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A Guided Tour of Star Control: Origins BETA 1

Published on Friday, November 10, 2017 By Draginol In Star Control Journals

It has been over 20 years since the last Star Control game was released.  Today, we open up Beta 1 of Star Control: Origins in the form of Star Control: Origins - Fleet Battles.

While the main game of Star Control is about exploring the galaxy, meeting various aliens, investigating strange new worlds all within a living universe, we also include a combat mini-game that we call Fleet Battles.  In Fleet battles, you assemble a fleet from a group of ships and then engage in battle with an opponent controlled by the computer, a human online, or a soon to be former friend sitting next to you.

Not only can you take your ships into battle but you can also design your own ships with the in-game Ship Crafting system.  Design your own ships or download ships created by others and see how they perform.

Here is a guided tour of how Fleet Battles works.

Setup

When you load up the game, the "New Game" option is disabled since this first beta focuses strictly on Fleet Battles.  Choose Fleet Battles and you will be presented with this:

setup

Your options are:

  1. Play against the computer
  2. Play against the person sitting next to you (either sharing a keyboard or with a game controller)
  3. Custom match (this will be enabled in Beta-1A) will let you try out your custom designed ships in multiplayer
  4. Unranked play (the game automatically pits you up against someone of similar skill online with the results not being counted)
  5. Ranked play (same as above but your wins and losses are counted so that you can see your relative rank.

Assembling your fleet

Next up, you set up your fleet.  Here you have 100 points to set up a fleet.  Each ship costs a differing number of points.  Think of your fleet as a deck of cards.  Each ship has strengths and weaknesses that can be exploited.

FleetScreen

Into the fire

Once the battle is joined, each commander picks a ship to send into the fight.

image

When one of the ships is destroyed, the losing player picks a new ship.  There is no "perfect" ship for all situations.  A really fast ship is vulnerable to mines and other obstacles.  A ship with a great ranged weapon is often very vulnerable to someone getting in close. 

SCO-b1-1

Each ship to ship battle is relatively short. Maybe a minute or two.   A given fleet might have somewhere between 6 to 12 ships depending on the selections. Thus, a given fleet engagement is typically over in around 10 minutes.

If you play ranked games, you will find yourself slowly going up in rank until you reach a point where your opponents have roughly equal skills as you do.

 battle3

Battle5

Eventually one player will emerge victorious and the cycle repeats.  Unless it's  me and I lose. If that happens then I'm going to toss the floppy disk across the screen and take the game back to Micro World. (editor's note: Brad sometimes forgets that the age of the 1541 is long over)

Crafting

Another cool element of Star Control is the ability to design your own ships.  A big part of the Beta 1 series and our focus on it is to find out what cheese you guys create.  Cheese is a term where someone discovers a loophole in the design and is able to exploit it with deadly effects.  Much of Beta 1 will focus on this as players will create and share their ships online with a warning that "this ship is over powered!".  This is why the multiplayer for custom ships is disabled for the first beta.  We think we've got this covered but we're not positive enough to unleash that on the unsuspecting multiplayer community.

image

Your ship designs are only limited by your imagination.

Battle20

Another ship created by someone with skill.

As you can see, it's pretty easy.  So here is the ship I created:

image

Don't judge me.

You can take your creations and share them online as well as make use of other people's creations.  The system is relatively simple. Pick a ship size which determines what components are available.  Then pick a primary and secondary ability for your ship. Then choose an engine (for max speed) and a thruster (for acceleration).  We will be adding crew and reactors later for providing more control over crew count and max energy.

Once you make your ship, you can play it out in Super-Melee.

image

Battle30

 

The goal of the Beta 1 series

The goal of the first beta of Star Control: Origins is to help us with balance, compatibility, eliminating cheese tactics and improving the user experience in designing ships and creating fleets.  There will be a lot of changes coming into these betas as we go forward.  For example, additional elements will be added to the combat arena such as salvage, temporary boosts to speed, crew replenishment, Precursor relics that help your entire fleet, etc.  The arena will be randomly chosen at the beginning of the fleet battle and we hope to have many different arenas available (and possibly an arena editor for players).

What we really want to emphasize is: DO NOT assume that beta 1 is representative of the final game.  It is a beta for a reason.  We think most people will really like Beta 1.  But every time I play it, I find something that has to be changed (the look of the planet or the variance in space backgrounds or a sound effect or a weapons effect or the way the planet interacts with something, etc.).  This is where you guys come in: Make sure that the final released version of the game isn't a 1.0 but is more like a 1.5 of a normal game.

Good luck! I'll see you online.

Star Control: Origins - Beta 1 Schedule

Published on Monday, November 6, 2017 By Draginol In Star Control Journals

imageGreetings!


Beta 1 is fast approaching and we want to give you a tentative schedule of what to expect.


BETA 1: November 16
This is the Super-Melee beta.
Super-Melee is a ship vs. ship combat game. In it, you assemble a fleet of ships. You have a total of 100 points to use for your fleet with ships costing between 5 and 20 points depending on the ship.
You will be able to battle against the computer with various difficulty level or against other players via the Internet in either ranked or unranked play.
The Ship Crafter will also be enabled in Beta 1 (yay!) which means you'll be able to design your own ships and share them via Steam Workshop and play with and against those ships. If you want to play with custom ships, you will be able to choose custom multiplayer where you will see a list of games where the host can set up the rules for that game.

BETA 1A: November 30
This will largely be a bug fix of Beta 1. Our Founders group have done amazing work in helping us iron out connectivity issues, lag, video card compatibility, sound effects, balance, etc.
This beta will about refining the experience. There will be endless "ship X is OP" posts and "game is broke" posts that this Beta 1A will address.

BETA 1B December 14
This will add some new ships to the mix. This build will have more balance and bug fixes too but it's main focus will be to incorporate some of the initial feedback we get. We believe this build will also support local multiplayer (2 people, 1 keyboard) and have refined game controller in.
The general idea is that over Christmas, we want you and your friends to be able to get together and play the game with your Steam/Xbox/PS controllers.
Speaking of friends. We expect to also have the taunting system in for this build.

As it stands now, it is looking like there will be no actual NDA requirement for this builds.  However, we do intend to make a few "hoop jumps" so that players understand that yea, this is really and truly a beta and not a demo.

The Music of Mars

Published on Monday, November 6, 2017 By Tatiora In Offworld Dev Journals

Offworld Trading Company Logo

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
-Berthold Auerbach

When creating a game, there are several pieces that need to fall into place in order to make it a complete package. Obviously, the core concept and gameplay elements need to be there. Then there’s the writing, the overall design, the marketing...and, of course, the score. Mohawk Studios was lucky enough to have Grammy Award winning composer Christopher Tin (Baba Yetu, Civilization IV) on board to compose the music for Offworld Trading Company.

 I corresponded with Christopher Tin through an email interview and gleaned some insight into his creative process, his involvement with Offworld, and his feelings on possibly moving to Mars (Spoiler Alert: it’s an idea he’s not too keen on!).

“I’m so thrilled to be doing Offworld!” Tin said. “While I love that I’m known as the guy who does international music that combines cultures in peace and harmony, I also want to be known as the guy who can write music for craven capitalistic financial dominance.” This statement was followed by a devious “>: )”, of course, which only served to further endear me to the musician. We proceeded to get into the meat of it all with a really awesome Q&A session:

 Q: Let’s start with an easy one! How did you get involved with Offworld Trading Company?

Christopher Tin: Soren (lead designer, President of Mohawk Games)  and I actually have a long history.  We went to Stanford together, and we were roommates when we both did an Oxford overseas studies program.  Our first collaboration was on Civilization IV, for which I wrote the song ‘Baba Yetu’, which is probably best known to gamers as the first video game song to win a Grammy award.  Then when Soren co-founded Mohawk Games, he reached out to me to see if I wanted to be involved in their first game.  The answer was an enthusiastic yes, obviously.

Location Selection - Offworld Trading Company

Q: How has this project differed from others you’ve worked on? How much liberty did you have in what your compositions were?

CT: I think this project was different in that the game was highly playable from the get go, and a good part of me figuring out how to score the game also involved learning how to master playing the game itself.  So I would alternate composing, and then listening to the music I had just written while playing the game.  That way I could test how the rhythms of my music felt, so to speak, against the rhythms of the gameplay.

Q: When you begin a composition, what are deciding factors for you in determining the overall “feel” of a piece? Where exactly do you like to start?

CT: In the case of a game like Offworld, where there isn’t a central story or protagonist in the traditional sense, you have a bit more freedom to get creative with your inspiration.  So in this case, it was the title of the game itself that got my imagination going: “Offworld Trading Company” evoked in my mind the Golden Age of Exploration… think back to the British East India Company or one of those other huge shipping corporations from the Spice Wars of the 16th-century.  

The game itself, though, is thoroughly futuristic.  So I decided that the right approach would be a blend of these two concepts—both the historical, and the futuristic—and call it a retro-futuristic score.  And so the score is almost like a sonic equivalent of a Jules Verne novel.  You have historical elements like the orchestra, but blended with elements that are futuristic, like synthesizers… but not too futuristic!  More like the analog synth sounds that you heard in the 70s, that nowadays evoke a bit of nostalgia for what we used to think the future was going to be.  Again, I wanted to be retro-futurist, not full-on futurist.

Q: How did you discern the tone and overall musical elements for Offworld? 

CT: So now that I had this bigger picture concept of retro-futurism, the specific musical elements have to both achieve this idea, but also serve the mechanics of the game.  And one of the defining aspects of the game is the stock-prices on the left hand side of the screen; they’re sort of the digital equivalent of one of those turn-of-the-century stock tickers that you hear chattering away in old movies.  

Early on, Soren and I agreed that the right type of music for this basic motion is something that was repetitive and pulse based—in my mind it sounded like numbers moving up and down, in a cold and robotic manner.  And so that became the defining musical characteristic—a sense of pulse—to evoke capitalism, industry, and exploration.

Capitalism at Work

Q: How long does it take you to compose a single piece?

CT: It varies.  In some cases I can write very quickly, but in situations where the music is particularly high profile, I like to revise and revise up until the last minute.  Case in point, the main menu title piece 'Red Planet Nocturne' took over thirty attempts before I was able to come up with a melody that I was happy with.  However, that's not to say the actual writing itself took that long—I just really wanted to get it right.  But Soren had a lot to do with that as well; he's a great director of creative talent, and he knows how to push me to write to the best of my ability.  After all, our last collaboration, 'Baba Yetu' from Civilization IV, turned out pretty well!

Q: Are there certain core instrumental sounds that you always start off with and then build out from there?

CT: When you sit at a specific instrument and write, the natural tendency is for your hands to fall into familiar patterns.  When sitting at a piano I reach for certain chord progressions, when at a guitar I reach for others, etc.  So whenever possible I like to mix it up, to keep the creative process fresh.  

Offworld, with its heavy reliance on synthesizers, gave me the opportunity to write in a manner that was totally new to me: by programming the music with computer-based arpeggiators and step-sequencers.  

Essentially what that means is I set up a small plugin on my computer to take what I play on the keyboard—a simple chord, for example--and translate it into a user-generated rhythmic and melodic pattern.  It's a small thing, but adding that extra little interface adds a little bit of authenticity to the way I'm using my synthesizers (historically speaking, before the advent of computers, electronic music was programmed in this manner), and also keeps me aligned with my retro-futurist concept.  I like to think of it as writing music with the help of my own little robotic assistant.

Blast Off - OTC

Q: In a lot of your other work, you utilize vocals. Is there a particular reason you opted to stick with pure instrumentals with Offworld?

CT: I love working with vocalists, but in some cases something purely instrumental is more appropriate.  In the case of the main menu theme, at one point I considered reaching out to various singers to collaborate on a song, but Soren wanted a feeling of claustrophobia and loneliness on the opening menu, and a fragile piano piece wound up capturing that perfectly.  Having a vocalist on the main menu might have injected a bit too much warmth and humanity in the score, when what we really wanted was a sense of coldness.  And so the idea of a piano nocturne was born.

Q: Offworld has a really unique tone that really does make it sound otherworldly. Can you talk a bit about the specific sounds and instruments you used to create that?

CT: Soren and I were both on the same page when we decided we wanted something unique sounding for the score, and while there’s nothing inherently strange about the instruments—orchestra, piano, and synthesizers—I took great pains to treat them in unusual manners.  The orchestra is actually an unconventional ensemble of 11 brass players and 8 violins, and their parts were deliberately written to be a little bit robotic sounding.  I also wasn’t shy about adding pitch-dives and other electronic treatments to them as well.  The piano sound itself underwent a lot of processing; there are a lot of reversed notes, for example, and late in the process we added the sound of piano hammer thumps to make it sound like your head was inside the piano itself.  

The synth sounds are mostly generated from my modest collection of hardware synthesizers: for all those gear heads out there, I used a Moog Voyager, Moog Minitaur, Prophet 6, Prophet 08, and Access Virus.  The final touch was to bring in my friend Jason Schweitzer to mix the score.  Jason is a Grammy-winning engineer, probably mostly known for his work with hip hop artists like Eminem and Dr. Dre.  He was completely new to the video game world, which was perfect, because he had no preconceived notions on what a game score should or should not be.  I gave him a lot of free reign and told him to be as creative as he wanted, and he crafted a lush, swirly, thoroughly Martian soundscape.  I think the results are thrilling.

Q: So, I’ve got to ask: if you had a chance to live on Mars, would you take it? What would you hope to see there?

CT: Honestly… it seems very uncomfortable.  Very dusty.  Hard to breathe.  I think I’ll pass.

Q: Are there any other specific details of the score that you want to mention?

CT: There’s one final musical detail that I’m sort of pleased with.  I managed to sneak in a quotation of the Largo (slow) movement of Dvorak’s ‘New World Symphony’ in the game.  After all, it’s a game about colonizing Mars… so how could I not?

To hear Christopher Tin’s beautiful score, check out Offworld Trading Company today at www.offworldgame.com.

This interview was originally conducted (hah, pun! See what I did there?) in April of 2016.  

 

v2.6 for Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation is Now Available

Published on Thursday, November 2, 2017 By Island Dog In Ashes of the Singularity News

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation v2.6 Includes Updated Tutorials, Quality of Life Changes, UI Improvements, and More!
View the full changelog below.

 

What's new in v2.6:

  • Updated Tutorials
    We're retiring our old tutorial and replacing it! Concise and fun, this new set will pack in more important information for new players and provide a better overall learning experience.
  • UI Improvements
    The unit panel for the UI will be condensed to display information more efficiently and will provide bigger icons for changing panels. Changes to the Observer Mode UI will let spectators easily compare the resource income between players, among other things.
  • New Quantum Upgrade
    In order to offer more opportunities to protect your Nexus, we've added an optional upgrade that will increase the building's health, making it more difficult to destroy.
  • Quality of Life
    Several changes aimed at improving the user experience and game readability will make the game more accessible to new players.
Ashes of the Singularity Ashes of the Singularity Ashes of the Singularity
  • Production Scaling
    Multiple engineers can now boost the production of units and structures without any diminishing returns. The Sapper and Avatar units can now build advanced defenses without having to manually upgrade basic defenses first.
  • Repair Rework
    Engineers will now repair at a much faster rate, but are no longer able to repair units - only buildings. Medics will be able to heal units, but can no longer restore health to structures. This gives each unit a much more distinguished role. 
  • Air Production Rework
    The production of all Substrate air units is moving from the Assembly building to the Aviary. This makes air strategies more of a deliberate investment that enemy players will need to scout and adjust to accordingly.
Ashes of the Singularity Ashes of the Singularity

Get Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation today!
If you don't own Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, you can take advantage of the
Stardock Community Discount and save 10% when you buy direct.

 

v2.6 Changelog: 

Updated Tutorials

We are retiring our old tutorial and replacing it with a new set. These pack in more important information to new players, in a more concise and fun way. We are confident these new tutorials will provide a better experience and first impression to new players. 

  • Old tutorial removed and replaced with Basic Tutorial and Advanced Tutorial.

UI Changes

  • Unit panel condensed to remove wasted space and improve the usability and appearance of the Quantum Upgrade and Orbital Ability Panels.
  • New Cursor sizes: Players can now choose 150% and 200% cursor size from the options menu to better scale with high resolutions
  • Player Names now show up when hovering over an allied or enemy unit
  • Replay and Observer interface has been changed to show the total income of Metal and Radioactives. It is now possible to rapidly compare economies on the player panel located on the top right corner. 

Quality of Life

  • Increase Logistics prompt will now play when a player's in-progress production puts them over Logistics limit. For example, if a player has 120 Logistics with a limit of 200 and they start producing a dreadnought, they will receive the Logistics prompt.
  • Prevented duplicate audio from playing simultaneously. Previously, producing multiple units or base defense upgrades simultaneously would cause a sound to play numerous times and potentially become unpleasantly loud.
  • The announcer will no longer play two voice lines simultaneously. Announcer audio lines such as “Dreadnought launch initiated” and “We need more logistics” will now be staggered to play one after the other.
  • Hovering over the Metal and Radioactives icon in the resource panel now displays a tooltip which explains the two resource types.
  • Auto Levelling Dreadnought upgrades option menu now works in multiplayer. 
  • “Targets Radar Contacts” removed from weapon tooltips as every weapon in the game now targets radar contacts.
  • Lowered volume of Agamemnon weaponry.
  • Shield bar color changed from green to blue to more easily identify how much shields a friendly unit has.
  • Build progress bar is now the same length as the health bar.
  • Default map terrain setting changed from hidden to revealed
  • Extractors can now be built on enemy deposits, allowing for easier queuing of commands.
  • Updated tooltips to reflect changes from 2.5 and 2.6.
  • Nano-Mesh Barrier effect has been changed to only display for a brief duration when the ability is cast.

Unit Size Changes

We are adjusting the size of frigates compared to other units to make them feel bigger and less like tiny ants to the player. We are also addressing the size disparity between various types of cruisers; all non-heavy cruisers now share a consistent size.

  • Increased size of all Frigates by 10%
  • Reduced size of Factory by 10%
  • Increased size of Zeus by 10%
  • Increased size of Athena by 20%
  • Increased size of Nemesis by 30%
  • Increased size of Sapper by 30%
  • Increased size of Avatar by 30%
  • Increased size of Mauler by 10%

Modding Improvements

  • Added a command for campaign and scenario scripting, allowing modders to toggle invulnerability on a unit or structure:

<SetNoDeath Target="Example_Name" NoDeath="0"/>

<SetNoDeath Target="Example_Name"  NoDeath="1"/>

AI Changes

  • The AI will now cast Nanite Assassination on Juggernauts.
  • The AI will no longer cast Nano-Mesh Barrier on allied units.
  • AI will no longer build Instigators.
  • Map Changes
  • Improved consistency of resource layout on Nightshade.
  • Increased Turinium requirements on Delta Serpentis, Gamma Draconis, Leporis, Merga, Mirach, NightShade, Rigel, Ross 128, Seginus, Talitha.

Gameplay

Emergency and Serpentine turrets were intended to be used as an improvised defensive measure, yet they were often used to snipe enemy builders or hold forward cutoffs which was quite frustrating against human and AI opponents alike. We are refining the role of these turrets to only work in friendly territory. 

  • Emergency and Serpentine Turrets can now only be cast in connected owned and allied territory.

Production Changes

We are making a big change to the way production of units and structures scales into the late game. Previously, diminishing returns limited the viability of using multiple Engineers or Constructors to build a structure or assist a factory. This unintuitive system of diminishing returns is being removed, allowing large numbers of Engineers to reach very rapid build speeds; it's now possible for players to churn out a Juggernaut in seconds, so long as they have a colossal late game economy to support it. Refineries and Harvesters gave almost unlimited potential for economic growth, so we want production speed capable of scaling with that.

  • Removed diminishing returns for having multiple Engineers build a structure or boost a factory.
  • Each assisting engineer increases base build speed by 50%, up from 50/25/12.5/6.25
  • New Quantum Upgrade: Nexus Health

"Base Sniping" was very frustrating in the late game, where players instantly lose the game because their fragile Nexus was destroyed by an air raid and/or orbital attack. Rather than making the Nexus unkillable in the early game, or making the building health upgrade too powerful, we are adding a new a new Quantum Upgrade which allows players to heavily increase the durability of their Nexus. The Nexus is still affected by global building health upgrade.

  • PHC and Substrate now have access to Nexus Health Quantum Upgrade.
  • Increase Nexus health by 100% for 500 Quanta, (+0.25x Quanta cost per level)

Healing Changes

It was unfair for Substrate to lack any way to viably repair the health of their buildings and dreadnoughts, while PHC using Medics over Engineers to repair structures was unintuitive and could be quite exploitative in large numbers. Engineers and Constructors are being reworked to specialize in repairing structures, while Medics are losing their ability to repair buildings. The Caregiver is not being changed, as Constructors can not "repair" shields, and the Caregiver has a small single target effect in favor of area heals, so they are not effective for healing base defenses in the way the Medic was.

  • Medics will no longer heal buildings.
  • Engineers/Constructors can now only repair buildings. (Also effects Avatar & Sapper)
  • Engineer/Constructor repair rate increased from 15 to 100.
  • Substrate dreadnoughts & juggernauts have less health but more shields.
  • Substrate dreadnoughts regenerate 1 health per second.

Base Defense Changes

Upgrading base defenses was often used as an exploit to cheat a turrets death, which was quite frustrating and unfair to players. If a basic defense takes damage, it will now be transferred over to the upgrading defense as a percentage. For example, if a Smarty takes 50% damage down to 750 health, and it upgrades to the Barrager, it will only increase health to 1500 which is 50% of the Barrager's total health pool. Players are encouraged to utilize the healing changes to use Engineers & Constructors to replenish base defense integrity.

  • Upgrading a base defense will no longer heal the structure.
  • Completing a structure (or upgrade) will no longer heal the structure.

Sapper & Avatar

We are reworking the Sapper and Avatar to give them a unique role where they act as means to streamline the production of advanced defenses. Investing in upgraded defenses in the late game could be a chore, due to needing first to build basic defenses and upgrade it once they are completed. This could not be done via queuing up orders, making it an annoying attention sink when income was so high in the game. The Sapper and Avatar can now directly build advanced defenses on the map, with the overall costs remaining the same compared to upgrading from basic defenses.

  • Can now produce economy & production structures, basic defenses and advanced defenses.
  • Advanced defenses have the build time and cost of the basic defenses added.

Substrate Air Rework

Substrate being able to produce air units from the Assembly as opposed to a specialist air structure created a number of problems:

  • It was impossible to scout a big air transition.
  • Less foresight was required for air transitions due to not needing to invest in air production preemptively.
  • Substrate was able to easily outproduce PHC in air battles.
  • Rushing an Air Rampager came too fast due to only requiring Aviary instead of Sky Factory and Advanced Sky Factory.
  • As a result, we are changing the way Substrate produce air units. The Aviary now produces all air units, in the way the Assembly produces both frigates and cruisers.
  • Light Aircraft moved from Assembly to Aviary.
  • Aviary cost reduced.
  • Rampager and Harbinger locked behind tech buildings.

Engineer Accessibility

Losing Engineers in the late game or on large maps could be quite frustrating as they were only buildable from the Nexus with a long build time. Engineers and Constructors will now be accessible in forward bases, without having to rely on Orbital Abilities which can rapidly ramp up in Quanta price.

  • Orbital Fabricator and Gateway can now produce Engineers or Constructors.

Balance

Hermes

  • The logistics cost of the Hermes did not reflect its value. We also want to make the Hermes more accessible by reducing its long build time.
  • Logistics cost increased from 1 to 2
  • Build time reduced from 22 to 18

Martyr

  • The Martyr was overperforming, and we want to reduce the aggressive potential of early game Martyr spam.
  • Damage reduced from 6 to 5.5

Nemesis

  • Health increased from 420 to 500

Avatar

  • Given the Avatar's additional utility in being able to directly build advanced defenses directly, we want to make the Avatar less of a combat unit. Players are encouraged to use the Saboteurs for direct harassment over the Avatar.
  • Avatar damage reduced from 20 to 10

Charon

  • The Orbital Fabricator unlocks far too much compared to other tech buildings, especially given its new ability to produce Engineers. We are offloading the unlock for the Charon, Repair Bay and Drone Bay onto other tech buildings in order to encourage more strategic diversity in choice of tech buildings. 
  • Requirements changed from Orbital Fabricator to Energy Projector

Hyperion

  • Hyperion was overperforming. It is by far the most durable dreadnought with its regeneration upgrades, so we want to tone down its damage to make it more balanced and to make the offensive upgrade tree more appealing.
  • Damage reduced from 70 to 65

Substrate Dreadnoughts

Substrate Dreadnoughts were generally weaker than their PHC counterparts and were countered too easily by Athena/Mauler. We want to incentivize players to invest in proper anti-dreadnought units with full armor-piercing such as the Nemesis and Eradicator.

  • Armor increased from 50% to 55% damage reduction

Overmind & Nest of the Queen

The Overmind and Nest of the Queen were shut down too easily by splash damage air defenses. We are increasing the durability of their drones to make their performance more consistent. Given the armor and drone buff to the Overmind, it didn't need to have the additional health over other dreadnoughts.

  • Drone health increased from 30 to 150
  • Drone respawn time reduced
  • Overmind total Health/Shields reduced from 15,000 to 14,000

Hades

  • Hades were underperforming, and we want to make it more expendable. 
  • Metal cost reduced from 300 to 250
  • Radioactives cost reduced from 200 to 180
  • Logistics cost reduced from 15 to 9
  • Build time reduced from 55 to 45

Punisher

  • As per Substrate air rework.
  • No longer requires Gateway
  • Logistics cost reduced from 15 to 10
  • Build time reduced from 60 to 50

Rampager

  • Requires Gateway

Air Harbinger

  • Requires Subspace Streamer

Harvester

It was unfair that production of Harvesters was due to only being available on the Nexus. We are making Harvesters buildable from the Aviary so that Substrate players can more heavily invest in late game economy, as per PHC being able to build multiple Refineries simultaneously. 

  • Can now be built from the Aviary

Instigator

The Instigator was unnecessary on the Nexus due to being such a large investment, making it not viable in the early or mid game compared to the cheaper pan. We are moving it from the Nexus to the Advanced the Sky Factory to suggest when players should invest in this heavy late game scout, while lowering its cost to make it more desirable compared to building multiple Pans.

  • Moved from Nexus to Advanced Sky Factory
  • Metal cost reduced from 500 to 400

Aviary

The Aviary is being made more accessible to compensate for the Air Harbinger and Air Rampager being locked behind tech.

  • No longer Requires Quantum Archive
  • Metal cost decreased from 350 to 280
  • Radioactives cost removed
  • Build time decreased from 60 to 50
  • Total Health/Shields reduced from 3500 to 3000

Blossom Launcher

It was inconsistent for PHC to be able to build Constables without a Factory while Substrate couldn't do the equivalent. This could be frustrating when a player loses their Assemblies and can be completely locked out of anti-air production.

  • No longer requires Assembly

Repair Bay

  • We are devaluing the Orbital Fabricator over other tech buildings.
  • Requirements changed from Orbital Fabricator to Power Regulator

Drone Bay

  • Requirements changed from Orbital Fabricator to Energy Projector

Shredder Turret

  • Metal cost increased from 300 to 400

Regenerate Orbital

Regenerate was not powerful enough to justify being locked behind the highest tier of tech buildings, especially when compared to the PHC intensive care.

  • Requirements changed from Subspace Streamer to Energy Modulator

Antimatter Detonation & Orbital Strike

The late game "Nukes" provided far too much damage potential at only 400 Quanta. Given how much impact they can have, we want to make them more of a deliberate investment with more opportunity cost.

  • Quanta cost increased from 400 to 600

Scenarios

Against All Odds

  • Can now build Substrate Extractors and Energy Modulator

Eruption 

  • Can now claim regions captured by the AI waves.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed a bug where the wrong value was used for attack range displayed on the weapons tooltips
  • Fixed an issue where reinforcements were causing leveled up juggernauts to take damage
  • Fixed a bug where vacant start locations in a multiplayer lobby were not selectable.
  • Fixed a bug where certain base defenses would not properly display through fog of war
  • Fixed a bug where the Hyperion could spawn large numbers of repair drones.
  • Fixed a bug where Antimatter Detonation countdown rings did not reflect its blast radius
  • Increased hover height of both Avatar variants
  • Fixed a bug where units would get stuck in the ground and become unkillable
  • Fixed a bug where the AI would not control units spawned from Orbital Abilities
  • Fixed an issue that prevented lobby invites from working when the invited player was not already in game 

Take to the Stars Episode Thirteen: Joji-5

Published on Monday, October 30, 2017 By Tatiora In Offworld Dev Journals

Joji-5

Recorded by Joji-5
Production Head - Yoshimi Robotics

Humans are strange creatures.

There are others among us who believe I should feel a sense of satisfaction or gratitude toward them for having created us, but such an emotion is not only improbable, but misplaced. We were created to make life easier for humanity, and we have certainly done - and will continue to do - just that.

Continue Reading...

ASHES DEV JOURNAL: October 2017

Published on Friday, October 27, 2017 By GGTheMachine In Ashes Dev Journals



G'day!

For the past month we've been working on the 2.6 update which is currently in QA testing and scheduled for early November. I already revealed some info about it in the September Dev Journal, but I'd like to drop more of a teaser.


##Quality of Life Changes##
2.6 isn't going to be our most exciting update, but it contains a great deal of Quality of Life changes and gameplay reworks that have long been requested and players will be happy to see implemented. These includes things like larger cursors for higher resolutions and changes to the way players are alerted about Logistics. Never again will a Dreadnought be at 99.99% waiting for the player to press Logistics but without them being alerted to do so. 

Continue Reading...

Midweek Madness: Save up to 70% on Galactic Civilizations III: Gold

Published on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 By Island Dog In GalCiv III News

Embark on a Grand 4X Adventure in GalCiv III
PLUS - New Mech Parts DLC Now Available

 

Galactic Civilizations III: Gold - $93.99 $27.00

Experience new depth and another side of galactic exploration and conquest with both expansions and all of the DLC!

Bundle Includes:

  • Galactic Civilizations III
  • Crusade Expansion
  • Mercenaries Expansion
  • Mega Events DLC
  • Revenge of the Snathi DLC
  • Precursor Worlds DLC
  • Rise of the Terrans DLC
  • Lost Treasures DLC
  • Altarian Prophecy DLC
  • Galactic Civilizations III Soundtrack
 

Galactic Civilizations III - $29.99 $13.49

Embark on a galactic adventure and build a civilization that will stand the test of time in one of the largest space-strategy sandbox games ever. 

  • Rule through culture, diplomacy, technology, or military force
  • Discover each race's unique technologies
  • Design, share, and 3D print any starship you can imagine
  • Challenge your friends in online multiplayer
  • Experience a unique game every time

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 

New Mech Parts DLC Now Available

Create your own mech and start fighting Kaijus - or Drengin - right away with this new DLC!
Dozens of new ship parts include frames, beams, hooks, heads, and more for creating that
perfect giant fighting robot. Two new color styles will let you further customize your creation
before you upload it onto the Steam Workshop to share with other Galactic Civilizations III fans! 

The Mech Parts DLC is $2.99 and is available through Stardock
Take advantage of our Community Discount and save 10% when you buy direct!
Also available on Steam

www.galciv3.com

 

 

Take to the Stars Episode Twelve: Mikhail Nekrasov

Published on Monday, October 23, 2017 By Tatiora In Offworld Dev Journals

From the desk of Dr. Mikhail Nekrasov

Space has all but given me a new life.

I never meant to come here. For me, the dangers of space travel never seemed worth braving. I was happy in Berlin, where I was surrounded by family and respected colleagues. My research was based on Earth - aluminum is as abundant there as it is anywhere else, so why would I want to leave?

Continue Reading...

Star Control: Origins Pre-Orders Begin Today

Published on Thursday, October 19, 2017 By Island Dog In Star Control News

Explore the Galaxy. Investigate New Worlds. Squish Some Hostile Aliens.
Pre-Order Star Control: Origins Today for a Limited Time Discount!

 

Star Control Bundle - $29.99 $26.99*
(Includes a Star Control: Origins key, access to the Super Melee beta will be in late 2017), Star Control: The Ur-Quan Masters (Star Control & Star Control II), Star Control: Kessari Quadrant (Star Control 3)

Also available on GOG or Steam

   
Star Control: Origins - $24.99 $22.49*
(Includes a Star Control: Origins key.
Access to the Super Melee beta will
be in late 2017)

Also available on GOG or Steam

About Star Control: Origins
You are the captain of Earth's brand new, state-of-the-art ship, The Vindicator. Your mission is to gather together allies to fight an ancient alien menace that threatens to annihilate the human race. ...No pressure, right?

After two decades of waiting, a new Star Control game is finally coming! Star Control: Origins asks you to save the Earth itself while unraveling the mysteries of the multiverse. 

Features

  • Interact with aliens, both malicious and absurd.
  • Explore a living universe that frankly can't believe you're flying around in that...thing.
  • Travel across exotic and amazing worlds searching for relics, Precursor artifacts, and treasures.
  • Navigate through thousands of planets in a universe that has a deep history spanning back
    hundreds of thousands of years.
  • Design your own ships or download them from Steam to build fleets and take them into combat in Super Melee!
  • Engage directly with the development team, post your ideas, and be a part of something amazing!

If you love Star Control (or you're just getting into it and want to experience the whole story), you'll want to get our special bundled pre-order. You'll have access to the games as they were originally released and can play them while you wait for Star Control: Origins to release!

 

Star Control Bundle - $29.99 $26.99*
(Includes a Star Control: Origins key (access to the Super Melee beta will be in late 2017), Star Control: The Ur-Quan Masters (Star Control & Star Control II), Star Control: Kessari Quadrant (Star Control 3)

Also available on GOG or Steam

   
Star Control: Origins - $24.99 $22.49*
(Includes a Star Control: Origins key.
Access to the Super Melee beta will
be in late 2017)

Also available on GOG or Steam

 *Take advantage of the Stardock Community Discount and save an additional 10% when you buy direct. Keys will not work until the
Closed Beta becomes available later this year.

www.starcontrol.com

Stardock CEO talks Star Control: Origins with Ars Technica

Published on Thursday, October 19, 2017 By Island Dog In Star Control Journals

Hungry for some Star Control info? Ars Technica gives you a new taste of what we've got in development! The article features a new dev trailer, exclusive screenshots, and an in-depth interview with our CEO Brad Wardell.

Check it out: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/10/stardock-ceo-talks-star-control-origins-player-crafting-and-upcoming-beta/

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