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Spheres of Influence Update - Sins of a Solar Empire II

Article posted on 8/29/2023

The latest update has just dropped, bringing with it a host of bug fixes, gameplay enhancements, and tantalizing hints of what's to come. Brace for smoother planetary development as underdevelopment penalties vanish, while capital ships and titans gain immediate access to all slots. UI and tooltip improvements enhance usability, and captivating visual effects intensify battles.

Get Sins of a Solar Empire II Now  |  Changelog Below

 

No More Underdevelopment Penalties for Planets

One of the standout changes in this update is the removal of underdevelopment penalties for planets. This means you can hit the ground running at a much faster pace. However, there's a catch – planets now start with significantly lower health. So while you'll be off to a quicker start, you'll need to ensure your fledgling colonies are well-protected from the get-go.

 

Capital Ships and Titans Get Immediate Access to All Component Slots

Good news for admirals and commanders! Capital ships and titans now have unrestricted access to all their component slots right from the moment they're deployed. No more waiting to unlock certain slots – you can jump into the action with a fully equipped fleet leader.

Bug Fixes

The update doesn't just bring exciting changes, it also addresses a range of issues to refine your gameplay experience. From fixing the resolution drop box glitch to ensuring instant use abilities work seamlessly with move-in-formation commands, the development team has been hard at work ironing out the kinks.

 

Gameplay Enhancements

If you're a fan of depth and strategy, you're in for a treat. The update introduces the Minor Faction Reputation System, allowing you to improve your standing with Minor Factions through various actions. Increasing favor, deploying envoys, and winning auctions will earn you reputation and unlock a slew of benefits, including unique abilities and market advantages.

 

Updated Planet Mechanics

The gameplay mechanics revolving around planets have also seen a significant overhaul. Planet maintenance costs have been entirely removed, but now planets start with minimal intrinsic value. To unlock their potential, you'll need to invest in at least one-track level. Max health upgrades have also been restructured to encompass all tracks, providing a more well-rounded approach to planetary development.

 

UI and Tooltip Improvements

Usability improvements are a highlight of this update. The user interface has seen refinements, ensuring that your gaming experience is smoother than ever. The tooltip system has also received a revamp, providing more detailed and clearer information about various game elements, from ship stats to research upgrades.

 

Visual Enhancements

For those who appreciate the visual aspects of gaming, you'll be pleased to know that the update brings an array of new visual effects. From autocannon impacts to torpedo explosions, the battles in Sins of a Solar Empire II just got even more stunning. 

 

The August update for Sins of a Solar Empire II brings a mix of bug fixes, gameplay tweaks, and a promising foundation for what's to come. 

Get Sins of a Solar Empire II Now

 

Spheres of Influence Changelog

Release Status: *** RELEASED ***

August’s update for Sins of a Solar Empire II contains bug fixes, gameplay changes, new particle effects, and lays the groundwork for future builds. A big initial change to watch out for is that planet’s no longer have underdevelopment penalties. This allows you to get a much faster start but beware that planets start with very low health as well. In addition, capital ships & titans now have immediate access to all of their component slots.

Note: This update is not save game compatible with prior versions.


Bug Fixes

  • Fixed resolution drop box not working properly when applying changes.

  • Fixed instant use abilities breaking move-in-formation.

  • Fixed overblown visual effects.

  • Fixed moving to moving target bug (indirectly improves missile movement and strikecraft not leading their carrier).

  • Added stop-gap planet balance:

    • Increased initial planet health contribution from defense track:

      • High enough to prevent defense being the only obvious first upgrade in too many situations and low enough to keep the planet a glass house (without further upgrades).

    • Increased all non-defense track health contributions:

      • Forgoing defense to build economy should yield more improvement to planet health than previously.

    • Increased planet health regeneration:

      • Old values were far too slow to reach maximum health in reasonable amounts of time.

    • Increased and linearize all planet upgrade_prices:

      • Initial costs need to be higher with the removal of maintenance costs.

      • Overall costs need to be slightly higher: spamming early upgrades means player isn't making meaningful decisions/tradeoffs.

      • Cost curve was linearized with a temporary neutral curve until we do a more in-depth balancing pass.

    • Adjusted starting resources to compensate for new costs:

      • The intent is to only add more cost to expanding, not to impede the start.

  • Fixed Combat Repair Systems stacking, causing heal rate to be huge.

  • Fixed construction frigate ability orienting correctly when building a structure.

  • Fixed culture income rate bonus not working for TEC Rebels. Also renamed to Interstellar Commerce.

  • Fixed Pirate Rogue ship role.

  • Fixed weapon travel time being ignored. Would cause damage to be applied instantly instead of on-hit.

  • Fixed weapon_tags on missile barrage (missing physical).

  • Fixed broken Deploy Argonev Starbase unit item.

  • Fixed missiles not coming out straight.

  • Fixed units getting stuck on asteroids.

Gameplay

  • Added Minor Faction Reputation System:

    • Reputation can now be improved with Minor Factions by increasing favor.

    • Increase favor by spreading your culture, deploying envoys to the Minor Faction's gravity well, and winning auctions from a given Minor Faction.

    • Higher favor levels grant access to and improve benefits including Minor Faction abilities, market benefits, and various rewards.

    • Decrease your enemy's ability to improve favor by blocking or destroying their envoys.

    • Elite Metal Miners and Crystal Extraction Boost are added as temporary test abilities. More to come.

  • Removed planet maintenance cost:

    • Planets now start colonized as glass houses with no intrinsic value.

    • You need to invest in at least one-track level to unlock any potential.

    • Increased upgrade costs so that the first upgrade is more expensive.

    • Max health upgrades are now spread out among all tracks instead of just defense.

  • Removed level gating of capital ship/titan item slots. Now all slots are available when a unit is created.

  • Changed Retrofit Bay requirements from hard to soft penalty. Ship items can be built at any time, but being in a gravity well with a Retrofit Bay dramatically decreases build times.

  • Added concurrent ship item building. Based on the number of Retrofit Bays in the gravity well.

  • Item building is now disabled in combat.

  • Converted TEC Rebel Novalith titan and structure cannon to be gravity well range based instead of max jump count.

  • Added auto-cast of abilities that target between gravity wells. Novalith cannon will now search all neighboring gravity wells within range for a target. Previously, this was jump count based.

  • Changed Insurgents to phase jump away instead of scuttling when the job is over.

  • Divide derelict loot XP among all friendly units in range.

  • Enabled home planet victory by default.

  • Nerfed pirate raid events.

  • Added exotic cost to high-level max supply research.

  • Added initial cooldown to Minor Faction events, so the first event can use a different delay time than all following events.

  • Increased hull point restore rate of construction ships.

  • Removed unlock research for radiation bomb.

  • Added TEC 'Missile Armor' (name pending) ship item: gives a small armor improvement and massive reduction to damage done by any missile to the hull.

  • Added Expert Bounty Hunting to TEC Rebels.

  • Added Fortification Specialist to TEC Loyalist.

HUD

  • Fixed enemy_units_detected flashing when only envoys are at a Minor Faction gravity well.

  • Improved purchase unit item window:

    • Hide items that are never purchasable for a specific ship (e.g., Hangar Bay on Kol).

    • Sort items properly: infinite, exotic cost, asset cost, etc.

  • Improved research link generation:

    • Added orbit_path_arc endpoint.

    • Added bounty to planet icon main view overlay.

User Interface

  • Fixed hotkey group fleets not focusing when double-pressed.

  • Fixed cursor hotspots. They were all slightly off, also removed unused high DPI cursor textures as they don't work like brushes.

  • Fixed UI scaling of button drop shadows at high DPI.

Tooltips

  • Added hull, shield, and antimatter passive regen to tooltips.

  • Added a more obvious tooltip for drag-and-drop to setup teams hint in the lobby window.

  • Added planet track level unlocks to research tooltips.

  • Added waiting for construction frigate message to tooltip.

  • Fixed tooltips when adding values with auto-adjust disabled.

  • Improved culture research text filters. Lots of research subjects were not showing up when typing in "culture."

  • Improved Kol ability buff tooltips.

  • Fixed ability tooltips not handling empty tooltip group headers gracefully.

  • Added tooltip line groups to buffs to improve the positive/negative buff tooltip.

  • Fixed player-specific abilities not showing up in research upgrade tooltips.

  • Improved build structure tooltip. No longer shows extraneous build errors when research is still required. For example, it doesn't say planet items needed. Makes tooltips at the start of the game less confusing.

  • Improved unit action text (attack, move, etc.):

    • Clarified the relationship between movement action and setting.

    • Changed to the same tense.

    • Reduced length (too verbose for this context).

    • Made more consistent with each other.

  • Fixed broken auto-adjust on tooltip value columns.

  • Added tooltip headers for dominant culture bonuses.

  • Fixed weapon tooltips for the build menu not factoring in player modifiers.

  • Improved culture tooltips.

  • Improved research tooltips showing modifier upgrades.

Models

  • Added mesh rendering hue preservation.

  • Added TEC drone meshes.

Visual Effects

  • Added point defense autocannon impact effects.

  • Added medium torpedo impact effects.

  • Added Finest Hour effect.

  • Added frigate death explosion.

  • Added light autocannon effect.

  • Added medium autocannon impact.

  • Added Marza muzzle flash.

  • Added Marza Raze exhaust and muzzle.

  • Added Akkan and colony frigate shuttle particle effects.

  • Added nuke particle effect.

  • Added starbase explosion.

  • Added titan explosion.

  • Added starbase Safety Override Protocol effect.

  • Added various missile effects.

  • Added star flares.

  • Added refraction (currently used on engines).

  • Fixed particles not fading out correctly.

  • Added particle effect optimizations.

  • Added projectile travel easing to colonize ability.

  • Added projectile_travel_easing_function to weapon effects.

  • Fixed particle effect jitter. For example, Marza Raze planet smoke was jittering as particles were going away.

  • Fixed mesh_scale in particles.

Audio

  • Fixed missile hit sound effects.

Modding

  • Added not/or unit constraint atomics, needed for more complicated autocast caster constraints.

  • Added action unit operators: add/remove unit item, increase planet track.

  • Added action_unit_type::first_spawner as a valid action_unit for ability actions.

  • Added experience_context with unit modifiers. Allows more control over how experience is increased from items.

  • Added faction planet items to player definition.

  • Added an optional unit tag to culture modifiers.

  • Added prerequisites to weapons.

  • Added use_source_weapon_properties to apply_damage atomic.

  • Moved starting_free_unit_build_kinds to the player from uniforms.

  • Added shield emissive control.

Misc

  • Added rolling auto-saves. High-frequency auto-saves were consuming too much user hard drive space for long-running games. Now auto-saves are split into low-frequency and high-frequency saves, where the high-frequency saves are rolling and will overwrite one another.

  • Disabled checksum traces and simulation audit logs for release builds. So far not necessary and just taking up user space.

Crashes and Asserts

  • Fixed miscellaneous crashes and asserts.