We are retiring our old tutorial and replacing it with a new set. These pack in more important information to new players in a more concise and fun way. We are confident these new tutorials will provide a better experience and first impression for new players.
Quality of Life
Unit Size Changes
We are adjusting the size of frigates compared to other units to make them feel bigger and less like tiny ants to the player. We are also addressing the size disparity between various types of cruisers; all non-heavy cruisers now share a consistent size.
<SetNoDeath Target="Example_Name" NoDeath="0"/>
<SetNoDeath Target="Example_Name" NoDeath="1"/>
Emergency and Serpentine turrets were intended to be used as an improvised defensive measure, yet they were often used to snipe enemy builders or hold forward cutoffs which was quite frustrating against human and AI opponents alike. We are refining the role of these turrets to only work in friendly territory.
We are making a big change to the way production of units and structures scales into the late game. Previously, diminishing returns limited the viability of using multiple Engineers or Constructors to build a structure or assist a factory. This unintuitive system of diminishing returns is being removed, allowing large numbers of Engineers to reach very rapid build speeds; it's now possible for players to churn out a Juggernaut in seconds, so long as they have a colossal late game economy to support it. Refineries and Harvesters gave almost unlimited potential for economic growth, so we want production speed capable of scaling with that.
New Quantum Upgrade: Nexus Health
"Base Sniping" was very frustrating in the late game, where players instantly lose the game because their fragile Nexus was destroyed by an air raid and/or orbital attack. Rather than making the Nexus unkillable in the early game, or making the building health upgrade too powerful, we are adding a new Quantum Upgrade which allows players to heavily increase the durability of their Nexus. The Nexus is still affected by global building health upgrade.
It was unfair for Substrate to lack any way to viably repair the health of their buildings and dreadnoughts, while PHC using Medics over Engineers to repair structures was unintuitive and could be quite exploitative in large numbers. Engineers and Constructors are being reworked to specialize in repairing structures, while Medics are losing their ability to repair buildings. The Caregiver is not being changed, as Constructors can not "repair" shields, and the Caregiver has a small single target effect in favor of area heals, so they are not effective for healing base defenses in the way the Medic was.
Base Defense Changes
Upgrading base defenses was often used as an exploit to cheat a turrets death, which was quite frustrating and unfair to players. If a basic defense takes damage, it will now be transferred over to the upgrading defense as a percentage. For example, if a Smarty takes 50% damage down to 750 health, and it upgrades to the Barrager, it will only increase health to 1500 which is 50% of the Barrager's total health pool. Players are encouraged to utilize the healing changes to use Engineers & Constructors to replenish base defense integrity.
Sapper & Avatar
We are reworking the Sapper and Avatar to give them a unique role where they act as means to streamline the production of advanced defenses. Investing in upgraded defenses in the late game could be a chore, due to needing first to build basic defenses and upgrade it once they are completed. This could not be done via queuing up orders, making it an annoying attention sink when income was so high in the game. The Sapper and Avatar can now directly build advanced defenses on the map, with the overall costs remaining the same compared to upgrading from basic defenses.
Substrate Air Rework
Substrate being able to produce air units from the Assembly as opposed to a specialist air structure created a number of problems:
As a result, we are changing the way Substrate produce air units. The Aviary now produces all air units, in the way the Assembly produces both frigates and cruisers.
Losing Engineers in the late game or on large maps could be quite frustrating as they were only buildable from the Nexus with a long build time. Engineers and Constructors will now be accessible in forward bases, without having to rely on Orbital Abilities which can rapidly ramp up in Quanta price.
The logistics cost of the Hermes did not reflect its value. We also want to make the Hermes more accessible by reducing its long build time.
The Martyr was overperforming, and we want to reduce the aggressive potential of early game Martyr spam.
Given the Avatar's additional utility in being able to directly build advanced defenses directly, we want to make the Avatar less of a combat unit. Players are encouraged to use the Saboteurs for direct harassment over the Avatar.
The Orbital Fabricator unlocks far too much compared to other tech buildings, especially given its new ability to produce Engineers. We are offloading the unlock for the Charon, Repair Bay and Drone Bay onto other tech buildings in order to encourage more strategic diversity in choice of tech buildings.
Hyperion was overperforming. It is by far the most durable dreadnought with its regeneration upgrades, so we want to tone down its damage to make it more balanced and to make the offensive upgrade tree more appealing.
Substrate Dreadnoughts were generally weaker than their PHC counterparts and were countered too easily by Athena/Mauler. We want to incentivize players to invest in proper anti-dreadnought units with full armor-piercing such as the Nemesis and Eradicator.
Overmind & Nest of the Queen
The Overmind and Nest of the Queen were shut down too easily by splash damage air defenses. We are increasing the durability of their drones to make their performance more consistent. Given the armor and drone buff to the Overmind, it didn't need to have the additional health over other dreadnoughts.
Hades were underperforming, and we want to make it more expendable.
As per Substrate air rework.
It was unfair that production of Harvesters was due to only being available on the Nexus. We are making Harvesters buildable from the Aviary so that Substrate players can more heavily invest in late game economy, as per PHC being able to build multiple Refineries simultaneously.
The Instigator was unnecessary on the Nexus due to being a large investment for the early or mid game compared to the cheaper pan. We are moving it from the Nexus to the Advanced Sky Factory to suggest when players should invest in this heavy late game scout, while lowering its cost to make it more desirable compared to building multiple Pans.
The Aviary is being made more accessible to compensate for the Air Harbinger and Air Rampager being locked behind tech.
It was inconsistent for PHC to be able to build Constables without a Factory while Substrate couldn't do the equivalent. This could be frustrating when a player loses their Assemblies and can be completely locked out of anti-air production.
We are devaluing the Orbital Fabricator over other tech buildings.
Regenerate was not powerful enough to justify being locked behind the highest tier of tech buildings, especially when compared to the PHC intensive care.
Antimatter Detonation & Orbital Strike
The late game "Nukes" provided far too much damage potential at only 400 Quanta. Given how much impact they can have, we want to make them more of a deliberate investment with more opportunity cost.
Against All Odds