Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Deadly Space

I predict that the Columbia Class Corvette and some of the larger ships are going to get a bit more popular...

I have just deployed a major change that enables mine fields. Up to now, the mine layers have been pretty useless because they haven't created proper mine field. But now they do and they are quite deadly. Please read this wiki article about mine fields as I think it will have a big impact on tactics and fleet composition. Two highlights: mine fields are almost invisible to your enemy, and mine fields have the potential to stop incoming missiles. This change will affect games in progress.

Other changes in this release:
1) reduced some of the "message spam" in the game client. If your helm is damaged, you won't hear about it a hundred times each turn. You will now get one message saying how far off your helm might be (of course you don't know exactly, because its damaged). Same goes for engine damage that limits your speed. Note: if your engines go offline or your speed is limited to a slower speed than you are currently travelling, your ship will not just suddenly stop or suddenly be going the new limited speed -- it will slow down to that speed (or to a stop) gradually.

2) You will now get a message about each subsystem that is damaged by a hit so you don't have to go to the damage control panel to see. The message will tell you how badly damaged the system is or if it is offline.

3) Fixed some bugs related to subsystem damage

4) Hopefully fixed a bug where the turn would not advance -- the timer counts down and the screen refreshes and your status is set back to "not ready", but the turn did not actually advance. This one is kind of tough, but maybe it is fixed now...

5) Fixed a bug where you set your status to "ready" and then a second or two later, it reverts back to "not ready".

6) Fixed a bug where you could assign more ships to a battle than the CP Limit for the game would allow.

7) Implemented data compression on the server. Each turn of a game is about 100KB worth of data. Games seem to take about 100 turns and all turns are kept (so that you can review past battles). So the amount of space used has been adding up and reaching my hosting account's limit. Increasing that limit is surprisingly expensive, so hopefully the compression will help...

8) When setting your initial orders for a battle, the "heading" will automatically be set based on what "approach" you have set. So if you choose to approach from 090, then your ships heading will initially be set to 270. If you approach from 180, then your heading will be 0. You can of course change this, but this will help eliminate the mistake of entering the battle facing backwards.

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