Since the very successful release of Distant Worlds: Universe on May 23rd, we've also released five major free updates over the course of more than a month of additional full-time development. Distant Worlds: Universe was already among the best-selling games on our store as well as the Steam store, where it stayed in the Top 10 for all games for two weeks. It has also been praised in many reviews, including multiple 90% reviews from mainstream reviewers. Now, Distant Worlds: Universe has become better than ever!
These updates, including the newest 126.96.36.199 released today, have included fixes for most of the issues reported since release (over 75 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.
Distant Worlds: Universe is the newest chapter of this critically acclaimed sci-fi series, adding incredible new features and an exciting new storyline. Universe is also the ultimate collector’s edition, the first time all previous Distant Worlds releases have been included in one package, along with an updated manual and greatly expanded modding support.
• 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
GAME BALANCE AND AI
• 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)