Alpha patch 0.92 has finally been released via Steam to all Alpha players. This patch includes a lot of new features and bug fixes including: smart fleet merging, player colony scanner, trade mechanics for fleets and planets, and more! Read on for full details 🙂
Updating the game client: the game should be automatically updated via Steam. Please check here if the download doesn’t automatically start when you launch Steam.
Smart fleet merging
Smart fleet merging was an outstanding task related to the recent fleet management changes so we’re glad we’re finally able to include it in this patch:
- Ships will now merge into a fleet within the fleet circle (they will only be placed on the outside edge of the fleet circle if there is not enough space for the ship within it – and only if the flagship level permits that number of ships)
- The positions of existing ships aren’t affected as new ships are merged in (new ships are placed around existing ships in the available spaces)
Also, auto-formations have been disabled if there isn’t enough space within the fleet circle to accommodate the fleet’s ships in that formation.
New bio-farms added
Bio-farms – like normal farms – increase the max population size a colony can support. However, whereas normal farms only increase the max population size for the player’s own civ, bio-farms increase it for all organic civs on that planet – whether they are the primary or secondary population. Bio-farms can even be used to grow a second population of a minor faction e.g. Akorokken.
Settings panel for automated colony development
After introducing automated colony development a couple of patches ago, we had a lot of feedback from players regarding how to make it more useful. The most common request was to be able to take control over the development of mines.
So in this patch we’ve added a settings panel which will enable players to:
- Enable/disable constructing mines for a particular resource (all available resources are enabled by default)
- Set a target mining rate per hour for each resource (mines will stop being built once it’s reached)
Player colony scanner
When a new player joins the galaxy, it can be more than a few hours until they discover other players nearby. In the meantime, a player may assume they’re alone in that part of the galaxy and could be disappointed. It’s something we discussed in a recent dev diary post.
So we’ve added a new mechanic to enable players to discover the existence of the player colonies nearest to them. Only approximate location details can be discovered and at the moment it’s not possible to contact the players discovered (in a future version it will be possible to send a private message).Open the player colony scanner from the new menu icon. Once a scan has completed, hovering any of the player names found on the results table will highlight on the map their approximate direction.
Transferring a fleet to another player
Player’s can now transfer ownership of a fleet to another player of the same civilization. A fleet can only be offered to another player that is visible in standard sensor range and the player offered the fleet must accept it to complete the transfer. See the wiki page for transferring fleets for a full step by step example of how it works.
The rationale behind transfer mechanics for both fleets and planets was discussed in a recent dev diary post and we recommend you check it out if you haven’t already done so.
Fleet transfer key points:
- Both players must be playing the same civ e.g. a Mankind player can only transfer a fleet to another Mankind player.
- A fleet can only be offered to another player that is visible in standard sensor range (this proximity requirement ensures that players can’t just give away fleets to random far away players).
- After offering a fleet to another player, moving it again will cancel the offer.
- If the other player doesn’t accept the fleet transfer within 7 days it’s automatically cancelled.
- The transfer can’t be hijacked – only the player offered the fleet can accept it.
Transferring a planet
Player’s can now indirectly transfer ownership of a planet to another player by standing down ground defenses for that planet. With ground defenses stood down, any other player will be able to colonize the planet to take ownership of it. See the wiki for more details.
Please note: at the moment ground defenses can be stood down or put on alert by toggling the checkbox on planet management off and on (bottom right corner). This is only temporary. It will be moved to the top of the planet management screen and the control itself will be a button (it was put here for now because other changes to this screen are planned and it would be more efficient to make them all at the same time).
Fleets getting stuck inside planets
The most frustrating bug players have been experiencing lately involved fleets getting stuck inside planets! Players were ordering fleets to ‘enter orbit’ of a planet but the fleets were ending up inside the planet and couldn’t be moved back out!
This has been fixed, and any fleets that were inside a planet should have been moved out and into orbit.
However, there was an old issue that also caused this to happen that we haven’t been able to catch yet. So although we fixed a recent bug which caused it to happen more frequently, it could still happen due to the original, older bug. So please let us know on the forum if you do see it happen again.
Check out the full patch notes below to see what else was included and fixed in this patch. And once you’ve had a chance to test out the patch – let us know what you think on the forum.
And don’t forget, the Alpha 3 Skirmish galaxy launches this Thursday!
See you soon,
– The Outscape dev team
Full patch notes
Features and changes
- Fleet management:
- Smart fleet merging: ships are merged into a fleet within the fleet circle without affecting the existing ship positions
- Auto-formations are disabled if there isn’t enough space within the fleet circle to accommodate the fleet’s ships in that formation
- Auto-formations place ships as close together as they can
- New player colony scanner can be used to detect the approximate directions and distances of the nearest player colonies
- Trade mechanics for fleets and planets:
- Settings panel added for automated colony development (enables a player to control the development of mines)
- New bio-farms can be researched and constructed. Bio farms increase the max population size a colony can support for all organic civs on that planet (both primary and secondary populations).
- New visual designs for farms means each civ’s farm looks unique (the changes are visual only)
- New cutscenes added for:
- Colonizing water-based planets
- Launching a ground invasion against a planet
- Orbital bombardment
- The graphics quality settings e.g. low, medium, high, now determine the max number of projectiles that will be rendered in battles (the battle itself isn’t affected – it’s to not over-tax hardware when showing a battle)
- Fleets were being placed inside planets and it wasn’t possible to move them away. This has been fixed and any ships that were still stuck inside planets should have been removed. Please let us know if after this update you see this happen again.
- Players were able to repair damaged fleets in orbit of another player’s planet with a shipyard.
- Attack and return wasn’t always working as intended (an attacking fleet wouldn’t return if it didn’t have enough fuel)
- If a fleet was in a special mode e.g. cloaked, mining, and its flagship was destroyed, it caused the server to crash
- Leaderboard issues:
- An entry for a player wasn’t created correctly for players that reset/rejoined a galaxy (which meant they couldn’t find themselves on the leaderboards)
- Players were being credited points for constructing ships and structures even if they recycled/dismantled them before they had completed