With the release of version 0.30, it's time for another round of changes to Solar War. So here's some detail on the most important stuff, especially regarding game balance.
The big one: The AI can now perform multiple attacks at the same time, provided that it has sufficient ships to do so. It should also act somewhat smarter when selecting targets to attack. On the easiest difficulty level, this behaviour is slightly restricted to a maximum of three attack fleets in play, while on the higher levels, there is no limit.
In addition, the AI can now move fleets to defend its own colonies, although this part still needs some work. Right now, it only responds to current threats or incoming fleets without thinking too far ahead on where the player might be moving next. Let me know what you think of these changes.
Performing well on the monthly evaluation has become slightly harder, as several categories have been fully implemented, scoring your actual behaviour. This is only the first phase of changes for the new diplomacy system, which will redefine your relationship with the nations of Earth. More on this will be coming in the next few updates.
Officer management has become a lot more convenient in 0.30, as you now have access to a list of all your officers, with an option to select or open their current assignment.
Speaking of convenience, impatient players will be happy to notice that the battle speed settings Fast and Instant are now much faster. Autoresolve mode set to Instant will crunch through the biggest battles in a very short time.
Finally, to make shields more of a worthwhile investment, they will now reduce incoming damage from lasers and other weapons that used to fully ignore shields. Currently, a shield at 100% charge reduces incoming beam damage by 25%.
This reduction is inversely proportional to the normal "change to be stopped by shields" value. This means that pure projectile guns like Railguns are not affected by this change at all, while for example the Proton Beam (shield chance of 30%) is reduced by only 17.5% of its damage.
The exact value may need some tweaking, but it is a good start. Lasers are still highly effective against shielded enemies, but now a "pure lasers" weapon build is more in line with other weapon types, which have to punch through the shields first.