Last week we talked about some changes made to the way the game AI played when at war, which has gone some way towards addressing the lack of pressure and difficulty some players were experiencing in the mid to late game. We’ve not stopped there, and Frogboy has recently dropped some hints at what will be coming in the upcoming v2.1.
For now though, we’re going to examine some of the smaller changes that came in with v2.01 that you might have missed, but we feel add something significant to the way the game plays.
While these smaller changes aren’t quite as sexy as big content updates or drastic gameplay changes, they all work together to gradually improve the quality of the game by making it feel more immersive or believable, including a general glow-up of game mechanics to tighten up strategic and tactical play respectively.
First up is map generation. One of the most important factors in determining the kind of game you’re going to get, and its difficulty, is the positioning of where you and your rivals will spawn on the galaxy map, and we’d had a lot of feedback about this since the release of the game onto Steam.
On top of an improved distribution of stars, which has given each sector a more organic feeling (and strategically interesting) layout, we’ve now tweaked the Maximum and Recommended number of players to adjust to the number of sectors, as well as overall map size.
This should mean that multi-sector games are better balanced out at the recommended settings, and the player is always free to add more or less to suit their particular playstyle. Remember, if you want more time to expand, set less players than the recommended number, and if you want more pressure from the AI earlier on, add more.
Pollution is generated by your industry and reduces population growth as it increases in intensity. That’s there to give the player reason to pause and consider what is more important: rapid industrial development or more Citizens for Jobs and colonisation.
Polluting Districts and Improvements now increase their output of Pollution as they scale in level, to represent the added load on your eco-system as your industry begins to sprawl. Furthermore, the more Pollution on a planet, the more upset your Citizens will get with some species being more or less bothered by it. Others are completely unaffected by Pollution, while radioactive races just love wallowing around in toxic sludge!
Next up is a series of changes intended to reduce the effectiveness of the stacking of Starbase areas of effect: we’ve increased the number of tiles required between each base from three to four, while adding a maintenance cost to some of the more advanced modules too.
This particularly affects Military Starbases, which were seriously overperforming in terms of their cost effectiveness, and are now more appropriately priced to prevent the player from spamming them everywhere. They’ll also auto-fire their missile-based ranged attack at passing ships too.
Lastly here, we’ve reduced the effectiveness of some of the movement modifiers on the various modules to fix the stacking effect granting ships unintended invincibility and teleportation abilities.
The Supernova update added the ability for ships to be refitted to later models, a long requested feature. However, players were somewhat baffled at why this technology came so late in the tech-tree (previously it was accessed at the same time as Cruisers) and was so expensive.
The initial thinking there was that refitting a ship is pretty difficult compared to building it from scratch, and the technology and pricing should reflect that. Unfortunately this wasn’t communicated and felt jarring to the community, and so we’ve reduced the cost of refits and provided access to them earlier too.
We’re always keen for feedback and your help is proving invaluable in assisting to improve the game, so let us know what you think of these changes in the comments sections below!