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Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to Distant Worlds 2

 
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Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to Dis... - 1/26/2021 9:14:48 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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This is not an exhaustive, comprehensive list, but it's a good summary and starting point of some of the key changes. I'm sure we'll add more stuff as time goes on before release, partly as we remember it.


Major Improvements and changes from Distant Worlds: Universe:


- 64-bit multi-threaded 3D-based Engine and completely new architecture and code base removes previous memory limitations and performance bottlenecks, allowing large galaxies and better performance overall as well as excellent compatibility with modern hardware and operating systems.

- A vast, immersive and dramatic galactic environment rendered in 3D with ships, stations, weapon effects and animations all a major step forward from the classic 2D Distant Worlds.

- A fully scalable and re-designed User Interface, fully integrated with the map view to allow the player easy access to relevant information and much better awareness of all the activities going on in and around their systems.

- Improved AI both for AI opponents and player AI assistance and advisors

- Seven playable factions at release, each with a full 3D ship and station set as well as full animated character art: Humans, Ackdarians, Mortalen, Zenox, Boskara, Teekans and Haakonish. These were chosen from the original factions to cover a wide variety of playstyles, especially when combined with the available Government choices: Democracy, Feudalism, Republic, Monarchy, Mercantile Guild, Military Dictatorship, Technocracy, Hive Mind.

- Improved Diplomacy, including many possible first contact outcomes and more options for trade and treaties as well as tracking of diplomatic reputation by empire.

- Expanded Resource system with resources varying in rarity and luxury resources offering other bonuses beyond just colony development. Resources are also somewhat less abundant and require more effort to extract. The more rare Construction resources allow you to unlock the best technologies and components. Additionally, with access to enough of the right luxury resources, significant benefits can be gained including pushing colony development well past 100%. Resource stock levels can be automated or controlled in full at each planet at station.

- More fine-grained exploration, including sensors that in the early game can’t fully cover the width of a system. Ships may be visible but not identifiable. Unexplored systems in sensor range may show how many planets are there but require actual exploration to determine type and resources. Specific locations can now contain both what can be seen on the surface level as well as other hidden ruins or bonuses that will only be found with additional exploration (though improved scanners and better survey teams, or ongoing mining or colonization).

- Galactic nebula clouds form difficult barriers, giving natural 'geography' to the galaxy. Ships navigate around these by default because hyperjump movement inside nebula clouds is much slower and other damaging effects can occur. Hyperdrives now also have a maximum jump range for a single jump. This means traveling to distant locations often involves “star-hopping” through multiple star systems rather than just following a straight-line route. This creates additional challenges and choke-points in the galaxy.

- Expanded influence over state funding choices, allowing prioritization of maintenance and reserved income as well as bonus funding.

- More options for automation, now down to the ship role level. For example, Construction ships can be set to Full Automatic control, to Auto-Build Mining Stations or Auto-Build Research Stations or Auto-Salvage, etc. Exploration ships can Auto-Explore, Auto-Scout or Auto-Spy on Enemy systems. In addition, at the Policy level you can now choose whether your Advisors Suggest and Execute (they’ll act on the suggestion unless you tell them you disagree) or just Suggest (no action will be taken unless you explicitly agree).

- A more detailed damage model for space combat. Components can now be partially damaged but not destroyed, weapons can have bleed-through damage against both shields and armor, shields can have resistance allowing flat damage reduction as well as a chance based on the shield type to allow some damage through. Ion weapons now have specific damage against different component types, intercept weapons (point defense) now have different ratings against multiple target types and can engage seeking weapons, fighters and bombers and even direct-fire or full-length beams if they have that capability.

- Research by default is both blind (only see the next projects that link to the ones you have already researched) and has probability-based pre-requisite and fall-back paths (alternate paths to unlock projects) which means that each time you play, the Research tree can vary and the paths many not be the same. This can also be changed in the setup options to allow for full visibility and fixed paths for more predictability.

- Research bonuses now not only speed up research in a particular area, but also are required to unlock key technology threshholds to progress further in the research tree. You can gain these bonuses from research locations built at important scientific locations. For example, progressing to Fast Jump Hyperdrives now requires a 20% minimum research bonus in Hyperdrives. Research projects may also now require an initial investment of credits or resources prior to initiation.

- Ship and Base Construction will now only commence once all required resources are available. This prevents incomplete construction waiting for resources to be delivered.

- Population policies can now be set for each species at each colony.

- Independent colonies now often have unique bonuses and otherwise non-playable species and will engage in diplomacy with you for trade and possibly to join your empire. Alternately, they can be conquered and assimilated by force, but no longer will just sending a colony ship be enough to bring them to your side.

- Fleets and Armies can now have defined templates and ships within a fleet will act according to their roles in fleet engagements, with some ships attempting to form an outer perimeter while close escorts stay with the capital ships focused towards the center. Fleets now also have more tactical settings and options to help fine-tune their control and automation.

- The interface is now designed to work alongside the galaxy map. Only the ship design and research screens are full-screen. You will find that when you have a part of the interface open, let’s say a list of ships, the objects in that list will be highlighted on the map and hovering or clicking on an item in the list will “ping” the map at its location or give it an extra highlight. This makes it quick and easy to get a sense of where everything is and what it’s doing.

- Full 3D Ship Design with ship hulls that unlock up to a certain size and have a variety of component bays. Components can be placed within a matching bay and external bays, such as for weapons, are fully visible on the model when a component is placed there. Typically it is difficult to fill all slots for a particular hull, allowing for specialization choices within the maximum design size available. Ships hulls now also have a separate hull and armor rating, which can absorb some of the damage that gets past armor and shields but whic may not hit a component. Compared to Distant Worlds 1, ships are generally more durable and require more effort to destroy.

- New weapon firing and hit effects, including particle effects, to bring your custom-designed ships and 3D space battles to life!

- A new Message system with full message filtering settings as well as a complete message log and the usual alert and pop-out messages depending on the importance of the event.

- New Map Overlays for Resource Flows, Migration Flows, Tourism Flows, Location Badges (which summarize most of what you want to know about a system or planetary location at a glance) and Diplomatic Relations.

- A new Storyline which calls back to the original Distant Worlds, but with new previously unseen threats in each era of the game and more for each faction to find and explore about the lore of the Ancient era of the galaxy and the specific role of their ancestors as that history unfolded, leading to the cataclysm that destroyed the Ancient era, brought on the Age of Shadows and eventually the current era, where planetary civilizations are venturing back to the stars again.

< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 1/26/2021 9:15:25 PM >


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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/26/2021 9:35:44 PM   
Miletkir


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Two quick cents:

quote:

- Fleets and Armies can now have defined templates and ships within a fleet will act according to their roles in fleet engagements, with some ships attempting to form an outer perimeter while close escorts stay with the capital ships focused towards the center. Fleets now also have more tactical settings and options to help fine-tune their control and automation.


Another awesome new feature of DW2, and maybe one of the most important - this can deeply change battles by making them a lot more tactical. A great improvement over virtually all other 4X really.

quote:

- Ship and Base Construction will now only commence once all required resources are available. This prevents incomplete construction waiting for resources to be delivered.


Not sure I love this one. In DW:U, it was sometimes salutary that an unfinished station would start mining. It's also more realistic to be able to start construction with no guarantee of being able to finish it. What I'd prefer to that would be a better prioritization for the private sector to bring the missing resources.

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/26/2021 9:39:53 PM   
DasTactic

 

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I missed much of the live-stream but watched it on YouTube. Wow! It is looking fantastic. :)

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/26/2021 10:12:31 PM   
Grognerd_INC


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Thanks Eric, I was looking for this earlier, now here it is!
The reveal was impressive BTW.

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/26/2021 11:07:41 PM   
Katarkus87

 

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quote:

- New weapon firing and hit effects, including particle effects, to bring your custom-designed ships and 3D space battles to life!


Will it be possible to ram enemy ships?


Another Question:

Is it possible to save a Star System inside the World Editor to load/place in a New Game?
(f.E Sol System with Earth and all Planets is cumbersome to redo it from scratch every time i start a new Game with Humans^^)

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 12:52:33 AM   
SirHoraceHarkness


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Miletkir

Two quick cents:

quote:

- Fleets and Armies can now have defined templates and ships within a fleet will act according to their roles in fleet engagements, with some ships attempting to form an outer perimeter while close escorts stay with the capital ships focused towards the center. Fleets now also have more tactical settings and options to help fine-tune their control and automation.


Another awesome new feature of DW2, and maybe one of the most important - this can deeply change battles by making them a lot more tactical. A great improvement over virtually all other 4X really.

quote:

- Ship and Base Construction will now only commence once all required resources are available. This prevents incomplete construction waiting for resources to be delivered.


Not sure I love this one. In DW:U, it was sometimes salutary that an unfinished station would start mining. It's also more realistic to be able to start construction with no guarantee of being able to finish it. What I'd prefer to that would be a better prioritization for the private sector to bring the missing resources.


These are the two that I am most looking forward to. Hoping that space battles are more controlled and that how you fit and deploy your ships makes more of a difference. Also hoping that ground battles now have some measure of interaction. Nothing approaching rts levels but being able to do something along the lines of an orbital bombardment on an entrenched position as your troops advance on their own would be neat. This of course could be tied to research so you can unlock siege starships with specialized ground attack modes etc.

I agree that bases should always start construction no matter if they have the resources or not but ships on the other hand can really gum up the production line if you get a shortage. This way if you have multiple class ships queued up it won't stop on the expensive one and so go on to build the cheaper ones.

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 3:45:41 AM   
martok


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Thanks for the compilation, Erik! There's a lot of goodness packed into that list.





quote:

ORIGINAL: Miletkir

quote:

- Ship and Base Construction will now only commence once all required resources are available. This prevents incomplete construction waiting for resources to be delivered.


Not sure I love this one.

Funny; this might actually be my single favorite change from the original game. Unfinished bases and ships is one of my most consistent irritations with DWU (much as I love it overall).




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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 4:22:40 AM   
arvcran2

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DasTactic

I missed much of the live-stream but watched it on YouTube. Wow! It is looking fantastic. :)


You got that right! Fan DasTactic ! Good to see you here! Your positivity is most welcome! Love your content!

Really look forward to being able to Beta test it, if not I'll settle for being able to play it ;).

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 4:26:49 AM   
arvcran2

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: martok

Thanks for the compilation, Erik! There's a lot of goodness packed into that list.





quote:

ORIGINAL: Miletkir

quote:

- Ship and Base Construction will now only commence once all required resources are available. This prevents incomplete construction waiting for resources to be delivered.


Not sure I love this one.

Funny; this might actually be my single favorite change from the original game. Unfinished bases and ships is one of my most consistent irritations with DWU (much as I love it overall).





Surprised it's not an option.


< Message edited by arvcran2 -- 1/27/2021 4:28:44 AM >

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 6:02:47 AM   
Whiskiz

 

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Was too cheesy in DW1 being able to get a station/ships started building and have working shields/weapons etc to defend almost straight away.

Which is probably why it's not an option. Now you have to defend stuff the good ol fashioned way during construction.

So it's good this way for balance, as well as a good QoL change to make sure you actually have the mats to get something you want built, finished.

You know if it gets started, it'll actually get finished and you won't have to keep an eye on it.


< Message edited by Whiskiz -- 1/27/2021 6:03:24 AM >

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 6:41:33 AM   
Miletkir


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To me it was an immersive and useful mechanic that was part of how DWU was superior to other games of the genre. I was talking about mining stations, but it's true for spaceports too. On faraway worlds, it may again be salutary to have an unfinished starbase with some fighters to help fend off pirates until the final missing pieces arrive. And spaceports are such big and lengthy projects, why would you have to wait to have the last drop of helium to start them? Seems artificial to me.

quote:

ORIGINAL: SirHoraceHarkness

I agree that bases should always start construction no matter if they have the resources or not but ships on the other hand can really gum up the production line if you get a shortage. This way if you have multiple class ships queued up it won't stop on the expensive one and so go on to build the cheaper ones.



True, but isn't that more of a problem with the private sector and automation? That sort of thing could indeed be avoided by an AI option.

I suppose you might also manually start building ships and realize later they couldn't be finished and blocked your chain... But you can be warned before hand that your ships won't be finished - as you already are in DW:U with the "!". Or if it occurs at some point in the queue, a message can also tip you about that issue (but normally you'd know as you queue up). I rarely had that problem precisely because the game was warning me about it already - when it happened, it was because of the private sector going nuts with new ships.

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 7:37:08 AM   
Gertjan

 

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Great changes, I am a bit sceptical about the space geography thing (unless it is not creating too many chokepoints).

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 8:22:14 AM   
MaysaChan

 

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I agreed that construction should start no matter what, at least, leaving this as an option when your resources haven't met a requirement yet. It will be better than remove them entirely.

< Message edited by MaysaChan -- 1/27/2021 8:27:38 AM >

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 9:27:38 AM   
Grognerd_INC


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quote:

- Expanded Resource system with resources varying in rarity and luxury resources offering other bonuses beyond just colony development. Resources are also somewhat less abundant and require more effort to extract. The more rare Construction resources allow you to unlock the best technologies and components. Additionally, with access to enough of the right luxury resources, significant benefits can be gained including pushing colony development well past 100%. Resource stock levels can be automated or controlled in full at each planet at station.

- More fine-grained exploration, including sensors that in the early game can’t fully cover the width of a system. Ships may be visible but not identifiable. Unexplored systems in sensor range may show how many planets are there but require actual exploration to determine type and resources. Specific locations can now contain both what can be seen on the surface level as well as other hidden ruins or bonuses that will only be found with additional exploration (though improved scanners and better survey teams, or ongoing mining or colonization).

- Galactic nebula clouds form difficult barriers, giving natural 'geography' to the galaxy. Ships navigate around these by default because hyperjump movement inside nebula clouds is much slower and other damaging effects can occur. Hyperdrives now also have a maximum jump range for a single jump. This means traveling to distant locations often involves “star-hopping” through multiple star systems rather than just following a straight-line route. This creates additional challenges and choke-points in the galaxy.


Seems like with some of these changes you could have a game with a really slow pace of development, I would think you could mod it to slow it further. (Hopefully)

I wonder if you are going to be able to turn off the galactic nebula thing or at least mod them to be minimal? I tend to like to use 3D starmaps for source maps -
3D Starmaps They use nebulas a bit different.

I remember in DW Universe you could start a game save it without starting it then edit/save that map - Is this the way DW2 will work?

One last thing, will you be able to use custom graphical backdrops in galactic maps?

< Message edited by Grognerd_INC -- 1/27/2021 9:42:53 AM >


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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 12:11:57 PM   
Hyperion1


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I am agree with the mechanic of start a construction without having all ressources.

It gave realism, and a part of a station was still functional, helping to defend.

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 12:40:15 PM   
Hanekem

 

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it could create neat narratives, like taking a ship off the slips with barely any armor and just functional enough to enter the fray
But yeah I get why they'd rather have all resources to start, I mean ou have the issue of multiple simultaneous constructions and so, you could be getting a massive bottleneck as none of the construction sites do get sufficient resources and you get a massive logjam.

And you might still get those emergent scenarios, with ships leaving slips half done to add in to the battle or still under construction stations laying down the pain

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 12:53:28 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Regarding construction, a couple of things I want to clarify.

The resources at start means that you can't "order" it to be built until you have both the resources and credits available. At that point, the construction ship (or planet) will use those resources to start construction. That does NOT mean the station or ship is somehow then instantly built. You still go through the construction process and as components are finished, they come online. You can still have a partially completed spaceport that has working reactors and docking bays and is handling some trade, or has a few functional weapons, but not all, or where the shields come online partway through a fight, etc.

< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 1/27/2021 12:54:07 PM >


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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 1:12:55 PM   
Miletkir


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Regarding construction, a couple of things I want to clarify.

The resources at start means that you can't "order" it to be built until you have both the resources and credits available. At that point, the construction ship (or planet) will use those resources to start construction. That does NOT mean the station or ship is somehow then instantly built. You still go through the construction process and as components are finished, they come online. You can still have a partially completed spaceport that has working reactors and docking bays and is handling some trade, or has a few functional weapons, but not all, or where the shields come online partway through a fight, etc.


Yes, I understood that. I just wish I could "force start" a construction like I've done in DW1, at least for stations, since they can be unfinished and partly functional (and it saved my ass a few times) :)

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 1:16:27 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Yes, that's not an option at this point, you need all the resources. When looking at DW1, allowing that caused frankly more issues, AI corner cases and just plain bugs than it was worth, which drove our decision to require resources as well as credits at construction start now. It also confused the heck out of many new players who would order construction on something and wonder why it was never finishing as they didn't understand that more resources needed to get there and were for whatever reason being prevented from doing so. We had issue saves from confused customers in Universe that had unbelievable numbers of unfinished stations.

We also improved the resource handling and transit logic and the levers for influencing it from DW1, as well as the transparency to the player of resource shortages, what's being mined and moved, etc. The combination makes the entire private sector and the resource economy much more understandable IMHO and by release we should have any remaining bugs found and worked out for an overall much better functioning and more understandable private economy compared to DW1.

Worth noting that after stations (for example) are built, if they are damaged then construction ships bringing resources and construction yards over to fix them is still a requirement (though once you get to repair bots that's less necessary).

< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 1/27/2021 1:18:41 PM >


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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/27/2021 1:27:36 PM   
Miletkir


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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/28/2021 11:09:12 AM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
This is not an exhaustive, comprehensive list, but it's a good summary and starting point of some of the key changes. I'm sure we'll add more stuff as time goes on before release, partly as we remember it.

Terrific list Erik. Before really getting into the gameplay reveal video the first question that came to mind is what was different gameplay wise ... this post certainly helped answer that.

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/28/2021 1:21:37 PM   
RogerBacon

 

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A question on weapons.

I DWU there was no sense of a projectile being separate from a weapon. A weapon couldn't fire a second projectile until the first one had finished traveling its max distance. So you could not create a weapon that fired slow projectiles quickly, for example. Will DW2 separate the concept of a projectile from the launcher?

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/28/2021 1:33:18 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: RogerBacon
I DWU there was no sense of a projectile being separate from a weapon. A weapon couldn't fire a second projectile until the first one had finished traveling its max distance. So you could not create a weapon that fired slow projectiles quickly, for example. Will DW2 separate the concept of a projectile from the launcher?


There's no limitation on that in DW2 as far as I know.


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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/28/2021 2:11:07 PM   
geforth


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A question a little bit away from the gameplay: Which engine do you use? You mentioned it in the stream, but I didn't understand it correctly and now I can't find it anymore. ^^ Is this the archon engine?

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/28/2021 2:17:40 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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It's a significantly customized version of Xenko/Stride.

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/28/2021 2:19:20 PM   
geforth


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Open Source, that's Nicenstein! :-D

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/28/2021 7:43:46 PM   
SirHoraceHarkness


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: RogerBacon
I DWU there was no sense of a projectile being separate from a weapon. A weapon couldn't fire a second projectile until the first one had finished traveling its max distance. So you could not create a weapon that fired slow projectiles quickly, for example. Will DW2 separate the concept of a projectile from the launcher?


There's no limitation on that in DW2 as far as I know.



So we can have burst or gatling type weapons now. Very nice.

Ok a direct question about modding. As far as you know when DW2 reaches launch status will a modder be able to import a model of a miranda cruiser from star trek and replicate its weapons and shields. Ergo a spherical/ovoid shield effect that visibly stops weapons with an impact hit graphic and burst fire torpedoes along with the burst fire phasers? If so you just got at least one trek mod to jump on.

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/28/2021 8:01:28 PM   
Aerial

 

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Are terraforming stations still in the game? And if so, are they more useful than they were? Can I actually use one to increase planet quality, or maybe stack multiple of them to increase planet quality?

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RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/29/2021 4:05:28 AM   
TanC

 

Posts: 74
Joined: 5/8/2013
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
...You can still have a partially completed spaceport that has working reactors and docking bays and is handling some trade, or has a few functional weapons, but not all, or where the shields come online partway through a fight, etc.


Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 29
RE: Major changes and improvements from DW: Universe to... - 1/29/2021 3:09:30 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 36471
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Aerial
Are terraforming stations still in the game? And if so, are they more useful than they were? Can I actually use one to increase planet quality, or maybe stack multiple of them to increase planet quality?


Yes, they are in the game and they are more useful. They can actually increase planet quality now. You cannot stack more than one on a given planet, but they are upgradeable (as are some other facilities).


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(in reply to Aerial)
Post #: 30
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