Preloader: Finally customized the preloader! Probably won’t be the final form, but it’s a start.
Music: First piece of music is in, but you’ll only hear it during battle. M to mute the music, or toggle it from the pause menu.
Victory/Defeat Screen: The end game screen is now an overlay which shows some stats.
In prior builds, espionage missions were buildings. That concept has now returned, but with more power. The espionage buildings augment the passive missions and can be upgraded once per fort level.
Spy Agency: Increases the bonus gained from scouting focus. In addition, an Information mission is completed when the Agency is built or upgraded.
Thieves’ Guild: For every 50 melee damage you deal to a wall, you get +1 to one of the economy stats. In addition, a Sabotage mission is completed when the Guild is built or upgraded. The Thieves’ Guild rewards an aggressive style that is not afraid to lose troops in combat.
Assassins’ Guild: Non-combat units are assassinated more frequently. Your soldiers’ poison and stun effects are improved. In addition, an Assassination mission is completed when the Guild is built or upgraded.
These changes are intended to revamp the tension between espionage and troop development. Focusing time on espionage should feel like a valid strategy, not a waste of time. Since the Guilds give other bonuses, they should feel more like part of a unified strategy. A Thieves’ Guild can be part of a rush, and the Assassins’ Guild would be useful for someone developing Bacon Boxers or Roller Ballers.
No cheating: The AI always “knew” what units you had and would make calculations based on that. Now, they can only evaluate your units if they can see them. This has a various effects:
- Some of its decisions are not as smart, simply because it has less information. For example, in the very early game, the AI will take unnecessary damage because it will think “there are no enemy units, attack!”, then “oh, crap, the enemy is strong, retreat!” in rapid succession.
- The lack of vision makes it much more aggressive, trying to position itself close to your fort. It will gain more town influence than before. There is also more army movement from the computer, forcing the player to pay more attention.
Scout importance: Normal and stronger AI’s put a higher priority on having at least one Scout alive.
Cavern deployment: In the cavern, the Hard AI shouldn’t deploy a unit that’s bad in melee if there’s no unit already there to buffer for it.
Overall, the AI feels stronger although very few evaluation changes were made. The increased Scout priority means it’s harder to “assassinate snowball” the computer into submission.
Meatier Shower has been changed to Meatier Strike. A single, powerful slab of ham will fall from the heavens that causes splash damage. There’s some slight variance as to where the Meatier lands. It can damage friends and foes alike. There are multiple reasons for these changes.
- Massed Bacon Magi were simply too strong. An army of them plus a couple tough melee units to hold the enemy back felt overwhelming. The battlefield would just be covered in projectiles and it was almost impossible to defeat.
- Decrease passivity. With the possibility of allies being hurt, the player has to pay attention to when and where Magi are casting Meatier Strike. In exchange for power, the player must use some finesse.
- Players are discouraged from using only Magi. Before, melee units got close to a group of Magi, it was no big deal, maybe 1 or 2 would die before the enemy was annihilated. Now, if Meatier Strike hits close to the Magi, that’s a lot of units lost at once. So, it’s better to have at least a cheap buffer now.
- Performance. If someone massed Bacon Magi and they all cast Meatier Shower at once, that was 60 projectiles that need to be created at once. This would be on top of all the other projectiles that would need to be processed. Not a problem for many computers, but low-end machines could have issues.
Units and projectiles were calling their update function twice per frame! This explained some unexpected behavior, and I had to do a lot of numbers tweaking, doubling and halving values as needed. The trickiest side effect was projectiles, which usually did twice as much damage as the number stated to units. But the damage was correct against walls.
Mostly, I adjusted the values to reflect this, although not everything’s exactly the same. The net results:
Rum Guzzler: Better against armored units and walls.
Hot Air Balloon: Split the difference. Improved against walls and armored units, worse against unarmored units.
Eggs Benedict: Better against walls. Poison is improved.
Bacon Magus: Projectiles are weaker overall.
Frying Nun: Nerfed versus units, as Cooking Techniques upgrades don’t scale as well. Better against walls, though.
Swedish Grandma: Less damage overall. However, each level of Cooking Techniques give bigger increases to her damage.
Captain Cutlery: Upgrades improve her projectiles more.