The BETA of Galactic Civilizations II: Dark Avatar is available now for users who have pre-ordered it. We are slowly processing all the pre-orders for it. As usual, we under estimated how many people would pre-order (especially in the last week) since our estimates were based on the pre-orders of GalCiv II. So it's going to take awhile.
There is no change log. If you've seen the changelogs of 1.1 or 1.2 and such then you can imagine how long the change log is to something we charge money for.
The features on the Dark Avatar page only go over the major stuff, there's so many changes throughout that it's going to take some time for us to get a handle on even describing them (and documenting them). For example, someone allegedly asked to have control over which tile ships leaving orbit would appear in. So it's in now. But it's not documented.
Here are a few major gameplay changes to be aware of:
- The combat system has been rewritten. It is now based on weapon instead of ship. That means a given ship could strike N opponents where N is the # of weapons on the ship. Logistics and cost of larger ships have been adjusted to keep fleets of small ships viable.
- Factories produce a LOT less than they used to. But there are now power plants that magnify production. More emphasis is being put on getting resources from asteroid fields and starbases.
- There will be a lot of enemy agents floating around. Even in Dread Lords there were agents in your empire, you just didn't know about them. No you actually see them on your worlds. Be wary of trying to swat every last agent on your planet at the expense of your economy. Agents remain how you are supposed to also learn about a civ overall (i.e. if you have them on an alien world, you automatically start to learn stuff).
Here are the known issues:
- Alt-escaping/alt-tabbing isn't reliable. If you alt-esc out of the game, it'll likely go boom. We're working on it. (bloody evil developers always play in a window)
- The actual values and pacing are stand-ins. Don't get used to the economy, cost of things, size of things, or anything. What we want to avoid is anyone getting attached to how much things cost and then yell when we put in the balanced values.
- Please DO NOT post generated epic stories. They're only partially working and we don't have that much text in.
- The computer AI hasn't really been updated much. Oh, it handles spies and such but the good stuff really hasn't gotten started yet.
What we do want to hear about are:
- Crashes. This beta shouldn't crash. Ever. If you get a crash, go to the beta forum and post your debug.err and what you were doing at the time. It would also be VERY helpful if you install Smart Exception which is in the "free stuff" area of Stardock Central.
- Bad UI or confusing UI. Is there some way the game plays that does't make sense to you?
- Broken feature. Is there a feature that isn't working right?
The Beta forum can be found HERE.
And if you want to get the beta and final game, you can pre-order it from us. We'll be letting people who pre-order get the beta for another week at least. GO HERE TO GET THE BETA.