Ancient Frontier - FairWeatherStudios


Greetings Commanders!

Today we have a group of balance changes and bug fixes that we wanted to get out right away.

We are working on another content update that will feature additional Outrigger ships and missions. There was not time to fully test the missions for this patch, however, so they will be launched in a future update. Rumors say that a new Outrigger heavy cruiser has been sighted in deep space. You have been warned.

Graphic Enhancements

With this patch we have made several changes to the display of the UI in all of the ship management screens. The UI will appear larger on most resolutions, and should lead to a better experience when playing at a variety of 2k and 4k resolutions.

In addition we made changes that should allow the game to play on most TV monitors the same way it plays on computer monitors.

Balance Changes
  • Reduced the difficulty of most pirate missions in the Alliance campaign.
  • Changed how resource collection is tracked so that only the specific resource needed for the mission counts for completion. In the past it was possible for a player to get in a no-win scenario if the AI picked up too many resources. However, a long time ago we made a change where resources picked up by the AI ships counted toward quest completion. With that change, we can again revert resource collection objectives to only count specific resources.
  • Changed the AI to care more about its own life when attacking. There should be less suicide runs now.

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed a bug where if you saved the game on the Market, and then tried to start a new game the game could crash.
  • Fixed a bug where clicking on hexes 5 or 6 spaces away from your ship would not register unless you moved the camera.
  • Improved a bug where the AI could attack you from very far away. This should happen much more rarely than it already did.
  • Fixed the "skip turn" bug that could sometimes appear. Note: This is the fourth time we have attempted to address this bug. This time around we made some very drastic changes behind the scenes to stop it from happening. As there is no dependable way to reproduce the bug, we are sort of shooting in the dark, but we are feeling good about this attempt. If you continue to see this bug please let us know.

Known Issues
We are aware and have confirmed that not all of the 58 events are showing up for all players. We are still looking into what is causing this and hope to have a fix soon (tm).

As mentioned at the start, we wanted to rush out the bug fix portion of this patch to make for a better experience for all players. The "second half" of this patch will now be released in patch 1.14, and will include more content featuring the Outriggers in both campaigns.

We hope you enjoy these updates, and thank you for playing our game!
Ancient Frontier - FairWeatherStudios


Greetings Commanders!

This is a small follow up patch to the release of the new DLC, and only makes three changes:

  • First, we have added a step to starting a new game where you now choose your save style (Ironman vs Standard). This way you don't have to worry about the defaults. You are able to choose a different save style for each individual campaign if you choose.

  • Second, we changed the "choose difficulty" icons to more clearly represent the choices.

  • Third, we fixed a bug that could impact ability accuracy.

Known Issues
We are aware and have confirmed that not all of the 58 events are showing up for all players. We are still looking into what is causing this and hope to have a fix soon.

In addition, we continue to look at the difficulty situation at all levels. We are testing some new balance tweaks for Veteran and Beginner difficulty. In addition, in regards to the pirate difficulty in the Alliance campaign, we are looking at making some slight changes, and potentially adding a few new missions where you fight the Outriggers in Hadron.

We don't have a timeline on the next patch, but our hope is to address some of these concerns by the end of the month.


We hope you enjoy these updates, and thank you for playing our game!
Ancient Frontier - FairWeatherStudios


Greetings Commanders!

We have a very small update for you today. We put together a video from the different cutscenes and environment videos in Ancient Frontier and arranged it to the main theme done by Mimi Page. Now presenting, The Ancient Frontier Music Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKvRC6hlHgo&t=44s

We have also added this video to the trailers on the main store page. It is the third trailer now. We hope you enjoy this fun little diversion.

Behind the scenes we are also working on another patch with a small bunch of improvements. Look for that later this week or next week.

Thank you all for playing our games!
Ancient Frontier - FairWeatherStudios


Greetings Commanders! We are pleased to announce that our second DLC, Quests and Events, is now live and will automatically update everyone's game. This DLC is completely FREE as a continued thank you to all of our old and new fans. This DLC introduces a host of changes, most notably adding a Quest system and random Events. Read on for the full change log.

Quests

These are assignments and contracts that you can complete for rewards. There are ten different categories of quests that each can reward you for taking specific actions within the game.

How do I get Quests?

Quests are automatically awarded after the completion of most missions. After completing a mission and returning to the ship management screen, one of the menu buttons will display "New Quest!" if you have been assigned a new quest.



You can only have three quests at a time, so if your quest log is already full you won't be awarded with any new quests until you have room. Quests can be manually deleted from your log if you want to make room for new contracts. Completed quests will also be removed from your quest log as they are finished.

A new 'Quests' button has been added to the ship management areas of the game. The quest log will track what quests you currently have, and what progress, if any, you have made towards completing the quest.

Events

Random events will appear after completing a mission at certain points throughout the game. Each event will describe a situation, and present you with three options of actions you can take.



Events can have positive or negative effects depending on your choices, so choose carefully. There are over 50 different events that you will be able to encounter so no two play-throughs of a campaign will be the same.

Quality of Life Improvements

We continue to listen to your feedback. Based on what you have told us this DLC also comes with a series of quality of life improvements. Hopefully these will continue to make the game more accessible to players.

Mission Difficulty

Missions will now display what enemies you will be facing as well as their estimated difficulty.



Each mission is rated between one (easy) and five (hard) by the number of enemy symbols. The rating system is based on where you are at in the game, so a three difficulty mission at the start of the game is very different from a three difficulty mission at the end of the game.

As we have continued to differentiate the different factions with ships, gear and crew it now makes more of a difference to know which faction you will be facing. Previously players had to mostly guess on the difficulty of a mission by looking at the rewards offered or through trial and error experience. We believe this change will help all commanders make more informed choices about which missions to undertake.

System Menu

This is a pretty simple change that was a long time coming. When the game was originally designed the only option was to Autosave, where progress was always tracked. During development the system menu was removed as an unnecessary extra click.

With the introduction of manual saving, the lack of a system menu became a problem. Players could accidentally lose their progress by exiting to the main menu with one click. The system menu has been added to address this. It also allows you to customize the options settings at all points in the game. While this is a relatively standard addition, we hope this will help your experience.

Save Images

Another piece of feedback that we got is that it could be difficult to tell the backup saves apart from each other. To help differentiate the visual look of saves that are at different points in the game, we have added images to the save files that represent how far in the story campaign you have progressed.

Sound Effects

We added sound effects to a number of actions in the game (leveling up, for instance).

Hero Ships

With the last DLC we added the ability for some Hero ships to take part in Bounty Missions. However the description detail of all Hero ships continued to say that they were unavailable for Bounty Missions. The description detail has now been updated for all Hero ships, and only ones that are truly unavailable for Bounty Missions display that language.

Balance Changes

  • Made several changes to improve the accuracy of abilities. Tech tree accuracy boosts will now apply to abilities. Also accuracy modifying abilities like Targeting Computer and Vor Song will now improve ability accuracy in addition to the main guns. Finally, the improved versions of abilities that are unlocked in the tech tree got a slight boost to their accuracy increases.

  • Slightly increased the difficulty on Veteran and Beginner difficulties to account for all of the new player powers.

  • Slightly lowered the XP gain on Simulator Missions.

  • Made a large number of minor balance tweaks to individual missions based on the play data.


Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a crash that could happen at the end of the Tutorial

  • Fixed multiple bugs with the display of the Crew XP bars

  • Fixed a bug where the Rhondo could be permanently destroyed

  • Fixed a bug where Hero ships were taking the wrong amount of damage.

  • Fixed a bug where some larger Vor units could not equip items in the fourth equipment slot.

  • Fixed a bug where the display of crew and equipment for fighter squadrons launched from a capital ship were showing as white squares.


Good Luck Commanders!

That is all of the changes included with this DLC. Old save games should continue to work, and all of the new options will be available. This is, at least for now, our last planned free DLC. We hope you enjoy the new content, and if you haven't already please leave us a review.

Thank you for playing our games!
Ancient Frontier - FairWeatherStudios


Fair Weather Studios is proud to announce Ancient Frontier: Steel Shadows.

Continue the epic saga of Ancient Frontier in an all new campaign. Steel Shadows is a standalone RPG set in the epic universe of Ancient Frontier. Take command of a rag tag band of pirates and outlaws as you fight your way across the Frontier for treasure and glory. Delve into our latest turn based tactical RPG.



With over 20 new story missions, new ships to command and new missions there will be plenty for commanders to sink their teeth into. Steel shadows is set to be released in 2018.

Check it out right now:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/734730/Ancient_Frontier_Steel_Shadows

Will you survive the frontier?
Ancient Frontier - FairWeatherStudios


Greetings Commanders!

This is a small follow up patch to the release of the new DLC, and only makes two changes:

First, we have performed another round of optimization. This should allow the game to run better on people running with only 8GB of RAM. You also may notice slightly shorter loading screens.

Second, we should have fixed a bug that could cause the "Launch" button to become obscured on some resolutions with the new DLC.


We hope you enjoy these updates, and thank you for playing our game!


** Edit: Also fixed a bug where when loading old saves crew were not available for purchase. You can now purchase crew from the store in your old saves as well as new games.
Ancient Frontier - FairWeatherStudios


Greetings Commanders! We are happy to announce that The Crew DLC is now live and will automatically update everyone's game. This DLC is completely FREE as a thank you to all of our new and old fans. This new DLC introduces quite a few changes, so keep reading for the full change log.

The Crew

Brave men and women from all walks of Frontier life are ready to serve you, Commander. Each crew member offers a variety of bonuses. In addition crew members gain experience and level up every time they survive combat. If you assign them to a new ship they keep all of their experience.


How do I get Crew members?

Crew members are gained one of two ways. They can either be purchased through the store screen, or they can be earned in missions.



The store screen now has a new tab that you can click helpfully called "Crew" that will display your current crew members, as well as a list of all of the crew available. All of the types of crew can be hired right from the start of the game, if you can afford them. Crew members are much more expensive than items, but they don't increase your deployment cost and they offer a wider range of bonuses. Choose wisely.

The second way to get crew members is at the end of missions.



Simulator missions have never been a popular option. While they offered a lot of experience, that never really stacked up against the potential resources available from Bounty missions. Well, now the choice is more interesting. All Simulator missions will now award you with one random crew member or officer for a successful simulation run. This represents the experience earned by your many un-named midshipman for the grueling trials that simulations represent.

in addition, several major story missions will also award you with random crew members.


How do I use Crew members?

In order to gain the effects of a crew member it first must be assigned to a ship. This is done from the Fleet Management screen:



There have been several changes made to this screen. First, there is now a helpful "Crew" tab to let you manage your officers (highlighted in red). Beneath your ship display will be a roster of all your unassigned crew members (highlighted in purple).

Each ship has between one and four crew slots. Fighter squadrons only get one crew slot, escorts get two slots, regular capital ships have three slots and the super heavy capital ships get four slots. Simply drag a crew member into an appropriate slot on a ship to assign them to that ship (highlighted in light blue).

Finally, as a Commander there are now even more choices for how to equip your ship, and all of that can be a lot to keep track of. So we have added a display to all the ship focus panes in the game (highlighted in green) which will display the crew and equipment equipped to a ship, so you can better track what gear and officers you have on which ships.

In addition, you can now check your items and crew members in battle by focusing on a units information with the magnifying glass. This ability is so powerful, it will even let you see the items and crew on enemy ships if they have any!


How do I make my Crew better?

Deploy them in combat and crush your foes! Another way that officers differ from equipment options is that they gain experience at the end of battles just like the ships they are assigned to.



The victory screen now displays all crew members on each ship, if any, and the experience they gain. Crew members gain the same experience as the ship they are equipped to. This experience is for the crew member personally, and it stays with them even if you assign them to a new ship.

As a crew member gains levels the stat buffs that they provide will increase. A level 25 crew member will provide significantly higher stat boosts to its ship than a level 1 crew member. So get out there and win some battles!


Balance Changes

So there are a lot of balance changes that come along with the DLC. Some of this comes from feedback in our forums and private messages, other comes from the continued testing done in our studio. The Crew are a powerful option, and as such required several major rebalances to keep the game challenging. Read on for the list and a brief explanation of each one.


Hero Ships

One of the most noticeable changes right at the start is that you can now use the starting hero ships in optional deployments. This gives players a powerful heavier unit in the early game, and gives players more options on how to spend their starting resources. It is no longer always necessary to start the game by buying more ships, although this can still be a powerful strategy.

This also helps players be a little more connected to the story of the main characters. You are always free to use your own squadrons and not deploy the Hero ships, but you now have the option of using the Fury and Pandora if you want. However, with the ability to use Hero ships in Bounty missions also comes consequences. Bounty missions will now be lost if any Hero ship is destroyed, just like in story missions.

The later game hero ships are still locked out of Bounty missions for balance reasons.


Optional Deployments

With the increased value of simulator missions, the limited number of optional deployments became a problem. Players had too many different ways they wanted to spend their time. So we have increased the number of optional deployments on all difficulty levels.

  • Beginner (Easy) Difficulty has had the number of Optional Deployments increased to 3 from 2.
  • Veteran (Normal) Difficulty has had the number of Optional Deployments increased to 3 from 2.
  • Epic (Hard) Difficulty has had the number of Optional Deployments increased to 4 from 3.

While this does make the game longer overall, it also gives players some much needed flexibility with how to spend their time. This change does also increase the maximum experience and resources possible to be earned over a full campaign.


New Missions

Another bit of feedback we have gotten is that the early game can be especially difficult and subject to RNG. To help with this we have introduced three new missions for each campaign. These newer missions are shorter and "easier".

The new mission descriptions state that the missions are easier than normal. They take place on smaller maps and involve combat against small groups or a single enemy. They don't offer much in terms of rewards, but they are an option to let a player better get the hang of the game. If you find one of these newer missions too challenging we recommend playing on a lower difficulty level. These new missions are only available in the starting sectors of Arx and Crosius.

Regular missions are still available as well, but in fewer numbers. This should result in players having more options to choose the difficulty level of the challenge they face right from the start.


The Vor

The Vor have been completely rebalanced.



The Vor already were having trouble making it in to players forces, and were also not necessarily a huge threat to fight against. While they had high damage output, they were too easily killed for this to matter.

The introduction of the Crew really left the Vor in the dust. As living organisms, the Vor were not able to benefit from the substantial buffs of crew members. This made them especially weak in the later game of both campaigns. For them to stay viable something had to be done.

We have made several changes to the Vor. As player units they are now much cheaper to buy and to deploy. This should make them more viable as an option for those with a tight resource budget.

In addition the hit points of the Vor have been increased across the board, to give them a little more staying power with all of the tougher ships flying around. This makes them more survivable as player units and a little tougher as enemies.

Finally, enemy AI Vor have been given a significant increase to the amount of equipment mounted on each unit.


Enemy Gear

Wait a minute, enemies have equipment?

Well, they didn't used to. However, as the player ships now can be a lot stronger the enemies needed a buff in order to keep pace. And adding the ability for enemy ships to equip items and crew gave us some interesting options.



Before the Crew DLC enemy ships could not have gear. This led many of the enemy ships to being the same. There were four different versions of the Gunship fighter wing in the game, one each for the Alliance, Militia, Pirates and Outriggers. But while they had different paint jobs they had identical stats. No more.

With the introduction of items on enemies we have distinguished each of the core ships from each other in subtle but important ways. Outrigger ships are more likely to have better shields and do more shield damage, while pirates have higher dodge, accuracy and crit chances. All of the different gunships (and every other ship in the game) is now different due to gear. And they still get to keep their unique paint jobs.


Rebalanced the Entire Game

So, all of these changes interact with each other in complicated ways. This is one reason it was not possible to release the features of this DLC piecemeal, or to release just the Crew members first and rebalance later. The players got more powerful, the game got longer, the players got more options, the enemies were tweaked to compensate.... there was a lot going on.

The result of the rebalance broadly had two impacts. First the middle and especially late game of the Alliance campaign have been made easier. Conversely, the middle game of the Federation has been made tougher, so it is a little harder for them to roll into the late game with an unstoppable force.

This took a lot of time, and was tested to the best of our ability over the last three months. That is not close to the almost two years of testing that we did on balance prior to our initial launch however. We are still taking feedback and testing and retesting the overall experience, and it may be possible that future patches will continue to tweak balance if we find that there is a point where many players are getting stuck.

Also, overall the entire game is slightly easier.


Other Changes

We also made a variety of other more minor changes to help with the overall experience. They include:

  • Increased the drop rate of Trade Goods as mission rewards.
  • Increased the critical chance cap up to 75%
  • Increased the critical multiplier cap up to 400%
  • Increased the deployment cost of the Rhondo
  • Increased the number of equipment slots on super heavy capital ships to 4 up from 3.
  • Fixed several broken turrets in the Federation campaign.


Good Luck Commanders!

Whew. And that is all of the changes included with this DLC. Old save games should continue to work, and all of the new options will be available.

We also had several lessons learned as a studio. We originally wanted to release this DLC in January, but as the feature list grew and grew and our testing load grew along with it and the release did not happen as planned. In the future we probably won't give estimated dates for releases until we know exactly when that will happen.

It is now already April, so this was launched three months later than we had hoped. However, we put the extra time we took to good use to make a better product in the end. We hope you enjoy the new experience and look forward to your feedback.

Thank you for playing our games!
Ancient Frontier - FairWeatherStudios


Greetings Commanders!

We wanted to give all of you another quick progress update. Things continue to progress behind the scenes and we continue to believe we will be launching our free DLC "soon" (TM).

One of the delays has to do with the large amount of rebalancing this update is requiring. The Crew are varied and add a level of power and versatility to human ships that the alien Vor can no longer match. We debated just leaving the Vor the same, or if we needed to buff their stats or make other changes.

The Vor are not used heavily already according to our numbers. In the end we decided against adding crew like "organs" to the Vor or buffing their stats. Instead we are lowering the purchase and deploy costs across the board by a massive 30% to 33%, depending on the Vor in question.

The Vor still excel in their role as fleet buffers and debuffers, with a strong hand to hand ability. With the cheaper cost they can also be used in a limited swarm capacity as well, and they offer a cheap option to buff up an area of a fleet (after the rebalance).

We are not going to be buffing the enemy Vor that you fight, only lowering the purchase and deploy costs for players.

Additionally there are some more bugs that we have discovered and fixed (some enemy turrets not firing, for instance) that are also going to be included.

The DLC initially sounded like a small change, lets add one more option and let people micromanage some major Officers for their ships, but it has led to a pretty comprehensive pass on game balance and tweaking a number of mechanics. This all takes a lot of time to get right.

Thanks again for your patience and for playing our games! More to come "soon"...
Ancient Frontier - FairWeatherStudios


Greetings Commanders. It has been a couple of months since our last update so we wanted to give you all a progress report.

First off, this DLC has taken longer than we thought because we keep making changes and adding features. We understand this puts off the time to release the DLC, and we have made a firm decision to stop adding more changes than are already on the list.

The artwork is now all done, which is a big help. There is only one more set of updates that require more code and testing. If this follows the pattern so far it should only take about two more weeks (roughly) before the DLC is ready for release.

In addition to adding Crew, there are several other changes that will update the game. The biggest is that we have changed it so that the early level Hero ships will now be able to go on Bounty Missions. The late level Hero ships are still locked out for balance reasons. We have also changed the difficulty for the last quarter of the Alliance campaign as it has overall proved too difficult for too many people.

With some of these changes we have had to further alter deploy costs, reward amounts, etc. to keep the balance curve similar. All of this has been time consuming, but we believe this will lead to a better overall experience for more players.

So, with luck, the DLC should be released in the next few weeks. Good luck out there!
Ancient Frontier - FairWeatherStudios


Happy New Year Commanders!

We hope everyone is having a great start to the New Year. This week we bring you Steam Achievements and a few bug fixes:

Steam Achievements

At long last the Steam Achievements are live. Many of them you should earn when you load an existing game as most of the achievements the game was already tracking. A few of the achievements will only start tracking from now forward. Good luck out there earning them all.


Bug Fixes
  • Changed the "Launch" button on the Deployment screen to always work even if something draws over the top of it somehow.
  • Fixed the backup saves if Autosave is on. The Backup saves were not updating if Autosave was on after you started a new game, leading to a situation where progress could be wiped if you accidentally loaded from them. Going forward the backup saves will track the main save when Autosave is on, so you have four backups of your latest progress.


That's all for now. We are going to keep reading all of your feedback while we work on the upcoming DLC.

Thank you to everyone for playing our game!
...

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