This one's visible changes mainly focus on improving the salvage mechanic introduced in 7.011 based on feedback during the week.
That largely takes the form of excluding various ship-death situations from generating salvage: zombie-mode ships dying no longer give the AI salvage, and reclaimed ships no longer give anyone salvage. More importantly, the AI no longer gets salvage from neutral planets unless it still has a guard post (that isn't a wormhole guard post or a special forces guard post) on the planet. Previously if the AI destroyed one of your command stations it would proceed to rack up the salvage killing therest of the stuff on the planet. A good deal for it, and not bad as a kind of Shark plot, but definitely not suited for a core mechanic. Anyway, that bit's under control now.
Under the hood, there's been a metric ton of code changes to wrangle the on-ship-death logic into a more manageable form. Previously there were over 90 distinct ways for a ship to die, many with slight variations on exactly what order the on-death logic was checked. That's a natural consequence of 5 years of development (with little time for doing things quite as "cleanly" as we would prefer) and just needed to be brought back under control so that new rules like "reclaimed units don't cause salvage" can be added in one place rather than... well, over 90.
There was also a fairly thorough rewriting of the wave-building code to allow for future... experiments ;)
Many of you will be happy about the ability to right-click a planet in the lobby to change its bonus-ship-type. That's a perennially-beaten dead horse around here, but the time's come for the computer to stop fighting the player in the pre-game lobby. Or else just make the starting bonus ship types always uncontrollably random (and not revealed before the game) to remove the "workaround-by-tedium" situation. But since I couldn't find a sufficiently safe distance from which to observe the results of the latter...
There's a few other changes in there too, and I hope the one aimed at the "too many heap sections" error will at least make that one less frequent). We'll see.
This is a standard update that you can download through the in-game updater itself, if you already have 4.000 or later. When you launch the game, you'll see the notice of the update having been found if you're connected to the Internet at the time. If you don't have 4.000 or later, you can download that here.
Originally posted by Keith LaMothe on the Arcen Games news blog.