Greetings all, with the beta getting ever closer, I figured I’d throw out a quick mail to let you all know of the changes made since the last alpha, as well as the reasoning behind them, in final preparation. So, without too much preamble, here they are:
As mentioned in my previous mail, I’ve been working on getting email validation working, which now seems to work well. In preparation for the beta, the user database will be destroyed so you’ll have to register to the site and validate your email before you’re able to sign-up for the game. This email address will primarily be used for forgotten passwords, however there may be an option later to receive mail about upcoming rounds and information (this will be opt-in).
Home Page Update
The Login / Signup buttons have been moved to the header, which is a more logical place for them. In addition, the current game state now always presented on the homepage, regardless of whether you’re logged in or not.
With the anticipated increase in players for the beta, I’m going to be massively increasing the number of planets available to help accomodate everyone. The before / after numbers are below.
Gal 1 = 384 -> 1200 Inner Ring = 648 -> 2700 Outer Ring = 864 -> 2916
Galaxy 1’s systems now sport a 4x3 design (and 100 systems), while all other galaxies have 3x3 systems. This should make it more important to run comms across planets in a system, as there’s an increase chance of approaching players.
During the alphas, travel was intentionally kept very quick to allow for more sufficient testing, below is a list of the new travel times throughout the universe, these should be friendlier for players not having to need to monitor every 2 hours!
In-System Travel Time: 8 turns
One thing which was noted in the alphas, was the people who decided to hit up a ring, rather than diving into galaxy 1, were at an immediate, and insurmountable disadvantage, the opportunity to participate and compete in a level ‘above’ didn’t really exist, which was counter to one of the intents of the ring system.
A lot of the balancing I’ve done to abundances have been made to ensure that while the outer rings don’t contain the choicest choice of planets, they’re still respectable and can be worked on. There will also be some cases where the best planets in a level below may actually be slightly better than the worst planets a level above (although, statistically these occurrences would be low). But encourages scanning for better planets a little more.
The new abundances can be seen in the table below, the previous values are in (brackets).
Gal 1 - R: 110 (105) - 150 (150), G: 65 (65) - 80 (80), O: 50 (45) - 60 (60) Inner - R: 90 (90) - 120 (110), G: 55 (45) - 70 (60), O: 45 (35) - 55 (40) Outer - R: 80 (70) - 100 (85), G: 45 (40) - 60 (45), O: 40 (30) - 50 (35)
Invasion attempts now only destroy ‘used’ Invasion Ships
During the alphas, all invasion ships in a fleet would be destroyed during an invasion attempt, this was basically a bug, and while there were arguments that it might make sense overall to keep it that way, I’ve decided to correct this. Now only Invasion Ships which would have been ‘populated’ are destroyed, leaving empty ones in the fleet.
Alliance Membership Limit Changed from 10 to 30
Pretty self explanatory change, we’re expecting increased numbers of players during the beta, so this will be reflected in the alliance member limits. I’ve made this value configurable at runtime as well, so if there’s ever a need to increase it, it wont require a game reset.
Alliance Departure set to 24 turns
Back by my demand, if you’re kicked or leave an alliance, a 24 hour forced cool-down is applied prior to departure, to prevent any quick-fire shenanigans.
Increase Colony Worker Requirement from 40k to 80k
Designed to pump the breaks a tiny bit on the early game, with the addition of a free outpost at the start of the game (which general feedback seems to imply has been a positive change), the early game somewhat disappeared into the mid-game exceptionally quickly, as an addition, it was possible to actually be preparing invasion while initial colonisation was happening. This change is designed to slightly slow down the rate at which things happen at the start of the round, but will have less of an impact as the round progresses.
Soldier Training Time increased from 4 to 6 turns
Primarily, this is to restore soldier creation time back to pre-alpha levels, I had left them constructing intentionally quickly to help assist in testing invasion and other functionality.
Removed the ‘Unique’ name requirement for Fleets and Planets
This was causing an issue when invading / colonising a planet, or creating a fleet, with the same name as someone else, it left resulted in it not being renamed at all. From a technical perspective, there was no real reason to do this (as everything internally is handled with IDs), so this has been fixed.
Fleets can now be ‘Split’ anywhere, even above a hostile planet.
This has actually always worked, but there were no errors if you ran into the unique issue above, so appeared in some cases not too, this has been resolved. In addition, if creating a fleet from a fleet fails for some reason, it should provide an error.
Radar now has a dedicated in-game tab
By popular demand, it’s probably still a bit rough around the edges, and I’ve not had the opportunity to do wide scale testing yet. Let me know during the beta if there are any problems, and I’ll fix them up.
Queued Structures now have hovers which show their requirements
Something which new players constantly got confused about was why something in the queue hadn’t started, this change introduces a ‘cost’ hover, so you can compare it against your current resources to try and determine why it hasn’t started.
Storage checked before queuing
Prior to this change, it was possible to queue a structure that required 100,000 Workers, while you only had storage for 80,000. This would lead to an impossible to complete queue. There’s now a check to make sure storage is met prior to allowing queuing.
Button Mashing Prevention
A couple of people during the alphas ran into situations where if buttons were spammed, queues weren’t properly checked. This was caused by a race condition internally where two actions could execute at the same time on different threads (if you spammed hard enough, you could break your queue limit as well). These cases are now fixed.
Jump Gate / Hyperspace Beacon changes
In previous rounds of Dark Galaxy, Jump Gates and Hyperspace Beacons were a research item which provided a powerful 25% reduction in travel time between planets. With the change in research, these became available far earlier in the game than intended, while being just as strong. There were also issues with beacons being overpowered as during the alphas you only required one, and it applied to all alliance ships. These units have now received some balancing and correction.
- Jump Gates are now a Tier 3 Tech, requiring a Metropolis - Jump Gates are required on both Origin and Destination planets to be effective. - Jump Gates apply to all alliance fleets between two planets. - Jump Gates (should) apply to planets of different owners, so long as they are allied. - Hyperspace Beacons are now a Tier 2 Tech, requiring a Colony - Hyperspace Beacons are only required at the destination - Hyperspace Beacons apply only to the inbound fleets of the location owner.
Resolved Issues with Population and Soldiers going missing
Anyone playing the last alpha will be aware of this one, this was caused by two setup commands executing in exactly the same millisecond, which resulted in them being flipped when the server got restarted. This was fixed a while ago, but will be applied for the beta.
The next post I make will be the formal beta announcement, which should be occurring relatively soon. You’ll know it’s coming, because darkgalaxy.com will be taken down for a bit while updates and changes are made!