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The Art of War Update - Sins of a Solar Empire II

Published on Thursday, February 15, 2024 By redskittlesonly In Sins II News

The Art of War: A Symphony of Shield, Armor, and Hull
Update is Now Available

The latest update for Sins of a Solar Empire II brings a series of significant changes to the game's combat model, aiming to enhance the strategic depth and clarity of space warfare. Here's what you need to know about the revamped mechanics now taking effect in the interstellar battlefield:

Full Changelog Here


Three-Tiered Effective Health System

In a move to add complexity and nuance to unit survivability, the game introduces a three-level Effective Health system. Units are now protected by Shields, Armor, and Hull Points, with the destruction of a unit only occurring when its Hull Points are depleted. Each type of health point comes with its own unique mechanic, adding layers of strategy to your engagements.


Durability and Counter System Overhaul

The update replaces the previous Armor and Shield Mitigation systems with a new concept called Durability. This attribute represents the overall resilience of a unit or structure, influenced by its type and size. Durability uniformly affects Shields, Armor, and Hull Points, ensuring that damage calculations remain consistent throughout the match. This change addresses past issues with the counter system, particularly with units like the Ogrov Torpedo Cruisers and Vulrak Penetrators, which are now balanced to be effective against Starbases without overpowering Capital Ships or Titans.


Faction Uniqueness Enhanced

Faction differentiation has been taken a step further with the new mechanics. For instance, the TEC's corvettes, frigates, and cruisers now start without any shielding, requiring research to gain this defensive layer. On the other hand, the Vasari faction boasts low Armor Points but the highest Armor Strength, along with more options for regenerating Effective Health points autonomously.


Comprehensive Rebalance

Accompanying these changes is a thorough rebalance of every ship and weapon in the game. The developers have recalibrated the stats to ensure that counters are effective and that each class has a clear and reliable use case. Notably, missiles have been tweaked to travel faster after a longer acceleration phase, which should improve their ability to penetrate point defenses at long ranges.


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Release Status: *** AVAILABLE ***

February brings a major revamp of the Sins combat system to the game. After looking at player feedback and our own testing, we determined that there were some major issues that had to be addressed. This new combat model is designed to avoid players creating a ‘death ball’ of any particular unit and just steamrolling everything else with it. The new model also allows us to add a lot more detail to the combat system that many players have asked for over the years.

Improved Combat Model Summary

More Granular Stats

Units now have 3 levels of Effective Health stats: Shield, Armor and Hull Points (EH ~= SP + AP + HP). A unit is destroyed only when its Hull Points reach zero.

Each Effective Health point type also has a unique mechanic associated with it:

  • Shields - have the Burst Restore mechanic, which was added in the previous patch, whereby once a unit’s shield reaches 0, it ceases regenerating and goes on a timer. At the end of the timer the shield will automatically be restored to a percent value of its maximum.

  • Armor - has the Armor Strength mechanic, which acts as additional damage resistance specifically for Armor Points. This means that any source of repair that can restore Armor is worth more than it may appear on the surface. Armor Strength is not reduced by weapon Pierce stats.

  • Hull - has the Crippled State, which is a unique mechanic applying to Capital Ships and Titans. These powerful ships are not destroyed at 0 Hull Points; instead entering the Crippled State with a secondary hull point pool which is a percentage of primary hull point pool (currently 100% for capital ships and 50% for titans). While in this state, the unit can still move and regenerate its various types of Effective Health point types, but it will be unable to use weapons, abilities or active components. If it reaches 0 Hull Points again while Crippled, it is destroyed. If it is repaired above its Crippled hull point total, it will become active again.

Counter System Integrity

Units now have Durability; this replaces the old Armor and Shield Mitigation systems. Durability is essentially the overall strength of a unit/structure, based on its type and size (generally). Durability affects Shields, Armor, and Hull Points equally - including their special states (where applicable). Pierce interacts with a unit’s Durability to determine damage. Durability should never change for any reason during the course of a match, ensuring that counters are always consistent and easy to understand no matter the type of Effective Health points a weapon is impacting. See below for simplified, but representative Durability and Penetration calculations.

This solves a number of notable counter issues of previous builds, especially at the extreme ends of the Pierce spectrum - Ogrov Torpedo Cruisers and Vulrak Penetrators being the most significant examples. These ships are now appropriately effective against Starbases without also being able to kill Capital Ships or Titans in a single salvo.

Note: Durability affects Shields, Armor, and Hull Points equally - including their special states (where applicable).

Faction Differentiation

Using these new mechanics, we are able to differentiate the factions more completely. TEC corvettes, frigates and cruisers do not have any shielding at all until they research the appropriate upgrade in the tech tree. Vasari have low Armor Points, but the highest Armor Strength, while also having the most access to ways of constantly regenerating Effective Health points without the need for an outside source of repair.


Every ship and weapon in the game has been rebalanced for this new system of stats, with a particular focus on ensuring counters and use cases for each class are solid and reliable. This includes some subtle changes, like giving missiles a higher max speed accompanied with a longer acceleration period, resulting in superior point defense penetration at long range.

Durability and Penetration Calculations (simplified)

effective_durability = max(durability - penetration, 0.f)

if(effective_durability >= 0)
damage_scalar = 1 / (1 + (effective_durability * scalar_per_durability))
damage_scalar = 2 - (1 / (1 - (effective_durability * scalar_per_durability))

scaled_damage = damage * damage_scalar

damage_taken = apply_modifiers(scaled_damage)

NOTE: This update is not save game compatible with previous versions.

Version 1.19.7 Changelog

** Denotes changes made since the original change log was posted (that bullet point and all below it).


  • Rebalanced everything for the new combat model (see above).

  • Set consumable autocast to off by default. This is to prevent consumables from being constantly wasted as soon as they are completed, which was resulting in people assuming it was bugged.

  • Rebalanced TEC early economic flow.

  • Rebalanced Novalith damage from 2000 to 5000.

  • Rebalanced starbase durability to 1200.

  • Rebalanced several abilities.

  • Rebalanced income stats.

  • Rebalanced Ankylon Titan - unlock moved to research tier 4.

  • Renamed core_en to en.localized_text_csv.

  • Rebalanced Trader shield refit research subjects.

  • Rebalanced Vasari move speeds.

  • Rebalanced numerous capital ship abilities to work with new Armor mechanics.

  • Rebalanced capital ship platform deployment to not require facing.

  • Rebalanced Trader garrisons.

  • ** Rebalanced Flak Burst.

    • Executions decreased from 5 to 3.

  • Removed research requirement from TEC gauss cannon defense structure.

  • Vasari Vorastra titan’s Desperation ability damage reduction changed from 2%/3%/4%/5% to 1%/2%/3%/4%.

  • Vasari Marauder Phase Out Hull updated:

    • Antimatter cost increased from 60/55/50/45 to 75/75/75/75.

    • Cooldown time increased from 5/4/3/2 to 9/9/9/9.

Mod Support

Mod Delivery

  • Added mod delivery service powered by Note this has been added in an early state as we need to work out the kinks in a live environment.

  • Enabled modding tab button.

  • Integrated both and local file system mods into the modding system.

  • Added support for new scenarios (i.e., maps) from mods to be hosted over Sins multiplayer servers.

  • Added infinite scrolling to mod browser list.

  • Added mod search field to filter.

  • Added modding search filter tags.

  • Added custom error message for mods differing when joining the server.

  • Added mods stats to tooltip (rating, downloads, etc.).

  • Added new modding UI and ability to subscribe to mods.

  • Added search filter to only include mods marked as compatible with the current game version.

  • Added sync to external changes in the game client. The user can now manage subscriptions on the website, and the game client will synchronize to the changes upon fetching external updates.

  • Added 'waiting to install' for applying mod changes.

  • Added handling of mods with mismatched compatibility versions.

  • Added not authenticated label to modding view. Helps the user understand why no mods are showing up.

  • Added support for hosting games where the scenario comes from a mod.

Mod Authoring

  • Added restore_armor unit operator.

  • Added action_value_transform_types for armor.

  • Added crippled_hull_points unit modifier.

  • Added has_missing_armor unit constraint.

  • Added repair_damage action to allow repair of multiple health components atomically (e.g., both hull and armor).

  • Moved health passive regen cooldowns from player to unit. For consistency and so they can be modified by research.

  • Updated buff-schema.

User Interface

  • Added order pulse lines. Now all lines that represent orders have an animating pulse to show the direction the ship will be traveling.

  • Added order line pulse colors.

  • Fixed occasional jitter of phase lanes when displaying multiple move order lines.


  • Added asset delta event colors to tooltip.

  • Added planet bonus modifiers to planet tooltip. Previously modifiers were only shown on the planet bonus itself.

  • Fixed player icon in tooltip lines not always colored properly.

  • Moved Shield Burst restore amount to advanced tooltip.


  • Added player icon to alliance offer tooltip.

  • Added auto-accept of alliance offers for simply giving resources between players.

  • Added more player asset delta events for alliance offers. Can see now giving resources away.

  • Fixed alliance ‘offer accepted’ notifications not showing the alliance details in the tooltip.

  • Improved ‘alliance offer’ accepted tooltip. Description headers are now past tense (gave vs will give).

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed initial max health points not accounting for research. Caused new ships to regen up to max instead of starting at max.

  • Fixed loot collection progress bar not visible.

  • Fixed ships given Follow move orders sometimes getting stalled.

  • Fixed split formation issues. Groups of ships could take different paths from a formation leader causing formations to be split. Now all ships will take the same path that formation leader does.

  • Fixed issues with incoming damage and armor strength.

  • Fixed issue with MP server.

  • Fixed duplicate flair effects on titan.

  • Fixed issue with joinable servers list.

Multiplayer Lobby

  • Added support for hosting games where the scenario comes from a mod.

  • Added hold Shift to block account when kicking a player from the lobby. Users found it clunky to always block the kicked user permanently by default. Note: This feature will only work with the next game server version.


  • Added lots of AI improvements. Thanks for all the save games!


  • Improved weapon effects being clipped out in large battles.


  • Added build_point effect.