The Starforged Update (V18.104.22.168) has now gone live on Steam, adding the next step in the singleplayer storyline and bringing some much-needed improvements for our favourite Robotic race. We’ve improved the AI under the hood of Predestination to address balance and fairness issues players reported in the late game, and started work on some diplomacy AI improvements. This update also adds commander portraits and improvements to ship captains and planet leaders, a lot of small improvements, and a ton of bug and crash fixes.
At the end of Mission 4, we got our first taste of the robotic Starforged race as they barged into a secure communication channel in search of their creators. We’ve now released Mission 5 of the Before the War story arc, telling the tale of the emergence of the Starforged as a sentient species and what led them to join the galactic discourse. As the sole survivor of the crashed United Colonies Starliner Prometheus, cyberneticist Dr Elias Breen finds himself stranded alone on an icy planet with only the robotic soldiers of the United Colonies 5th Mechanised Infantry for company and a whole lot of time.
We hope you love playing through this mission and learning about the history of the Starforged as much as we loved making it! As part of this mission, we’ve made a few improvements to the Starforged as a race as they felt a bit underpowered in some circumstances:
- We gave the Starforged an additional +25% metal production bonus. In exchange, their base research rate is now -15% (previously -5%). Since percentage stat bonuses are additive, this penalty isn’t as harsh as it seems as adding one ancient ruin to the city will still bump it up to +85%. This also makes it less effective to brute-force build research cities on planets without ruins, which was a viable tactic since the Starforged don’t need farming colonies.
- The Antivirus Tower is no longer limited to 1 per city. This makes it far more feasible to have large populations for those who use the distributed bytecoin mining or research forge patches.
- Robotic races now require only 400 base staff per infrastructure to run them, down from 500. This helps counteract the fact that they have to spend metal to build new citizens and don’t get a tax benefit. This can still be reduced further with technologies.
We’ve added some cool new portraits to the lost ship captains and former planet leaders who periodically appear and offer their services to your empire. We took a little time to flesh these out, buffing most of their stats upward to reflect the late stage of the game they appear at and ensuring each one has backstory that fits their style.
We’ve also adjusted how the AI uses commanders, and improved some of the endgame commanders that can appear after 600 turns. We plan to add more commanders in a future update, so expect them to start having a bigger impact on the game.
We’ve overhauled the AI research system in response to your feedback. The old system often had races sneakily trade techs in the background as a way to maintain game balance against a powerful player, which felt cheap. AI races will now naturally prioritise research when they’re far behind in tech, and other things when further ahead.
The difficulty setting will now influence AI behaviour, with higher bonuses making them more ruthless when it comes to acquisition of technologies. Expect enemies in higher difficulties to try to outpace you in tech, while easy mode enemies may focus less on keeping up with you. The AI will also now be more discriminating with what Legendary Commanders it selects. You may see some commanders remain in the pool for a longer time in some games before they are snatched up.
The strategic Galaxy AI has been significantly improved and can now strategically manage its command points. It will scrap underpowered ships and use the command points to build more powerful ships or colony ships, and will now always prioritise colony ships if it’s in an expansion or consolidation goal phase. Previously the AI would wait for its old ships to be destroyed in a war before upgrading, so now they will stay up to date more easily. Certain races still prefer frigates over larger ships.
- The game will now automatically adjust to your screen resolution on startup, so you can change resolution within your PC and it’ll end up fullscreen at that resolution.
- The game will now automatically centre itself on the screen on any resolution.
- Added a new “keepScreenSize” flag to the ini file. Default is false, and if set to true it will not automatically adjust screen resolution within your pc.
- The game now supports one race owning an orbital that uses a ship design belonging to another race. We could use this for example to have an orbital Revenant cannon as one of the techs you can uncover.
- Reduced the time before the first Legendary Commander appears.
- Building files for missions now support a simple way of replacing one building with another.
- Rearranged some of the tech trees to make certain techs available earlier, as in small maps you will need them when meeting other races.
- Technologies can now be given UniqueIDs so that two techs that do the exact same thing can be recognised as separate techs, or two completely different techs will be recognised as the same thing.
- Elite crew now start with higher XP and level, increasing their bonuses.
- Slowed down the text chirp rate in the mission dialogue for slower readers. You can still click to skip.
- Added Autosave at the start of each mission stage.
- Autosave now kicks in on the Planet Screen as well as the Galaxy Screen. Previously it waited for you to open the Galaxy Screen.
- Fixed a MAJOR bug causing the AI to get far ahead of you in tech if you start in the Pre-Warp stage. The AI now correctly enters space at the same time as you and with roughly the equivalent tech level.
- Fixed an infinite loop bug that could stall the EndTurn code on 2D maps when no valid Temporal Rift locations are possible.
- Fixed a crash with commanders that could happen if the Revenants tried to recruit a commander after recapturing their homeworld.
- Ships destroyed, scrapped, or otherwise deleted that had a captain on them at the time will now always recover the captain.
- Fixed a crash that could happen if a race didn’t have a homeworld when the Galactic Council was formed.
- Fixed a bug where mission-specific buildings and technologies could accidentally be retained when starting a sandbox game.
- Starbase global scan range reduced from 15ly to 5ly. This is increased to 25ly with Space Sensors anyway as you get space sensors before starbase but it interfered with the latest mission.
- Building, Weapon, and Module lists are now correctly re-loaded from scratch when starting any new mission, creating a sandbox game, or loading a saved game.
- Fixed a bug with the Music system that would cause race music to play for a few seconds after the research jingle.
- Race music no longer stops and re-starts from the beginning when in the conversation screen in a mission. This makes it much less repetitive when conversations go back and forth.
- Fixed a rare crash with UpdateFleetLinesSubConstructLines when fleets incorrectly calculate zero or infinite speed to the target destination.
- Fixed a bug where two races couldn’t find a commander on the same turn.
- Fixed a bug that sometimes allowed you to select the Synergies trigger technologies. These are supposed to just unlock when you get the associated tech.
- Fixed a number of small graphical issues throughout the game
- Fixed a number of tutorial and timing bugs
- Fixed a rare technology loading crash
- Fixed a bug where the AI could get stuck in its home system because it built too many warships too early and can’t build any colony ships. The AI will now always prioritise colony ships if it needs them.
- The “Skip” button is no longer present when a mission is loading. This confused a few people, as this part can’t be skipped.
- Fixed a rare conversation screen crash when you clicked the button to skip dialogue
- Mission technologies now correctly unlock if they are Synergies, previously they would not unlock in the tech tree.
- Fixed a graphical bug in the popup for hiring commanders in some resolutions
V1.4 is now live on Steam, so if you’ve sent in a key request recently we’ll be processing that ASAP. If you have any issues with it or feedback, please feel free to send it to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Brendan, Lead Developer