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This one has been several weeks in the making partly due to all the increased workload from the release of our newest game A Valley Without Wind, and partly due to the fact that this release is unusually large.
First of all, and least excitingly -- but still pretty exciting -- there are some general bugfixes and balance tweaks. Among those are some fixes to the longtime-bothersome bugs relating to alt-tabbing out of the game and the key getting stuck down, or the game scrolling off into the middle of space while you were tabbed out. And there was much rejoicing!
But that's not what's really cool about this release. Previously, Minor Factions were always a boolean on/off sort of feature. You either played with (for example) marauders or you didn't. That was okay, but it wasn't really a very good way to give you the sort of custom-tailored experience you'd really want.
Now most of the minor factions include a sliding scale from 0-10. Zero represents those minor factions being completely absent, and, um, 4 is the equivalent of what being fully-on used to be. So hardcore players really have a whole lot of new ways to bring themselves pain if they crank it up to 10, while the less masochistic among us can actually tune it down to the 1-3 range. All in all: a lot more flexibility.
Speaking of flexibility, there are also now lobby setup scripts. These let us or players define templates for "just give me some settings that match X desire." This is still in its early stages, but given how many lobby options there are these days we really felt this was needed in order to make it so that new players could jump into a variety of types of scenarios that experienced players find fun. And so that experienced players can share exact scenarios with one another more easily without literally sharing a savegame, come to that.
If you are looking for an AI War, give the latest AI War Sortie Bulletin a look! Post your info in the comment section and add each other over Steam to organize a game. This is reposted every few months to refresh the list of available and eager players looking for a game, so check the Steam announcements once in a while.
This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater itself, if you already have 5.000 or later. When you launch the game, you'll see the notice of the update having been found if you're connected to the Internet at the time. If you don't have 5.000 or later, you can download that here.[www.arcengames.com]