and suggestions are important to us, so keep them coming!
Economic and Difficulty Balance Changes
We've felt for some time that it was a little bit too easy for factions to field impossibly (and sometimes game-breakingly) large fleets, and so we have substantially adjusted economic balance by increasing ship upkeep costs and curtailing the number and value of trade routes.
Players must now invest more in economic support infrastructure as their fleets get larger than a certain size.
Because these smaller fleet sizes negatively impacted the capability of AI factions to present a challenge on the harder difficulty levels, we also spent a lot of effort to improve AI play. We feel that the AI now plays a better game, to the extent that we ended up reducing some of the bonuses the AI receives at easier difficulty levels.
We also were finding the Gremak advantages to be a bit lackluster in many games, and so we juiced them up a bit.
Patch Notes for 7 October 2019 (ver. r38550)
Gameplay Changes and Additions
- Gremak empires now receive additional resources when sacrificing slaves with Forced Labor and science Experiments.
- Added the Gremak-exclusive 'Chattel Pharmaceuticals' technology, which improves Forced Labor yields and Slave experiments yields.
- Increased the starting population of Gremal by +1 Enfi.
- Assault marines and Marauder raiders now have a base combat power of 1.5 (up from 1.0).
- Algorians and Lummox native population can now be enslaved and Harmonized.
- Capped marauder bribe costs so that larger player empires are not asked for absurd tribute levels.
- Marauders will now be less easily threatened into forming trade relations with you.
- Trade ship and mercenary recall times will now scale with your empire's drive technology.
- Annexing an ally will now give you access to all their technologies and ship designs.
- It should no longer be possible to salvage or reverse engineer ship technologies if those technologies do not appear in your tech tree.
- Annexed empires will now also contribute trade ships and transports to their new empire.
- Androids now have higher population caps on Barren worlds.
- Taking control of a planet with Androids will now unlock the 'Androids' technology.
- Ships may now repair or use instant refit if appropriate allied infrastructure exists in the system.
- Retreating ships may no longer "retreat" towards the system they're leaving.
- Increased the tactical speed of Ashdar Battlecruisers and Fleet Carriers.
- Removed one system slot from the Ashdar Fleet Carrier, and decreased its upkeep costs.
- Removed one system slot from the Gremak Assault Carrier.
- Understaffing penalties now apply to bonus production from special resources (affects Artifacts, Opil, Gems, Super Grain, and Precious Metals).
Economy Changes and Additions
- Factions now receive a base income of 10 coins/turn.
- Increased ship upkeep costs.
- Reduced ship refit costs.
- Reduced foreign trade route income from 3 coins to 2 coins.
- Foreign trade routes now provide less income per route for additional trade treaties after the first.
- Each empire can now have no more than 1 foreign trade route for every 2 domestic trade routes.
- Humans now receive a 50% discount on ship upkeep costs.
- Increased Torpedo Destroyer upkeep costs.
- Reduced the amount of trade capacity provided by markets from 2/4/6 to 1/2/3.
- City planning no longer benefits races that do not consume food.
- Overcrowded population no longer contribute to resource production or improvement staffing.
- Discontent population and Viscids no longer contribute to improvement staffing.
- Tinker mobile stations no longer have 0 upkeep when not deployed in orbit.
- Outposts no longer increase your empire's trade capacity.
- Increased Market understaffing penalties.
- Doubled the capacity of the Ashdar Missile Cruiser's Torpedo hardpoints.
- Yoral Torpedo Destroyers now have 3 Torpedo hardpoints (reduced from 4).
- Increased the upkeep costs of Ashdar and Gremak Light Cruisers.
- Stations orbiting a settled colony now never cost upkeep.
- Outposts in orbit of unsettled planets now do cost upkeep.
- Reduced the influence costs to hire mercenaries.
- Increased the build costs of Stargates.
UI Changes and Additions
- The "Raider Activity" selection in the Map Settings screen the now also affects the number of Pirates/Marauders/Harpies present at the start of the game. "High" represents the pre-patch raider density; "Low" reduces that by about half, and "None" removes raiders entirely from map generation. Note that Arda Seed units will still spawn in Hyperspace Anomalies even on the "None" setting.
- A warning icon will now appear over understaffed improvements.
- Crew bonuses from a designs pre-loaded ground units should now be better reflected in the UIs.
- It is now possible to pre-load assault shuttles using any ground unit type.
- Fixed the coloring of Tinkers ground units.
- Added a warning to save games that were started with a significantly older game version than the current one.
AI and Difficulty Changes and Additions
- Reduced player starting improvements on 'Brutal'.
- Reduced AI research advantages on 'Brutal' and 'Hard'.
- Removed AI coin production bonuses from 'Normal' and 'Easy'.
- Adjusted the AI's aggressiveness in certain situations.
- Adjustments to AI behaviors and advantages on Hard/Brutal difficulties.
- Updates to AI ship refitting behaviors.
- Updates to AI report handling internals.
- AI controlled fleets are now significantly less likely to retreat.
- Ships controlled by the player and set to "autocombat" should now be less likely to retreat.
- Increased the chances of allied empires choosing to merge over time.
- Various changes to AI behaviors and advantages.
- Expanding into an AI's territory using mobile stations will now trigger appropriate diplomatic consequences.
- AIs should be less likely to start new wars immediately after making peace.
- Allies should no longer request that you abstain from colonizing planets.
- Improved AI fleet management.
- AI factions should now be less likely to join wars between other factions.
- AI empires should now sometimes hire mercenaries.
- Increased AI priorities for researching and building markets.
- AI factions should once again favor placing assault shuttles in ships with the "Berth" hardpoint.
- If you refuse an ally's offer to help in a war, they should wait at least 10 turns before offering to help again.
- Fix for a bug that could cause transports from destroyed empires to wander the map endlessly.
- Fix for a memory leak that could cause slowdowns over longer games.
- The allied settlers event should no longer cause a bug if the allied empire is annexed or destroyed during the turn.
- Fix for a formatting error when designing planetary defenses.
- Fix for a bug that was causing unruly races to fight on both sides of a planetary uprising.
- Fix for a bug that could cause the AI to simultaneously declare war and issue an ultimatum.
- Fix for a bug that was preventing AIs from attacking minor factions and rebels.
- Fix for a bug in the calculation of free population transport ships.
- Corrected a UI glitch that caused planetary defenses to show incorrect upkeep values.
- Wiping out a planet via planetary bombardment should no longer cause fleet control UI glitches.
- Fix for a bug in the logic for setting up colonize intervention battles.
- Another fix for a bug that could lead to "error in the food shortage report formatter" warnings.
- Workaround for a driver bug that could cause a hang while starting the game on a secondary monitor.
- Fixes for bugs that could lead to "error in the food shortage report formatter" warnings.
- Attempted fix for a rare bug triggered by annexing empires.
- Fix for a bug that could cause rushed ship production projects to be cancelled.
- Refusing to cede a planet to a faction you're at war with should no longer cause an error.
- The "Build Outpost" banner should no longer appear over planets that are under attack.
That's all for now. We have more updates in the works, so see you soon!
I can't lie to you about your chances, but... you have my sympathies.