Distant Worlds Universe is Updated to!

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 Universe is Updated to!

Post by Erik Rutins »

Distant Worlds: Universe is now updated to

The six major updates since release, including the newest released today, have included fixes for most of the issues reported since release (over 100 in total)! Additionally, more than 100 improvements to game balance, AI and user interface have been made, as well as some additional tutorial tweaks and the addition of an "Introductory Game" mode to get new players started more easily.

The user interface improvements include significant adjustments to support larger font sizes on larger monitors and allow more of the interface to scale. In addition, game performance optimizations have nearly doubled performance since release.

Also included are several new modding features, which lift the limitations on race-specific technologies as well as improving modding in a few other areas. If you wish, each faction can have a much more detailed and fully unique tech tree now. The AI's research path can also now be specifically set to optimize each faction exactly the way you want.

The AI in Universe has improved significantly with each update, both in fleet coordination, exploration, research strategy, ship design, construction and pre-warp strategy.

Finally, we've included a host of fixes for pirate gameplay as well, if you prefer to seek your own fortune among the stars.

You can download it using your update client or through our FTP. Please let us know if you have any issues updating.

This update will automatically install when you restart Steam, as long as you are on the non-beta branch.

This build has the following changes from

- fixed crash when evaluating designs
- fixed rare crash when drawing ships
- fixed crash when giving monetary gifts to other empires
- fixed crash when sorting ships in fleets
- fixed crash when ship attacks target
- fixed crash when reviewing pirate character traits
- fixed crash when fighter evaluates enemy threats
- fixed crash when empire declares war
- fixed crash when opening Construction Yards screen
- fixed rare crash when applying sun shadow graphics on planets in low-memory conditions

- character energy savings bonuses now properly reduce energy consumption instead of increasing it

- counterespionage strength adjusted - slightly less chance of intercepting enemy intelligence missions
- reduced chance of empires switching to Corporate Nationalism government type when available
- altered empire military strength measurement to better account for fighters (affects diplomacy and AI empire evaluations)
- independent colonies now recruit more defending militia troops
- AI now gives higher preference to mining station build locations that are closer to space ports, colonies, etc
- strategic resources used in construction (for components) now weighted slightly higher when considering stockpiles at spaceports and elsewhere

- AI ship design now properly adds damage control components when repair bots are unavailable
- further optimized AI ship design process to allow shrinking designs with maximum construction size while still ensuring critical components are present (e.g. weapons on military ships)
- Fighter Bay components now considered as weapons in military ship designs (i.e. can have military ship designs with no weapons except for Fighter Bays)

- pirate factions now pay maintenance for any non-pirate raider troops (once have proper colonies)
- pirate faction flags retain pirate symbol in top-left corner when edited in game editor
- pirate faction flags propery update in galaxy view when edited in game editor
- pirate factions can now build normal planetary facilities and wonders at fully owned colonies using right-click pop-up menu and action buttons

- now allow per-race modding for user interface in a theme (add subfolders named by race under images\ui\chrome folder to mod most chrome images, e.g. customization\THEMENAME\images\ui\chrome\human)
- custom characters with '?' appearance order now never appear at game start
- allow including GameText.txt from a custom mod (i.e. read from theme folder)
- altered images\units\creatures folder to be read from the mod (if present) instead of the root game folder
- allow modding MP3 files in sounds\EFFECTS (not just WAV files)
- fighters now properly use WeaponImageIndex value in fighters.txt to allow customization of fighter weapon effects
- allow customizing diplomacy mood music to be race-specific (music played when open Diplomatic Contact screen). Will play race-specific music when named race subfolder present under Customization\THEMENAME\sounds\effects (e.g. Customization\MyTheme\sounds\effects\human). Mood music filenames as follows: diplomacyMoodNeutral.mp3, diplomacyMoodAngry.mp3, diplomacyMoodHappy.mp3, diplomacyMoodMenacing.mp3
- increased maximum number of components from 170 to 300 (components.txt)
- added optional ship design template files for planet destroyers in themes. To use, place a custom ship design template named "PlanetDestroyer.txt" in the appropriate race folder
- added new super weapon types, allowing different types of planet destroyer weapons: in addition to the default super beam weapons can now also have super torpedos, super missiles, super rail guns, super phasers. Any of these can be set to be planet destroying weapons when damage is 10,000 or greater (weapon component Value1). Particularly useful in conjunction with new planet destroyer ship design templates mentioned above. To add these new super weapons to a custom theme, use the following values in the components.txt file (Type): 62=SuperTorpedo, 63=SuperMissile, 64=SuperRailGun, 65=SuperPhaser. You can also focus an empire's tech efforts to these new areas using the following new values in the race policy files (ResearchDesignTechFocus1-6): 30=SuperTorpedo, 31=SuperMissile, 32=SuperRailGun, 33=SuperPhaser

- slightly improved game performance
- can now build bases in disputed systems if your empire has a colony in the system
- decreased chance of counterintelligence intercepting enemy intelligence missions, especially when targeted enemy agent has high mission skill level (i.e. harder to catch)
- fixed display of game difficulty level in Achievements tab of Empire Comparisons screen (was previously sometimes mislabelling difficulty levels)
- AI ship design now better at shrinking mining ships when maximum construction size is low
- AI ship design now better at shrinking military ships with fighter bays when maximum construction size is low

This build has the following changes from

- added extra safeguards to help prevent crashes when using faulty themes
- fixed rare crash when giving diplomatic gifts

- now cancel intelligence missions when target colony or base conquered, destroyed, etc
- fixed bug where sometimes getting tech bonuses from disassembling ships without advanced tech
- Ion Defense and Tractor Beams no longer counted as weapons when checking civilian designs in Ship Design editor
- ensure never load pirate raider troops when loading troops onto transports (e.g. loading troops from own colony while attacking pirate base)
- ensure custom planetmaps getting loaded ('other' folder)
- ensure mouse scroll wheel retains focus when Character and Empire Policy screens are closed
- ensure colonies only appear once in Top Colonies screen, even when controlled by pirates
- fixed problem where ships with advanced tech were sometimes not giving tech bonuses when disassembled

- NEW MODDING FEATURE: defined Research path. Optionally allow specifying project order for a race for each tech tree (see new entries in race files: WeaponsResearchProjectOrder, EnergyResearchProjectOrder, HighTechResearchProjectOrder)
- reverted file loading for certain files to be encoding neutral, i.e. does not matter whether ANSI or UTF-8 (resources.txt, components.txt, research.txt)
- increased maximum government amount to 60 (governments.txt)
- increased maximum planetary facility amount to 100 (facilities.txt)
- increased maximum fighter amount to 50 (fighters.txt)

- increased font sizes for main menu items when screen resolution is greater than 1920x1080
- increased font size for Galactopedia topic index
- increased font size of hover panel at bottom-middle of screen
- increased font size in Game Options screens
- slightly increased font size in main view for system names, nebula names, etc
- increased font size of tradeable items in Diplomacy trade screen
- increased font size in hover tech descriptions in Diplomacy trade screen
- increased font size in Component Guide screen (Design Detail screen and Research screen)
- ensure correct empire remains selected in Diplomacy screen when conclude trade deal

- further improved AI ship design: no longer add too many extra reactors, nor remove too many shield components, when attempting to shrink a new design to fit within construction size limits
- increased chance of counterintelligence missions successfully intercepting enemy intelligence missions, especially for agents with high counterintelligence skill levels
- random government selection more balanced (no longer frequently choosing Military Dictatorship)
- initial home system ruins (Age of Shadows) now never contain system map bonuses
- reduced number of spaceports empire builds when has low population
- increased maximum fleet count. Now relates to overall number of ships and bases, up to maximum of 100 fleets
- AI empires now check whether colony is safe to build at prior to initiating research station construction (e.g. check for nearby pirates)
- lowered effectiveness of counterintelligence, now better accounts for duration of intercepted mission (3 months vs one year, etc)

- ensure pirate smuggling freighters repair at pirate base when damaged
- ensure pirate smuggling freighters retrofit when necessary and able
- empire will not detect and attack pirate smugglers when they are smuggling resources for that empire
- ensure that pirate-owned colonies are included when checking for wonder completion
- pirate factions now get research bonuses from scientists at their bases
- pirate factions can now change their home base to any space port in their empire by selecting new option in right-click pop-up menu

- ensure that new settings and savegame folder locations are properly created (My Documents\My Games\Distant Worlds Universe)

This build has the following changes from

- fixed rare crash when determining object visibility for an empire

- fixed bug where loading a previously saved game was sometimes auto-switching to default theme, even when default theme was already loaded
- building pirate bases, fortresses and Criminal Network using the Facility dropdown list in the Colonies screen now properly assigns facility ownership to player pirate faction
- now ensure that cost for building pirate Criminal Network is always properly deducted
- now ensure that custom ship names (shipNames.txt) are used for new pirate ships built using the Build Order screen
- fixed bug where ship design images were being rotated when received a popup message about new ship type research breakthrough (e.g. Carriers)
- fixed bug where Robotic Troops (BattleBots from Robotic Troop Foundry) were not getting maintenance reduction bonuses when recruited from action button under Selection Panel

- AI ship designer now always adds sufficient reactors to ship designs (possibly more than one) to enable hyperdrive to operate at full speed
- AI ship designer now more willing to shrink new designs to fit within current construction size limits, especially when first obtain hyperdrive technology
- altered size of starting Colonization Module component (now 300 instead of 360, updated components.txt)
- NEW MODDING FEATURE: allow restricting any research project to specific races using the new ALLOWED RACES line in the research.txt file (updated header comments of research.txt explains)
- improved AI research pathing to better emphasize tech focuses from empire policy (ResearchDesignTechFocus1-6), while still researching other important techs
- increased research output for lab components by approximately 50% (components.txt and research.txt)

- Shakturi now have faster construction and lower ship maintenance (updated Shakturi.txt race file)
- Shakturi ship design templates now use more weapons and other components (military ships, medium & large spaceports, defensive bases)
- Shakturi empire policy now builds more large military ships and less small military ships
- reputation gain from attacking pirates is now reduced by 50%
- Robotic Troops are now cheaper to maintain (25% of normal instead of 33%), and now twice as fast to recruit
- empires are now more willing to use excess cash on hand as factor when deciding whether to build new ships (e.g. low or negative cashflow, but large cash reserves on hand), especially when at war
- now much harder to perform intelligence missions against Ancient Guardians (steal maps, tech, etc)

- no longer scrap and rebuild fighters after loading a saved game
- all sound effects (button clicks, etc) are now disabled when effect volume is set to zero in options screen
- savegame and settings folder location is now standardized to "My Documents\My Games\Distant Worlds Universe" (this remains the same across version updates)

- now send a message to an empire when one of their colonies is lost to a pirate faction that builds a Criminal Network there
- immediately update empire list in Diplomacy screen when trade Empire contact (can now immediately see new empire in list)

This build has the following changes from

- fixed crash when drawing long range scanners in galaxy view
- fixed crash when drawing planet in hover panel
- fixed crash when auto-saving game
- fixed crash when loading game with custom theme from main menu
- fixed crash when drawing Empire Navigation Tool
- fixed crash with advisor message when invading independent colonies
- fixed crash when investigating ruins
- fixed crash when calculating troop strength
- fixed crash when editing ship design
- fixed crash when edit very large stars in game editor
- fixed crash when AI assigns new mining mission

- altered Windows API used for checking mouse location to fix screen scrolling to top-left (thus avoiding bug in Windows Vista 64-bit)
- fixed bases detaching from their parent planet/moon/asteroid when initiate retrofit before they are finished their previous retrofit
- sound volume now properly remembered when load games
- Unload Troops missions are now cancelled when target colony changes ownership (thus avoid unloading troops at enemy colony)
- fixed misleading message when your special forces troops destroy hidden pirate base facility at one of your own colonies
- main view now properly regains focus for mouse scroll-wheel when close Build Order screen
- fixed rare bug with pirate colonies over-ordering construction resources
- fixed display problems with main menu screen in Windows XP


- enabled scaling of Empire Navigation Tool at screen left - use new size button next to close button in each panel to cycle 3 sizes: normal, large, extra large


- improved how Action buttons (under Selection Panel) determine which mining station design to show (gas vs mineral) when building mining stations at planets/moons/asteroids (better support for custom themes with unusual resource distributions)

Additional changes from

- fixed crash when drawing space monsters ("CheckFixNotInSystem")
- fixed rare crash when drawing ships
- fixed rare crash when drawing Empire Navigation Tool
- fixed rare crashes relating to fleet mission assignment

- altered how keyboard input is read (different Windows API) in attempt to resolve view sometimes moving to top-left
- fixed issue where Steam Achievements were often being set prematurely
- fixed AI empires starting and then quickly ending Trade Sanctions - now always honor minimum time period
- fixed RepairBot components being downgraded to Damage Control by AI ship design (updated fix)
- fixed problems when loading and displaying research information when Windows set to some non-English languages (e.g. Turkish)
- ensured that pirate factions are generated at start of a new game when using an existing galaxy map
- slightly increased size of Tutorial screen to account for larger text
- fixed problem where player colony names were sometimes including blank values (colonynames.txt)

- adjusted default ship design templates for each race: Large Spaceports have more docking bays and construction yards, Mining Stations have more docking bays, shields and weapons
- low colony tax rates do not increase population growth rates as much as previously, but now make colony more attractive migration destination
- civilian ships now ensure they have enough reactors to power hyperdrives at full speed (same as state ships already did)
- Fighters now weighted higher when evaluating strength of potential attack targets
- AI now willing to build more military ships when at war, especially when have large cash reserves and powerful enemies
- AI now more willing to build more research stations at home colony at game start
- AI takes more care to avoid overspending on troops


- Exploration ships now scan for resources more quickly, moving on to next exploration target immediately once resources and ruins investigated
- increased amount of automated Exploration ships that are assigned to simply scout systems for colonization targets and ruins instead of performing full resource scan of system and all resources

- AI fleets are now better at coordinating multi-fleet attacks within own empire against single enemy target (beyond just coordinated fleet attacks with allies)
- increased ratio of AI-created large fleets versus small strike forces (i.e. more large fleets)
- now properly limit coordinated fleet attacks within own empire only to automated attack fleets (not defense fleets or manually controlled fleets)


- now force immediate update of stardate and cash display when open a new screen, e.g. Empire Summary screen
- possession of an operational planet destroyer negatively affects diplomatic relations with other empires ("We are envious of your huge strength and power")
- games now honor global volume settings for music and effects
- improved display performance for main menu screens (e.g. start new game)
- space monsters now properly attack ships in the Dead Zone
- ships can now properly investigate abandoned bases in the Dead Zone

Additional changes from (initial release):


- Fixed crash in ship design screen when changing image scaling
- Fixed crash when generating ship designs
- Fixed rare crash in game editor when adding asteroid fields
- Fixed rare crash with fleets
- Fixed rare crash with processing empire messages
- Fixed rare crash when identifying raidable colonies for pirates


- Steam Achievements fixed, should be working again now!
- Manually cancelled Deep Cover intelligence missions no longer continue to reveal enemy map for rest of game
- Fixed bug with loading troops when first non-garrisoned troop is too big for troop bay
- Fixed research and ship designs to not auto-update when edit empire in game editor, unless player has ship design automated
- Fixed occasional invisible space monsters
- Ensure empires properly cleared when using existing savegame as galaxy map for new game
- Ensure that ruins with delayed events also getting properly investigated


- Reviewed all in-game font scaling and anti-aliasing and reworked font support to take newer Windows operating system scaling into account. Font size and clarity should now be more consistent across all systems.
- Enlarged and clarified fonts: Diplomacy screen, scrolling message list, tutorial screen, cash and income display
- Added Introductory Game button in Start New Game screen, we recommend this as a first game for all new players
- Moved PreWarp tutorial to last based on player feedback


- Added a way to disable the intro movie in the Startup.ini file in the DW installation folder. This may help with some startup black screen issues by manually disabling the intro movie.
- Significant performance improvements
- Improved look of in-system background nebula clouds
- Pirates retain protection arrangements for minimum period before cancelling, this should also help with the pre-warp tutorial
- Improved randomness of starting government types in new games (for other empires, when random govt selected)
- Increased maximum event delay to 32000 days (from 10000)
Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

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Fishers of Men
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RE: Distant Worlds Universe is Updated to!

Post by Fishers of Men »

Thank you very much! I love the new modding additions and I will look for improvements you made to espionage.
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RE: Distant Worlds Universe is Updated to!

Post by Icemania »

The updates are great as always.

I'm interesting in forward plans as well. There is still quite a lot on the developer support wishlist for the AI Improvement Mod including a number of bugs. Elliot did ask for more AI Improvement Suggestions ...
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RE: Distant Worlds Universe is Updated to!

Post by Falokis »

ORIGINAL: Icemania

The updates are great as always.

I'm interesting in forward plans as well. There is still quite a lot on the developer support wishlist for the AI Improvement Mod including a number of bugs. Elliot did ask for more AI Improvement Suggestions ...
• Add the ability to configure the Ship and Base tactics in the Design Templates. The default AI settings for Stronger Opponents and Weaker Opponents leads to suboptimal choices and this setting could vastly improve performance particularly for Short Range Weapons. A ship with Titan Beams should attack Point Blank where it has the highest DPS. A ship with Torpedoes should attack by Standing Off. A ship with Phaser Lances should attack at mid-range (as it has no loss) to minimise enemy DPS. In that test Long Range Weapons were clearly superior. This change would allow Short Range Weapons in particular to be more competitive (depending on speed etc).

+1 to this request. I've asked for this since design templates and optimized designs came out.

Pretty please with sugar on top.
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RE: Distant Worlds Universe is Updated to!

Post by Blackstork »

- allow customizing diplomacy mood music to be race-specific (music played when open Diplomatic Contact screen). Will play race-specific music when named race subfolder present under Customization\THEMENAME\sounds\effects (e.g. Customization\MyTheme\sounds\effects\human). Mood music filenames as follows: diplomacyMoodNeutral.mp3, diplomacyMoodAngry.mp3, diplomacyMoodHappy.mp3, diplomacyMoodMenacing.mp3

this is not working for me. Ive setup all right according to instruction, but nothing works, ai races keep the default music for mood
Alien Immersion (WIP) : tm.asp?m=3651979
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RE: Distant Worlds Universe is Updated to!

Post by Blackstork »

it is definitely a bug. It's working if installed into default directory, and not working woth themes.

Also HUGE request - please please make it looping.
Alien Immersion (WIP) : tm.asp?m=3651979
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RE: Distant Worlds Universe is Updated to!

Post by Strat_84 »

It's indeed nice to see more fancy modding possibilities but I'm concerned this takes priority over fixing basic mechanics remaining broken in the game.

In version, the storage limit of space stations still doesn't work as it should, I tested the case of a mining station with a storage of 7000, storing in fact much much more. According to another player, there would be a limit around 30000 whatever the amount of storage bays on the station. This also would have the side effect of keeping the price of strategic ressources at the lowest level.

The problem has been reported more than on month ago, but it seems to just be ignored ? [&:]
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RE: Distant Worlds Universe is Updated to!

Post by Rhikore »

Ugh... Still cant Mod Racial Sub-Characteristics [:(]
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RE: Distant Worlds Universe is Updated to!

Post by lurchi »

Great! A lot of my wishes came true. Thanks, Erik & Elliot.
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RE: Distant Worlds Universe is Updated to!

Post by Icemania »

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
- AI ship design now better at shrinking mining ships when maximum construction size is low
Looks good. Any reason this was just mining ships? This would also be very useful with other civilian ships.
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RE: Distant Worlds Universe is Updated to!

Post by RoqueNE »

hello, just installed the Steamversion but can not load a custom game with pirates.
at loading screen i get that:

ancient galaxy works fine. other options testing right now.
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