Stardock is a leading developer and publisher of PC games and desktop software. Its PC games include Sins of a Solar Empire and the critically acclaimed Galactic Civilizations series. Its desktop software includes Start8, Fences, WindowBlinds, ModernMix, and more.
AI for the massive-scale space strategy game now more human-like thanks to v2.8's "supreme commander" system update
For a complete list of changes, see the changelog at the bottom of the post!
What’s New in v2.8:
v2.8 leverages one of the greatest advantages of Galactic Civilizations III: its new, 64-bit, core-neutral game engine. Since most PC gamers have at least 4 CPU cores, we took the opportunity to develop a semi-genetic algorithm based AI that allows the computer to play much more like a human would.
GalCiv III is already known for its good computer opponents. To continue creating new depth of experience for our playerbase, the new asynchronous “supreme commander” AI will observe and send priorities for computer empires, which will feel much more like playing against another human.
We want players to have lots of viable strategic choices. To that end, we have been making lots of balance updates over the past year. v2.8 will help players play as a “tall” empire as well as a “wide” empire by giving them the potential to tilt the balance of the galaxy through smaller empires and well-run nation states.
The final focus of the new update has been in the ongoing drive to make the game more approachable without sacrificing its celebrated depth. A number of new UI elements to streamline gameplay, additional in-game descriptions, and more. Some changes are minor improvements, like moving rarely-used features to a different place, but other changes like defense modifications for ships will make the game even more intuitive and satisfying.
Balance pass on defenses based on new combat update that makes defenses a lot more worthwhile.
Updated AI ship blueprints to reflect the changes to the battle system.
Pacing improvements for the Crusade tech tree.
Fixed typo. Near bay ships...to Nearby ships.
Industrial Sector maint reduced from 2 to 1
Recruit Celebrity requires an Aurorus Arbortetum instead of Helios Ore because, uh, why would any celebrity be interested in raw ore? How does that even work? Hey, famous movie star, here's some metallic ore for you. Please do a USO tour. Because... you know, you'll get some ore! As the famous saying goes, you will attract more celebrities with flowers than...ore.
Fixed shipyard window to always show the military production generated by the sponsors regardless of if there's a ship in the build queue or not
Fixed issue in influence system where it was displaying "Foreign ship in your ZOC" alerts for ships owned by allied players
Torians can once again increase their population cap (opt-in bug)
Restored missing improvement and tech text that was missing from the opt-in.
Commander ships are no longer stackable in a fleet
Mega Resort -- changed the bonus from +25% bonus to a flat +4.
Financial buildings now provide +1 to influence growth
Major boost to defenses: Defenses are now reduced by the squareroot of damage rather than full damage making defenses much better.
Base Research Lab returned to base game
Cultural Festival now requires Cultural Influence
Peacekeeper event won't trigger until at least turn 200 (instead of 100)
Defenses on Peacekeepers reduced so that they can be worn down faster.
"Go to" renamed to Auto Pilot.
More AI research focus attention
AI improvements to planetary improvement choosing.
Cosmetic change to the FOW color.
Cosmetic change to the size of ships on the main map.
Cosmetic change to the starbox visuals.
When receiving messages from a Civ, it names the Civ in the title bar.
Added tooltips to the various "idle" button states.
Added tooltip support for notifications.
Clarified message for insufficient population to eject a colony ship.
Crash fix in the event that the AI can't negotiate with another AI for a tech trade.
Fixed AI related multiplayer desync bug
AI better at early game administration resource and late game invasion legions
Upgrading to a ship to a colony ship class penalty increased.
You can no longer colonize planets with empty colony ships. This also addresses a problem where the Yor AI could quickly colonize the entire galaxy.
You can no longer launch colony ships from a starbase without population
AI now will adjust how big its fleets need to be based on the assignment of the fleet. Thus, scouts and survey ships don't need escorts while mega fleets now need larger fleets.
AI smarter at picking quality ship designs.
AI much better at going after key technologies based on the conditions of the game
Streamlined the base game tech tree.
Tweaked the AI fleet governor to use defenders.
Adjusted the culture tree to be more in line with the planetary improvements
Set default colony ship population to 1.0
Minimum population for colony ships increased from 0.5 to 1.
Decreased the spacing between civilization starting positions and pirates
Base game laser weapon now comes with Militarization tech.
Nerfed several of the crazy Lost Treasures DLC rewards
Navigation Center is now a Galactic Wonder
Eliminated ship moves going up based on the level of certain planetary improvements
Galactic Navigation Center global moves decreased from 3 to 1 (yeeesh!) ...and it now longer provides an additional 0.5 points per level! (double yeesh!)
Galactic Navigator's Guild benefit reduced from providing 4 moves per turn to 1! ...and it no longer provides an additional 0.5 points per level in moves!
Galactic Mainframe research bonus increased from 0.3 to 0.5
Starport level benefit increased from 0.5 to 1
Synthetic Race population increase Promethion cost reduced from 10 to 1
Synthetic Race population increase Duranitum cost reduced from 5 to 1
Synthetic Race population increase improvement increases by 0.5 instead of 1
Changed default invasion from 1 legions to 2.
Base Game: Custom factions with the "Raider Ship Style" will now get the proper ships awarded by events and anomalies.
Fixed crash in battle tooltip if privateer is stationed by itself in a starbase or shipyard
Fixed several improvements tooltips that were saying they were both "one per player" and "one per galaxy"
Fixed typos and sTough
Added dialog if the game fails to start because the graphics driver fails to initialize. This is usually caused by out-of-date drivers.
Exciting new scenarios, new units, and huge maps await you in Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation’s largest DLC yet! Take on the role of a PHC leader and conquer dangerous missions where the odds are stacked against you, or join with the Substrate to repel your PHC oppressors.
Secret Missions DLC Core Features -------------- NEW UNITS --------------
PHC Atlas This anti-air, anti-drone frigate is an excellent line of defense against Drone Hives. Since it only costs metal and doesn't require radioactives, the Atlas is a less powerful, but inexpensive, alternative to the Apollo cruiser.
Substrate Tormentor This indirect fire frigate is capable of saturating an area with artillery shells, causing damage to anything in its radius of attack. Although it lacks accuracy and direct single target damage, the Tormentor is at its most powerful against groups of units rather than structures.
-------------- NEW SCENARIOS --------------
Ascension | The Substrate have developed a prototype experimental Eye of Darkness. Defeat it before you’re wiped out.
Battleline | Push out strong units, maintain your resource levels, and survive against a large Substrate army.
Carnage [PHC] | In the biggest scenario to date, face down 7 enemy Substrate opponents while also helping your 6 allies stay alive long enough for you to claim victory.
Carnage [Substrate] | In the biggest scenario to date, face down 7 enemy PHC opponents while also helping your 6 allies stay alive long enough for you to claim victory.
Deadlock | Build up your forces and fight off the Substrate before they reach critical mass or overrun you.
Entropy | The PHC are attempting to overrun your Substrate base before you gain a critical mass of Turinium. Hold them off.
Incursion | The PHC have launched an attack on Substrate territory. There is no one around to help - you will have to defeat them on your own.
Influx | Ventrix has tainted the name of the PHC for long enough. Overcome the scarcity of resources and take him out with vicious orbital attacks.
-------------- NEW MAPS --------------
Nashira | Enormous symmetrical 14 player map designed for standard 7v7 games
Entropy | Large asymmetric 1v3 map
Osiris 5 | Large 2v2 with limited choke points through the center
Pallavia | Medium 2v2 with limited choke points through the center
Battleline | Medium 1v1 map
Battleline Frenzy | Medium, single lane 4v4 for combined defenses and huge clashes of forces
Galatea | Large symmetrical 10 player map designed for standard 5v5 games
Caldera | Large symmetrical 12 player map designed for standard 6v6 games
The new Secret Missions DLC is now available for $3.99