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Build 0.1.16890, March 21  

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Paul Tozour
Reputable Member
Joined: 12 months  ago
Posts: 270
21/03/2017 4:14 pm  
Good news, everyone!  We're thrilled to finally able to update Aven Colony with the new Expedition System.

  • The new Expedition System is now live!  This becomes available at the end of the Sandy Gulch mission in the campaign
  • We've implemented major performance optimizations that should reduce the cost of large colonies significantly, especially when running at faster game speeds.  Optimization work is ongoing and more improvements are on the way, but we expect that you should see significantly better performance with larger colonies.
  • Campaign missions after Sandy Gulch are now locked until you have completed the previous mission (i.e. completing Sandy Gulch at any difficulty unlocks Azara Falls; completing Azara unlocks Hyla's Crescent, etc).
  • Tons of new features, such as the new Wind Turbine and Artifact Containment Unit and tons of improvements to overlay modes and mission objectives.

Also, a few important things to be aware of:

  • We've now locked the build on itch.io to new purchases.  Everybody currently playing the beta on itch.io (and those streamers & early closed-beta participants playing it on Steam) will continue to be supported, of course.  We'll have additional announcements related to this soon, but for now, as we head toward launch, we felt it best to keep our community the same size in order to encourage future customers who aren't yet playing the game to wait for the launch of the full game on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 a bit later this year. 
  • Arido Mesa and all subsequent campaign missions are disabled in the current build.  The last 5 of the sandbox missions are also currently disabled.  Given all the expansions to the existing missions and the addition of the Expedition System, we felt it best to leave this content until the full launch in Q2 of this year (if you happen to have old saved games in Arido Mesa, however, those should still work).
  • Saved games in which you hold an artifact at a Research Center may not load properly.  This role is now handled by the Artifact Containment Unit building.  If you run into issues here, we recommend restarting the mission from a clean slate.

With that in mind, here are the full update notes:
 


New features:

  • The Expedition System is now in!  Starting at the end of Sandy Gulch and in all subsequent missions, you can now build Expedition Centers and send your colonists out to explore!  Note that campaign-Vanaar does not support expeditions - though all other Campaign maps, and all sandbox maps, support them.
  • Campaign mission selection: campaign missions after Sandy Gulch are now locked until the previous level is completed
  • Fully implemented player ranks
  • We now show a small medal for completed missions
  • When you win a mission, you now get a special notification dialog that gives you the option to keep playing (added by popular demand)
  • Inhabitant priority in residential structures now works the same way worker priority does, with new "house" icons that let you choose from 4 priorities
  • Added the Artifact Containment Unit - note that this cannot be built until the Hyla's Crescent mission ("schematics not available") since that's the first mission with artifacts
  • Removed functionality from the Research Center to hold artifacts since the ACU now does this instead (note that this may break saved games where you have artifacts held by Research Centers)
  • Added the Wind Turbine
  • The Housing overlay now shows the housing priority over residential structures
  • The Employment overlay now shows the worker priority over structures that employ workers
  • The Structures overlay now draws an icon for buildings that can be upgraded -- shows the upgrade tier (1 of 2, 1 of 3, or 2 of 3) using the same symbol as appears on the "Upgrade" tab
  • Added Food Quality as a game statistic
  • Added new key binding options: Powers & Policies pane (bound to 'P' now instead of 'Stats'), plus new unbound options for Colonist List pane, Previous Tab, Next Tab, Show Notifications, Hide Notifications
  • Added new alert notifications: "Artifact Expired," "Dispensary ran out of an Enhancer," and "Trade Hub Idle"
  • Added a new "Technology" submenu; moved the Research Center to here and added the Artifact Containment Unit
  • The Atmospheric Condenser now has a "Water Electrolysis" mode that improves air quality instead of extracting Water
  • Added Consumer Goods as a manufacturing target for Tier 2 Mills; Retail Centers can now distribute these
  • Added Service Robots and re-added Holo-Units; these can only be acquired through trade with the Colony Ship, and they can be distributed at Retail Centers
  • Building a Retail Center now always adds a pair of trade contracts to trade for Service Robots and Holo-Units
  • Added Plague Vaccine and Nanomedicines, which can be manufactured at a T2 Chem Plant and distributed at a Hospital (these replace "antivirals" and "antibiotics")

Performance optimizations:

  • Made police drones use less CPU overall
  • Major improvements to colonists to make them cheaper
  • Lots of optimizations to make building animations less expensive when they're behind the camera or father away
  • Major optimizations to the code for colonists looking for the most appropriate residential structure to migrate to
  • Lots of optimizations to call UE4 Blueprint scripts less often and do less unnecessary work; also switched some to C++
  • Optimized crime calculations
  • Optimizations to make Tunnels and their doors to adjacent buildings eat less CPU time in most cases
  • Added support for 'pooling' physical colonists to avoid having to re-allocate them
  • Animation optimizations to citizens, ambient colonists, birds, flies and the scout rover

Art changes & optimizations:

  • New colored icons for the build palette
  • Tons of art optimizations to many of the buildings
  • Improved build effects on the T2 and T3 Habitat
  • Updates to normal map assignments in materials for the glass on science, retail buildings
  • Improved Wetlands landscape material
  • Revised headshot and character portrait for Commissioner Veronika
  • Added loading screens & mission picker banners for all missions

Tuning / balancing / minor changes:

  • Tons of tuning tweaks to the mission objectives and added lots more mission objectives (far too many to list them all)
  • Service buildings now scale their effects with distance -- if you build a Retail, Hospital, VR Center, etc, it will contribute slightly less morale (or health) to buildings that are farther away
  • Reduced morale slightly for a medium-size colony (100-200 colonists) at normal difficulty
  • Major overhaul of Tenari Glacier mission objective chains to be cleaner & more fun
  • Doubled the default "score" calculation, so it now tracks better with total population (since we display them both at the end of the game)
  • Drones now move much more optimally when building Tunnels, and will no longer spin almost 360 degrees every step when building Tunnel lines in certain directions
  • Shard storm shards now do 25% more damage
  • Farm T1/T2 is 1 nanite cheaper; generates ~5% less food
  • Greenhouse generates slightly more food at T1 and slightly less at T2
  • Refactored all enhancers that were previously alcoholic beverages (Amaranthium, Goldbloom, Mirthquake) to require 2 native plant species AND research instead of 1 earth plant
  • Added lots more mission objectives, especially in the later missions, and added trade objective chains to most of the missions
  • Renamed "Apartment" to "Outpost"
  • Renamed "Dispensary" to "Enhancer Dispensary"
  • Sandworm vomit projectile timing now also scales with difficulty level
  • Added Wind Turbines to some of the starting colonies
  • Reduced the morale bonus of a VR Center and Retail
  • Reduced Retail efficiency mult at Tier 2 to 35% (from 50%)
  • Most mission objectives now give more food in rewards relative to Nanites, and give fewer Nanites for later mission objectives
  • Lots of medium & large buildings now require slightly less electricity to operate (-2 power in most cases) and generally cost 2 more Nanites
  • Some Sandbox maps now start with larger numbers of colonists by default
  • Lots of improvements to placement description text, operational mode text, and operational mode tooltips for lots of buildings
  • Reduced the baseline Retail consumption morale improvement rate by 50% (though the new Holo-Units, Consumer Goods, and Service Robots can push it way beyond its original level)
  • Vanaar: Swapped the second geothermal mission to be earlier to help mitigate power issues
  • The resource tooltip now states when a manufactured item requires Tier 2
  • Improved quest reward scaling to apply to more types of quests (aka mission objectives)
  • Reduced the Nanite and Power costs of the Enhancer Dispensary
  • Fixed a mission ordering bug in Vanaar: Research Center came after an objective that required it. Also added a Xenoglow objective at the end.
  • Added a second zorium deposit to campaign-Vanaar
  • Increased the max number of drones to 12 at several buildings and 16 on megastructures
  • Overlay tiles for crops and water are now much more opaque in Arctic and Badlands biomes, where they are otherwise harder to see (and very slightly more opaque in all others)

Bug fixes:

  • Countless small fixes to nearly all of the text in the game
  • Fixed an issue where Kalandra's missing voice-overs would not be played when she announces a referendum update or victory, so we get to hear her lovely voice more often
  • Fixed a longstanding issue where colonists would not properly migrate to distant residential structures if they were empty
  • The Enhancer Dispensary no longer improves food quality and entertainment morale generally; its effects depend entirely on the Enhancers it's distributing
  • Fixed problem with the globe on the Earth History Center changing rotation when selecting/deselecting
  • Camera no longer allows auto-panning to an invalid point
  • Improved camera collision with the outer camera bounds of the mission
  • Fixed a rare crash related to loading foliage materials asynchronously and garbage collection
  • Fixed issue when the scroll wheel events were sometimes not being eaten properly so the game would zoom in and out when you weren't trying to
  • Some of the gameplay options in the Options screen were not hooked up; this is fixed
  • Fixed issues with construction drones getting confused due to some pre-placed buildings, mineral deposits, steam vents, and/or cargo pods not being properly lined up on the map
  • Fixed bug with the shield artifact's shield not properly disappearing when the shield turned off
  • Fixed overly-large morale bonus on the Stadium
  • The resource tooltip now states when a manufactured item requires Tier 2
  • Improved texture resolution and texture quality
  • Fixed bug that allowed save games to have empty names
  • Fixed bug where the "Drone Auto-Repair" policy did not properly tell drones to repair buildings that were already broken at the time the policy was activated
  • Fixed a bug that was causing colonist migration to not work properly, causing random fluctuation between buildings -- this was causing colonists to change housing very frequently instead of nearly sorting colonists' jobs and residences as it should have been doing
  • Fixed various issues in various maps that could allow you to place buildings in invalid locations (Vanaar, Hyla's Crescent, others) -- in some cases this could cause the terrain to poke up through tunnel tiles
  • Fixed a problem with the Mine turning off instead of the Storage Depot in Holo-Sim 1
  • Fixed a bug where drones could sometimes take the same position when constructing a large building such as an Earth History Center, causing them to temporarily merge together
  • Buildings being decommissioned no longer say "Broken" in the progress bar on the Repair pane
  • Buildings can no longer be placed while a popup is active -- dragging continues but placement is prevented
  • Deselecting resource processing now cancels production of that resource if you're currently processing it
  • Curved arrows are no longer visible when in surveillance camera mode
  • Fixed issue where the drag placement text for 2x2 and larger buildings could tell players that there is insufficient power to a building they're placing based on where the mouse cursor was and not on where the building was going to be placed
  • "Insufficient Power" notifications are no longer produced for buildings that you've ordered to be recycled anyway
  • When you recycle a residential building, its inhabitants will now properly relocate to any other residential structure even if the building gets cut off from the rest of the colony before recycling is completed
     
Thank you for being part of the Aven Colony community!

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