Apologies for being off the radar for quite some time. I'm pleased to announce the release date for the big AI patch - V1.08b!
Release #1 - V1.08b-TRIAL
This will be released as a beta for all players who wish to run a beta on it with. We'll be using this build to conduct Steam lobby multiplayer as well.
Duration: 3 weeks
Release date: 20th Feb 2016
Release #2 - V1.08b
This will be the actual patch release for all. Do note that existing saved games will not have the new AI.
The new AI affects a lot more for single battle games than campaign missions - at least for this release.
Release date: 12th Mar 2016 (tentative, hopefully earlier)
Release #3 - V1.08b-1 (optional)
This patch will be an update on the AI's effectiveness in campaign without scaling up the difficulty unreasonably.
Release date: 19th Mar 2016 (tentative)
Why is it taking SO LONG?!
We're serious about the AI revamp which we've promised soon after Foresight's initial release. Therefore it's important to understand that for us to do it properly, we'll need planning, testing and good development timelines that doesn't stress us out completely (till a point where quality is again compromised).
So what's in this revamp that has been taking as long as 3 MONTHS?!
* The new AI will have 5 components - namely - core, builder, fleet builder, scout company and fleet manager.
* Dependency on AI script is reduced. While scripts are used to specify AI behaviors, it's no longer used to orchestrate attacks.
* The AI will now have a budget system for build orders, fleet building and expansions. Yes, the AI will expand their base.
* AI players will not sit there and get killed (most of the time).
* AI scouts are now used much more meaningfully than just being free spawns flying around like flies.
* AI attacks are now either self-orchestrated by fleet level or by player-level. That means multiple fleets coordinating for a single attack.
* AI can choose to do a pincer attack on you.
* AI no longer attacks "anything that is red". That means, each fleet will be given a specific target type to attack. I've tried it personally and it really hurts because they have more purpose now and thus much more lethal.
* AI follow up attacks are brutal. Even on the easy AI mode.
* AI will know how to keep its own economy up and operational.
* AI can salvage ships, recycle and reassign them for fleet re-creation. That means it won't starve-kill itself due to a lack of command points. That's only possible if ALL available commanders have been defeated. Even so, these commanders will eventually return.
As you can see, this is a major build even though it's under a sub-patch. Imho, it should be designated V1.09 instead. But there're plans for V1.09 which I'll reveal only later in the year.
Thanks again for your support and patience. We're exciting to hear from you once the trial version has been released as a beta.