Galactic Civilizations II: Dark Avatar 1.6 Change Log

What's new in 1.6 over the release

By on June 7, 2007 11:42:51 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Draginol

Join Date 03/2001
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It's time for another update for Galactic Civilizations II and this time we've put our energy into not just adding new features, fixing various reported issues, and tweaking game balance. This time we integrated in a new graphics engine for the ship rendering that should result in a performance boost of 10X to 15X depending on your setup and what is happening on the screen.

This update should be available via Stardock Central by around 5PM EST on June 7, 2007.

Here's a complete list of what's been changed:

+ NEW: New Graphics Engine for ships which should result in a 10X to 15X performance improvement for most players

+ NEW: Computer AI updated to be better in diplomacy

+ NEW: AI ship design more optimized

+ NEW: More differentiation between alien races on what technologies they research

+ NEW: The popup for adding money to negotiations on the trade screen will now open with the value needed to make the AI accept the offer (or the total amount in your treasury if they won't accept it).

+ NEW: Graphs and mini-map rewritten using Direct3D instead of GDI

+ NEW: 3 New Custom Maps

+ NEW: Galaxies tend to have more stars and planets

+ NEW: Stacked ships will only show one ship in the tile

  + The ship that is displayed is chosen like so:

     + If a ship is the galaxy’s selected ship it is always shown

     + Otherwise, the toughest selected ship is shown

     + If no ship in the stack is selected, the toughest ship is shown

    + An icon appears next to ships that are in a stack

    + when you move a ship off of a stack, it will show the next ship in that stack

    + This significantly increases performance in my tests.  I had a stack of about 50 ships and no major hit to frame rate.

+ NEW: Added code to save score data for non-metaverse games locally in the My Documents\My Games\GC2DarkAvatar folder

+ NEW: You can now change the social project (if there is stuff in the queue) from the colony list in the civ manager

+ NEW: Some additional dialog (but no new trees) for computer players

+ NEW: Added Starbase module to repair the starbase with Tech Requirement Advanced Hulls.  Will only show up if the starbase is missing HP, and can be 'installed' multiple times.  This module should not count towards the total modules.

+ NEW: Option to use old graphics engine for users of video cards that don't support the DirectX features we're using

+ FIX: Fixed bug where non-optimal defenses were never decreased as the defenses absorbed damage during a battle round

+ FIX: Fixed end of turn crash that happened if you had the Force AI to use Max CPU option ON.
 
+ FIX:  Made Build Menu update after a project is decomissioned. 1 per planet improvements like Orbital Terraformers will now show up in the build list again if you remove them from the queue or destroy an existing one.  1 per civ and 1

per galaxy improvements may not be destroyed and rebuilt - this is by design.
 
+ FIX: Fixed bug where if you changed the settings for a custom opponent's Natural Abilities and/or Financial Resources, the values would not remain the same after leaving the tab.

+ FIX: Fixed error where invalid information was being returned by the activation code in Win98 and Windows ME by adding alternate code if the first instance failed.

+ FIX: Fixed bug where save game was not saving the campaign file name and added code to fix save games currently exhibiting this bug (should fix problem with people continuing their campaigns)

+ FIX: Fixed crash bug where if the random event that creates a new minor race happened mulitple times, the minor races would end up with the same name and then delete each other's ship designs, causing a crash on the end of a turn

+ FIX: Fixed bug where the turn a ship was created was not saved/restored when loading a save game, which could cause a ship design to be deleted too early

+ FIX: Fixed bug with loading height maps for planet surfaces

+ FIX: Fixed bug where ending the game from the planet screen resulted in a crash because the planet screen was not hidden before the end game screen was unhidden

+ FIX: Added strings that were not being saved to scenario save game code

 + FIX: Made it so that your allies won't declare war on you in the mega event Allied War where the good races gang up on you.

+ FIX: Minimap and line graphs now uses Direct3D for drawing, which should show an increase in framerate.

+ FIX: Updated the QUICKSTART command line parameter code to work with DarkAvatar's settings

+ FIX: The minimap scrolling lag on Vista should be resolved, and scrolling in general should be smoother with better frame rates.

+ FIX: On Vista PCs, the debug.err will now be saved in the Documents\My Games\GC2DarkAvatar folder. (This will not work if you run the exe in WInXP compatibility mode.)

+ FIX: Fixed a minor bug with the money popup in the tradewnd if you were in debt.

+ FIX: Fixed bug where the influence and morale bonuses did not show up correctly on the summary screen (from the planet screen) if there was a influence or morale bonus (respectively) on that tile.

+ FIX:  Flushes resource manager’s resources when game exits

+ FIX: Fixed crash in invasion ground units

+ FIX: Fixed crash if memory does not allocate in ResourceGraphic

+ FIX: Fixed crash in ship design code if hardpoint data failed to load

+ FIX: Fixed bug where minimaps were not refreshing immediately when you started a new game

+ FIX: Added code to handle if you or your trading partner are in debt to fix flakiness with the money popup in the TradeWnd. 

+ FIX: Fixed bug in the function that calculates the morale of a colony to fix a longtime bug where your morale could permanently drop to 1%

+ FIX: Made it so that ships on the Governor minimap should show up larger when they are affected by the switch.  Also made starbases not show up on this minimap to reduce clutter.

+ FIX: Fixed typo in XML files that caused land and background textures in Invasion window to be black

+ FIX: Added code for the super hive to adjust the costs of factories in the queue when they take over another colony.

+ FIX: Fixed a lockup on Trade screen when you have a huge amount of money in the treasury and you try to offer money.

+ FIX: Fixed lockup on Governor screen when you click on the Starship rallypoint governor

+ FIX:  Found a solution for the graphical glitches on AMD machines.

+ FIX: Optimized new batch renderer so that ship instances of the same type will share the same vertex and index buffers.  This will save memory over the previous implementation where each instance had its own vert and index buffers.

This should also fix the where ship parts sometimes would not show textures in the designer.

+ FIX: Fixed some alt-tab crashes present in 1.6 beta 5.

+ FIX: Added code to remove AI ship designs from the graphics cache when they are no longer being used

+ FIX: Fixed bug where, in 1 on 1 battles, if both ships kill each other, the stronger surviving ship would have hp restored instead of receiving 1 hp.

+ FIX: Added support for mixed vertex processing which should help some people with older video cards who would normally be running in software vertex processing mode.

+ FIX: Changed the way that vertex and index buffers are created to help framerates for cards running in software or mixed vp mode.

+ FIX: Fixed bug with loading save games that could cause the cheater flag to be tripped

+ FIX: Fixed bug where you could change AI mining bases to send to your planet

+ FIX: Fixed bug where the repair starbase module was showing up as a bonus in the starbase details screen after it was applied

+ FIX: Fixed bug where the repair starbase module was being counted as one of the available modules even when the starbase didn't need repair, which threw off the total count by 1.

+ FIX: Memory leak in ship gfx when you alt-tab out of the game

+ FIX: Fixed the “Missing Mining Base Graphics” bug

+ TWEAK : Turned off some debug strings to try and improve loading time

+ TWEAK: Added dialog to warn you if you start/load a metaverse game with a cheater flag

+ TWEAK: Pirates event less common, somewhat less lethal

+ TWEAK: AI deals with Disease event better

+ TWEAK: Various tweaks to AI behavior

+ TWEAK: Extreme Colonization more expensive

+ TWEAK: Visual updates to some planetary improvements

+ TWEAK: AI more focused on what it builds on planets (long story)

+ TWEAK: AI tweaks to tech tree

+ TWEAK:  In the Ship Designer, when using auto-place to place a component, the component will use the current scale and rotation settings

+ TWEAK: You are no longer permitted to change your capital to another world, and bonuses for the capital city have been increased.

+ TWEAK: The display of stars on the minimaps should now  be more visible on large and gigantic galaxies.

+ TWEAK: Made a slight change to the code that starts the AI threads which may help with the AI seeming to get a free turn at the start of a new game or when loading a save game. 

+ TWEAK: Planet Surface Variety Option now defaults to 50%

+ TWEAK: Converted star box to use vertex buffer for point sprites and optimized it for point sprites, and optimized it for software vp if running in software vp mode

+ TWEAK: Added option for “Enhanced Ship Rendering” - if you are running in software vp mode, turning this off may increase your performance

+ TWEAK: Added option to allow the game to start in mixed vp mode when it would normally start in software vp mode.  Turn this off if you encounter problems in mixed vp mode to start in software vp mode.

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June 7, 2007 12:06:47 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums
Quite a list!
Thanks again for the incredible post-release support!
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June 7, 2007 12:31:28 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Thumbs up! Thank you!


+ NEW: Some additional dialog (but no new trees) for computer players


Sorry for my ignorance but what trees are we talking about?


+ TWEAK: AI more focused on what it builds on planets (long story)


Would love to hear it (maybe in an AAR, if you have time?)!

Thanks again, we appreciate all the work that you are all doing!!!
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June 7, 2007 1:38:09 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
It's time for another update for Galactic Civilizations II and this time we've put our energy into not just adding new features, fixing various reported issues, and tweaking game balance.

Oh goody. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us.

+ NEW: Computer AI updated to be better in diplomacy

I have so many questions about what was actually changed. Any chance on a developer diary? Or was it more of a minor fix just tweaking a few values?

+ NEW: The popup for adding money to negotiations on the trade screen will now open with the value needed to make the AI accept the offer (or the total amount in your treasury if they won't accept it).

Wow. Thanks. Anything that reduces needless clicking and time wasting is always really appreciated.

+ NEW: Added Starbase module to repair the starbase with Tech Requirement Advanced Hulls. Will only show up if the starbase is missing HP, and can be 'installed' multiple times. This module should not count towards the total modules.

Awesome! I've wanted this ability since my first econ starbase survived a fight in my third game of Gal Civ 2, many many moons ago. I can't wait to test and see if this makes defense starbases more viable. Does the AI try to repair its damaged starbases??

+ FIX: Fixed bug where non-optimal defenses were never decreased as the defenses absorbed damage during a battle round

Also cool, although I've seen this in patch lists before. Has anyone (player) verified the new system is working as intended?

+ TWEAK: Added dialog to warn you if you start/load a metaverse game with a cheater flag

This is a nice bit of feedback to the user. I'm sure this will help when/if future updates cause unexpected cheater flags to be generated.

+ TWEAK: AI more focused on what it builds on planets (long story)

Again, I'm just so curious. Any possiblity on a developer diary on this "long story"?

+ NEW: Galaxies tend to have more stars and planets

Is this even on the rare settings? Does this also mean more asteroids?


And of course, thanks for all the performance upgrades and bug fixes. Looks like quite the package. You guys are the best.

- Wyndstar







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June 7, 2007 1:42:58 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
some really good and needed fixes / tweeks. can't wait to download.

>>>NEW: More differentiation between alien races on what technologies they research.
does this mean that the Ai's "personality" will be a factor intheir researching?



+ FIX: Made Build Menu update after a project is decomissioned. 1 per planet improvements like Orbital Terraformers will now show up in the build list again if you remove them from the queue or destroy an existing one. 1 per civ and 1


hate to nitpick but isnt the teraformer one of those 1 per civ and not a 1 per planet?
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June 7, 2007 1:51:56 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
+ NEW: Computer AI updated to be better in diplomacy


I have so many questions about what was actually changed. Any chance on a developer diary? Or was it more of a minor fix just tweaking a few values?


Totally agree! Especially after the discussion in this journal entry! I'd love to know what decisions they made, and how much has changed .
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June 7, 2007 2:02:59 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
+ NEW: Added Starbase module to repair the starbase with Tech Requirement Advanced Hulls. Will only show up if the starbase is missing HP, and can be 'installed' multiple times. This module should not count towards the total modules.

In my experience a single ship with a single type one laser can take out a starbase with a single shot. So how does this new module make a difference?

+ TWEAK: Extreme Colonization more expensive

Since the AI already has an advantage in this area (The AI's freely tech trade with each other), this makes it even harder for the player to colonize extreme planets before they're all taken by the AI.
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June 7, 2007 3:48:18 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Hi!
+ NEW: More differentiation between alien races on what technologies they research

I just hope good AIs will research weapons earlier, if they start near Drengin of Korath (== warship-heavy opponent)

NEW: AI ship design more optimized

Let's wait and see how they'll react to my usual low-weapons defense-heavy designs.

Missing updates:
- Colony Module costs 50 (previously 30),
- More Colony Modules can be fitted on a ship,
- Initial Colony building: production increased to 16 (12), maintenace cost 12 (14).

Remaining bugs / glitches:
- Planes with rings still don't give bonus to research.
- Focus on production still doesn't get additional research points from Tech Capital, Omega Research Center and Research Coordination Center, like does focus on research for added production from Manuf. Capital and Power Plants. Design decision, glitch or bug?

BR, Iztok

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June 7, 2007 4:14:08 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quite a list!
Thanks again for the incredible post-release support!


Ditto!
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June 7, 2007 5:04:05 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Great patch, the betas already were pretty good.

Still, is it just not mentioned, or did the bug with missing weapon/shield effects in the German version not get fixed? As I recall it was 'just' a matter of an incompatibility with the decimal delimiter.
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June 7, 2007 5:16:56 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Thank You!
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June 7, 2007 5:23:57 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Still, is it just not mentioned, or did the bug with missing weapon/shield effects in the German version not get fixed? As I recall it was 'just' a matter of an incompatibility with the decimal delimiter.


IIRC that's a Dread Lords issue--DA has all the models in binary format. So if it's not already been done quietly in the DL updates on SDC, then it probably remains to be done.
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June 7, 2007 6:44:48 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Nice. Pressing my own turn button (aka sleep), then I'll play a game with 1.6
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June 7, 2007 8:04:14 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
+ NEW: Added Starbase module to repair the starbase with Tech Requirement Advanced Hulls. Will only show up if the starbase is missing HP, and can be 'installed' multiple times. This module should not count towards the total modules.

In my experience a single ship with a single type one laser can take out a starbase with a single shot. So how does this new module make a difference?


That's certainly the case. For an unarmed starbase. If a starbase has any significant weaponry at all, attacking it will be a dangerous proposition for most ships early game.

That ship isn't taking out the starbase in a single shot. Rather, it's making about 90 shots at once without having any return fire halt it's attacks. If you want to see that happening, you need to enable the combat viewer for engagements that aren't just ship to ship.

This is a great feature for using armed starbases on defense. What doesn't kill you will be repaired once you can sneak a constructor in.

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June 7, 2007 9:30:24 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Changes sound great,very much appreciate the hard work/hours put into this. I agree with others starbases need to be tougher esp. in the lategame and esp. the military starbase.
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June 7, 2007 10:01:07 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
You guys and gals are great! A great game keeps getting better. Thanks!
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June 7, 2007 11:58:15 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
You guys and gals are great! A great game keeps getting better. Thanks!


resumes what I had to say. Thanks again ! Can't wait to try a new game !
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June 8, 2007 4:00:33 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Very interesting to see that you've found a possible fix for that 'AI gets a free turn' issue. Very, very interesting.

Seventy two thumbs up for the excellent work you guys have been doing. Really glad that I bought the DA expansion, it's renewed my faith in GC2 tremendously
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June 8, 2007 6:51:30 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Thanks SD! You all ROCK!

+ NEW: Computer AI updated to be better in diplomacy

Details, please...

+ TWEAK: Pirates event less common, somewhat less lethal

You guys really DO read the forums...this should make a lot of folks happy - probably the most complaints about Mega Events have to do with this one...now if you could just make the Dread Lords event truly MEGA....

+ TWEAK: AI more focused on what it builds on planets (long story)

Please tell us if you have time in an AAR or Journal...I too would be love to read it!

+ NEW: Added code to save score data for non-metaverse games locally in the My Documents\My Games\GC2DarkAvatar folder

Excellent! Does this mean we can possible set up our own 'Private Metaverse' using this file? Too cool if so!

+ NEW: Added Starbase module to repair the starbase with Tech Requirement Advanced Hulls. Will only show up if the starbase is missing HP, and can be 'installed' multiple times. This module should not count towards the total modules

Wow! This could really rock in late games - now it may be possible to get a Starbase with Mega Hitpoints - if you can keep it repaired - this could open up a whole new line of Strategy!
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June 8, 2007 7:22:17 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Hey!

You are really cooooooooooool!!!!!!

Thanks a lot for your impressing work and the allround support for this great game!

Greetings from Germany
Jochen
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June 8, 2007 8:32:19 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
This is all very good news. As others have said, I hope you have time to write a journal entry to expand on things like the AI diplomacy tweaks.

Sorry for my ignorance but what trees are we talking about?


Oaks and Maples, of course.  

/am I the only Rush fan out here?

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June 8, 2007 3:25:00 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Nice work!! Woot
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June 8, 2007 4:30:01 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I am having major problems. I have 3 Gigs of RAM and suddenly the game keeps telling me I am out of memory and I can try playing again after I have increased virtual memory. The SmartException is not logging anything. I have already sent my debug.err file to the bug email for gc2. I did the same thing with the 1.5 beta but apparently they didn't see it as a problem or thought they fixed it.
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June 8, 2007 6:48:23 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
here's an example of what you're making me do, Stardock...

about 3 months ago, i moved. i haven't set up internet on my personal home computer, yet. my roommate and i have a broadband cable connection, of which i pay half, but i've just been too lazy to set up the new wireless network. i do most of my web surfing during the day at work, so not having internet at home on one of two available computers isn't the end of the world.

but now that there's an impressive new update for GC2, you can bet that wireless network will be the first thing i do when i get home. the second and third will respectively be updating GalCiv, and playing it.

kudos, major thanks, and all that good stuff. though to echo others... some of the new features, fixes and tweaks could stand a bit more specificity... when you have time. and if you don't, i'm sure we'll figure them out.
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June 8, 2007 6:53:12 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
am I the only Rush fan out here?


you and today's Tom Sawyer. oh, and i'm willing to bet the members of Phish are huge Rush fans.
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June 9, 2007 3:23:27 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Is there going to be a way to get this update with out haveing to use Stardock?
I mostly play GC2 on my laptop, and I do not have a way to get on the internet with it.
Haveing a update that I can put on a portable hard drive so that I can update without useing Stardock would helpful.
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