Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Distant Worlds is a vast, pausable real-time, 4X space strategy game which models a "living galaxy" with incredible options for replayability and customizability. Experience the full depth and detail of large turn-based strategy games, but with the simplicity and ease of real-time, and on the scale of a massively-multiplayer online game. Now greatly enhanced with the new Universe release, which includes all four previous releases as well as the new Universe expansion!

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Erik Rutins
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Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Erik Rutins »

The highly acclaimed 4X “Living Galaxy” Sci-Fi strategy game gets a major post-release update including bug fixes and many improvements

Staten Island, NY, May 5th, 2010 – Matrix Games (www.matrixgames.com) and CodeForce (www.codeforce.co.nz) are pleased to announce a new major post-release update for Distant Worlds! This new v1.0.4 update includes over thirty bug fixes as well as more than forty improvements to the game balance, interface and usability. For the best play experience, Matrix Games strongly recommends that all owners of Distant Worlds upgrade to v1.0.4. While 1.0.4 will work fine with older saved games, we also strongly recommend starting new games with 1.0.4 as some of the bug fixes and many of the balance changes will not work with saved games from older versions.

Among the major improvements is a rebalancing of economy, diplomacy and research to better balance the early, middle and late games and this includes much smarter private sector automation that should keep your empire running better during times of war or other disruptions. Fleet management has been greatly improved, with new support for auto-engage, auto-refuel and auto-repair as well as system patrolling. Ship Design and retrofitting have seen many improvements as well, making manual ship design and upgrading easier, as well as allowing you to mass retrofit any or all of your existing ships from the ships and bases screen. The displayed “cash flow” has also been improved to be a more accurate indicator of how your economy is doing, and queuing up colonization or construction projects from the expansion planner now distributes them more efficiently among your existing colonies and construction ships.

With Distant Worlds, gamers can experience a “living galaxy” with endless options and replayability, command vast empires that span many star system and engage in research, diplomacy, ship design, espionage, trade, combat and more! Be sure to check out the long list of promo videos available for Distant Worlds in addition to the three new screenshots of a few of the beautifully detailed alien races found in the game!

David Heath, Director of Operations at Matrix Games, said “Distant Worlds has received high praise from both gamers and reviewers but we know there is more work to do. This update brings Distant Worlds up to a new level of usability and playability and there are more improvements on the way! We’re thrilled to see that every day more gamers get their hands on Distant Worlds and start creating their own epic tales of galactic conquest!”

Distant Worlds is a vast, pausable real-time, 4X space strategy game. You can run the game as slow or as fast as you like, with intelligent advisors and many different settings for warnings and auto-pause triggers to help you manage your empire at your own pace. Experience the full depth and detail of large turn-based strategy games, but with the simplicity and ease of real-time, and on the scale of a massively-multiplayer online game.

Vast galaxies are made to order: up to 1400 star systems, with up to 50,000 planets, moons and asteroids. Galaxies are so deep, fun and immersive that you won’t want to finish the game... Build, expand and improve your empire endlessly. The galaxy is packed with life and activity. Encounter other empires, independent alien colonies, traders, pirates and space monsters. Explore star systems, asteroid fields, gas clouds, supernovae, galactic storms and black holes. Discover evidence of civilizations long since past, uncovering secrets about the galaxy's troubled history...

Best of all, you can play the game your way: enjoy a quick, intense game in a crowded galaxy or take your time in an epic game spread across a vast galaxy!

Get the update here.
Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC


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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Erik Rutins »

Hi everyone,

The 1.0.4 official update is now available. You can install this on top of the 1.0.4 beta updates without a problem if you have those installed. This should fix all the crash/freeze issues that were reported in 1.0.4 Beta 4, even if not specifically noted in the fix list (which focuses more on fixes related to the 1.0.3 official update).

Here's the final change list, we included quite a few more bug fixes and there are a few minor fixes and improvements we probably missed adding to the list as well.

Change History:

v1.0.4 – May 5, 2010

Fourth Official Update


Please Note – This update does create a new save folder, although it will work with previous saves. You need to navigate to the previous version save folder to open your older saves. We recommend starting a new game in order to get the full effect of the changes and improvements, as some will not apply to older save files.

Also, this update may reset the automation settings in your Options screen. Please open the Options screen again to adjust them to your preference. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Suggestions on Game Difficulty Settings: It has come to our attention that some of the sliders intended to control difficulty may not be as intuitive as we had hoped. If you want an easier or harder game, please consider adjusting the Expansion, Aggressiveness and Home System sliders in your galaxy settings when you start a new game. Expansion controls the level of development the other AI empires start with, Aggressiveness controls how likely they are to forego diplomacy and provoke or declare war, Home System plays a huge role in how wealthy your economy is to begin with. For a harder game, try increasing Expansion a step or two (to Young or Expanding) and increasing Aggression to Unstable or Chaos, along with decreasing your Home System to Trying. For an easier game, move each of these in the other direction. We recommend trying these out in different combinations to determine what works best for you.

Bug Fixes:

1. Races with special tech now have requisite resources at startup to build ships using the special tech
2. Medical and Recreation center components now work at bases other than space ports
3. Fixed crash with defeated 'ghost' empires reappearing and 'ghost' ships visible in the mini-map
4. Fixed crash that sometimes occurred when viewing a Construction yard list sorted by some columns
5. Fixed various other minor crashes
6. Designs for Resupply ships, Colony ships and Construction ships now have size limits, even though built at colony. Size limit is current maximum base construction size. These civilian ship designs also have some minimum requirements for the number of certain component types that must be present.
7. Fixed issues with super-luxury resource distribution in small galaxies
8. Can no longer retrofit to designs that are bigger than your current construction tech allows
9. Fixed bug where freighters sometime stack up waiting to dock at a space port
10. Fixed 'GxBO' crash reported by some players
11. Fixed detached mining station bug
12. Games will no longer start with ships that you cannot build (i.e. too big)
13. Fixed a crash that could be caused when ships reverted to an invalid mission
14. AI-generated designs now always use the latest technology
15. Default colony ship designs now come with more engines, making them faster and better able to “meet” the planets they are heading to colonize
16. Retrofits are now always charged for, regardless of the method used to order them
17. The automation AI will no longer cancel retrofit missions
18. Fixed a crash when a single ship was sent to patrol a system
19. Fixed a bug that could cause invisible space monsters
20. Fixed a bug that caused the AI Empires to sometimes not build military ships
21. Fixed occasional game freezes during space battles and planetary invasions
22. Fixed a bug that could cause two ships in the same location to merge
23. Fixed a bug that would not cancel an alliance agreement with a pirate faction when you attack their ships or stations
24. Fixed retrofitting for construction, resupply and colony ships
25. Disabled command and selection popup menus when autosaving
26. The Ship Designer now properly resets values for targeting and countermeasures when the relevant components are removed
27. Fixed a crash that could happen when editing some planets in the game editor
28. Automatically designed Resort Bases no longer include bombard weapons
29. The Quameno now properly use their special tech (NovaCore reactor) in their designs
30. Government attributes are now properly updated when the government type is changed in the game editor
31. Manually recruited intelligence agents now properly use racial espionage bonuses (reflected in their starting skill levels)
32. Fixed messages explaining new racial bonuses when colonizing a new planet. These now only display when a new race has joined your empire as a result of the colonization.
33. When retrofitting space ports to larger or smaller sizes, the role now properly changes after retrofit (e.g. from medium to large space port)
34. Mining stations no longer start right next to pirate bases
35. Improved the placement of defensive bases around colonies, they should no longer be built right next to each other.

Game Balance Changes


1. The economy has been overhauled in several respects. It should now scale better and work better than in previous versions. Colony development level now comes half from population (0 at 0 population up to 50 at 500 million) and half from access to luxury resources (50 for 10 luxury resources). Colony income is reduced by local corruption, global empire corruption and corruption caused by distance from the capitol system. The larger and more populated an empire becomes, the greater the overall corruption will be, though larger empires should still be more economically powerful than smaller ones. Please also see the notes at the top of this readme for suggestions on how to make the game easier or harder, depending on your preference.
2. Racial bonuses apply in more gradual manner for multi-racial empires - will only get full bonuses if a race comprises at least half your empire's population
3. Rebalanced trade offers so that valuations for tech, bases and colonies much higher. Valuations now also scale quite dramatically based on how much the other empire likes or dislikes you
4. Research speed has been halved
5. Empires now much less likely to colonize in another empire's system
6. Your empire's reputation now has less impact on your colonies if the population at the colony is aggressive and unfriendly. In other words, citizens of war-like races aren't so concerned about you having a poor reputation.
7. Positive reputation impact from destroying pirate ships has been lowered, but positive reputation impact from destroying pirate bases has been increased.
8. Ending a war no longer completely resets attitudes, there may be some lingering animosity
9. Other empires much less likely to accept unfavourable trade offers
10. Private ships can now only be armed with a single weapon - this armament will not cause any offense when they enter other empire's systems
11. Government types have been rebalanced, resulting in less extreme values for corruption and approval
12. The AI for other empires and for your own automation is now much more careful about what ships and bases it builds, resulting in much better automated management without overspending.
13. War weariness now starts lower and increases more gradually

Fleet and Ship Management Improvements


1. Holding down the Ctrl key while right-clicking to assign a mission now overrides the default mission for the selected ship. This allows you to override the default right-click behaviour and gain access to a comprehensive pop-up menu to select the mission you want, e.g. military ships can refuel at a space port instead of patrolling it, troop transports can refuel at a colony instead of loading troops at it
2. Added filtering for ship and base icons at galaxy zoom level - can selectively enable/disable ship types displayed at galaxy level. By default civilian ships are turned off at Galaxy zoom level. Please see the Options screen, Advanced Display Options to change this to suit your exact preferences.
3. Manually controlled ships will now automatically refuel when low on fuel, and then return to their previous mission
4. Manually controlled ships will now automatically repair when damaged, and then return to their previous mission.
5. Manually controlled ships will now automatically engage enemy targets without needing to be manually directed to each target. They will then return to their previous mission, e.g. patrol, escort, etc
6. Patrol missions now automatically reset, i.e. a manually-controlled ship will stay at a patrol target until you tell it to stop
7. Fleets should stay together better than previously
8. Fleets should not cancel their missions when advisors suggest other uses for them
9. Fleet system patrolling: select a fleet and right-click a system or star to patrol all of your colonies and bases in the system
10. Fleets are now more responsive and their automatic handing of refuel and repair has been improved
11. It is now possible to assign construction ships to build mining stations at gas clouds from the sector and galaxy-level zoom.


Ship Design and Retrofitting Improvements


1. Added mass retrofit option in Ships and Bases screen. Multi-select ships and bases from the list and click the retrofit button to select the design to retrofit to. The mass retrofit cost for all selected ships and bases is shown and if you cannot afford it you will not be allowed to retrofit.
2. Upgrading designs now names them as "Old Design Name Mk2", etc
3. Added new design subroles: energy research station, weapons research station, industrial research station, high-tech research station, monitoring station, defensive base. These types of bases are no longer AI-designed if you turn off automation for ship design
4. Design screen now shows all latest designs (when Show Latest Designs selected), regardless of whether you can build them or not.
5. Added maximum weapons energy use to Design screen (top of Weapons panel) so that you can compare reactor power output to optimize military designs
6. Added energy collector to default military ship designs
7. The AI will no longer build ships of a particular type if all designs of that type are marked as obsolete
8. The AI will try to keep design sizes for destroyers and troop transports under the maximum size of your current construction tech
9. The AI will now add extra reactors to its designs to make sure the ship has enough energy for maximum effectiveness in combat and movement.

Other Improvements:

1. Expansion Planner now always shows colonization and mining targets, even when they are considered unimportant
2. Expansion Planner now uses the best location to build queued colony ships, which is not necessarily the closest colony
3. Expansion Planner now uses the best construction ship to build queued mining stations, which is not necessarily the closest construction ship
4. Slightly fewer surprise attack suggestions from advisors
5. Message added in research progress bar to indicate when you have completed all research in an area
6. Newly-recruited intelligence agents should automatically start off assigned to counter-intelligence
7. The multiple race ability popup messages will now only show a new race becoming part of your empire once
8. The Cash flow number showed at the top right of the screen now has the variable elements smoothed out (i.e. Space Port and Resort income) which should allow the income trend to match the cash flow trend more closely and with less volatility
Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC


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taltamir
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by taltamir »

two thumbs up!
Go codeforce!
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by DasTactic »

Well done. :)
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n01487477
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by n01487477 »

Erik,

Is it up yet cause this is what is available in the members section ...

Distant Worlds v1.0.4 Public Beta 4

Or is this it ?
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Barthheart »

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming "WOW, what a ride!"
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Erik Rutins »

That's correct, the Members Club is only for the public beta versions. Official releases are accessible through our Latest Downloads (or each game's Downloads page) or by clicking on the "Check for Updates" link on the Distant Worlds game menu.
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Rustyallan »

Elliot, Erik, and everyone else involved, thanks for your hard work on this! 
Now off to see if I can break it...  [:'(]
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Erik Rutins »

By the way, I'd like to ask one favor of you all. If you like this update, please help spread the word that it's now available and feel free to post the change list in any other gaming forums you may frequent.
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by jscott991 »

I'm confused about the save game issue.

Will b4 savegames work ok with this or not?

If not, I probably will wait to install this until I finish an interesting b4 game.
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Erik Rutins »

Yes, they will work fine.
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by martok »

Excellent news! I've been waiting for the official release on this update for a while now. Good to know I'll have something to play on my day off tomorrow (well technically today already, but yeah....). Thanks for your hard work elliot & Erik! [&o]


ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

By the way, I'd like to ask one favor of you all. If you like this update, please help spread the word that it's now available and feel free to post the change list in any other gaming forums you may frequent.

Gladly. [8D]
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by nicodede62 »

Hello erik,

In family 4, there are still files .Bmp with a black background who finds himself in game.
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Sigh »

11. Pressing the left mouse button now issues an order. Previously it caused all important data on your hard drive to be deleted
Gertjan
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Gertjan »

Great update once again. I really like this particular change:
 
  The AI will now add extra reactors to its designs to make sure the ship has enough energy for maximum effectiveness in combat and movement.
 
It will save me quite some time worrying whether my ships will have sufficient power to use their weapons and speed abilities.
For the next update, could you please also prioritise weapon balance and further tweaks to ship automation? That way, macro oriented players like me can really leave this aspect of the game to the AI and those micro loving types can play all they want.
 
Once more [&o] Keep up the good work!

BTW are you sending review copies to game websites? I ask this because I'm noticing many reviews of this game yet. It would be shame is this game is not more widely discovered.
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Erik Rutins »

ORIGINAL: Gertjan
BTW are you sending review copies to game websites? I ask this because I'm noticing many reviews of this game yet. It would be shame is this game is not more widely discovered.

Yes, there are quite a few review copies out there. So far we have two excellent reviews, so I'm not complaining. Hopefully more will follow.
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Kriegsspieler »

Erik, were there any last-minute changes added to the 1.04.4 beta for the release version?
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by jscott991 »

ORIGINAL: Kriegsspieler

Erik, were there any last-minute changes added to the 1.04.4 beta for the release version?

Yes, I had the same question. Is there anything really different?

Also, are we going to get a mass load troop command in the near future? If not, I might shelve this game for a while. I'm ready to try a war, but it is way too tedious to individually load ships and for whatever reason, my 20-troop compartment troop transports (built so I only had to have one per invasion) will only pick up a few troops even if a planet has 50+.
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Erik Rutins »

Yes, there is a LOT different. An extra week of work went into 1.0.4.5, which is the official release version, focused primarily on a lot more bug fixes, including fixes to all the remaining 1.0.4.4 crashes and freezes, but also to many minor bugs. There were also some additional interface and AI improvements.
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RE: Distant Worlds Gets a Major Update!

Post by Erik Rutins »

ORIGINAL: jscott991
Also, are we going to get a mass load troop command in the near future? If not, I might shelve this game for a while. I'm ready to try a war, but it is way too tedious to individually load ships and for whatever reason, my 20-troop compartment troop transports (built so I only had to have one per invasion) will only pick up a few troops even if a planet has 50+.

Yes, that's very high on our remaining list. The best solution right now, is to automate your troop transports until you're ready to use them. They will load up on their own without any manual loading required.

I'm not sure why they wouldn't fill up if you manually ordered them and the planet had plenty of extra troops though. That may be a bug and a save file would be great if you have one.

Regards,

- Erik
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